The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is now inviting nominations for the 2018 SS Beaver Medals, an annual award that recognizes outstanding achievements in B.C.’s marine sector. The deadline for nominations is May 18, 2018.
Nominations are encouraged for individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to our Province’s marine interests, including but not limited to: science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, and academic offerings. An award is also made to recognize a noteworthy organization, vessel or technological project.
“The marine sector generates roughly 8 percent of B.C.’s GDP and this involves a wide span of activities. The Maritime Museum sponsors the SS Beaver award to help raise awareness about this diverse sector and to recognize outstanding individuals. “said Jan Drent, a member of the medal steering committee. “Past winners range from entrepreneurs to naval architects, boatbuilders, innovators in technology, publishers, authors, historians, a hydrographer, a marine artist and a museum curator. “The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon, presented the 2017 awards to Campbell Black, entrepreneur who has been a driving force in behind a marine technician apprentice training facility in Sidney, Barrie Farrell, innovative fishboat builder, Captain Keith McLaren, deepsea and coastal mariner and award-winning author, and Roland Webb, senior executive in the ship repair and shipbuilding industry. The Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) was recognized by a special award.
The gold-plated medal is struck from copper salvaged from the pioneering paddlewheel steamship SS Beaver, built in England in 1835 for the Hudson’s Bay Company. After rounding the treacherous Cape Horn, Beaver reached the northwest coast where she served for 53 years. This iconic vessel pioneered commercial navigation on the BC coast as a floating trading post, hydrographic survey ship and towboat. She grounded near Vancouver in 1888, and after foundering some of her machinery was recovered providing the metal for the Beaver Medal.
“To our knowledge, no other award encompasses all aspects of our coastal industry, history, technology, or practical application of skills,” said former Ambassador and retired Admiral John Anderson. “What a fitting namesake—the Beaver—or Castor Canadensis.”
The Museum urges members of the public to nominate outstanding marine achievers for the SS Beaver Medal. Potential recipients will be selected by an awards committee with members from the Chamber of Shipping of BC; the Prince Rupert Port Authority; BC Ferries, a former Coast Guard Captain, a distinguished marine historian a well-known marine writer and a past president of the Maritime Museum.
Nominations for 2018 close on May 18. Nomination information, easy-to-complete forms and due dates are located at http://mmbc.bc.ca/about-2/s-s-beaver-medal/.