World Ship Society - FROM THE PAST - Vancouver Branch Meeting Notes
This sub-section of our Web Archive lists some of the many programs held by the Vancouver, Canada Branch of the World Ship Society. These postings represent an archive of activities carried out by the Branch since 2002.
For current information on this branch's activities, click on the section under "BRANCHES - Rest of the World", then scroll down to the Vancouver Branch
VANCOUVER BRANCH MEETING NOTES FROM THE PAST
MAY 2010 Meeting by Ellen L. Ramsay — Cecil Woods, Director and editor of the Ship's Log, opened the evening's meeting by asking those present for current news items of interest to members. Neil England, Director-At-Large and Ship's Log columnist drew the audience's attention to the new WSS-Vancouver Branch calling cards 250 neatly organized and presented business cards that members may use selectively to invite new people to meetings. The cards contain our meeting date, time and place as well as contact details. Neil designed these attractive cards, and members have been impressed with the final product. Thanks Neil.
Joan Thornley, Director and Recording Secretary of the Branch presented the minutes of the Executive Meeting of 5 May 2010. These minutes included a list of speakers from 8 September 2010 to 9 February 2011. Thanks to Joan, copies of the minutes were available to members present. Cecil thanked Joan and the executive for their sound advance planning. Syd Heal, Past-President suggested that a small gesture of thanks be given to speakers in the form of a book or bottle of wine. The Executive decided to adopt this measure and the evening's membership seemed to concur that this would be a good idea. Syd's suggestion for a small promotional brochure for distribution to prospective members was also adopted at the Executive meeting and will be worked on by Directors over the summer. All this is manageable within our existing budget.
Robert Etchell drew the meeting's attention to the 21st International Tugboat and Salvage Convention and Exhibition to be held 17-21st May at the Westin Bayshore Hotel. He also pointed out that there is to be an International Fleet Review at Royal Roads, Victoria 9-14th of June to mark the Canadian Naval Centennial. Twenty-eight naval ships representing over 25 nations will be there. Those interested should look at the Canadian Naval website for further information.
Syd Heal gave the evening's address on The Rise and Fall of the B.C. Fishing Industry and its Influence on Fishing Vessel Design. Syd began his talk by explaining that in addition to his specific and sustained interest in the shipping industry, he had twenty years experience as an underwriter and broker with much exposure to the big fleets controlled by the canning companies. In 1969 he joined the Bell-Irving Group who controlled one of the big three of the industry, the Anglo-British Columbia Packing founded in 1890. Henry Bell-Irving originally built the company that was to extend for three generations as a family business. In 1891 he bought out seven Fraser River canneries plus two on the Skeena to account for more than one quarter of B.C.'s total packed salmon. Only in 1969 did the company close its doors on its West Coast canning operation to concentrate on the East Coast herring industry.
Syd's talk was illustrated with digital images from the Rod Logan Collection, his own collection and some images from the Maritime Museum. They were organized chronologically from the nineteenth century to modern times spanning all vessels from whalers, draggers, trawlers, seiners, trappers, prawners, shrimpers to skiffs. We saw how the design of the ships developed to improve their productivity (and sometimes their appearance) and caught a glimpse of how design affects horsepower, fuel consumption and efficiency of ships. In some instances the design of the ship was aesthetically pleasing as well and practical. Syd showed a number of vessels that were converted from one use to another, and demonstrated some ships that were so poorly designed that it must have had an adverse effect on the operating economics of the vessel. Many conventional seiners have been converted to draggers while others have been purpose built.
The whalers perhaps stood out of the modern viewer now that we are accustomed to an international prohibition on the whale industry (despite Japan's continuance of the practice). Steam powered boats much altered the design of craft in this form of fishing. Syd then moved on to the draggers that were notable for ripping up the sea bottom and causing irreparable damage to sea life including cod, halibut and coral off the West Coast. Trawlers then grew in dimensions and many of the conversions were to this type. These vessels were productive but risked capsizing if filled beyond capacity. The First Nations' ships stood out as some of the largest and best built judging from the photographs.
