BC Passenger Ships and Ferries
November 9th, 2023

Remembering the Passenger Ships and Ferries that Served Nanaimo from 1881-1961

At our  Thursday, November 9 meeting, Mike Bonkowski will lead 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 focuses 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.

The meeting is at Bowen Park Centre, 500 Bowen Road, in Activity Room #1, doors open at 6:30 p.m. . If you  missed Mike’s  November, 2022 presentation on the E&N Railroad, you can view it here.  His presentation on passenger ships and ferries will be just as interesting and entertaining.   Join us and learn more about this important part of BC’s history. Refreshments will follow the presentation.  All are welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *