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Profile Last Updated: August 28, 2008
Originally occupying a location outside the HMC Dockyard, the Maritime Museum of BC’s current home is in a Bastion Square building that was once the 1889 Provincial Courthouse. Many of the original interior features of the courthouse were preserved and add to the historic, maritime ambience, and are enjoyed by visitors to the museum.
Explorers, Scallywags and Privateers
The vast marine history of British Columbia is told through an extraordinary collection of model ships, uniforms, weapons, gear, photographs, charts and journals housed in various navel-themed galleries. In the Explorers gallery, learn about great men, such as the discoverers, Captains James Cook and George Vancouver. In the Pirates gallery, encounter buccaneers, pirates and privateers. Step into the Shipbuilding gallery to learn about Victoria’s role as a repair station for foreign ships, and its transformation into a vibrant shipbuilding centre. The Shipwreck gallery tells tales of navel disasters off the jagged coast. You’ll also find many artifacts from the First and Second World Wars.
Discover the Tilikum
Among the stories told at the maritime museum is one about Captain John Voss and his partner Norman Luxton, who set out from Victoria in 1901 to sail around the world in a dugout canoe fashioned into a sailing craft. After overcoming many obstacles, Voss steered the Tilikum towards London, England in 1904. The following year, the Tilikum was exhibited at Earls Court, London, before it was sold. In 1929, the craft was found abandoned and decrepit, whereupon a few concerned Victorian citizens returned it to Victoria. Restored by the Thermopylae Club, which is dedicated to preserving British and Canadian nautical history, the Tilikum can be viewed when you visit the Maritime Museum of BC.