One of Syd's main messages during his talk was that, in his opinion, the decline in the fishing industry was largely due to greed in the industry itself. This is evident, he explained, from the vessels, the style of fishing and the handling of the fish over the decades. He pointed out that the industry has been quick to blame others, including fish farmers and loggers, for the decline in the fish stock, but they need only look at their own fishing practices to see that they have been over exploiting the renewable fish stocks. The two big fish on the West Coast were salmon and herring, both cyclical stock, and special care needs to be taken not to allow these species to become extinct outside the farmed fish.
The presentation was very comprehensive. One of the questions from Don Brown was related to the different registration numbers on the top and sides of the ships and whether there was an international standard for these. It was agreed that we might seek a speaker to address this question. A good subject for next year perhaps.
Cecil Woods thanked Syd Heal for his thoroughly enjoyable talk and invited members to stay and socialize. Members are reminded that raffle tickets, at a bargain price, are available at the start of each meeting and we can always use more quality prizes to entice people to buy more tickets. The post card collection of vessels from all over the world is also available for perusal and purchase at our meetings with an average price of just $2.50. All kinds of membership goodies are available at Glenn Smith's tables and members often bring things of interest to share and exchange with other members.
The evening was a very good conclusion to a full season of speakers. Members will be notified if there are any activities over the summer, but for some of us we will have to wait until September 8th to return to our regular monthly meetings. Our September speaker will be Rollie Webb on modern tug design and construction. Have a pleasant summer and remember to stay safe on the water.
Meeting Notes: Wednesday September 9, 2009. The September meeting at the Vancouver Maritime Museum featured an illustrated slide show presented by Ray Warren. The subject was the wartime standard ships taken after the war at Vancouver. For those of us able to remember when the wharves and docks around the harbour here often full with American-built Liberties and Victories, Canadian-built Forts and Parks and British Empire types, it was a journey into nostalgia. In those days ships looked like ships with funnels amidships and a gracefulness that today's ships have difficulty in emulating. Today's ships too often look like barges with an exhausts so far aft that they look like they are ready to fall off over their broad transom sterns. Thanks Ray for an interesting presentation.
Meeting Notes: Wednesday February 11, 2009. ► We were scheduled to have a presentation by our President Syd Heal but he had to decline due to illness. This was replaced by a DVD presentation provided by Director Glenn Smith. This was from the Great Liners Series from Snowbow Productions, the Fifteenth in the series. — Southampton - Port History
We saw a photographic history of the Port of Southampton with archival film of many well known and less well known liners which were home-ported or visited the Port. We saw liners, ferries, tour boats, cargo ships — deep sea and coasters — tugboats. Also a selection of work boats which keep marine traffic moving. In the 1970s the effects of a prolonged marine workers strike proved devastating to the Port of Southampton. Many shipping companies went out of business and their ships went elsewhere.
Later the growth of the cruise ship industry saw a return of newer cruise vessels and some older liners continued to visit the port such as EUROPA, FAIRSEA, ORIANA, VENUS, SUNWARD, ARCADIA, NORWAY, PRINS DE NEDERLAND, CARIBIA, QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, VICTORIA, and ARCADIA.Passenger / cargo ships were regular visitors such as the ENGLAND, ARGENTINA, S.A. ORANJE, S.A. VAAL,PENNDENNIS CASTLE, BRAZIL STAR along with pure cargo ships such as tankers and container ships.The Liberty ship in the news recently and now in Greece — ARTHUR M. HUDDELL was a visitor.A most interesting history of the greatness of the port in the past and its resurrection with the development of the cruise ship industry
Some of the liners we saw were NORMANDIE, QUEEN MARY, QUEEN ELIZABETH, ORIANA, ARCADIA, FRANCE, FAIRSEA, CARONIA, CHUSAN, CANBERRA, MAURETANIA, FRANCONIA, ROTTERDAM, UNITED STATES, ORSOVA, STATENDAM, MAASDAM, SOUTHERN CROSS, CHITRAL, COLUMBIE, ANDES, and IBERIA.
