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Maritime centre's re-roofed exhibit pods and pavilion christened

Pete Edgar checks out the renovated Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre pods with a 1944 sextant from Supercargo that will be on display at the centre. - Peter W. Rusland
Pete Edgar checks out the renovated Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre pods with a 1944 sextant from Supercargo that will be on display at the centre.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

A big blast from Ron Lindsay's little black-powder cannon officially launched Saturday's grand reopening of Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre's pier pavilions.

Centre volunteers were clearly proud of the $45,000 renovation that saw mouldy walls yanked and replaced in the landmark pier's three exhibit pods, now wearing new roofing.

Look twice at those roofs, and one might see they're not cedar shingles, but rubber tiles made from some 1,200 tires and applied by Golden Rule Roofing.

Renovation funds came from B.C. Supercargo ($25,000) and other patrons for the maritime centre's makeover, anchoring the former Chevon fuel dock as a world-class facility for sea salts and land lubbers alike.

Centre director Chris Banner and other members explained how the reno was sparked when Alister Frayling of TerraWest Designs noticed black mould and sagging ceilings in the exhibit pods, threatening visitors, and unique artifacts and photos tracing the bay's marine history stretching back generations.

The centre was shut in September for work that saw hazmat-suited crews remove rotting wood, and making space for more artifacts.

"We've done some rearranging, and plan to swap artifacts with other B.C. maritime museums," Banner explained, delighted with the centre's successful Say No To The Tarps fundraising drive tied to volunteer efforts.

The pod re-roofing project was twinned with a roof copula and weather vane perched on the pier's end pavilion containing model ships, and a maritime library for public use.

A working bosun's chair will be added to the centre's many attractions in May.

The centre will host the July 5 to 6 Small Wooden Boat Festival.

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