BCCTS Directors

 

Jackie Miller – President

 

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Originally from North Vancouver, Jackie began work with BC Ferries as a catering attendant in 1973 with postings at both Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen in various classifications and as a first aid attendant. After taking a break to raise her young family, she returned to BC Ferries in 1988, again at Horseshoe Bay, and became active in the Union as a shop steward in the BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union, something which she continued when she moved to Salt Spring Island with her family in 1996 where she worked as a Terminal Attendant as well as shipboard catering crew member at Long Harbour. Jackie quickly rose through the Union ranks to become President of the BCFMWU in 2003, working closely with the Ships’ Officers’ Component of the BCFMWU. Her six years as President were marked by major legislative changes affecting BC Ferries and its workforce which resulted in protracted and difficult negotiations between the parties for new labour agreements that were reflective of the legislative changes and government mandate. She oversaw the relocation of the Union headquarters from Victoria to Nanaimo in 2005, a move that required a major renovation to a Nanaimo landmark and transition agreements with the Union’s office staff.

During her terms as President, the ferry operator suffered a series of marine incidents including a major engine room fire on the MV Queen of Surrey, the grounding of the MV Queen of Oak Bay in Horseshoe Bay and the tragic sinking of the corporation’s flagship, the MV Queen of the North.  Jackie sought interested party status for the Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into that incident and was a major contributor to the Union’s submissions. Jackie worked with BC Ferries’ CEO, Mike Corrigan, to lead the safety initiative, SailSafe, following the sinking, an initiative that is ongoing on the part of the ferry operator.  She led the Union’s Canadian Marine Advisory Council team and worked directly with the International Transport Workers’ Federation with whom she encouraged her Union to affiliate in 2005. As a result of that affiliation she attended International Maritime Organization sessions for Marine Safety and as an affiliate of Interferry she attended IMO as an industry delegate. Throughout her career as a Union activist and President, her focus was always on safety and the health and welfare of the marine workers she represented and the passengers who rely on the ferry system that is their marine highway. As BCCTS President, Jackie remains active advocating for and communicating information on all aspects of safe, reliable, affordable passenger vessel transportation.

The BCFMWU’s ‘Save Our Ferries’ campaign was a mandate carried forward by Jackie from the week she took office in 2003 until she retired in 2008. Mr. Gregg Dow, then BCCTS President, invited her back from her retirement to work with some of the original members of SOF, which she continues to do to this date. Jackie was elected President of the BC Coastal Transportation Society in 2015, taking over from Capt. William Cursiter, who continues to serve as one of the Society’s Directors.

Jackie continues to live in Port city of Nanaimo, with her husband Dean, enjoying the benefits of Island living and the beauty of the scenic west coast of British Columbia.

 

Nelle Maxey – Director

Nelle Maxey was born in United States in 1945 and immigrated to Canada in the early 70′s with her young family. She has been a Canadian citizen for 35 years and is currently retired, living near her two grandsons in the beautiful Slocan Valley in the Kootenay region of BC.

Nelle’s educational background is an eclectic one. She spent 3 years at universities in California and Nevada studying in anthropology and psychology, received a diploma in Automotive Mechanics from Grand Prairie Regional College, Alberta, as well as Diplomas in Graphic Design and Electronic Publishing from Selkirk College, BC. She has also obtained Certificates from the Justice Institute of BC in Anger Management with Youth and Peer Counselling/Active Listening, and rounds out her credentials with 9 credits in art courses from Emily Carr and North Island College.

Nelle has raised three children as a single parent working at a variety of jobs, from valve grinding to camp cooking to bar maid to day care worker. As an artist she has illustrated four of Anne Cameron’s books published by Harbour Publishing BC. Prior to her retirement in 2007 she ran her own business, Maximum Graphics, for 18 years from Vancouver, and subsequently, from Powell River. Nelle specialized in the technical writing of educational training manuals with her two main clients who were non-profit associations. The manuals she produced are still being used for training and certification of independent residential heating contractors in BC and in some other provinces. She also functioned as general manager of two associations offering the training. In that capacity she scheduled courses, took course registrations, maintained certification and membership databases, produced the training manuals, organized member and board meetings, paid the bills, answered the phones, managed the websites and she represented her clients before the BC Utilities Commission, among other duties.

