Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Abitibi's New Name: A Portent of Things To Come?

After considering hundreds of possible monikers, newsprint giant AbitibiBowater has chosen the name of a ship that was trapped in the Canadian Arctic, abandoned, rescued by Americans, and broken up by the British.

Is that a prediction of things to come or just a failure to know history?

AbitibiBowater (AKA AbitibiUnderwater) announced today that it will become Resolute Forest Products on November 7 as it tries to leave behind its debt-burdened past and find a name that customers can pronounce.

"Resolute" means being determined or having a single-minded resolve. The word most famously appears in the name of the HMS Resolute, a British exploration ship that was abandoned in 1854 after being trapped in ice. American whalers freed her from the ice the next year and sailed her to the U.S.; the American government presented the ship to Queen Victoria the following year in a show of friendship.

After the British navy decommissioned the Resolute, the ship was broken up, with some of the timbers being used to make a pair of desks -- one for Queen Victoria and one for the U.S. President (and still in the Oval Office). Replicas of the American desk have appeared in various movies about the White House -- most prominently in "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets," in which a hidden compartment contains an important clue.

Related article: Suggestions for AbitibiBowater's New Name.


PaulyG said...

Thanks for the laugh, it was the funniest thing I read this morning. Interesting history lesson also.

Anonymous said...

Fully agree with Pauly - hilarious and very apt! I think the big question that lies ahead will be what name the folks at New Page will choose after their resurrection from the depths.. Has anyone copyrighted The Edmund Fitzgerald Paper Company??