Post by Low Light Mike on Dec 10, 2010 11:11:38 GMT -8
Lady Rose article, from a Vancouver Island seniors living magazine:
A Grand old Lady Retires By Margaret Growcott Posted: Thursday, August 26th, 2010
The Lady Rose was featured in Senior Living magazine's premiere issue over six years ago. As she retires and sets sail for a new adventure, Senior Living’s staff bids her farewell with fond memories of their own launch.
The M.V. Lady Rose officially retired last year after faithfully serving the outlying communities of the Alberni Inlet for 60 years.
Designed for the coastal waters of British Columbia, this stocky little vessel was built in Glasgow in 1937 and originally named “Lady Sylvia.” She could carry up to 100 passengers and 25 tons of cargo. After her maiden journey across the Atlantic to Vancouver in May 1937, she was renamed “Lady Rose” and made her debut on the West Howe Sound run from Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast.
Wartime saw the hardworking Lady Rose in service for the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps when she carried army and air force personnel, as well as freight, between Port Alberni and Ucluelet. In 1946, she returned to the Union Steamship Company and the Howe Sound services.
Then came a stint when the Lady Rose was chartered by Coast Ferries Ltd. and operated between the Gulf Islands and Steveston on the Fraser River. After being sent to the north end of Vancouver Island, she finally made it back to Port Alberni under lease to Alberni Marine Transportation Ltd in 1960. In 1982, Alberni Marine Transportation Ltd. became known as Lady Rose Marine Services.
The Lady Rose continued maritime history by servicing the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound, carrying cargo, mail and passengers on her day trips just as she did when she began serving the B.C. coast.
In winter months, the Lady Rose worked the Alberni Inlet every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to Bamfield and during the summer months on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Ucluelet and Broken Group Islands. The M.V. Frances Barkley joined her in 1990 and the two vessels shared the workload.
First stop on the Bamfield route was at the floating Kildonan Post Office, a former fish cannery, where some enterprising West Coast residents have built their homes and businesses. Hikers of the famous West Coast Trail disembarked at Bamfield.
On the sailing to Ucluelet, a stop was made at Sechart Lodge (a former whaling station) where many passengers disembark with canoes, kayaks and camping gear for the Broken Group Islands.
A working packet freighter, the Lady Rose transported building supplies, groceries, fuel, equipment and mail for residents and businesses such as logging camps, tree planters, prawn fishermen, fishing guides, lodges and the Native community.
Mike Surrell, current owner of Lady Rose Marine Services, says the Lady Rose has not been in service for four years owing to her deteriorating condition. Too expensive to refurbish, the vessel was put up for sale two years ago during which time offers came in from other countries. These were declined because Mike wanted to keep the Lady Rose in the area. He was pleased when Jamie’s Whaling Station in Tofino purchased the ship.
Mike says the main function of the Lady Rose, and now the Frances Barkley, is summer tourism and, in the winter, tours and freight giving service to the Alberni Inlet and all the outlying communities towards the ocean. Without the Lady Rose Marine Service, it would be difficult for these communities to function.
En route, the skipper gives commentary on landmarks down the inlet, points of interest and wildlife. Common sights are various whales, including orca, grey and humpback, sea lions and seals, sea otters, bears, bald eagles and many other coastal birds.
Most of the employees, particularly the skippers and engineers, are semi-retired; some previously worked for B.C. Ferries.
At the time of publication, The Lady Rose could still be seen at the harbour in Port Alberni awaiting her new home in Tofino. Her next job will be as the Lady Rose but this time as a '30s-style floating restaurant.
I asked someone about that yesterday, and apparently the planned move of the ship to Tofino (for use as a restaurant) is still supposed to happen, but there's no word on when it will happen.
So the ship is still moored at the wharf in Port Alberni, next to the MV Frances Barkley.
I've got a few contacts who are promising to let me know, once they hear of any firm plans on when the ship will be moved. I think that there are quite a few ship-spotters over here on Vancouver Island who will be out "in force" on the day of the move; whenever that will be.
:)as for Lady Rose, that may be the only chance of anybody in BC preserving any realistic size maritime peice of our heritage. It is still intact as a ligitimate relic, and not a junk pile as the remains of Princess Mary have become. I hope some enterprising group has the means to do something with her, while there is still something worth preserving. As well the old Union Co., has the longest reach back into our maritime heritage. :)mrdot.
