Text Size

Buford Haines was described as a teacher, mentor and friend to everyone who knew him. His career as a fisherman and boat builder gave him great joy and satisfaction. Buford was instrumental in the reconstruction of the BCP45. 

Haines was born in Spallumcheen (near Armstrong, BC) on May 22, 1924. He lived in both Bella Coola and Naramata before settling in Heriot Bay in 1936. He married Louise Henshall on May 9, 1946 and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary together in 2006.

"I went to school on Quadra," he said in November 2006. "I went to work on the tugs and then I went over to the cannery at Redonda Bay, the reduction plant and cannery. Then in ’44 I thought I’d better go and learn something, so I went down and worked at Bensons Shipyards in Vancouver for a couple of years. Then I came back and went fishing for dogfish for awhile."

"I’ve been fishing and building boats ever since."

At the age of 13, he built his first boat and by age 80, he was working on his final piece de resistance, the BCP45.

The restoration of the BCP45, the seiner that graced the back of the Canadian five dollar bill from 1972 to 1986, was a test of Haines’ skills as a shipwright and foreman. The now gleaming vessel, housed at the Maritime Heritage Centre, has been officially declared a national historic site, but the ship was in pretty sad shape when it first arrived. The restoration was a much bigger job than first thought.

Haines was the eldest of the volunteer group of boatbuilders, in his 80’s through the reconstruction. Earlier in his life, he had even worked with the original architect of the BCP45 series of boats, Gerald Seaton. Haines’ lifetime of experience and dedication as a volunteer is a big reason for the success of the rebuilding project.

"What that man didn’t know, hadn’t been invented," stated Ron Macdonald (another volunteer).

"Pretty well everything, right from the keel up is all new," Haines said during the reconstruction. "All the planks, all the decks, all the beams, 90 percent of the ribs. I would say there’s close to 15,000 board feet in it."

But that wasn’t the worst of it.

"The hardest part was there were no plans for it," Haines said. "We didn’t have anything to go by other than just memory."

Regrettably, Buford passed away March 19, 2007 after a short battle with cancer and shortly after the BCP45 was completed.