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Nautical Nights Speaker: Jan Drent (The Disappearance of HMCS Galiano)
October 25, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
JOIN THE MUSEUM FOR A DRINK AND DISCUSSION ON OUR UNIQUE MARITIME HERITAGE, CULTURE, AND ENVIRONMENT! EACH MONTH FEATURES A NEW SPEAKER AND TOPIC.
THIS MONTH’S SPEAKER: JAN DRENT
The Disappearance of HMCS Galiano
Nearly 100 years ago, in the early hours of October 30, 1918, HMCS Galiano vanished in darkness in hurricane force winds between Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. The only Royal Canadian Navy vessel to be lost during WWI, all 40 people on board, 39 naval personnel who were members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve and a female civilian passenger, perished. Only 3 bodies and a wooden skylight were ever found by search vessels, which were hampered by continuing mountainous seas and high winds. The tragedy happened just as the “Spanish Influenzas”, a little-remembered pandemic that would kill far more people worldwide than the Great War, had reached Victoria. Several of Galiano’s normal crew were knocked out by the flu, so she sailed hurriedly with replacements. Only 7 of the 39 crew members were married and most of their next of kin lived in Victoria and were spread from James Bay to Downtown, Fernwood, and Oak Bay.
In this month’s Nautical Nights Speaker Series, local historian Jan Drent explores the Galiano, the marine disaster, and what this story tells us about Victoria at the end of the Great War.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
During a 34 year career in the Royal Canadian Navy, Jan Drent commanded three warships and served on both coasts and abroad. Since retiring to Victoria, Jan has been involved in volunteer work. His hobbies include languages, sailing, biking, hiking and history. He has been a MMBC volunteer for several years.