Post by Low Light Mike on Feb 15, 2011 14:35:51 GMT -8
Update on the Lady Rose's move to Tofino.
Lady Rose set to make final trip down the Inlet Keri Sculland Alberni Valley Times Wednesday, February 09, 2011
For the past few months, the MV Lady Rose has sat at Lady Rose Marine Services, waiting for her move to Tofino.
Now, owner of the lady and Jamie's Whaling Station, Jamie Bray is ready to get her moving.
He expects she will take her final voyage down the Inlet at the end of March, but isn't sure of the exact date yet, saying it will have to wait for opportune weather.
He didn't want to see her go to scrap, so Bray has decided the Lady Rose would make a good restaurant and addition to his company in Tofino.
"We have to figure out where we're putting her here in our marina," Bray said. "We have to rearrange our marina here and get it out on a good day."
A year ago, Bray made the "spur-of-the-moment" purchase to ensure she would be preserved and put to use on the West Coast.
Last summer, owner of Lady Rose Marine Services Mike Surrell said he expects the Frances Barkley will bid farewell to her when she leaves the Harbour Quay, on a tour down the Alberni Inlet.
When Bray is ready to take the vessel to her new home in Tofino, she should be ready to go in about 15 minutes, Surrell explained. The Lady Rose has been in good working condition since she retired in 2007 after 70 years of service.
Bray, who has been boating since he was 17, is almost ready to take the helm and get the ship out of here.
At the Port Alberni Rotary Club's third annual Mystery Theatre and Sweetheart Dance, Jamie's Whaling Station donated two spots on board the Lady Rose for her final voyage down the Inlet for two lucky passengers.
He can't take paying passengers on the trip, but he has had a lot of inquiries.
Bray couldn't confirm how long it would take to convert the Lady Rose into a restaurant at this time.
Post by Low Light Mike on Mar 19, 2011 17:50:18 GMT -8
Item from the Facebook page of Jamie's Whaling Station: --------
Sunday, March 27 · 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location Departing from Lady Rose Marine Services 5425 Argyle Street Port Alberni, BC
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- m/v ‘Lady Rose’ celebrates over half a century of arduous coastline voyages, and is set to retire in the Calm Waters of Clayoqout Sound”
Jamie, owner of Jamie's Whaling Station, is also the newest owner of the 1937 Glasgow, Scotland built Steamship m/v ‘Lady Rose’ (formerly ‘Lady Sylvia’). We are excited to announce her long awaited final voyage from Port Alberni to Ucluelet on Sunday March 27th 2011 at 10:00am. This exhilarating west coast maritime event will take place coincidentally on the same day as the closing ceremonies of the 25th Annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival.
At the helm, through the Alberni Inlet to the government docks in Ucluelet, will be Bruce Adams, longtime captain at Jamie's. “I am thrilled to be a part of this nostalgic passage” declares Bruce. Also aboard for this cruise will be Jamie and a number of the Whaling Station's crew, as well as invited media & guests.
For over 6 decades m/v Lady Rose was navigated through this region's sounds & inlets, as well as numerous BC locations, as a passenger, freight and mail ferry system. “We couldn’t pass-up this meaningful piece of Canadian Maritime heritage”, quotes Jamie, who has always been an innovative local entrepreneur. Jamie's plans for her may be a floating restaurant; a venue that will surely add to the rich tapestry of Tofino’s business endeavors.
There are only limited seats available on this 'free' voyage, and we are first considering those who are willing to donate $500 to "Jeneece Place", which will reserve a ticket on the bus transportation from Ucluelet to Port Alberni, after the voyage. Her estimated time of arrival in Ucluelet is 2:00 pm. Onlookers are invited and encouraged to climb onboard and stroll through history while she is docked in Ucluelet.
If you are interested in being part of this historic event, please contact Bruce Williams at /A\ News to make your donation - firstname.lastname@example.org. Your generous donations will be entitled to a full tax receipt for the amount contributed.
If you have any further questions or would like further details, please contact Jamie Bray.
