Gil Blutrich

Gil talks about Skyline, S.S. Keewatin and Port McNicoll:
Video Interview

  • Gil Blutrich talks about S.S. Keewatin and Port McNicoll - excerpt from BRING HER ON HOME

Excerpt from BRING HER ON HOME – The Return of S.S. Keewatin.
Displayed with the permission of the Producer. DVD available.

Gil talks about Skyline, S.S. Keewatin and Port McNicoll:
Text Interview

Skyline is buying that, and we are working with different private people that have emotional attachment to this ship, and we will create a not-for-profit organization. I do not believe that any company has the right to own – even if it’s a big company – the right to own history. History is for the people of Canada and it should come back to use as a floating museum for Ontario’s maritime history, and I think it will be a great addition to the three attractions already in the immediate area, all of them less than 1 km away. We are planning on putting it in the centre of our new marina.

Gil Blutrich interviewed by Urban Toronto, published November 24, 2011. For the complete interview, please visit:

Gil Buys S.S. Keewatin to donate to *Friends of Keewatin:
The Agreement

Article X:
It is agreed between Peterson and Skyline Marine Inc., that the vessel will be donated to *a charitable foundation named after Roland J. Peterson and Diane Peterson.

* Note: Friends of Keewatin is the DBA of The RJ and Diane Peterson Keewatin Foundation
A copy of the complete document may be requested for viewing.


R.J. Peterson

In Appreciation

The world lost a great man today. Peacefully, in his sleep RJ Peterson at the age of 93 set sail on the afterlife adventure we all will face some day.

RJ had lived an incredible life which he enjoyed to the fullest. In Canada, specifically this part of Ontario he was the man that saved the SS KEEWATIN from being scrapped in 1967. He read about her in a book that she was one of the last of her kind so he borrowed the funds and dragged her to a shallow lake in Michigan on the Kalamazoo River. There he put her on display as a “mini” Titanic and for 45 years visitors came.

In 2011 he decided that he would like to see the ship returned to Canada where her heritage lay in Port McNicoll, and worked with Gil Blutrich a developer to accomplish that on June 23 2012. He loved Keewatin. Not a week went by over the 9 years she has been here didn’t he call to see how she was doing. Each year my wife and I went to Michigan for his birthday on New Years eve. I have included a few pictures of his last candle! Energetic and creative until the end he loved to argue and debate.

He used to say” Show me someone who has no enemies and detractors and I’ll show you someone who has never tried to accomplish something”. Everybody in Douglas/Saugatuck Michigan knew RJ. Most liked him, some weren’t so happy with him, but everyone was respectful of the magnificent things he did for his community, his country, his family and his friends.

Through KEEWATIN we will honour him and work to make sure his name is tied to our great Canadian marine treasure.

God have mercy on this great soul!

Eric Conroy