Mar 15, 2016

Beaver Medal AwardThe Maritime Museum of British Columbia is once again inviting nominations for the SS Beaver Medal, an annual award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the marine sector.
 
Nominations are encouraged for anyone who has made noteworthy contributions to British Columbia’s marine sector, 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.
 
“This year will mark the fifth competition to recognize noteworthy achievements in our province’s diverse maritime scene,” said Barry Rolston, who heads the medal project. “The 2015 awards were presented by Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon in November to Captain Ron Burchett who builds dynamic working models of tugboats used to train mariners worldwide; veteran marine writer Mr. Syd Heal; and Mr. Helmut Lanziner who developed the electronic charts and information display systems that have replaced paper charts. The Pacific Pilotage Authority which operates the deep sea pilotage service all the way up the BC coast was recognized by a special award. “
 
The gold-plated medal is struck from copper salvaged from the 19th century paddlewheel steamship S.S. 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 2016 close on May 16th 2016. Nomination information, easy-to-complete forms and due dates are located at mmbc.bc.ca/about-2/s-s-beaver-medal/.  
 
For information please contact:
 
Jan Drent
Maritime Museum of BC
250-598-1661
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