Most schooners launched on the east coast years ago were named after family members or prominent citizens. Even today, many ships are named after prominent politicians or business leaders.
Seldom, if ever, is a vessel named after a “lesser” person . Many farmers in my home province of P.E.I. had a resident “hired-man”, usually someone who had little education, few and meager possessions and lacked good prospects for advancement in life .
Many years ago, I met a man in the north of Scotland, Bill Grigor, who, although well educated and a man of worth, supplemented his tight income by acting as a ghillie for the local estate owner, Lord Leverhulme. Bill was the hired-man whose job it was to act as a guide, whether hunting for grouse or deer, or fishing for salmon. It was his task to provide expertise and all physical assistance except to pull the trigger or to cast the fly line.
In addition, it was his duty when a stream was encountered to carry the laird across the water. In this capacity he was known as the “wet-foot ghillie “.
As a tribute to all those unrecognized hired men, whether they be in Scotland or P.E.I., the name “The Ghillie” was chosen for this schooner.