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Nov 13, 2017

This year’s Maritime Museum annual SS BEAVER awards will recognize four British Columbians and the Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) of Victoria for outstanding achievements in BC’s marine sector. The awards will be presented by the Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon, at Government House in Victoria on Thursday November 9.

“The SS BEAVER awards are intended to recognize extraordinary contributions by British Columbians in many marine-related fields” said Barry Rolston of the medal committee. “The 2017 recipients, nominated by the public, represent the range of achievements that the award aims to acknowledge.”


The 2017 winners are: 

Mr. Campbell Black, entrepreneur who established and remains the driving force in Quadrant Marine Institute, an apprenticeship training facility in Sidney to school marine service technicians for careers in BC’s boat and ship repair/building sector. (resident of Sidney);

Mr. Barrie Farrell, innovative fish boat builder. When fiberglass became available in the Sixties he was one of the first boat builders to realize its advantages and developed an innovative hull form which suited what the fishing industry required at the time. Mr. Farrell has built over 300 commercial and pleasure boats at various locations on the south coast. (resident of Nanaimo);

Captain Keith McLaren, retired deepsea and coastal mariner, formerly Senior Master of Spirit of Vancouver island, author of award-winning books on seafaring (resident of North Saanich);

Mr. Roland Webb, Certified Marine Engineer and senior executive in the ship repair and shipbuilding sector, currently Senior Vice President Robert Allan Ltd., Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Vancouver BC (resident of White Rock); and

A special award will recognize the Sail life and Training Society (SALTS) of Victoria for its youth sail training and motivational programs. SALTS programs reach 1,700 young people aged 13 to 25 each year and have mentored between 50 and 60 thousand youth afloat since 1974.

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 Beaver was the first steam-powered ship on the west coast of North America and operated for 52 years along BC’s coast. The awards are presented by the Lieutenant Governor in her capacity as Honorary Patron of the Museum.

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