It was with very great pleasure that I accepted an invitation to give my Captain Vancouver talk on the 17th and 18th January to the Maple Bay Yacht Club and the Ladysmith Maritime Society.
On the 17th we were guests of the Maple Bay Yacht Club, (just outside Duncan, BC) and were given a warm welcome by approximately 60 members and friends. Mary and I enjoyed an excellent dinner with the club members in their dining area and then moved to the lounge area to present my talk to a very attentive audience. The talk was well received and gave rise to some excellent questions. It is always interesting to receive questions from mariners who have cruised the area which Captain Vancouver charted.
Thanks to Donna Wakefield for making all the arrangements and promoting the talk so well.
The following day we were welcomed at the very new Ladysmith Maritime Society Welcome Centre which is on a float and located in the centre of their marina. If you have not visited them recently you must – the marina welcomes visitors needing guest moorage, and the welcome centre is a great place to meet the locals and refresh yourself. They also have a small floating exhibition building; a number of restored vessels in float houses and a larger exhibition just up the hill.
We had an exceptionally lively crowd of approximately 93 people at the presentation and they enjoyed the stories about Captain Vancouver’s voyage to our coast in the late 1700s. We presented the Society with a number of Captain Vancouver booklets to display at the exhibition sites and in the welcome area. The welcome building has 2 supports that were taken from a broken and discarded HMCS Oriole mast – so we donated an HMCS Oriole print to be displayed in the building. Our very hospitable hosts in return presented us with an honourary membership and vests.
Just prior to the presentation we had a brief tour of the 2 exhibition sites and the boat house. We were very surprised to see a small rescued skiff from the historic HMCS Rainbow. The skiff is in the yard in the process of being restored, along with some other very interesting wooden vessels. The society has a huge number of volunteers. Well done – Bravo Zulu!!
We also toured the Ladysmith Arts Centre which is located up the hill beside the Maritime Society exhibition space. This is a very active group and has a great exhibition and work space donated by the municipality.
Well done Ladysmith for supporting both of these worthwhile nonprofit volunteer organizations which work hard to bring visitors to, and enhance the cultural environment of the area.
Thanks to Sherry Bezanson for making the arrangements for us to visit and Debbie Cameron, Paul Notte and Tom Irwin for making our visit so pleasant.