2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Bluewater Cruising Association, and there will be a number of ways for members to celebrate that milestone, with commemorative events being planned by each chapter and opportunities for individual members to share their stories about what BCA has meant to them over the years (see article  by Rosario Passos, Currents Managing Editor for details re sharing your story)
At the Board level, we kicked off the anniversary year with an evening event at the Vancouver Maritime Museum  on March 17. The evening provided an opportunity for BCA’s Board of Directors to pay special tribute to those whose commitment to BCA over the years has helped ensure that the association became and remains a vibrant, relevant organization dedicated to helping other members achieve their cruising dreams.
Invited guests included Past Commodores, Ted Long lifetime members, Rudy Seifert Keeper of the Light recipients as well as members who joined BCA while the association was in its infancy and who are still active members today, current Board members and others active at either the Board or Chapter level. We were delighted that BCA’s former Administrator, Liz Gregory, was able to attend, as well as BCA member, Ian Cameron, who agreed to be the official photographer at the event; his photos grace this article (the entire collection can be found here ).
While there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that memories would be shared, favourite stories re-told (and possibly embellished on!), and old friends re-connected and remembered, the evening far exceeded expectation. Thanks to Glenora Doherty, BCA Historian,there was a splendid display from BCA archives, including photograph albums, Directories and hard-copy Currents from each decade that BCA has been in existence, and even a BCA tie and gavel from early watch meetings! These triggered lots of comments from those who browsed through the collection and for those who are more recent members of BCA they also provided great insight into BCA’s early years.
In keeping with the nautical theme, there was also an opportunity for guests to explore the St Roch display at their leisure.
The Helm is the term used to describe the collective group of Past Commodores. Since 1978, eighteen people have served as BCA Commodore; their names can be found here , on page 17 in the 2018 Member Directory and inscribed on the base of the Commodore’s Bell. Of the eleven with whom we still have contact, five were in country and able to attend.
Ted Long Award
Since 1992 when the award was established and presented to Ted Long, Vancouver Chapter Education Watchkeeper extraordinaire, fourteen individuals have been recognized for their outstanding personal contributions to BCA. And while their names are added to the Ted Long perpetual award, this occasion provided the Board with an opportunity to present each of them with a personalized keepsake plaque. In addition to the member’s name and date of recognition, the plaque reads “… for outstanding personal contribution to BCA … BCA is a much better organization as a result of your passion and commitment.” As recipients of this prestigious award, Ted Long members are also granted the benefit of lifetime membership (see page 17 of the Directory for the complete list).
Rudi Seifert Keeper of the Light Award
This is another BCA perpetual award that recognizes people who most often can be found working quietly behind the scenes, volunteering their time and energy to a favourite project or aspect of BCA; established in 2007 by then Commodore, Don Brown, there have been eight recipients, all of whom were present.
40th Anniversary Members
I am not sure if anyone knows for sure how many cruisers have joined BCA since the inaugural meeting in April 1978, but it is worth noting and celebrating that a small, but distinguished number of those who were deemed founding members or joined BCA during that first exciting year are still members of the association. It was wonderful that a significant number were able to attend and add their voices to the celebration.
Looking ahead, scheduled 40th anniversary events at the Chapter level currently include:
- Vancouver Island South Summer BBQ  – Tuesday, June 12 at Canadian Sailing Forces Association, Esquimalt
- Vancouver Club Night Celebrating BCA’s 40th Anniversary  – Wednesday, June 13 at Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Calgary Christmas Social and 40th Anniversary Party – Tuesday, December 4
All members are welcome to attend the events in any chapter; please remember to Register/RSVP if you plan to do so by clicking on the event listing above or by going to the BCA Community Calendar . Watch for additional events in the coming months.