S.S. Sicamous Society starting work restoring historic lifeboats

Lifeboats living again

Casey Richardson

Return delivery of the over hundred-year-old lifeboats that belonged with Penticton’s S.S Sicamous has prompted the society to put a call out for more members.

The S.S. Sicamous Marine Heritage Society brought back two of the original lifeboats for restoration and display, after being put for safekeeping at the city yards.

They also got the original lifeboat for the Tug 6 and a small tugboat from the 1960s people used to rent to go fishing.

Home Hardware has generously donated the Boom Truck and driver to transport these back to the Sicamous.

Mathieu Verboeket, the society’s president, said they could use more volunteers to help to restore them to their former glory.

“Just to complete the package, they're part of the Sicamous. People can see what and how people actually lived over 100 years ago,” he said.

“A basic goal is to make this a living museum because that would be best for everyone and make it a destination for people to come to.”

The goal is to be able to create a space where people can come see how the repair work is being done. The hope is that it will also draw in younger generations' interest in local history.

After repairs and restoration, the boats will be on display at the Marine Park beside the S.S. Sicamous, S.S. Naramata, and CN Tug #6.

“We're looking for volunteers that are not afraid to get their hands dirty. And skill-wise, you don't have to be a carpenter or whatnot,” Verboeket said, adding that everyone is welcome.

“If somebody has time to serve to spare, we would like to have some help and make sure that everything is clean and ready to go.”

Verboeket still loves his work as society president after 12 years, finding it a great of giving back to the community.

“I do love it,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can come to the Sicamous on any weekday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or call the Sicamous at 250-492-0403.

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