Meeting Notes: Wednesday January 14, 2009. ► Captain Don Rose, Senior Master with Rivtow Marine/SMIT, presented a selection of images of a variety of vessels he has seen in his years working on tugboats on the BC coast for some 40 years. The selection included some current views and some from the past--tug boats, pilot boats, motor yachts, rail car carriers, tour boats, log barges, cargo and passenger vessels. Captain Rose has worked for Island Tug & Barge, Straits Towing, RivTow and finally SMIT. He was Senior Master on the RIVTOW CAPT. BOB for 14 years--he has retired now and has gone into Marine Consulting and Surveys. Captain Rose has CDs and DVDs of his vessel images for sale. The CDs are CDN$10 (plus p&p) and the DVDs are CDN$20 (plus p&p) [jackets with accompanying thumbnail prints and information]. Contact Captain Rose at +1.604.596.4389, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
FEBRUARY 2008 MEETING — Wednesday, February 13th — Because the proposed program for February was not ready, we postponed it to April. In its place we presented two short digital slide shows from members. The first was one from member Michel Tremblay showing the various vessels visiting the port of Gaspé in 2006. This was followed by another short slide show of vessels photographed by subscriber Gil Joynt while on a trip to the New Orleans area. Finally, we viewed a DVD production by the CBC, entitled Pier 21. For those not familiar with the term, it is Canada's equivalent to the Ellis Island Immigration station in New York. Thousands of new immigrants from Europe passsed through Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and this very well done video showed us what life was like after arriving in a new country.
JANUARY 2008 MEETING — Wednesday, January 9th —
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SEPTEMBER 2002 MEETING — Wednesday, September 11th, 8 pm --Following our Annual General Meeting, each introduced by Branch member John Hammond, two one-half-hour films will be shown on the following subjects 1) Ontario’s Trent-Severn Waterway and 2) A visit aboard decommissioned Her Majesty’s YachtBRITANNIA in Leith, Scotland. There will be a 10-minute intermission between films.
OCTOBER 2002 MEETING — Wednesday, October 9th, 8 pm -- Branch member Don Brown, another of our highly talented ship photographers, presents a slide show, North to Alaska,Vancouver Passenger Ships 1966-2002. As well as cruise ships, Don will depict other passenger vessels which have visited Vancouver.
NOVEMBER 2002 MEETING — Wednesday, November 13th, 8 pm -- Navy Night 2002. We are delighted to have as our guest speaker Mr. John McKay, an architectural draughtsman with a keen interest in historic ships. John’s meticulous drawings are exemplified in his books such as The Armed Transport BOUNTY (now in Revised Ed.), The 100-Gun Ship, VICTORY (also in Revised Ed.), and co-author of The Flower Class Corvette AGASSIZ with John Harland as well as The 24-Gun Frigate PANDORA 1779 with Ron Coleman. Some of John’s work is also included in HMS VICTORY, Her Construction, Career and Restoration by Alan McGowan. The trio of John McKay, Leonard McCann and James Delgado collaborated to produce (currently for sale at Vancouver Maritime Museum) The Hudson’s Bay Company’s 1835 Steam Ship BEAVER, perhaps the definitive work on this subject. John’s Branch presentation focuses on Horatio Nelson’s HMS VICTORY of 1805 Trafalgar fame, preserved in Portsmouth Royal Navy base. A short 35mm slide introduction starts his talk which is then illustrated by selected technical drawings. A model may be in attendance i.e. a model of HMS VICTORY!
DECEMBER 2002 MEETING — Wednesday, December 11th, 7:30 pm -- Yes, it’s our Members’ Night / Show ’n’ Tell meeting once more. And, yes, it’s never too early to phone your would-be presentation to John Hammond at 604-224-4853 or e-mail <email@example.com> describing your topic and its duration. Static displays are also most welcome. NOTE early 7:30 pm START OF DECEMBER MEETING.
JANUARY 2003 MEETING — Wednesday, January 8th, 7:30 pm — Water(s) Music. Vancouver Branch member John Hammond, assisted by Vancouver Maritime Museum volunteer Earl Hayter, presents (via audio tape recordings and videotapes) solo songs, choruses, and brief orchestral numbers. Each selection is related in some way to the high-seas, oceans, rivers, lakes, etc. Water(s) Music is unusually varied and is by no means an evening solely of sea shanties. Sorry, opera-lovers, no part of Billy Budd or Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) will be heard. Maximum music time is one and one-half hours.
