The MV Lady Rose rusts as she sits moored to Jamie’s Whaling Station’s dock in Tofino May 2015. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO                                The MV Lady Rose rusts as she sits moored to Jamie’s Whaling Station’s dock in Tofino May 2015. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

The MV Lady Rose rusts as she sits moored to Jamie’s Whaling Station’s dock in Tofino May 2015. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO The MV Lady Rose rusts as she sits moored to Jamie’s Whaling Station’s dock in Tofino May 2015. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

The iconic MV Lady Rose passenger vessel has been sold again

Sechelt group buys former Union Steamship vessel from Tofino owner

The iconic MV Lady Rose, a former Union Steamship Company cargo and passenger vessel that gained popularity plying the waters of the Alberni Inlet, has been sold again.

An ownership group from Sechelt has purchased the ship and will move it from its present mooring in Tofino on Vancouver Island’s west coast, across Georgia Strait to the Sechelt Inlet.

“It has been purchased,” said Dick Clayton of Sechelt. “(The Lady Rose) is the last floating Union Steamship vessel. We didn’t want the last one to disappear.”

Originally christened “Lady Sylvia,” the MV Lady Rose was built in Scotland and first launched in 1937 by the Union Steamship Company of British Columbia. She was the first single-propeller diesel vessel ever to traverse the Atlantic under her own power. The vessel spent 70 years ferrying passengers and supplies from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet, but had her route taken over by the MV Frances Barkley in 2007.

The Clayton family has a long history with Union Steamship Company, having run a general store on the Sunshine Coast for the company since the end of the First World War, then starting their own Clayton’s Grocery store.

“My father worked with them,” Clayton said of Union Steamship Co., which had holdings in Sechelt and Bowen Island. The company was founded in 1889 and offered passenger and cargo service all up and down the B.C. coast, supplying logging and fishing camps and sawmills.

READ: Lady Rose — what a fine lady she was

Jamie Bray of Tofino, who owns Jamie’s Whaling Station, purchased the MV Lady Rose in 2010 after previous owner Mike Surrell took her out of service. Bray spent a year making the Lady Rose seaworthy so he could move her to the west coast, where he wanted to convert the ship into a floating restaurant.

The MV Lady Rose left Port Alberni for the final time on March 27, 2011, taking four and a half hours to make the trip to Ucluelet, then to her most recent resting place in Tofino.

For the past eight years the Lady Rose has been moored at a wharf in Tofino; Bray never did turn her into a restaurant.

Bray said via e-mail that he was contacted by a group involved in a Lady Rose restoration and display project in Sechelt.

“I liked what they had to say, so we came up with a deal for them to take the Rose and fix her up.

“I am happy to see her go to this worthwhile project and wish them lots of luck.”

Surrell, who still owns Lady Rose Marine Services operating out of Alberni Inlet, said he is happy to hear someone wants to restore the Lady Rose.

“I hope it works out well for them. I’m really glad something’s happening with it.”

READ: Alberni man wants to resurrect iconic MV Lady Rose

Clayton declined to give details on the sale or how much the new ownership group paid for the vessel.

There are no firm plans for the Lady Rose’s future, although she will be moved from Tofino to Sechelt sometime in the future. “We’re not sure when,” he said. “It’s partly to do with a weather window. It will have to be towed over.”

He said there is some interest in moving the Lady Rose to Bowen Island, where a marina named the Union Steamship Company Marina is located. The next step is to form a society to look after the vessel and its restoration.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do with it. Nothing’s been decided. It’s just been secured so it didn’t disappear.”

Clayton told a Sunshine Coast newspaper that the vessel could either be a land-borne display or perhaps restored to run as a historical vessel for limited water runs.

The ship is not in any condition to run under its own steam right now, said Clayton, who has not seen the ship personally (although others in the membership group have, he added).

“It’s rusty. It needs paint. It needs TLC, there’s no question of that.”



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quesnel Search and Rescue are looking for a missing snowmobiler on Yanks Peak Monday, Nov. 23. They are being assisted by the Wells RCMP, Wells Snowmobile Club and neighbouring search and rescue teams. (Quesnel Search and Rescue)
Search underway for missing snowmobiler out of Wells, Yanks Peak area

Two riders went missing while sledding on Yanks Peak Nov. 22. One is still missing.

Enid “Dimps” Horn was recognized for 50 years of leadership with the 4-H Club. (Photo submitted)
Watch Lake woman recognized for 50 years of 4-H leadership

Dimps Horn has been involved in 4-H since she was 12 years old.

Chris Warren, with his “comfort” quilt, donated by the Log Cabin Quilters on the loss of his home. (Diana Forster photo).
An American gold finch, one of many types of birds 100 Mile House birders may count this winter. (Paul Foth photo, submitted)
An American gold finch, one of many types of birds 100 Mile House birders may count this winter. (Paul Foth photo)
Annual Christmas bird count returning to 100 Mile House

After a hiatus, the count will be held in December.

(Black Press file)
Interior Health reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

In the region, health authority reports 235 total active cases

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Most Read