City of Richmond looking for heritage heroes

The Crystal S. turns 50 next year and is one of the few remaining wooden fishing boats in Steveston.  - Eric Flexyourhead photo via Flickr
The Crystal S. turns 50 next year and is one of the few remaining wooden fishing boats in Steveston.
— image credit: Eric Flexyourhead photo via Flickr

Wooden fishing boats are almost one of a kind. Of the approximately 25 boats moored in Scotch Pond in Steveston, the Crystal S. is one of just two wooden vessels left. Newer aluminum and fibreglass models now comprise the bulk of the fleet.

Owned by the Sakamoto family, the vessel turns 50 next year—a long life due largely to Bud Sakamoto’s work in maintaining and preserving it, netting the longtime Steveston resident a Richmond Heritage Award last year.

“You have to maintain it every year; you can’t just let it go,” he said. “The back half has been rebuilt over the years.”

Sakamoto originally helped build Crystal S. with his dad, who also built Scotch Pond’s only other wooden boat.

“There aren’t too many wooden boats left anymore. Of the whole fleet, I would say less than five per cent is wood now,” he said.

This week the Richmond Heritage Commission issued a call for nominees for the 2012 edition of the Richmond Heritage Awards.

Presented annually, the awards recognize people and organizations who have helped preserve and promote Richmond’s heritage.

All heritage-related accomplishments are eligible: restoring, maintaining or re-using a heritage building or architectural features; preserving or maintaining a heritage landscape; promoting local heritage; furthering the knowledge of Richmond’s heritage or interpreting the past; and advocating for heritage issues or promoting awareness.

Awards will be presented at the Richmond Delta Regional Heritage Fair’s closing awards ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. at Richmond Cultural Centre.

Others who received heritage awards last year were the Richmond Museum Society, Friends of Richmond Archives, Hai Doan and Steve Bridger, Sea Island Heritage Society, Steveston High School Alumni Association and Richmond Retired Teachers’ Association Heritage Committee.

Richmond Heritage Awards

•Nominations can be made by sending the Richmond Heritage Commission a one-page summary describing the nominee and their contribution. Nominators must include their own contact information and that of the nominee.

•Send nominations to or by mail: Dave Johnson, Richmond City Hall, 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC, V6Y 2C1.

•Deadline for nominations is Thursday, March 22.

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