A PROUD Port Glasgow minister who played a key role in the recent launch of Glen Rosa at Ferguson Marine hopes the successful ceremony will lead to many more for the yard.

Ferguson Marine’s chaplain Reverend William Boyle blessed the new CalMac ferry as she took to the water for the first time earlier this month.  

The Port preacher has been working with the yard since the end of last year and says he was thrilled to have had the chance to play a part in proceedings.

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Thousands of local people turned out to witness the launch of the vessel, which will operate on the Arran route.

Reverend Boyle told the Telegraph that taking part in the launch was ‘without a doubt’ one of the proudest moments of his career.

Greenock Telegraph: Reverend William Boyle tells of his pride at Ferguson Marine role.

He said: “It was an amazing day, I came away from it with such a huge smile on my face.

“It was great to see the crowds, the amount of people that showed up.

“When it launched you could hear all the cars going by beeping their horns.

“You realise when you see the whole town grind to a halt for something like that how much support and love there is for the yard.

“Everybody just loved it, there was a such a buzz about the place.

“It was my first experience of it, and it’ll go down as a very good memory.

“I began as the chaplain at the end of last year as we were going into Christmas.

“I came in every Monday, and we thought it would be good to have a set day when the staff knew I would be available.

“It’s been really well received, it’s new to me but every time I come in people are wanting to come and talk to me.

“The yard have given me an office space as well which means I have a private place to talk to people and give a listening ear.

“I’ve been getting to know everyone here and to actually get to stand next to them while Glen Rosa launched was brilliant.”

The Reverend was not the only local to play a part in the launch ceremony.

A team of five women who served as apprentices at the shipyard joined officials on stage for the launch and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan played the pipes as the 3,000-tonne vessel left the yard’s slipway.

Reverend Boyle praised the yard for its efforts to include the young women and said he was pleased to help keep traditions alive at the yard.

Greenock Telegraph: Reverend William Boyle tells of his pride at Ferguson Marine role.

He added: “To see the five female apprentices take part in the launch was a great touch too.

“I was aware that yards have always had chaplains and when I came here, I was keen to keep that tradition going.

“When you talk to the staff who have been at the yard for a long time, they remember chaplains coming in, taking part in ship launches and doing what I’m doing.

“They asked me to bless the ship which again I hadn’t done before, it was no problem at all and it was great to see how it all works.

“I love that the ship had a traditional launch, it really added to the atmosphere.

“Yards are new to me, but the staff have been a great help, especially the two shop stewards Alex and John.

“It was a great day and I think the whole community would say we hope there’s many more like it to come.”