Published: NOW and VANCOUVER SUN
More than 40 people embarked on two cruises earlier this month to learn more about the history of Delta along the Fraser River. The Fraser River Historical Cruise is an annual program conducted by Delta Museum and Archives Society and was created to give a look at the history of the river and the land from a different perspective.
“There are things you can see (on the river) that you might not be able to see on land and it’s also a very different way of looking at the history,” said Caroline Ballard, program co-ordinator.
She said the history of Delta is very connected with the Fraser. “The river had a very large impact in terms of both the way that the town developed around the farming and fishing heritage and how the town itself was shaped.”
The cruise program alternates every other year between going upriver and downriver. Each cruise can accommodate around 20 people on the two-deck boat. This year’s five-hour cruises went upriver sailing the grey waves from Ladner’s Wharf, over the George Massey Tunnel, past Annieville, out around Annacis Island and back down.
A couple of years ago Louise Hynndman went downriver passing by Steveston. Sunday was her first time upriver with the program. Photographs of notable settlers and antique maps were available on the cruise while historic sites were being pointed out, like Ladner’s ferry dock in Captain’s Cove.
“You don’t realize all of these things until you are right on the river. You don’t see pleasure boats going up and down here at all,” said Hynndman.
For Ladner resident, Amber Godfrey, seeing the land from the river is just a whole new experience. “Makes much more sense about how the place has grown up because they grew up around the river,” said Godfrey.
Capt. Harold Parsons, of Surrey, plays an important role in the program. He has donated the boat and his time for the museum twice a year for about 12 years. “I’ve been travelling the river for around 35 years.” “I enjoy it,” said Parsons.
For more information about this and other programs organized by Delta Museum and Archives Society, go to http://www.deltamuseum.ca.