Lieutenant Governor presents BC Maritime Achievement Awards

SS Beaver Medal

Dec 12, 2022

SS BEAVER Medals were presented to 2022 recipients on December 6, 2022.
Image courtesy of the Maritime Museum of BC.

Five British Columbians and an organization are being recognized for outstanding achievements in BC’s marine sector by the Maritime Museum’s annual SS BEAVER Medal Awards. The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, presented the awards at the Wardroom at CFB Esquimalt on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.

The Winners

The aim of the SS BEAVER Medal is to recognize extraordinary contributions by British Columbians in many marine-related fields.

2022 recipients are:

Roger Girouard
Rear Admiral, RCN, (Ret’d), Assistant Commissioner (CCG), (Ret’d)

Rear Admiral Girouard began his seagoing career as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1974 retiring in 2007 as Commander Maritime Forces Pacific. During a six-year semi-sabbatical he taught leadership at Royal Roads University. Following his time with RRU, he stepped back into public service as the new Assistant Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard’s Western Region. In his time as Assistant Commissioner, Rear Admiral Girouard made significant contributions to improving prevention and response to marine incidents, shipping safety initiatives, and most notably, he was instrumental in enhancing relationships with coast First Nations.

Bill Maximick

Mr. Maximick’s powerful and authentic paintings strongly illustrate his many years working on tugs, fish boats and in remote logging camps. He has served as a mentor to other artists. Residing in the Comox Valley, Bill continues to paint.

John McKay
Historian, Author, Illustrator, Draftsman

For close to forty years, Mr. McKay has worked tirelessly, diligently and highly successfully in drafting meticulous plans of historically significant ships. His 100-Gun Ship Victory is just one example of the many exceedingly detailed plans that Mr. McKay has had published.

Phillip Nelson
Professional Mariner

Beginning his maritime career as a cadet, Mr. Nelson has worked with Transport Canada as ship inspector, master and mate examiner, port warden and Labour Canada Safety Officer. He went on to become regional director of Transport Canada Marine Safety Branch in Ontario. For the past 19 years, Mr. Nelson has served as President of the not-for-profit Shipowners’ Association.

Kevin Obermeyer
Marine Transportation Executive

Mr. Obermeyer has served as Port of Nanaimo’s Harbour Master, Director of Marine Operations with the Pacific Pilotage Authority and Chief Executive Officer with Pacific Pilotage Authority. He has worked on developing protocols and guidelines for navigational safety; he has been an active participant with the Oceans Protection Plan and is Chair of the International Sailors’ Society Canada.

Lady Rose Marine Services
for the MV Frances Barkley

Owners Barrie Rogers and Greg Willmon of Devon Transport purchased the Lady Rose Marine Services in the summer of 2021 thereby ensuring that the MV Frances Barkley will continue servicing the coastal communities along the Port Alberni Inlet. The MV Frances Barkley provides essential transport and passenger services to Bamfiled, Ucleulet and the Broken Group as well as connecting members of Tseshaht to their traditional territories and neighbouring Nuu Chah Nulth Nations.

Over the 11 year existence of the MMBC SS Beaver Award there have been 51 recipients ranging from boat builders to naval architects to entrepreneurs to marine historians and artists to Arctic navigators.

Nominations for the award of the Maritime Museum of BC SS BEAVER Medal for Maritime Excellence are submitted by the public. They are then evaluated through a rigorous screening process. The award itself is a gold-plated medal cast from materials salvaged front the wreck of the pioneering SS BEAVER mounted in a small display case. The Hudson’s Bay Company SS BEAVERwas the first steam-powered ship on the west coast of North America and operated for 52 years along BC’s coast until grounding in 1888. The awards are presented by the Lieutenant Governor in her capacity as Honorary Patron of the Museum.

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