FEBRUARY 2003 MEETING — Wednesday, February 12th, 7:30 pm — Oil Spill Response on the B.C. Coast — Educated in England at London Polytechnic and London University, Mr. Martyn J. Green, F.Inst.Pet., has been close to oil spill problems for many years, having attended no fewer than 520+ incidents. As retired President / General Manager of Burrard Clean Operations, our speaker notes this company is a “response organization” as defined in the Canada Shipping Act, created in 1995 by industry to combat oil spills on the B.C. coast. Mr. Green has held several other positions abroad in the petroleum industry and served with the Royal Air Force. One of his current “hobbies” is his role as President, Board of Trustees, Vancouver Maritime Museum.
MARCH 2003 MEETING — Wednesday, March 12th, 7:30 pm — Launching History, The Saga of Burrard Dry Dock author Dr. Francis Mansbridge gives an illustrated talk on this now-defunct North Vancouver shipyard’s origins until the present. Dr. Mansbridge has been Archivist, North Vancouver Archives, since 1994. His career has included teaching and writing for various publications. His literary works include a biography of Canadian poet Irving Layton. Having arrived from England in 1946 with his parents at age three, he originally lived in Saskatchewan. His academic “credentials” follow: B.A., Notre Dame College; M.A. in English, Univ. of Toronto; Ph.D. in English, Univ. of Ottawa; as well as archival studies at Univ. of British Columbia. Despite his degrees, Francis writes and speaks in clear Canajan and his book will be available at our meeting at $39.95 total cost.
APRIL 2003 MEETING — Wednesday, April 9th, 7:30 pm — Vancouver Harbour in the 1990s,presented by Ship’s Log Editor Cecil Woods, is a slide show compiled mainly from Vancouver Branch members’ photographs. Contained in the selection are cruise ships, tugboats, cargo vessels and working ships. Some photos are of historic ships such as PRINCE GEORGE (II).
MAY 2003 MEETING — Wednesday, May 14th, 2003, 7:30 pm — Beyond the Newtsuit. Dr. Phil Nuytten brings us an update (illustrated by videotape) on his company’s recent projects. No stranger to Vancouver Maritime Museum, R. T. (Phil) Nuytten, OBC, LL.D., truly may be said to have spent his life in subsea exploration. He logged many thousands of hours underwater, world-wide, as a working commercial diver and as a developer of underwater equipment and techniques. He is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the modern commercial diving industry and a significant force in the creation of new technology. In the 1960s and 1970s, our speaker was heavily involved in experimental deep-diving and the development of mixed gas decompression tables. He was a member of the team that completed the first 600-ft. ocean “bounce” dives on Project Nesco, and in 1972, he wrote the protocol for Deep Work 1000, the first North American 1000-ft. saturation dive. These early projects helped set the international standards in use today.
During this period, Phil was the co-founder of Oceaneering International Inc., which went on to become one of the largest underwater skills company in the world and provided a vehicle for many early subsea development projects.
Working with long-time colleague Dr. Joe MacInnis, Nuytten headed the equipment research component of a series of high-Arctic expeditions to test his own designs of life-support gear for use in polar and sub-polar conditions. In 1984, Dr. Nuytten appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine for his record dives through ice-covered Arctic waters onto the BREADALBANE, the northern-most known shipwreck. His involvement in underwater activities in virtually all of the world’s oceans has resulted in articles on his work in Reader’s Digest, Business Week, Newsweek, Time, Popular Science, Discovery, Fortune, and Scientific American as well as dozens of diving and aerospace technical journals. Dr. Nuytten has been a popular speaker at underwater conferences around the world and has published numerous technical papers on his leading-edge work in subsea technology.
He has also been instrumental in the development and current acceptance of Atmospheric Diving System technology. In 1979, he began work on a revolutionary new one-atmosphere diving suit that resulted in a patented break-through in rotary joint design, and formed the basis for the world-famous “Newtsuit“. The “Newtsuit” is a 1000-ft.-rated hard suit that completely protects the wearer from outside pressure and eliminates the need for decompression while still maintaining mobility and dexterity.
