Three maritime experts receive Beaver Medals from The Maritime Museum of British Columbia
On November 20, The Maritime Museum of British Columbia awarded its 2012 S.S. Beaver Medal to three British Columbians for their contributions to excellence in maritime endeavours. An additional medal was bestowed on an iconic ship. The three individual recipients are naval architect Robert Allan, maritime lawyer Peter Bernard and marine industrialist Dennis Washington. The MV Coho—the car/passenger ferry that has connected Victoria and Port Angeles, Washington for over half a century, was also recognized during the luncheon at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.
“The Maritime Museum knows of no other award that encompasses all aspects of our marine industry, its history, technology and application of skills and knowledge,” said Admiral (ret) and former Ambassador John Anderson when he explained the Beaver Medals’ significance.
From left-to-right: Jamie Webb, MMBC; Kyle Washington, Seaspan; Robert Allan, Robert Allan Naval Architects and Marine Engineers; Ryan Malane, Black Ball Transport’s MV Coho; Peter Bernard, Bernard and Partners; and Capt. Stephen Brown, President BC Chamber of Shipping.
Photo credit: BC Shipping News.
The medals are made from copper and brass salvaged from S.S. Beaver, the first steamship on the West Coast. The ship has had deep significance in our Province’s maritime history. The Hudson’s Bay Company owned the British-built vessel and it served our coastal communities for 53 years. The ship foundered in 1888, but its history lives on through the gold-plated medals.
Capt. Stephen Brown, President of the Chamber of Shipping of BC, presented the medals to the following individuals:
Robert Allan whose name is synonymous with vessel design. For three generations, Robert Allan Naval Architects and Marine Engineers have carried on a proud tradition of workboat and ship design. Under Robert Allan, the company has become an international leader in commercial small ship design. It was a pioneer in computer-assisted design technology and has produced unique designs, especially for high-performance tugs, for clients around the world.
For more than 40 years, Peter Bernard’s practice has covered a broad spectrum of maritime law. He has represented ship owners in international and coastal shipping, ship builders and underwriters, and litigated or mediated such issues as collision, salvage, pollution, immigration and ship purchase.
Dennis Washington has almost single-handedly reinvigorated regional shipbuilding. Since acquiring Seaspan in 1996, he has built it into the West Coast’s largest marine operating and ship building and repair company. Seaspan shipyards are currently involved in the maintenance of Canada’s submarine force and the Navy’s frigate life extension program. The company has been selected to participate in the renewal of Canadian government fleets under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Kyle Washington, Executive Chairman of the container ship arm of Seaspan accepted the medal on behalf of his father.
Ryan Malane received the Beaver medal awarded to Black Ball Transport’s MV Coho. This passenger/car ferry has provided transport between Victoria and Port Angeles since 1959 and has safely steamed more than two million miles- the equivalent of 80 trips around the world.
Author Derek Pethick in his book, S.S. Beaver, concluded that the vessel “helped to lay the foundation of B.C., and hence of Canada, and as such it deserves the attention of all who today inhabit them.”
It was in this spirit that the Maritime Museum acknowledged the three individuals and MV Coho. “The maritime sector represents almost 10 per cent of the economic activity of BC,” concluded Admiral Anderson. “It is most appropriate that we take time each year to acknowledge the excellence of those who contribute to the growth and sustainment of this activity.”
Nominations for the 2013 awards are now being accepted: mmbc.bc.ca- go to Beaver medal.
Beginning in 2012, the Maritime Museum of BC, Victoria, is issuing the SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence to up to three individuals who have made outstanding contributions to nautical endeavours in our Province. These attainments may include science, technology, business, maritime skills applications, nautical heritage and culture, and academic contributions. The gold‐plated Medal, which incorporates copper from the 19th century steamship S.S. Beaver, underlines BC’s vivid maritime history and highlights the continuing importance of our maritime sector. The Museum invites you to nominate outstanding individuals. The deadline for nominations in 2013 is May 15, 2013.
Winners of the medal in 2012:
Robert G. Allan, naval architect
Peter Bernard, QC, maritime lawyer
Dennis Washington, marine industrialist
Special award to MV Coho, veteran Victoria – Port Angeles ferry
Captain Stephen Brown, President Chamber of Shipping of BC
Commodore (Ret’d) Jan Drent, RCN
Dr. Barry Gough, marine historian
Don Krusel, CEPO Prince Rupert Port Authority
Vija Poruks, Assistant Commissioner, Pacific Region, Canadian Coast Guard
Captain Jamie Marshall, VO Operations, BC Ferries
Dr. Marianne Scott, marine journalist
The medal is awarded in acknowledgement of outstanding achievement in any area of British Columbia maritime endeavour. Areas of endeavour include, but are not limited to; science, technology, business, application of maritime skills, heritage endeavour or learned contribution to maritime affairs. Up to three medals a year may be awarded.
A nomination may be developed by either an organization or an individual.
Nominations should include biographical information and a description of the outstanding work, achievement or display of practical skill which merits the award. You are encouraged to be explicit and to describe why the person being nominated is deserving.
To nominate an individual for this award, complete the Nomination Form available in PDF format here.
Submit the completed Nomination Form and supporting material to the Selection Committee to: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Beaver Medal Selection, Maritime Museum of BC
28 Bastion Square
Victoria BC V8W 1H9
If you wish clarification about the nomination process please contact
Roger Walker 250 477 5191; Horatio.email@example.com
You may be contacted for further information on the person you nominated. The nomination and supporting documentation will not be returned. The museum sincerely appreciates your participation in the nomination process. Our aim is to increase awareness of the many outstanding achievements by members of our Province’s maritime community.
Nominations for the 2103 medals close on May 15, 2013.