Casino Ship on Native land

1987 -’92 Vancouver, working for Bob…. who used to have lot of money to invest. I did several projects for him, and will document them here. This was a proposal for The Squamish Indian Band, to enlarge the pier at Mosquito Creek Marina 

 in North Vancouver,  here you see the strategic location

to accommodate four cruise ships, including one or two permanent Casino Hotel Ships.

The SS “Princess Patricia” was for sale in Victoria B.C. Bob put up $ 50.000 as a deposit, non refundable, on a purchasing price of $ 650.000, I think he lost that deposit too. But for him, it was lots of fun all summer, we brought loads of visitors to the vessel located in Victoria, everybody was impressed over the project, except the government. They were scared of what the natives could do under self-government. I worked with many Native Bands and Communities later, and am still convinced it is Their Good and Queen  given right, to govern their lands as they want to, including Casinos, as the Reserves do in the USA.

The Natives in the USA was conquered, finally at Little Big Horn. Natives in Western Canada was not, they therefore have a stronger degree of self-government. My friend, Chief Stanley Joe was the first to get self-government for his people, The Sechelt Indian Band. The Native way of govern a Band is the ultimate democratic process, with the Council and the Elders.

I got a deposit for my work, I knew him quite well, well enough to get a substantial deposit, some of his projects was just dreams, but I liked this one, and had nothing else to work on at that time.

She was built at the same yard as SS “Prince George” commissioned in ’46. Probably same naval architects, but first commissioned two years later in 1948. Somehow, some details, she was definitely of an older design, I believe designed pre ’39, even not built before ’48, after the war. She was not built to the same war standards as The George, but in some ways, a more classic ship.

The first “Love Boat” and original cruise ship of Princess Cruises – the PRINCESS PATRICIA.  Ready to sail from Los Angeles, seen docked at the foot of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, for her first (Princess) cruise to Mexico.

Here is an excellent article about all the Princess Cruise ships.

She was then owned by a Swedish Company: Stena Lines   This is a serious shipping company, operating major ferry system all over the world, and they were very disappointed in the way they were treated by the local governments, and therefore decided to pack up and leave.

 Stena ran her as a passenger ship between Seattle and Victoria for a year or two, daily departures, but she carried no cars, and they were reliable on other revenues, like shopping and a little gambling, promised by the government. Both required international waters, thus duty-free. Local laws, and eager officials, stopped them from opening the gambling until she was in international waters, not much of that between Victoria and Seattle.  The gave up the project. I knew the Swede that was in charge. They had fixed the vessel up really nice. Classic cruise Ship, brass and polished exotic woods. He loved this vessel too, she was a classic.

 Here she is under the First Narrows in Vancouver, a perfect spot for a picture.

The steam engines could go for ever, or stop forever, the next day, she was perfect for a Hotel Casino Ship, permanently tied permanently to a dock. Canada and The Province of B.C. did not allow casinos, but as Native Indian Bands got self-government, we felt is was a question of time.

The North Vancouver railroad terminal to Whistler, Pemberton and all the way to Prince George, was on Native land. A perfect combination, cruise ship, overnight, scenic railroad trip, all with casino, docking, leaving and returning to Native lands.

Princess Patricia on her first Princess Cruise – docked in San Francisco – heading south to Los Angeles.  These were the original colors during the period Stanley McDonald charted the night boat from CPR.  The two stacks were later changed to the red colors seen in the photos above.

The Princess Patricia became the last remaining passenger ship in the CPR fleet, continuing to sail to Alaska each summer until that era ended on October 12, 1981.  Her legacy lived on with the many ships of Princess Cruise Lines. I se from records that

she was built in 1948, maiden voyage in 1949 and “loss” date of 1989, I do not know what became of her, a true Princess of the seas.

Here is a nice picture of SS Prince George, under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, notice the difference, including the one lager smoke stack instead of two.


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