William James Roué

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William James Roué (April 27, 1879 – January 14, 1970) was a naval architect famous for his design of the Bluenose fishing schooner, which sailed to victory in the Halifax Herald International Fisherman's competition in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1931 and 1938, and held the record for the largest catch of fish ever brought into Lunenburg.


Roué was born in the South End of Halifax, Nova Scotia. As an adolescent, Roué made and sailed 1.5-metre model boats. He learned to crew at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS). He was a self-taught naval architect. He read volumes on boat design in the library of the Yacht Squadron. He enrolled in classes in mechanical drafting at the Victoria College of Art and Design, now the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. His experience was that of a yacht designer for fellow members of the Squadron while he worked in the family soft-drink business. Roué created more than 100 designs for commercial vessels, including many yachts such as the schooner Blue Dolphin; two fleets of freighters for Newfoundland and the Arctic and ferries. Roué died in 1970 at the age of 90.


In 1921, Roué was rewarded with a gold watch and commemorative scroll because Canada won the International Fisherman's Race.

A 1998 domestic postage stamp was issued in commemoration of William J. Roué that shows his portrait and the famous Bluenose schooner he designed. The stamp was designed by Louis Hébert of Montreal. [1]

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax has an exhibit on Roué with his original design instruments and drawing board as a well as a Roue designed sloop Vagabond and schooner Hebridee II.

The Bluenose has been features on three stamps: a 1929 50-cent issue, a 1982 60-cent stamp that commemorated the International Philatelic Youth Exhibition, and a 1988 37-cent issue that celebrated Bluenose skipper Angus Walters.


  1. ^ [1] Bluenose: A National Symbol of Canada (retrieved 1 October 2006)

Selected books[edit]

  • Getson, Heather-Anne, Bluenose: The Ocean Knows Her Name., Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2006.
  • Keith McLaren. A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen's Race 1920 - 1938. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2006.
  • Marq de Villiers. Witch in the Wind:The True Story of the Legendary Bluenose. Toronto: Thomas Allen, 2007.

External links[edit]