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Captain Robert John Muir (Bob) ACREMAN

 (November 18, 1935 - September 24, 2017)

Bob passed away peacefully at Victoria General Hospital after a decline in health over  the last few years.  Bob was a descendant of some of the first pioneers to settle in Sooke where he was raised along with his sister Dianne. He spent most of his life there enjoying  many lifelong friendships.

Bob started his career as a deckhand at Island Tug and Barge, now known as Seaspan.  He worked his way up to become Captain and retired after 40 years at sea. Bob loved a good story, and to share his tales of working at sea, fishing, hunting, camping or anything else that was on his mind. Bob was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching both televised and local sports especially Victoria Shamrocks as a season ticket holder for many years. He was also an active Mason at the Mount Sheppard Lodge in Sooke.

Bob leaves behind his wife Joyce, who made it possible for him to stay at his home in Sooke until he was recently hospitalized. They raised three children, son Jack (Jodi), daughter Sharon (Tracy), and son Dennis, who is predeceased and lovingly remembered. Bob had seven grandchildren, Echo (Nic), Richelle, Heather,  Katie, Jordan, Jackson and Jonny. He also had one great granddaughter, Aurora. Bob's sister Dianne, is also left to grieve along with other family members and friends.

Family would like to thank all the doctors, and nurses who provided Bob with excellent care over the last few years. Most recently, the doctors and outstanding nursing staff on the 6th Floor North Tower, who treated Bob with true compassion and professionalism.

No service by request and flowers are gratefully declined. The family will remember Bob during a celebration of life to be held at a later date.  Published in The Times Colonist from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29, 2017

CLARKE, Captain William J. (Bill)
January 18, 1923 -August 26, 2017
Predeceased by his wife Lucy and 7 siblings. Survived byhis wife Sylvia, son Peter (Cindy), daughter Debra (Gary)Ballance; grandsons Justin and Rylan, and sister Nettie King; stepdaughters Sharon (Gary) Nilsson and TeressaBernard (Fred). Many nephews and nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bill was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 2 for over 50 years and a Veteran of WWII. Bill was born in Brandon, Manitoba and moved to B.C. as a young man. A long time resident of New Westminster, Bill spent most of his working life on the Fraser River starting on the tugs and then working his way to become a Captain and in 1957 became a member of the Pacific Pilotage Authority. He was a licensed pilot on the Fraser River until his retirement in 1989.
Bill enjoyed many holidays all over the world which included summers at Birch Bay. Bill was always up for a challenge whether learning something new or making something he would always tell us "show me how it is done". No service by request.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Royal Columbian Hospital and a special thank you to the staff and volunteers at St. Michael's Hospice in Burnaby for their special care and compassion during Bill's last days. Peter and Debra and families would like to thank Sylvia for her love and companionship and care of dad especially in his later years which gave us all many more memories to cherish. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made the Canadian Cancer Society, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation or St. Michael's Hospice.
A Life Well Lived. Smooth Sailing.

Captain Richard WACHHOLZ, BCCP June 1, 1941 - March 25, 2017

Born in Vienna, Austria. Immigrated at age 12 to Canada with his mother Frieda, sister Christine and stepfather Frank to Cowichan Station. At 17 he went to Vancouver to get a job on the docks where he started scraping paint on boats. He then got a job as a deck hand/cook on a small tug with Kingcome Navigation. He advanced to larger tugs like the Haida Chieftain. He became Kingcome's youngest captain on a self loading, self dumping, log ship the Haida Brave. 24 years later he moved up the ladder to become a BC coast pilot. For the next 24 years he was moving cruise ships, freighters, submarines, US aircraft carriers and all deep-sea vessels from many other countries. He retired after 48 years at sea on the west coast. He leaves behind his loving wife of 54 years Marlene. They lived on their lovely 11 1/2 acres with all their loving pets in Cobble Hill, surrounded by their good neighbors. He also leaves behind his sons, Dean (Sharon) and Lonnie (Lynda); sister, Christine (Andy); grandchildren, Justin and Jeannine (Cody); great grandchildren, Kate and Ben, his great friends at the BC Coast Pilotage; pals, Tony H, Ken G, Tony C; special friend Mathew John, all his friends at the Kidney Dialysis and his "adopted" family. Thanks to Dean and his crew from the Mill Bay Fire Department. Special thanks to the attending ambulance members who assisted Richard in the past and we appreciate the support of the two RCMP Officers who were on scene that night. We would also like to thank the Coroner's staff who were so supportive and waited for us at the hospital, but we are extremely indebted to the Head Nurse on duty the night of March 25 at CDH and the rest of the staff. A very special thank you to Sands Funeral Home in Duncan, especially Janice for all of her kindness and help. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or to the Diabetic Association.

