The Vancouver Sun reported yesterday that the Maritime Museum on Kits Point will be forced to close its doors by the end of 2009. The Vancouver Maritime Museum Society, which has been quietly trying to work with the city on a plan to move the collection to the proposed National Maritime Centre in North Vancouver, went public Monday, saying the city is forcing it to close before a plan is in place for the collection’s survival.
Apparently, the city is undertaking an appraisal of the museum’s 35,000 artifacts, 20,000-book library and 114,000-document archives with a view towards getting rid of anything it doesn’t consider historically significant.
For half a century volunteers have looked after and cherished the Maritime Museum, accumulating a collection to make it one of the best museums of its kind in North America. Its centrepiece is the RCMP’s historic Arctic schooner St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America and to go through the fabled Northwest Passage.
I have fond memories of an elementary school field trip to the Museum and recall touring the cabins of the St. Roch like it was yesterday. It will be a sad day on Kits Point when the Museum sets sail.
Last modified: May 6, 2008