Nelle became involved with Save our Ferries at its inception while living in Powell River. While in Powell River, Nelle also wrote and published brochures for the Powell River Raging Grannies which contained information on the implications of the changes to our ferry services.

For a number of years Nelle has produced cumulative financial charts on a quarterly basis to assist MLA’s, journalists and the public in understanding what is happening financially at the company, BCFS Inc.

In 2005, Nelle authored a report for the Auditor General of BC on the transition of BCFC to BC Ferry Services and the financial and social implications of that change. The report was the brainchild of the ‘Save our Ferries’ group, then under the mantle of the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union. Jackie Miller wrote the section of the report on safety and environmental concerns.

 

Captain Dan Clements, BSc, MNI – Director

Captain Dan Clements grew up in Coquitlam, B.C. In the fullness of time he studied biology and archaeology at nearby Simon Fraser University. After graduation he worked at North Vancouver’s Hooker Chemical plant and for some years at the Forensic Psychiatric Institute in Port Coquitlam. He married in 1978 and subsequently emigrated to Salt Spring Island, where he began building a house with the help of his father.

Soon after his arrival he joined BC Ferries as a deckhand. Having later also worked on the ships as a catering attendant and as an engine room oiler (in which capacity he also sailed briefly on the Queen of the North), he determined to pursue a career as a deck officer. This he undertook primarily on Salt Spring, sailing also out of Swartz Bay and Thetis Island – plus a summer spent on the Bella Coola run. He received a Master’s certificate in 2001 and finished his career with BC Ferries as Captain on the M.V. ‘Howe Sound Queen’ out of Vesuvius Bay. Throughout, he worked for the BCFMWU as a shop steward and safety advocate. He joined the ‘Save Our Ferries’ team shortly after its inception.

After thirty-one years with BC Ferries, Dan is now happily retired with his wife and Labrador retriever (that house is nearly finished), and currently serves as a Director on the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission.

 

Captain Willie Cursiter – Director

Captain Willie Cursiter was born in the Orkney Islands, Scotland where he grew up on an island with a population of 600. His father was the Island Harbour Master. He enjoyed boating and lobster fishing from an early age. After High School Navigation and Seamanship training he went to Leith Nautical College, completing training as Efficient Deckhand. He worked on cargo vessels between Europe and the Far East for 2 years, then working for 4 years on the Orkney Islands Ferries.
In 1977 Capt. Cursiter immigrated to Alberta before moving to Vancouver, BC. He attended college to obtain a Watch-keeping Mates’ Certificate in 1980 and his first assignment was as 2nd Officer with Northern Transportation in the NWT. He then obtained his Master’s Certification in Canada and he later completed a Class 2/1 Certificate at South Shields Nautical College UK. His career as a Navigation Officer and Master has included assignments with BC Ferries, Canadian Coast Guard Lighthouse supply and Buoy tending, Canadian Coast Guard Search and Rescue Vessels, Oil Spill Clean up Tug, Oil Rig Control Room Operator, P&O Scottish Ferries, North-link Ferries, Dundee Harbour Tug Master and Offshore Supply and Anchor Handling Tugs in the North Sea.

He and his wife moved to Scotland in November 1996 so his wife could nurse her mother who had Alzheimer’s and subsequently returned to Salt Spring Island in 2004 and he was again employed by BC Ferries.Capt. Cursiter has worked on over 20 vessels in BC Ferries including 12 as Master and has actively promoted safety as part of his working ethic, trying to encourage BC Ferries Management and the BCFMWU to improve conditions on our vessels. He has used the VISOR process to improve lifesaving evacuation from ferries in BC.

Capt. Cursiter recently retired from BC Ferries. He now lives in the Comox Valley enjoying life with his wife and family, diy, fishing, gardening, his continuing interest researching safety at sea.