In a ceremony at Government House in Victoria on November 6, the Maritime Museum of BC awarded the Beaver Medal of Maritime Excellence to this year’s recipients. The Honourable Janet Austin, B.C.’s Lieutenant Governor, presented the medals to Robin Inglis, Donald Krusel, John MacFarlane and Jane McIvor along with a special award to the Wahl Family of North Coast Boatbuilders.
Jamie Webb, Master of Ceremonies and member of the Beaver Award Committee, outlined the significance of the Medal, noting it is made from the salvaged steel of the S.S. Beaver which grounded on Siwash Rock outside Vancouver in 1888. The Beaver was the first steam-powered vessel on the West Coast of North America which operated along the B.C. Coast for 52 years.
Photo above (left to right: Don Prittie, Chair, Maritime Museum of BC; Donald Krusel; John MacFarlane; Jane McIvor; the Honourable Janet Austin; Edward Wahl; Robin Inglis and David Leverton, Executive Director, MMBC). Click here for more photos.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients:
Robin Inglis, resident of South Surrey, former museum and archives curator, internationally recognized as an authority on the maritime history of the northwest coast. Robin first began working in the Canadian museum field 47 years ago and has established a reputation for willingness to share his vast knowledge with individuals and institutions. His contributions to scholarship include authoring standard books of reference and articles. He continues his work with Moachat and Muchalat to obtain World Heritage Status for Yuquot, Nootka Island.
Donald Krusel, resident of Saanich, harbour management executive. Don joined the Port of Prince Rupert in 1987 and became President and CEO in 1992. He successfully led the efforts that transformed an underused resource-export port to a thriving and expanding container terminal and diversifying trade gateway. Under his leadership, the Port Authority fostered the involvement of First Nations communities in port-related activities. Since retiring from Prince Rupert Port, Don has recently been named Managing Director of a project to build a container terminal for the Port of Quebec.
John MacFarlane, resident of Qualicum Beach, Curator Emeritus of Maritime Museum of BC, compiler and disseminator of lore about B.C.’s maritime heritage. He is the creator and co-director, since 2011 of NAUTICAPEDIA, a unique, on-line resource with more than 50,000 entries about the mariners and vessels of western Canada and the Arctic. More recently, he created the BC Nautical History Facebook page. John is the author of 14 books including a guide in four volumes about the 5,500 oldest vessels still afloat in B.C.
Jane McIvor, resident of Vancouver, communications executive and publisher and editor of BC Shipping News. This is a well-respected magazine founded by Jane in 2011 that covers the West Coast marine industry. It tracks a wide span of issues including business, technological and economic trends, current developments and regulatory and legal issues. Jane is passionate about promoting B.C.’s marine industry and has established a reputation among its members for her knowledge, insight and sense of the industry’s pulse.
This year’s special award is to the Wahl Family of North Coast Boatbuilders, represented by Edward Wahl, resident of Langley. Three generations of the Wahl family have been involved in building wooden and glass fibre work boats and some recreational vessels on the B.C. coast. Their distinctively styled wooden fishing vessels made a significant contribution to our Province’s fishing and boat building industries. Edward is a shipwright and the grandson of the Norwegian immigrant who began building fish boats outside Prince Rupert in 1923.