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  • Writer's picturePAMHS

September 2017 Newsletter

Updated: Sep 19, 2019


“The Swan”. A steam launch built in 1890, she plied the waters of Alberni Canal and Sproat Lake; then rested for 50 years on the bottom of the lake; was raised and renovated by Art Skipsey, who donated her to the Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society; and is now on display at the Hutcheson Maritime Heritage Gallery. Come and celebrate this grand old lady’s history. Enjoy speakers, stories, video, conversation and refreshments.

Date: Thursday, October 19 Time: 7:00pm Place:Dogwood Room, Echo Centre Hosted by Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society and Alberni District Historical Society.


Paul McDougall was an important asset and friend to the Port Alberni Maritime Heritage Society. With his wicked sense of humour, Paul would often come to the Gallery making everyone he see smile. If it wasn’t for Paul’s initiation, our society wouldn’t have the Tatoosh II boom-boat as a display at the gallery.’

In 1978, Paul took the “Boating Course” put on by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, and a few years late he became involved with teaching courses — he would teach

everything from beginner course to Advanced Piloting. In 2010, Paul became a Life Member; a title given only to those who have dedicated hours of volunteering for twenty years. For these last four years, Paul has continued to teach VHF radio courses, and tested students for their Marine Radio licence.

Paul was a mentor here at the Maritime Heritage Gallery and Discovery Centre for the summer staff. He would always lend his wisdom and kindness whenever we needed it.

Thank you Paul, we will miss you.

SWAN SHELTER The Swan Shelter is coming along! Our current goal being addressed is to build a crib for the SWAN as well as a viewing platform on the south side of the vessel so that residents in the Alberni Valley and tourist alike can get a better glimpse inside the SWAN and to view the steam engine that powered this boat for a number of years on Sproat Lake. Thanks goes out once again to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District for some additional funding to cover the costs of the lumber, paint to refresh the SWAN and a variety of other supplies to restore this vessel as a piece of our history for the past 127 years.


This year, our Coordinator, Jenn Preedy, will be working with some of ADSS’s art students. These students will be choosing an artifact from either the gallery or the lighthouse and recreating it in an artistic way; an old object through young eyes. These projects will be situated in our temporary gallery for the coming season and will be replacing the Alberni Outboard Motors Collection. More details about the project to come!

2017 Summer Season

We had a great season this year! We are very proud of the work our summer students put in this year. There were eight Maritime Mondays; the students each took responsibility of two of them to lead and the other two were run as a team.

Not only did we do our two annual big summer events, but we hosted the Navy ship, the HMCS Edmonton, the students organized a PaintNite fundraiser, and ran a boat raffle. The team was very busy but we were so successful because of their efforts. Throughout August we also had a Junior Apprentice, Cole Salsman from Victoria, BC, who came down here and volunteered his time helping us out. Cole had helped us in getting ready for our August events and had a large presence during Derby Day as he ran games and crafts. A big thank you to Paige, Morgan, and Dylan, our 2017 summer team!

We also want to announce that Jenn Preedy is staying on as our Facility Coordinator this Winter season. Come down during our new Winter hours to visit and see the gallery!

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