Really nice that she's making this final voyage under her own power- good on her owners for keeping her in operating condition while she's been out of service.
If Jamie Bray is successful in finding a role for the Lady Rose in Tofino, it will mark the first time that any of our coastal steamers or ferries has found a dignified retirement in home waters. Not a happy record, but if it happens, Mr Bray will deserve a special vote of thanks from all ship fans in these parts.
Post by Low Light Mike on Mar 26, 2011 7:38:32 GMT -8
A-Channel news (Victoria BC) had a story on the Lady Rose yesterday. I only heard about it, didn't see it. It's not on their webpage yet. - there will likely be a story on Sunday night or Monday about the repositioning trip on Sunday. ....so look for that.
As for this here thread, you can expect a bunch of on-board photographs posted here by me, during the next week or two.
Post by Low Light Mike on Mar 26, 2011 10:15:49 GMT -8
Another news story on the Lady Rose's upcoming trip to Tofino:
Bidding farewell to the Lady - Sunday marks final voyage down the Inlet
Lise Billingsley Alberni Valley Times Friday, March 25, 2011
The M.V. Lady Rose is being prepped for what may be her last journey down the Alberni Inlet.
On Sunday morning Jamie Bray, owner of Jamie's Whaling Station in Ucluelet and Tofino, will set off from Port Alberni aboard the Lady Rose. He purchased the historical vessel last year and plans to eventually turn it into a floating restaurant in Tofino.
"I heard it was for sale and I came and talked to Mike [Surrell] (who sold the Lady Rose to Bray) and he said, 'Well, it's either going to South America or the scrap yard,' and I went, 'Well, it's a piece of B.C. maritime history, and we can't let that happen,'" he said.
Bray purchased the ship in early 2010. Surrell, owner of Lady Rose Marine, tried to entice local buyers to purchase the ship and keep it in town. When none were forthcoming, he had to search elsewhere for a buyer. Bray, who has a personal connection to the Lady Rose, bought the ship on a spur-of-the-moment decision.
"I just couldn't see it going to a scrap yard. My mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother have all travelled on it going up to Sechelt from Vancouver years and years ago," said Bray. "It's just such a unique little ship, I just couldn't let her go."
The Lady Rose has a long and storied history. Built in Scotland in 1936 next to the M.V. Queen Mary, it was the first ever single propeller diesel powered ship to cross the Atlantic. For 70 years the Lady Rose travelled the B.C. coast, transporting civilians, military personnel, mail and freight.
For a number of years, the Lady Rose travelled between Port Alberni, Bamfield and Ucluelet delivering mail, passengers and freight to small coastal communities. The ship was retired in 2007 and the M.V. Frances Barkley, operated by Lady Rose Marine Services, now travels the route.
Bray hopes to turn the Lady Rose into a floating restaurant, though he does not yet have the funding, permits or a clear idea of what kind of restaurant he would like to open. He said the Lady Rose requires extensive renovations.
"It needs lots of work," said Bray with a laugh. "Lots."
On Sunday at 10 a.m. Bray and skipper Bruce Adams, along with a few guests, will depart for Uclulet. On Monday, the Lady Rose will continue on to Tofino, where Bray will moor it at his dock and begin the long process of planning the ship's future.
Surrell had hoped to invite passengers aboard the Frances Barkley to escort the Lady Rose out of the Inlet. He said he was disappointed to announce that he would no longer be able to offer that service because a number of staff members are ill and unable to work.
:)further on the hopeful news about a new life for Lady Rose, I've just vued on my side bar tv monitur, after completing a sucessful Canuacks game watch, a news clip on the last voyage of Lady Rose, and amoung the people featured, was our Fugel Mike! the footage of Lady Rose was delightful, and the compact size of this last Union boat make it's further use more likely, lets hope! :)mrdot.
:)those are mighty fine pics. that mike / aka mr horn has posted of the pint sized Lady, but this size may be a preservation work! it boggles the mind to think of navigatigating this size of craft on North Atlantic positioning trips! it would be similar in size to the one time )liner United State's life boat! :)mrdot.
:)thanks for sharing more of your deck shots,mr. mike, when you consider its demunitive size, the 1937 delivery voyage becomes all the more remarkable. That being said, most of the vessels of the age of discovery would have been even smaller! Lets hope this size is an advantage for preservation! mrdot.
