The Captain’s Story

Readers & Debaters Toastmasters

Hosts captain of fatal BC Ferry voyage

By Alex Greer, VPPR

On the evening of 16 March (one day shy of St. Patrick`s Day) Readers and Debaters Toastmasters held its first ever book-oriented meeting with a published author as the guest speaker.

On deck was Colin Henthorne, the captain of the Queen of the North, a passenger ship which had gone down eleven years ago. Colin wrote about his ordeal in The Queen of the North Disaster: The Captain`s Story. In his twenty-minute speech, Colin recounted the tragic incident and the troubling aftermath.

There was a question period at which the audience raised issues about marine safety, the training of ship’s crews and about the BC Ferries Corporation bureaucracy.

This meeting did not always follow the usual Toastmaster agenda procedures. Colin`s speech and the question and answer period were not officially timed. Nor was there an evaluation of the speech.

After a break, there was a Table Topics period, at which participants fired questions based on the issues from the book. Most Readers and Debaters members were present. There were four guests, counting the speaker, and two were from the Coastmasters Toastmasters Club, a BC Ferries corporate club.

In summary, the meeting was a fruitful learning experience for all.