2015 First Year Achievement Bursary Awarded

BCIT Marine Engineering Cadet Andrew Lehman was the recipient of the First Year Achievement bursary for 2015 and was presented with his award at a ceremony held at the North Vancouver Marine Campus of BCIT on Monday afternoon.

2015 First Year Achievement Award winner, Cadet Andrew Lehman
2015 First Year Achievement Award winner, Cadet Andrew Lehman

An endowment was established in 1999 with matching funds from the Government of British Columbia.  The annual interest is awarded to a student in the Marine Engineering or Nautical Sciences programs of BCIT.

The program instructors at the Marine Campus select the recipient of this award based upon the student’s performance after the first year of the course.

The award alternates between the Nautical Science and the Marine Engineering students.  In “even numbered” years a Nautical Science student is eligible. A Marine Engineering student is eligible in “odd numbered” years.

The endowment with the BCIT Foundation generates insufficient income at this time to provide an award worth $1,000.  So, the Society issues its own cheque to cover the balance.

2016 Bursary Applications

Applications for our 2016 bursary awards are now being accepted.

This year there will be a total of 5 bursaries, each worth C$1,000, awarded to applicants enrolled in Nautical Science or Marine Engineering courses of a minimum length of 250 hours at a training institution approved by Transport Canada and registered with the British Columbia government.

Four of these bursaries are made possible by a generous contribution from the BC Supercargoes Association

Copies of the Application Form and the Budget Worksheet can be found here:

NPESC Bursary Application Form

NPESC 2016 Bursary Budget Worksheet

For those of you that would prefer to complete your application on line you can fill in your application electronically by clicking here and upload the required documentation

The successful candidates are required to write to the Trustees after one year, to inform them of their progress and how the award was used.  Such letters may be used in the Society’s newsletter or website.

If you require further information, kindly contact our secretary/treasurer directly by email at ruether@shaw.ca or by mail at 3648 Glenview Crescent, North Vancouver, BC V7R 3E8

Please note that the deadline for applications is: October 14th 2016

Searching for Franklin’s Expedition…


“Searching for Franklin’s Expedition”
A presentation by Captain Dave Woodman...

Captain Woodman is well known as the author of two books about the ill-fated Sir John Franklin Expedition. Woodman’s work concentrated on the profound importance of the Inuit testimony surrounding Franklin’s fate and he was the first to analyze it in depth.

NIBC-Tech-Presentation-Mar416From 1992 to 2004 he led or participated in nine expeditions to Canada’s Arctic in search of the wreck of one of the expedition ships, discovered by Parks Canada in 2014, and the grave site of Sir John Franklin himself.

When: 1500 hrs Friday, March 4, 2016
Where: BCIT Marine Campus (265 West Esplanade, North Vancouver)
RSVP: jane@bcshippingnews.com
Please note: there is no cost to attend.

Refreshments provided courtesy of…BC Shipping News Logo

A message from the Chairman

From the Chairman:

First formal night

I am proud to have been asked to take over as the Chairman of NPESC for the coming year and gladly accepted this position at our AGM.
I have been involved with the Board for the last few years and have enjoyed the opportunity to attend at various functions to make presentations of bursaries and books on behalf of The Society to deserving students.
In addition, I have served on a number of selection committees where we have been tasked with vetting applications, from students attending marine schools in BC, for bursaries and other awards.
Throughout all of this I have been very impressed by the calibre of the young men and women that have chosen the sea as the environment in which to follow their career paths whether they be of the engineering or deck persuasion.
It is clear that our future as a viable and safe sea-going nation is in very capable hands and I am glad to be able to be in a position where I can donate my time and efforts to an industry that has given me an exciting, rewarding and varied career both on the ocean and also ashore.

During my time as a deck cadet in the 70’s things were very different to the situation that cadets now find themselves having to navigate through on their way to their first watch keeping certificate and beyond. Back then, the toughest decision I had to make was which of the many merchant shipping companies would I chose to steer me through my apprenticeship. Would it be a tanker company like Shell or BP, a passenger ship company such as P&O, a container company like OCL, a package or bulk shipping company like Blue Funnel, Ellerman City Liners or New Zealand Shipping Company.

I elected to go with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), a company that could offer me “all of the above” and allowed me to experience what it was like for UK oil tank replacements, container ships, reefer cargo ships, dry bulk cargo, ferries, passenger ships, gas carriers, product tankers, crude tankers throughout my cadetship. Throughout this experience I was paid a salary and had all of my education and accommodation (while at school) paid for. Indeed, apart from my uniform, I had nothing to worry about financially and all arrangements were made for me by my company from allocating school time to providing accommodation and booking examinations.
By the time I got to the point where I was taking my second mate ticket I had served on many, many different types of ships, been sent to and educated at a first class school (South Shields Marine and Technical College) and had a bank account that was in the black.

Fast forward to today where cadets are expected to arrange and pay for their own education as well as seek out a shipping company that will be willing to give them a berth on one of their ships and allow them to gain the seagoing experience essential for them to achieve their goal.
These cadets not only must have the desire and drive to reach their goals but must also have the financial wherewithal to attain them and it is for this reason that there is a real need for external sources to provide some assistance to help overcome these hurdles.

One of the main roles of NPESC is to provide assistance to these students to help ease this burden. Having had a much easier ride at that junction in my career I am only too glad to be able to help in whatever way I can to and being involved with NPESC has given me that opportunity.

Over the coming year it is my intention to work with our Board to seek out other avenues of assistance to further increase our ability to provide financial support for these wonderful men and women as they “head down to the sea again….to the lonely sea and sky”

Richard Smith

NPESC New Board Elected

The following individuals were elected as The Board for 2016/2016 at the NPESC Annual General Meeting held on November at the offices of the BC Chamber of Shipping:

Chairman –  Captain Richard Smith

Secretary/Treasurer – Captain Joachim Ruether

Directors at large – Captain John Lewis (past Chairman), Captain Stan Bowles, Captain David Whitaker, Captain Brian Silvester (past Secretary/Treasurer), Captain Brian Johnston, Captain Zak Farid, Captain Raman Mangat, Captain Roderick Weir, Captain Ivan Oxford