Post by Low Light Mike on Mar 31, 2011 13:09:47 GMT -8
A couple of news stories from today's Alberni Valley News (Black Press). ================
Putting memories to paper - Lady Rose book in the offing By Susan Quinn - Alberni Valley News Published: March 31, 2011 1:00 PM
Memories were thicker than the drizzle at Harbour Quay on Sunday as the MV Lady Rose departed on her final voyage down the Alberni Inlet. And a group of maritime historians are hoping to capitalize on that kind of atmosphere with a book about the Lady Rose.
Spearheaded by Edna Cox and Roland Smith (former owner of Lady Rose Marine), the book will feature first-hand memories of the Lady Rose from passengers and crew members as well as historical photographs.
It won’t be the first book highlighting the venerable passenger ship and her illustrious career on the West Coast, but it will be different.
“This came out of a dinner party where several of us were bemoaning the loss of the Lady Rose,” Cox explained. “It’s to say goodbye and keep her memory alive.”
Cox has her own fond memories of the Lady Rose, from Sunday school picnics to Bamfield with the First United Church when she was a girl to trips down the inlet during her adult years.
“I’m very, very glad that she’s not being scrapped or going to South America,” she said.
Heather Graham, former owner of Literati Books in Port Alberni and now a resident of Sointula has agreed to edit the book, Cox said. No publisher has been selected, and Cox doesn’t have a completion date.
Cox is looking for stories 300-400 words in length and written in first person. “In other words (the stories) had to have happened to you. It can be any situation...your general feelings about the experience.”
They’re also wanting to hear from people who lived up and down the canal who would have seen the Lady Rose in her working capacity.
Although Cox has checked out the historical archives, she’s always looking for photographs of the MV Lady Rose. “You never know what people have out there,” she said.
Anyone with first-person stories or photos may e-mail Cox with their submissions or inquiries at email@example.com.
By Susan Quinn - Alberni Valley News Published: March 31, 2011 1:00 PM
The MV Lady Rose made her final voyage down the Alberni Inlet on Sunday, March 27. And for probably the first time in her history, she was late leaving the dock.
While skipper Bruce Adams fixed the radio so he would have communication on the trip to Ucluelet, other engineers employed by new owner Jamie Bray attempted unsuccessfully to turn over the Lady Rose’s engine. In the end, it took the gentle hand of former engineer Henk Holtkamp to start ‘er up for the last time.
Dozens of people crowded the Lady Rose Marine Services wharf as well as the walkways around Harbour Quay to watch the famed passenger vessel leave Port Alberni. She is headed to her final destination of Tofino, where Bray will turn her into a floating restaurant in front of his business, Jamie’s Whaling Station.
On Sunday, however, she took four and a half hours to reach the government dock in Ucluelet for an open house as part of the last day of Whale Fest. Then Bray planned to take her to 52 Steps dock and wait for milder weather for the short hop along the West Coast to Tofino.
The ship likely won’t open as a restaurant this year, Bray said, although he would eventually like to redo the interior and cover the top. “The whole purchase was spur of the moment. I have no money to do anything, really,” he added.
Bray invited 20 friends to make the journey aboard the Lady Rose, including Rory Vincent, who skippered whalewatching boats for Bray at one time. “I’m here for the nostalgia,” said Vincent, recalling many times he toured around on the Lady Rose.
Maritime enthusiast Mike Bonkowski came from Nanaimo for the ride, his first aboard the Lady Rose. “This is the era from the first half of the 20th century, where these boats went up and down the coast,” he said. “This is coastal B.C. history. It’s a chance to go back in time for a day.”
Don Morison of Gibsons recalled seeing the Lady Rose on the mainland, where she worked for the Union Steamship Company before returning to duty in Port Alberni in 1960. He also enjoyed the ride for the history.
Everyone on the dock had a memory of the Lady Rose, who delivered passengers up and down the Inlet to Bamfield and Ucluelet for nearly 50 years. She was taken out of service nearly three years ago.
Marilyn Gibson stopped for a photo before heading to church. “My son, James Gibson, worked on the Lady Rose from 1995-2001 as a deckhand. It was a major part of our lives,” she said.