CP Ships ro-ro train/trailer ferry, Carrier Princess, at Pier A3. These days she serves with Seaspan Ferries Corporation, still carrying her name.
Every Saturday for two years, 1976 and 1977, I awoke at 4:00 am, dressed quickly and gathered my backpack, ate a breakfast of overnight oven-heated multi-grain or oatmeal porridge, and then father or mother would drive me to downtown Nanaimo for the six o’clock CP Ships ro-ro train/trailer ferry, either the Princess of Vancouver or the Carrier Princess, arriving at the dock and ramp with the black steel arches at Pier A3, situated right about where today sits the West Building, Vancouver Convention Centre and the seaplane docks of Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre, Vancouver Harbour Water Airport (CXH/CYHC). I walked up the Burrard Street overpass to West Hastings, turned left and continued to Granville Street for one of the beloved, classic CC&F T-48A Brill trolley buses on the 14 Hastings route, stepping down near Woodland Drive, usually at Commercial, for the few blocks south and west to The Christian Community’s house on Frances Street.
Here we participated in our Confirmation classes, led with warmth and intelligence by Rev. Werner Hegg. The others in the group were Marius Krack, Andrew Rachel, Anna Driehuyzen, Celina Gold, Florette Snijders, and a Shields’ daughter. I alone would be invited for lunch prepared with love by Alsten Hegg, many of the in-season vegetables from their small garden plot behind the early-1900s three floor house—my favourite the swiss chard in a bechamel sauce. Sometimes I stayed overnight for the Sunday service, and on these occasions at times even riding the bus back to White Rock with Marius, to return with the Krack’s the following morning.
On the more frequent occasions that I returned home the same day, I would often stop at Famous Foods on East Hastings for one or more items that mother needed, or further along at Woodward’s with its famous red neon sign, the rotating W. I then continued on a trolley for the Greyhound bus depot occupying the full block bound by Georgia, Dunsmuir, Beatty, and Hamilton. From here I rode a coach to a late afternoon or early evening BC Ferry sailing, Horseshoe Bay–Departure Bay. The route was code-shared between PSL (Pacific Stage Lines) and VICL (Vancouver Island Coach Lines). Father or mother would wait for me at the bus depot in downtown Nanaimo, close by the CP Rail ferry dock.
[1984 Nikon FE2 SLR 35-mm roll film camera, s/n 1816483, with Nikkor AI 50-mm f/1.8 lens, s/n 2336591, and 52-mm polarizing filter; Fujifilm Fujichrome 100 (RD-113) 36-exposure colour slide film]
© Copyright photographs by Stephan Alexander Scharnberg, May 1989