Putting memories to paper – Lady Rose book in the offing

Spearheaded by two local residents are spearheading a book featuring first-hand memories of the Lady Rose from passengers and crew members as well as historical photographs.

Memories were thicker than the drizzle at Harbour Quay on Sunday as the MV Lady Rose departed on her final voyage down the Alberni Inlet. And a group of maritime historians are hoping to capitalize on that kind of atmosphere with a book about the Lady Rose.

Spearheaded by Edna Cox and Roland Smith (former owner of Lady Rose Marine), the book will feature first-hand memories of the Lady Rose from passengers and crew members as well as historical photographs.

It won’t be the first book highlighting the venerable passenger ship and her illustrious career on the West Coast, but it will be different.

“This came out of a dinner party where several of us were bemoaning the loss of the Lady Rose,” Cox explained. “It’s to say goodbye and keep her memory alive.”

Cox has her own fond memories of the Lady Rose, from Sunday school picnics to Bamfield with the First United Church when she was a girl to trips down the inlet during her adult years.

“I’m very, very glad that she’s not being scrapped or going to South America,” she said.

Heather Graham, former owner of Literati Books in Port Alberni and now a resident of Sointula has agreed to edit the book, Cox said. No publisher has been selected, and Cox doesn’t have a completion date.

Cox is looking for stories 300-400 words in length and written in first person. “In other words (the stories) had to have happened to you. It can be any situation…your general feelings about the experience.”

They’re also wanting to hear from people who lived up and down the canal who would have seen the Lady Rose in her working capacity.

Although Cox has checked out the historical archives, she’s always looking for photographs of the MV Lady Rose. “You never know what people have out there,” she said.

Anyone with first-person stories or photos may e-mail Cox with their submissions or inquiries at daveandedna@shaw.ca.

editor@albernivalleynews.com