Please continue to contact Diane Brown, Historian regarding a B.C. mariner who has worked in the marine industry  and was not acknowledged on the AMC Crossing the Bar on the website.  dianebrown@telus.net
  The next get-together

will be held Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 @ 11:00am at the WALNUT GROVE PUB & BISTRO in Walnut Grove, Langley, BC . he address is 20470 - 88 Avenue, just past 204th Street on 88th heading east.

Rick McKee, President <info@ancientmarinersofbc.com>

Diane Brown, Secretary <dianebrown@telus.net>

Albert Gibson, Director

Russ Cooper, Director <russelcooper@rocketmail.com>

Bob Fiorillo, Director <portkellstrading@telus.net>


Ancient Mariner Clubs that hold meetings every month include:

Vancouver Island (Chemainus) Club

Located in the Horseshoe Bay Inn Chemainus  

1st Tues. of every Month @ 11:30 Hrs. 

Contact: Jim Goodwin 1-250-758-6727




                           Mid Island AMC Group Last Monday of Each Month @ 11:00 AM_____________

FRENCH CREEK: Boar's Head Pub, #1, 1025 LEE ROAD, PARKSVILLE, BC (250-248-3713)

Contact:  Earl Emery @ 250~591~0661 or MARK1157@shaw.ca

Ian MacPherson @ 250~334~0857


Mariners of the Okanagan


Contact:  Stan Marshall @ 250-498-4400 or stanmarshall@persona.ca



Our sincerest condolences to Rien Van Der Velden and family on the tragic passing of his sister in Holland, who had attended meetings with Rien on her travels to Canada. 


Attending September 20th, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Brown, Diane; Chaplin, Barb; Chatt, Don; Fiorillo, Bob; Gibson, Albert; Hemeon, George; McKee, Lorraine; Stead, Rolph

Attending August 16th, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Brown, Diane; Cannon, Garry; Chatt, Don; Cooper, Russ; Fiorillo, Bob; Gibson, Albert;
McKee, Rick & Lorraine; Stead, Rolph; Van Der Velden, Rien; Williamson, Gordon

Attending July 19th, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

 Arntsen, Arnt; Backus, Bob; Brown, Diane; Bugden, Peter; Cannon, Garry; Chaplin, Barb: Chatt, Don; Hemion, George & Linda; Hopkins, Bill; McKee, Rick & Lorraine;
Van Der Velden, Rien; Volney, Max & Judy

Attending June 21st, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Arntsen, Arnt; Backus, Bob; Brown, Diane; Cannon, Gary; Chatt, Don; Cooper, Russ; Gibson,Albert; Fiorillo, Bob; McKee, Lorraine;

Attending May 17th, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Arntsen, Arnt; Backus, Bob; Brown, Diane; Bugden, Peter; Cannon, Gary; Chatt, Don; Gibson, Albert; Hemeon, George & Linda; McKee, Rick & Lorraine; McKee, Connell;

Attending April 19th, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Cannon, Gary; Gibson, Albert; Fiorillo, Bob; McKee, Lorraine; McKee, Rick; Stead, Rolf; Van Der Velden, Rien

Attending March 15, 2017 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Arntsen,Arnt; Backus, Bob; Chaplin, Barb; McKee Connell; McKee Lorraine; McKee, Rick; Plante, Vi; Stead, Rolf; Van Der Velden, Rien; Williamson, Gord

 Attending December 2016 AMC Walnut Grove Meeting:

Aliprandini, Kim; Arntsen, Arnt; Backus, Bob; Brown, Diane;
Bugden, Peter; Cannon, Garry; Chaplin, Barb: Chatt, Don; Hemion, George & Linda; Hopkins, Bill; McKee, Rick & Lorraine;
Van Der Velden, Rien; Volney, Max & Judy


Seasons Greetings!

