November 24, 2020 — Four British Columbians and one organization have been selected for the 2020 Maritime Museum of BC’s SS Beaver Award for outstanding contributions in our province’s marine sector.
“These annual awards highlight extraordinary contributions by British Columbians to our province’s oceans sector,” said Barry Rolston, a Beaver Medal committee member. “As in past years this year’s winners are a great example of how diversified our BC marine contributors are, and how important our waters, coast and nautical industries are to the well-being of our province.”
Recipients for this annual award are nominated by the public and selected by a blue-ribbon panel drawn from several marine-related sectors. This year’s recipients will be:
Gregory Marshall, resident of Saanichton, for the design of large motor yachts for the highly competitive international market. Greg Marshall has been involved in the design of over 400 vessels.
Gordon Miller, resident of Vancouver, for extraordinary contributions to our understanding of seafaring in the past through meticulous depictions of early European voyages to the northwest cast and of the maritime fur trade.
Captain William Noon, resident of Victoria, for his achievements in a 38 year career with the Canadian Coast Guard including several seasons in command of an icebreaker supporting the search for the Franklin expedition ships and for his outstanding volunteer work with Class ic Boat Festival in Victoria.
Captain David (Duke) Snider, resident of Saanich, for outstanding achievements in polar navigation including roles in promoting internationally recognized ice navigation qualifications and as the author of a standard polar ice guidebook, and a long career with the Canadian Coast Guard that included command of eight vessels. Captain Snider’s professional excellence and widespread engagement has exemplified the global outlook and impact of BC mariners.
The 2020 Special Category Award is to the Underwater Archaeological Society of BC (UASBC), for promoting underwater archaeology along BC’s coasts and interior by surveying and documenting shipwrecks and First Nations archaeology, publishing books and a quarterly about BC’s marine heritage, teaching international archaeological standards, and cooperating with the Province’s Archaeology Branch.
The Beaver Medal is a gold-plated medallion cast from metals salvaged from the wreck of the pioneering SS Beaver—the Hudson’s Bay Company’s first steam-powered ship on the west coast of North America. She operated for 52 years along BC’s coast as a floating fur trading post, hydrographic survey vessel, and finally towboat.
The SS BEAVER Awards are normally presented by the Lieutenant Governor as Honorary Patron of the Museum. Government House has agreed with a recommendation by the museum that presentation of the 2020 awards be postponed to a future date due to the Covid-19 pandemic.