Tell the story of a favourite photo: who is in it, where and when it was taken, and why it was taken. What was the event? It didn’t take me long to pick a favourite photo for this week’s post. Here’s the who, what, where and when of the photo I chose.
In this picture below is my Dad, Keith Apps when he was 17 years old.
This is one of my favourite photos of my Dad because of the time in his life that it represents.
In the summer of his sixteenth birthday, in August of 1965, he acquired a job working on the tugboats. This was a job that he really enjoyed. I think that if Dad could have, he would have lived at sea quite happily.
After he passed away I was given a file folder with some papers and various items inside. One of these items was his seaman’s log. I don’t know why I had never seen this before! I would have loved to ask him more questions.
In the log, his height is listed as 5’ 10’ his eyes BLUE, his hair BROWN and his complexion FAIR. A distinguishing mark is a scar on his right elbow. I think that I do remember the story behind the scar. He had been riding his bike and somehow ended up going right through a plate glass window of a house. Burnaby does have a lot of hills…
The logbook details his voyages aboard the M.V. Ocean Crown (195786). The log continues for an entire year of what looks to be approximately month-long journeys. What an adventure for a young man! The engagements and discharges were at either Vancouver or New Westminster. I can imagine that he was in his glory.
According to the Nauticapedia website (link below), the Ocean Crown was built in 1945. It’s a very cool website that details the history of the vessel. It had various uses and owners over the years. “In 1959 she was owned by Crown Zellerbach (Canada) Ltd. and converted to a tug. In 1960-1977 she was owned by Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd. Vancouver BC.”
This is also the first time I’m seeing a picture of the tug that Dad worked on. In my mind, I pictured it quite a bit smaller. She was 142 feet long, was powered by a 1,000 horsepower Fairbanks-Morse diesel and carried a crew of eight. I’m assuming she could pull a whole lot of log booms…
This career also taught my Dad some very cool skills, which several years later, he tried to teach us. Like how to run across the log booms, which was fairly tricky because sometimes a log would sink as you were trying to sprint your way across to the other side. Or how to run on a rolling log in the water. Such great memories. I’m sure many of us Canadians remember the Log Driver’s Waltz short film from television years ago. I’ll leave a link at the end to the National Film Board of Canada’s site if you care to watch it.
A bit more research led me to this article from The Province newspaper dated August 12th, 1966. The last log entry in my dad’s book had engagement dates of July 29 – August 24, 1966. Which would mean that he was part of the crew who rescued these men as described in the article. How cool is that?
Photo of M.V. Ocean Crown by John Henderson sourced on The Nauticapedia website
Newspapers.com The Province Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 12 Aug 1966, Fri • Page 9