The snow is flying here again in the Lower Mainland and particularly in the Fraser Valley.  Our unusually cold and snowy winter is invited by some and the bane of existence for others.  Such is life.  We all have our reasons!

It has been a crazy year for battles with medical conditions, the loss of loved ones and the miracles that can only mean GrandKids!

We hope that you will weather 2016 with humour intact and continue to enjoy each day with Peace, Love and Charity. 

It's good for the Heart!



          Sent in by Pete Young: Hello everyone: Thought you might like to see this You Tube Video of the first Ship      arriving at Stewart, after their renovation. This is also Capt. Mike Young's first video upload to You Tube.

I believe the ship was Piloted by Capt. Mike Young as well. It is a not so advertised but historical moment for the Port of Stewart, British Columbia's most northern port. Enjoy and Pass it on, either of these links should work.  P.Y.


Jun 24 15:  Interesting article on Captain Russ Cooper:

Fraser River A Constant Companion for Retired Tug Captain:

Mario Bartel/ New Westminster News Leader June 17, 2015 03:11 PM

Russ Cooper now gets to enjoy watching the tugs he used to pilot on the Fraser River,                from his front row seat along the New Westminster Quay, where he lives. Cooper was             recently honoured with a Legacy award from the BC tugboat industry. The Fraser River                has been Russ Cooper's constant companion his entire life. But he doesn't let himself                      get sentimental or romantic about it. The waterway has provided a "great livelihood" for four generations                of his family, plain and simple, said Cooper.

That pragmatism was recently recognized when the B.C. tugboat industry awarded Cooper a Legacy               award at its annual conference in Victoria.

The Fraser courses through Cooper's blood. His grandfather Tom started Westminster Tug. His father                  Art worked aboard the tugs, guiding ships and barges up and down the river. Cooper said he knew                     when he was six years old he'd be joining them."I was fascinated with the tugs," said Cooper.   "I just                 knew I wanted to do that."

At 14 he did, getting a job as a deckhand while he was still attending high school. After graduation he            worked full time on the boats for various companies, including a stint running long haul boats up and                down the coast.  In 1965 he obtained his Masters Certificate and a year later he returned to the family                 firm.

The river was busier, more industrial then. Sawmills lined each bank. Barges heavy with aggregate                     from Mary Hill were guided downriver to Gilley Bros., where people now enjoy cappuccinos and                           Pad Thai at the River Market. Piloting the 1,000 HP tugs was hard work, dodging deadheads floating                    on the current. One winter a fierce gale on Boxing Day ripped a number of ships and barges from their         moorings up and down the river. Cooper and his fellow tug operators were scrambled to corral them                   back to safety. But a runaway log transporter eluded them and Cooper could only watch as the 350-foot          vessel smashed into the railway swing bridge beneath the Pattullo, tearing out a huge chunk of its        superstructure and passing right over the wreckage as it continued up river. Cooper eventually caught                   up to the transporter and managed to get it under control at Queen's Reach."It was a pretty remarkable               day," said Cooper. "We just took it in stride."

By 1976 Cooper spent more time in the office than on the bridge of the boats, becoming operations              manager, then general manager and then a part owner of Westminster Tug. But he still got his hands                 dirty when needed right up until his retirement 13 years ago.

He's still close to the boats. His riverfront condo along New West's boardwalk affords him a front row                   seat to their ongoing activities, and the occasional glimpse of his son,Gordon, who's also a tug pilot                       on the Fraser.

"It gives people something to see that's more than just water flowing by," said Cooper of the river's                   allure. "It's a connection. I've been around it all my life."  Copyright New Westminster News Leader 2015             See more at: http://www.newwestnewsleader.com/business/fraser-river



Thanks to Bob Fiorillo for sending this link to some amazing pictures of the West Coast for our enjoyment!  Awesome shots!




To former crew members of Island Tug & Barge:


I have been contacted by E. A. (Mickey) MacGillivary’s son Paul, who is living in Australia

and working for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra.

He  would like to ‘talk’ by email  with anyone who remembers his father Mickey and

hopes that some former Island Tug & Barge employees will email him.


If you would like to do that his email is:  paul_macgillivary@hotmail.com


I only have email addresses for a few persons and would appreciate if you could

mention to any other former Island Tug crew members you may be in touch with. 

Regards to all,  Diane

 Diane Brown




October 2014

Russell Cooper has offered this interesting link which he has titled: