Date: Between 1872 and 1896
Source: Private collection of Dominique Beauregard.
Curé Labelle’s first Atlantic crossing began in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, when on February 21, 1885, he embarked on the SS Circassian, a vessel of the Allan Line Steamship Company bound for Liverpool. The 11-day trip was eventful. While the majority of passengers were green around the gills with seasickness, Labelle, with his robust constitution, was perfectly immune to the pitching of the waves. Neither his rosy complexion nor his hearty appetite was affected. His excess weight, on the other hand, complicated things. One day, as he exited the smoking lounge, a wave caused the ship to heave suddenly. Labelle was thrown to the deck and slid the entire width of the boat on his backside, his spectacular progress interrupted only by his knee meeting the guardrail. Luckily, both his trousers and his knee escaped relatively unscathed. That adventure aside, the curé enjoyed his sea voyage, even taking the opportunity to preach the cause of colonization to other passengers.