Work continues on restoration of the C.A. Kirkegaard (background) in the Machine Shop. (Mike Youds photo)

Ladysmith Maritime Society launches event-filled marina season

New dock manager joins marina staff, volunteers

Mike Youds Special to the Chronicle

All hands are on deck as Ladysmith Maritime Society gears up for a busy season at the community marina.

Volunteers have been out in force, working with the maritime society’s new executive director, Richard Wiefelspuett, to have the marina spruced up.

“That’s one of our strengths,” Wiefelspuett said, acknowledging the community contingent as they re-assembled a canopy damaged by the December storm that blasted the south coast with winds up to 85 km/h. Normally, the canopy is left standing through the winter, but that was no ordinary wind.

“The tent met its limit with structural damage,” he explained.

Wiefelspuett, who came on board as director only a month earlier, is overseeing a major maintenance overhaul of the marina along with new staff and a host of special events.

Maritime Festival Season is just over the horizon, starting with the Heritage Boat Festival on Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. In keeping with the society’s maritime heritage work and floating museum, vintage vessels from along the west coast will be tying up for public viewing.

Dine on the Dock, one of the marina’s most popular draws through the summer, begins Friday, May 31, with Feast of the Pirates. Buccaneer costumes are encouraged. The first of the dinner series sets the stage for family fun at Kids’ Pirate Day on Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. The third annual Sea Life Celebration is on Sunday, Aug. 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, more volunteers are busy at the Machine Shop with restoration projects in full swing, including C.A. Kirkegaard. Once complete, the former crew ferry rejoins the Harbour Heritage Centre fleet, running harbour tours.

The society has hired a new dock manager, who started work May 8. Roberta Bowman has a background in marine insurance and marina management, having spent the last seven years at Sewell’s in Horseshoe Bay. She’s an accomplished sailor as well and was interviewed for the job while sailing in the Caribbean.

“What decided in her favour was her ability to connect with the community,” Wiefelspuett said.

The society intends to live up to its reputation as one of the friendliest marinas on the coast.

“I’ve not seen anything like it anywhere else,” he added. “It’s a true community marina.”

Visitors will notice new steel pilings in place of the old wooden ones — four of which were damaged in the windstorm — marking the start of $300,000 worth of upgrades.

Just Posted

We need to change our fire behaviour

Most wildfires in BC during April and May were caused by humans.

Anticipation building for trip to D-Day anniversary for Chemainus students

Experience of being there promises to be a memorable one

Retired teacher’s generosity provides huge opportunity for two Chemainus Secondary students

Blitterswyk and Brown looking forward to being at Juno Beach for 75th anniversary of D-Day

Ladysmith storyteller chosen for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week

Ladysmith oral story teller Rachel Dunstan Muller recently returned from a tour of northern Quebec.

Cowichan Valley Regional District’s affordable-housing strategy moves forward

Board signs three-year financial agreement for initiatives

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Ottawa spending $24.5M to research on health benefits, risks of pot use

$390,000 will fund two cannabis public awareness

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Trudeau’s action plan on climate change brings B.C. politician out of retirement

Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, is running for federal office in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

Survey finds minimal progress in Canadian military’s fight against sexual misconduct

1.6 per cent of regular-force members — 900 military personnel — reported having been victims of sexual assaults over past year

Serious crash scatters pylons, closes highway lanes on mid Island

Crash happened at 1 a.m. Wednesday on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Most Read