Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
If you recognize that and fancy yourself a Trekkie then you’re not alone. And someone in Port Alberni is looking for you.
Gillian Shearwater is trying to generate interest in a local chapter of Starfleet, an international organization for Star Trek fans.
“On the face of it it’s about Star Trek but it promotes the same principles that Star Trek did: engaging in communities, acceptance and fair treatment,” she said.
There is only one other Starfleet chapter on Vancouver Island (Victoria) and Shearwater hopes Port Alberni can be the second.
She hopes to have the chapter off the ground and fully accredited before the release of the new Star Trek movie late next year.
“There lots of groundwork to do before then – courses you have to take, community initiatives and charity projects, not to mention having a lot of fun,” Shearwater said.
Starfleet has a series of courses you can take in order to attain rank in the club, and Shearwater has mined her way through 30 of them.
“I want to be able to do more than just online courses though,” she said.
“I know there’s other fans out there but there’s nothing to bring them together right now.”
People interested in becoming a member need to visit www.sfi.org and work their way through the membership page. The membership costs $16 per person per year and family rates are available.
“A membership would make a nice birthday present or Christmas gift,’ Shearwater said.
She is also happy to answer any questions and can be reached at 250-724-7293.
Starfleet has a cadet program for youth, and while the initiative is fun it has several intangible benefits. “It encourages reading and interest in the sciences, something that is dropping among youth,” she said.
Shearwater has been a Trekkie “…ever since they introduced television to my hometown up north – and that was in black and white,” she said.
She regularly rents movies from Star Trek and its spinoff series from local video outlets and from the library.
Shearwater likes too many episodes to name a favourite one and is discerning about what characters she is a fan of.
“I like Odo and Kira Narise from Deep Space Nine,” she said. “I never cared much for Captain Kirk but I’m an avid Mister Spock fan.”