At our  Thursday, November 9 meeting, Mike Bonkowski led us through the history of BC passenger ships and ferries.   From paddle-wheelers on a route between Nanaimo and Victoria in the early 1880s, to the Black Ball Ferries Kahloke and Chinook about to be bought-out by BC Ferries in 1961, this 80 year period takes us from antiquated early passenger ships, through the rise, golden age and decline of the elegant Canadian Pacific steamships, to the new era of fast utilitarian drive-on / drive-off automobile ferries.

Including period photos, this talk focused on the various ships that served Nanaimo during this time period in scheduled passenger ship and auto ferry service, the companies who ran them, and their schedules.  This is an interesting transportation period, with various earlier companies morphing into what became the Canadian Pacific BC Coast Steamship Service.  Also, the Black Ball Ferries story is compelling in how they set up shop in BC for only a brief 10 year period, but forever changed the game for ferry service in coastal BC.  You can now view Mike’s November 9 presentation on YouTube.  

We acknowledge that we meet on the traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw people from whom Nanaimo takes its name.