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Classic Boat Festival:

Honourary Commodores

Our 2020 Honourary Commodore: Ann Jones

Born in England, Ann moved to Montreal in 1956 where she helped her husband run a busy service station. She studied art and earned her BFA and a graduate diploma in Art Education from Concordia University.

Moved to Halifax in 1978 with her daughters and started an art supply business which grew to 3 stores and an art gallery.  Living by the sea and owning a sail boat was a long-time dream and her first boat was a Kings Cruiser from Sweden which had to be left in Halifax when she to moved to Victoria her where she lived on board a Bill Garden custom designed 32 ft mahogany sailboat for six years.

In Victoria, Ann volunteered for the Maritime Museum of BC and went on staff as gift shop buyer and facility rental manager in 2003. She retired in 2009 but was back at the museum as a fulltime volunteer in 2010 running the gift shop and organizing fundraising the Massive Marine Garage Sale and the annual silent auction for the Classic Boat Festival. She helped with the move to Humboldt Street and reopened the gift shop in August 2015 in the new premises on Humboldt Street. In 2016 she became manager of a new fundraiser, All Things Marine at Canoe Cove Marina where every thing is donated and all proceeds go to the Maritime Museum of BC

In 2016 Ann was a recipient of the Governor Generals award which became Queen’s Medal for outstanding contribution to her community.

2019: Howard White

“No publisher has trumpeted the romance of Canada’s western coast more than Howard White,” wrote the Globe and Mail in 1988. He started a coastal newspaper in 1970, began publishing the west coast journal Raincoast Chronicles in 1972, and founded Harbour Publishing in 1974. To date his company has been for publishing some 1000 books about British Columbia, including such well-known titles as Westcoasters: Boats That Built BC by Tom Henry, The Encyclopedia of West Coast Place Names by Andrew Scott, Keepers of the Light by Donald Graham, Fishing With John by Edith Iglauer, From the Wheelhouse by Doreen Armitage, Dangerous Waters by Keith Keller, Ships of Steel by T.A. McLaren, Legacy in Wood by Ryan Wahl and Boats in My Blood by Barrie Farrell.

Howard has been equally active as a writer, with poetry, articles, and fiction to his credit. His thirteen books to date include Raincoast Chronicles First Five, Raincoast Chronicles Six Ten, Spilsbury’s Coast (with Jim Spilsbury), The Accidental Airline (With Jim Spilsbury), Writing In The Rain, The Ghost In The Gears, Raincoast Chronicles Eleven Up (editor/contributor), The As a publisher, his major project to date has been The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (2000). Howard has won numerous awards including the Canadian Historical Society Career Award, the Roderick Haig-Brown Award for BC History, the Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour, the Order of British Columbia, an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Victoria and the Order of Canada. He has twice been president of the Association of Book Publishers of BC and was the first winner of the James Douglas Publisher of the Year Award.

Having grown up on the water, first on Nelson Island then in Pender Harbour (where he still lives), Howard has been around boats all his life. Cruising this coast of endless wonders in his 37 Farrell is his favourite pastime, one he never gets enough of. He is a firm believer that when one’s allotted time on earth is being counted up, all days spent out on the water are deducted from the total. 

2018: John Macfarlane
2017: Tad Roberts
2016: Dave Featherby
2015: John Horton
2014: David Rahn
2013: Robert D'arcy

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2012: Tony Anderson

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2011: Dan & Marion Martin

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2010: Tony Anderson

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2009: Gordon Nickells

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2008: John & Diane VanDerBeek

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2007: John West

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2006: Bill Wolferstan

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2005: Scott Rohrer

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2004: Don Thompson

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2003: John Guzzwell

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2002: Julian Matson

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2001: James Butterfield

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2000: Ted Brewer

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1999: Shirley Hewett

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1998: Bent Jespersen

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1997: Henry Clark

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1996: Dick Wagner

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1995: Bev Highton

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1994: Frank "Tor" Miller

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1993: Karl Mehrer

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1992: Blayney Scott

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1991: Lee Brewer

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1990: Jim Saull

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1989: Captain Adrian Raynaud

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1988: Bob Leach

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1987: Norman Blanchard

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1986: Martyn Clark

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1985: Charlie Gould

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1984: Ernestine Bennett

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1983: Bill Tellier

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1982: Frank Fredette

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1981: Humphrey Golby

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1980: Jack Gann
1979: Ned Ashe

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A commodore refers to a person of high rank, commanding a body of ships. Examples include: Captain in the Navy, Commander of a body of merchant ships, or President of a Yacht Club. The Honourary Commodore at the Classic Boat Festival is present at the Sailpast and all formal ceremonies.

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