Lady Sylvia
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Passenger Ferry
A&J Inglis
Launch Date
March 16, 1937
May 8, 1937
Union Steamship Co. of British Columbia Ltd
199 grt
BP Length
99 feet
21 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
11.5 knots
220hp National Gas and Oil Heavy oil engine : Now Caterpllar D353 Diesel 385hp
Official No.
 Lady Sylvia

The  Lady Rose, originally christened  Lady Sylvia at her 1937 launching. She was designed by W.D. McLaren of Vancouver. Although not the last vessel acquired by the Union Steamship Company, she was the last commissioned to be built for them.
The Lady Rose can carry up to 100 passengers and 25 tons of cargo. Designed for the sheltered coastal waters of British Columbia, this stocky little vessel soon proved capable of much more, becoming the first diesel powered vessel to cross the Atlantic driven by a Single propeller. The trans-Atlantic journey that began May 7th 1937 was no small feat. Beleaguered by storms and battered by waves that lifted her propeller clear of the water, the Lady Sylvia was frequently shaken from stem to stern. Skippered by Captain William E. Smales of Leeds, who affectionately became know as “Old make it or bust”, she arrived at her destination nine weeks later having travelled 9,800 miles with only three stops for food and fuel. The final entry in her log tells all, “Sunday, 11th July, 5:30 a.m. Vancouver -- thank God!” Shortly after arrival, she was renamed Lady Rose to avoid a registry duplication and was placed on the West Howe Sound run from Vancouver to Gibsons, Port Mellon and way points. In 1942, the Lady Rose became one of a small fleet of vessels operated by the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps and was assigned to carry army and air force personnel, as well as food and mail, between Port Alberni and Ucluelet. She was reconditioned and returned to the Union Steamship Company and the Howe Sound service in 1946. With the post war period came the need for larger vessels to handle the increase in business and in 1951 the Lady Rose was sold to Harbour Navigation Company Ltd. of Vancouver for local use. In 1954, she was chartered by Coast Ferries Ltd. and operated between the Gulf Islands and Steveston on the Fraser River. Later that decade she was sent to the north end of Vancouver Island and finally, in 1960, returned to Port Alberni under lease to Captains Dick McMinn and John Monrufet and their newly acquired company, Alberni Marine Transportation, Ltd. They purchased the ship in 1969 and operated the freight, passenger and mail service from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet until their retirement in 1979 when the Lady Rose was sold to Diversified Holdings Ltd. of Victoria. In 1982, Captain Brooke, along with two (now former) partners, was ready to take on ownership and operation of the Lady Rose and Alberni Marine Transportation. Last year saw Roland join Brooke as a part owner of the company which they now call Lady Rose Marine Services.
Today, with her small crew, the Lady Rose is continuing maritime history by servicing the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound, carrying cargo, mail and up to 100 passengers on her day trips in the same manner as she did when she began her life on the B.C. Coast over 60 years ago.