Captain Billy Thrasher

Captain Billy Thrasher

A boat that sailed its way into the history of the Canadian Arctic, Our Lady of Lourdes was donated to the Northern missions by Pope Pius XI and she sailed the Beaufort Sea from 1931 to 1957. For more than 20 years, Our Lady of Lourdes, guided by Captain Billy Thrasher,braved pounding storms and shifting ice floes to deliver supplies to far-flung Catholic missions in the Arctic, from Tuktoyaktuk to Cambridge Bay in what is now western Nunavut.

Oblat missionary Raymond de Coccola’s book – “The Incredible Eskimo” describes the Captain, crew and life on board:The Incredible Eskimo


Our Lady of Lourdes, Tuktoyaktuk, 1981

Our Lady of Lourdes, Tuktoyaktuk, 1981.Photograph by Harry Palmer

More of photographer Harry Palmer’s work may be found at

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