Cenac launch

A major local marine company launched a new vessel Friday, along with an added gift for Terrebonne Parish.

Cenac Marine Services christened the newest boat, the motor vessel Quincey Cenac, during a solemn ceremony held at its headquarters on Louisiana Highway 182 in Houma.

(To see video of the ceremony, click here). 

Benny Cenac, local philanthropist and owner of the firm, arranged for a new spud barge to be built specifically for the Terrebonne Parish Levee District, which was unveiled at the same ceremony. It will aid flood protection and coastal erosion efforts, parish officials said. The ceremony included a blessing by a Catholic priest.

The Quincey Cenac, 72 feet long by about 30 feet wide, is the newest vessel in the Cenac fleet and the 24th in its newest series. The Qincey Cenac, like other vessels recently added to the fleet, is expected to create 10 to 12 new jobs within the local economy.

Benny Cenac said the new barge will be used to transport equipment to various levee sites. The barge features a gate, spuds and hydraulic equipment.

“Trying to preserve our heritage and our way of living has always occupied a special place in my heart,” Cenac said. “Our donation of this barge is just one more way to show Cenac’s commitment to protecting our parish. I am proud that we can play a small role in this overall effort. We will continue to look for ways to partner with government to ensure the future of this area is bright.”

Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove expressed gratitude for the gift, which he said will be a huge asset to the community.

“Levee protection is one of my highest priorities for Terrebonne Parish,” Dove said. Benny Cenac and Cenac Towing are showing what can be accomplished with private-public partnerships.”

Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District Executive Director Reggie Dupre said the barge’s contribution is greatly appreciated, and sorely needed.

“This generous donation will save us significant money on rental equipment and allow us to expedite repairs and maintenance on our own schedule,” Dupre said.

Benny Cenac’s father, Arlen B. Cenac Sr., was present at the ceremony and aided a child from his family break the traditional bottle of champagne against the hull of the vessel.

Senior Staff Writer John DeSantis is a veteran journalist and author who grew up in New York City, but has spent most of his career in the Bayou Region. A specialist in criminal justice, he enjoys boating and historical research.

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