Story is everywhere

Connection to place

Not so long ago…finding ways to tell story…a journey across Saanich Inlet.
(P. Ferguson image, February 2020)

Yesterday

It seems an hour plus more of feeling through articles of history, sensing the writers’ directions, passions and dedications has come to a close for this time. I wander to the deck and stand before the behemoth twins. As the starboard bow opens…its wheel provides the sharp but not unpleasant tones of the skakuhachi. Seconds pass before the port bow begins its motion, the wheel’s sound of a leisurely creature rolling upon a dock as the aged wood structure absorbs the new balance.

These are familiar sounds to this single audience. These sound observations are soon dashed from behind as Peterbilt or Kenworth disturbs my study…we have docked as the fading ocarinas of Totoros float gently within the rain, below the sounds and weather lost to much of history.

Not so long ago

…a week plus some days there was another journey northwards along a familiar road to a familiar place. Coffee and morning munching…with family and friend. There was a plan this day but instead we venture from our familiar towards another dock…another watery tide from bay to bay aboard the M.V. Klitsa (Kleet-sah). It is while aboard the open deck vessel that my girl Rosemary begins voicing her own history, searching for landscapes once traveled, landmarks once familiar and of sails filled with the gentle wind of the day with family and friend. One wonders what sounds, what day was given to her that these memories have long lastingly endured?

Sailing across Saanich Inlet  aboard M.V. Klitsa. (P. Ferguson image, February 2020)

Sailing across Saanich Inlet aboard M.V. Klitsa.
(P. Ferguson image, February 2020)

As I step across the deck, with my slight explorations, I find vantage points for the active shutter. Across the deck, the bow, towards the sun, colour and contrast…images for the day. As I step across the sill into the passenger’s lounge…the background wall is home to story…

The Start of an Era

The SS Cascade, built in 1906 as a 95-foot tramp steamer, was initially employed as a coastal freighter.  In 1919 the Cascade was sold to five Royal Navy officers from H.M.S. Avoca who formed the Cascade Freighting and Towing Company and used Cascade to transport coal, between Union Bay, Nanaimo and Seattle and at other times to haul dynamite to James Island for Canadian Industries Limited (C.I.L.). In 1924 Cascade’s life changed when, at Yarrows Shipyards, Victoria it underwent a refit being converted from freighter to ferry. Its inaugural voyage taking place 6 October 1924.

Story is everywhere

I return to the deck to see Rosemary still at the port bow, her mind filled with her own times of not so long ago. There is story everywhere of self and place beneath today’s gentle sun. As the vessel courses across Saanich Inlet I know I will remember this day by finding the right words and connections – together with the vessel’s wake and flags, Rosemary’s voice, “their” voice amidst the sounds and weather of history.

Connection to place

Not so long ago…finding ways to tell story…a journey across Saanich Inlet.
(P. Ferguson image, February 2020)


About The Author

pferguson
Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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