Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, I was a Junior Lighthouse Keeper on Ivory Island Light-station. Once every 6 weeks or so the Thomas Crosby V would show up. Depending on the season a marvelous assortment of people would come in to visit. Sometimes just the missionary and nurse, sometimes tourists, sometimes crew members who had never seen the light.
After about three years on Ivory Island we left the light and moved to Vancouver. Shortly after our move I remembered why I had left Vancouver in the first place. Through the grapevine I heard that the Crosby needed volunteers for a special voyage. I quickly found myself as a volunteer deckhand on the T.C.V as she headed down to protest the Trident Submarine base in Bangor Washington.
After that voyage I was taken on by the United Church as a paid deckhand. I was inspired and converted by the Rev. Capt. Oliver Howard. Eventually I left the Crosby to pursue a calling to the ordained ministry. This did not quite work out but that is another story for another time.
This old rust bucket played a major role in my life. She was crucial to my becoming a minister in training in Kitamaat village. And if I had not been there I don’t know how I would have met my wife of the last darn near twenty years. But again… another story for another time.
The story that needs to be told this time is not mine. The story that needs to be told is the story of Capt. Rev. Oliver Howard’s last voyage on the TCV. He died in 2010. He was my friend, my skipper and my mentor.