HOPEWELL, N.B. -- A new exhibit at a New Brunswick museum is honouring the first registered female sea captain in North America.

Molly Kool began her life on the sea working as a mate on her father’s boat.

“She learned the ropes, so to speak, from her father,” says Dawne McLean, president of the Albert County Museum Board.

At the age of 21, Kool joined the Merchant Marine school in Saint John, N.B., and became a certified captain in 1939. She went on to receive her master mariners papers from the Merchant Marine Institution in Yarmouth, N.S., resulting in a change to the Canadian Shipping Act.

“There was no ‘she’ there, so it amended the shipping act so that now females can become registered captains,” says McLean.

The Molly Kool Exhibit was unveiled last week at the Albert County Museum, in Hopewell Cape, N.B., hounouring her significant achievement.

“I think that when you stop and you honour history, and you stop and you honour the people that really paved the way for all of us here, when you stop and recognize that it, it is moving, emotionally,” says Janet Clouston, managing director of the Albert County Museum.

Kool died in 2009 at the age of 93.