In 1997, Nuytten and his design team produced the 2,000-ft.-rated micro-submersible, Deepworker, a revolutionary deep-diving system that has been called “an underwater sports car” and received a five-year contract from the National Geographic Society to provide Deepworkers and crews on Dr. Sylvia Earle’s “Sustainable Seas Expeditions”, an initiative to study deep ocean environmental impact. Use of the Deepworker micro-subs has already increased scientists’ understanding of underwater ecology, habitats, and biodiversity through exploration and on-going monitoring of national marine sanctuaries. The Deepworkers were also called upon to recover the Space Shuttle booster rockets during a recent flight to the U.S. space station. NASA is currently studying acquisition of a pair of titanium Deepworkers specifically dedicated to booster rocket recovery. Nuytten’s work with NASA spans more than 25 years, and he has published several papers on space applications of undersea technology as well as being an award-winning senior member of the American Association of Aeronautics ... Also in the year 2000, Dr. Nuytten introduced a new concept for an ultra-light weight, swimming hard suit called the Exosuits. Nuytten and his team recently completed a contract for the Canadian Department of National Defence to examine the feasibility of using the Exosuit as a submarine escape device. Plans are also underway to utilize a space version of the Exosuit in the aptly-named “Da Vinci Project” in 2002.
Nuytten has earned many international honours and awards, including commercial diving’s highest award from the Association of Diving Contractors International, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences Nogi award, and induction into the Diving Hall of Fame. In 1992, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia, his home province’s highest honour, in recognition of his role in causing B.C. to become known as one of the world centres of underwater technology, and for his outstanding Canadian achievement.
Dr. Nuytten has spent nearly 40 years developing undersea systems that all have the safety of the diving technician as their common theme. His goal has been to provide scientific, technical, military, and sport divers full access to continental shelf depths without the hazards of decompression so that humans can explore, learn about, and — ultimately — protect the world’s oceans.
SPECIAL AUGUST 2003 MEETING -- Saturday, August 30th, 2003, 11:30 am. We are pleased to welcome back to Vancouver, our good friend and WSS member, Peter Knego who has promised us another of his delightful slide show talks. All passenger ship enthusiasts are welcome, including WSS members, relatives and friends. Doors will be open at 11:00 AM for a meeting start time of 11:30 AM. Refreshments will be available.
SEPTEMBER 2003 MEETING -- Wednesday, September 10th, 2003, 7:30 pm-- Following the Vancouver Branch Annual General Meeting, Dan Rodlie will present shipping slides taken while visiting Norway. Time permitting, a one-half-hour video on the Trent Severn Waterway (Ontario) will also be shown. Time permitting, a second one-half-hour film OR slide presentation from member John Hammond's collection will also be featured.
OCTOBER 2003 MEETING -- Wednesday, October 8th, 2003, 7:30 pm -- The Building of MUNIN -- illustrated by a video, one of more speakers from our local Scandinavian community will discuss the building of this half-size replica of a Viking ship, usually seen at VMM's Heritage Harbour in summer.
NOVEMBER 2003 MEETING -- Wednesday, November 12th, 2003, 7:30 pm -- Navy Night -- One or more Canadian Navy crew members who served aboard one or more of Her Majesty's Canadian Ships deployed to Middle East waters in the past few years will discuss their functions and experiences. Commander Rick Gerbrecht will discuss the Canadian Navy’s role in Operation Apollo in the Arabian Sea as well as describe his personal experiences as Executive Officer aboard supply ship HMCS PROTECTEUR. Commander Gerbrecht grew up in Kelowna, British Columbia, and is a graduate of the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. After completing Maritime Surface training, he began his naval service in various Pacific fleet destroyers including HMCS YUKON, HMCS GATINEAU and HMCS KOOTENAY, specializing in Anti-Submarine warfare. He then served as the Regular Support Staff Officer in the naval reserve unit HMCS NONSUCH (Edmonton, Alberta) and helped the unit earn the “Silver Destroyer” for being assessed as the best naval reserve unit in Canada for an unprecedented three consecutive years.
