By Mark Edward Nero
BC Ferries, the contract service provider responsible for ferry service along coastal British Columbia, was among the recipients of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia’s Maritime Excellence Awards presented by the lieutenant governor of British Columbia at a special ceremony at Government House on Nov. 18.
BC Ferries received the Maritime Museum’s SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence award for the high operating and safety standards and quality of service provided by the Queen of Burnaby and Queen of Nanaimo. The vessels, built in the 1960s, have served British Columbians and visitors to the province very well for over 50 years and are to be replaced by the natural gas-powered Salish Class vessels in 2017.
The SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the marine sector in the province. These attainments may include --but aren’t limited to – science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills and academic contributions. An organization or ship is also usually granted an award.
Four individuals in the maritime industry were also named award winners during last week’s ceremony:
• Captain Stephen Brown, a deep-sea master mariner who transitioned to executive management positions ashore culminating in the position of president of the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia;
• John Horton, a marine artist and marine search and rescue volunteer who has been involved in saving or assisting more than 2,000 people over a 35- year period;
• Captain David Woodman, another BC mariner who in parallel with sea-going pursued a life-long interest in Polar exploration, participating in 10 expeditions in the Canadian Arctic and publishing ground-breaking examinations of Inuit oral history about the Franklin expedition, and;
• Dr. John Harland, a retired Okanagan physician recognized worldwide as an authority on marine technology and author of standard books in this field.
More information about the Maritime Excellence Awards is available at http://mmbc.bc.ca/.