Following the completion of the year-long Operations Room Officer course, Commander Gerbrecht was appointed Deputy Combat Officer in HMCS ALGONQUIN during her participation in OP SHARP GUARD (maritime operations in support of the former Yugoslavia) as the flagship to Commander Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL). From 1994-1997, as the Officer-in-Charge of the IROQUOIS-class Command and Control Systems trainer in Esquimalt, B.C., he was responsible for the training of nine flagship command teams and conducting weapons certification for Standard missile systems in the navy. He earned the Commander of Maritime Command Commendation for his efforts in missile technology. After serving one year as the Task Group Combat Officer for the Atlantic fleet, Commander Gerbrecht was selected to plan operations for the Canadian Flagship year 1999-2000. He served as the Commanding Officer to the Canadian component of the deployed flagship staff in support of the NATO force commander. During that same year, the NATO Maritime reaction force participated in OP ALLIED FORCE (maritime operations in relation to Kosovo).
Upon return to Canada in 2001, Commander Gerbrecht attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto and was promoted to his current rank. Commander Gerbrecht then returned to Esquimalt and served as Executive Officer in the replenishment ship HMCS PROTECTEUR, which participated in OP APOLLO, the Canadian Forces contribution to counter international terrorism from May to November 2002. In July 2003, Commander Gerbrecht was appointed to his current position as Chief of Staff Operations to Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific. Commander Gerbrecht is married to the former Sandra York. They live in Victoria with their two children, Melissa and Benjamin.
DECEMBER 2003 MEETING -- Wednesday, December 10th, 2003, 7:30 pm -- Members' Night, (Show and Tell). Our December member's meeting was the usual 'Show and Tell' evening, with four members providing presentations for us. Robert Etchell showed some of his wonderful Vancouver images of container ships visiting the Port, followed by Don Brown with a varied selection of tugs to cable-layers taken in Vancouver Harbour or along the Fraser River. After intermission, Rick Garcia showed us a series of slides of lesser-known, but most interesting smaller vessels, mainly from Olympia, Washington and the lower Puget Sound area. Finally, it was John Crosse's turn to recite a version of "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner". Lots of Christmas treats were consumed by the crowd before everyone left the last meeting for 2003.
JANUARY 2004 MEETING — Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 7:30 pm -- We were delighted to welcome member S.C. Heal for another interesting talk on his early travels in South East Asia. Despite the fact that I led the author astray by arranging for the wrong projector to show the many photographs, the audience was delighted with the earthy musings of life aboard ship — way back when. The talk was a prelude to his newest book coming out soon, “A South Asian Odyssey: Voyages and Travels in the Last Days of the British Raj”. Much of the talk centred around life in India, with many names that were familiar to me. This was especially poignant for me as my Mother and all her family were born in India. But the talk moved on to life at sea. Some of those adventures make my recent travels seem like luxury holidays.
FEBRUARY 2004 MEETING – Wednesday, February 11th, 2004, 7:30 pm --
Meeting Review -- A WELCOME GUEST by Kellsie McLeod
Frank Wade, author and ex-naval officer, gave an excellent talk on the naval warfare in the Mediterranean during World War 2. It is a part of history often neglected, and he brought back memories to many present, as well as giving those younger a unique insight into this phase of the War.
Frank, like so many of the Canadian Navy, was a prairie boy, born in Brandon, Manitoba. He was sent to England to begin his naval training, on the H.M.S. CONWAY in Liverpool, then went on to Dartmouth Naval College. At 19 he ended up a Cypher Officer on the staff of the renowned Commander in Chief of the British Mediterranean Fleet, Admiral Andrew B. Cunningham.
He covered all phases of the Mediterranean War, from the bombings of Malta to other islands, to support of the British campaign in North Africa against Rommel. An eloquent speaker, he brought to life all aspects of the war, and the audience was able to follow by looking at a large map of the area. Wade has written an excellent book, "A Midshipman's War: A Young Man in the Mediterranean Naval War 1941-43." It was small wonder that the last 15 copies of the book were snapped up following the lecture.‡
MARCH 2004 MEETING – Wednesday, March 10th, 2004, 7:30 pm --
David Shirlaw of Seawaves Magazine discusses Naval Shipbuilding in the State of Washington’s Whatcom County, illustrated by video and slides.
APRIL 2004 MEETING – Wednesday, April 14th, 2004, 7:30 pm –
MAY 2004 MEETING -- Wednesday, May 12th, 2004, 7:30 pm – The last scheduled meeting for the year. TBA