Friend, colleague, mentor, business partner, Fred Alyea passed away suddenly on June 12, 2013.
Fred was a long-time member and supporter of IWI and the World Canals Conference. He recognized the importance of IWI and the Conference, giving those who work, play and volunteer on inland waterways the chance to meet regularly to share experiences and renew their energies.
He especially looked forward to a boat trip in an area previously unexplored with friends after the conference.
Fred was a founding partner of The Canals Group along with Dave Ballinger, Dave MacDougall and Tom Grasso. He was a key player in bringing this group together in 2007 to continue the work they had been involved in for some 30 years as employees and volunteers. Up until his retirement in 2004, Fred spent his entire work career at the Trent-Severn Waterway operated by Parks Canada, since 1982 as the Director of Canal Operations.
As a long-time manager Fred was both a company man and an employee’s manager. In carrying out his duties, Fred never forgot his days as a green student on the canal construction crew and as a lock operator. He understood the long hours the lock staff worked and its effect on family life. Employees trusted him, sought his counsel and knew they would get good advice, even though they might not necessarily like the answer. He is remembered by many for his leadership role in establishing the Employee Assistance Program both nationally and at the Trent-Severn Waterway. Although sometimes tempering his comments with a twinkle in his eye and assuring you he didn’t know the name of the particular bird or turtle, Fred was truly concerned about the environmental impacts of shoreline development and how those that used inland waterways respected the natural and historic elements of these water routes. Fred, a long-time boater, was able to empathize with boater needs and desires on Canada’s historic waterways and these users felt they got a fair hearing from Fred. It was a bit of a standing joke amongst his friends when Fred was asked if he liked canoeing, his response was God would not have discovered motor boats if he wanted people in canoes. He probably had the most extensive knowledge and experience related to Canada’s historic canals of anyone and was often called upon to participate in studies or panels related to canals and give his succinct and experienced opinions and advice.
Fred delighted in telling stories about his years at the Trent-Severn. He will be remembered by the many people he connected with locally, nationally and internationally.
Following the successful World Canals Conference in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China, on September 25-27, the organisers plan to publish a collection of photos to show Yangzhou in the eyes of foreign delegates and friends. It is hoped this will bring a new perspective on the historic Grand Canal through the city, the new canal and all their connections, as well as the related sites, heritage and cultural activities experienced during the three-day event. All participants are therefore cordially invited to send photos of the city and the Grand Canal taken during their stay in Yangzhou. Contact the compiler via the conference web site
A highlight of the event was the electronic signing of the Grand Canal Cities’ Agreement on the Joint Protection of the Heritage of Grand Canal.
Grand Canal Cities sign the charter for submission of the draft nomination document for UNESCO World Heritage listing, on 25 September 2012
More than 200 waterway experts, managers and advocates attended the World Canals Conference at Groningen (Netherlands).
The full programme of conference sessions with speakers from many countries throughout the world, and the daily site visits, will be reviewed here and in our next newsletter. The first site visit on Monday September 19 took delegates to the completed section of the Erica-Ter Apel link between Groningen and Drenthe provinces, and the sites of the two locks on the summit level section to be completed by 2013. This view shows works on the deep lock with water-saving basin at the Emmen end of the summit level. Click here to read the Groningen Declaration in favour of inland waterways as living heritage.
The recently restored Kieldiep, part of the small canal route from Groningen to the Ems in Germany, on one of the many site visits made during the WCC in Groningen
Corporate member the Foreign Affairs Bureau of Yangzhou invites international and national delegates to the first edition of the annual World Canals Conference to be held in Asia, on September 25-27.
See on our WCC page a brief introduction to some highlights during the 3-day event. IWI’s AGM will be held on Tuesday morning September 25th at 9:00.
Congratulations to IWI Council member Di Murrell on winning the prestigious Sophie Coe Memorial Prize for Food History, at the Oxford Symposium for Food and Cookery, on July 7. Her essay entitled ‘Food on the Move’ describes some of the ways in which the working boatmen who used to carry freight on the waterways of England fed themselves and their families. See the essay on her website.
Roger Squires, a founder member of IWI, was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours, to recognise his life-time commitment to promoting the UK’s historic canals and rivers, particularly the waterways of the London area.
In the heart of the London Olympics site, Three Mills Lock. Roger Squires has been monitoring the use of the Lea Navigation for waterborne freight since the start of construction work.
We are reproducing here the text of the letter from presidential candidate François Hollande to Jacques Romain, President, Entente des Canaux du Centre France (see article posted on our blog). The same letter was sent to Michel Dourlent, president of the Chambre Nationale de la Batellerie Artisanale.
Despite the weather, the Thames Pageant on June 3rd with 1000 boats, celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, was a huge success.
For the inland waterways movement, this brought unprecedented recognition, narrow boats and barges making up the seventh of the 10 sections of the regatta.
The narrow boats and barges approach Rotherhithe (photo by Roger Squires)
A protest rally of boats was organised at Tupigny and Originy-Saint-Benoite, on the Canal de la Sambre à l’Oise, on April 22-24, to stimulate interest in reopening of this valuable link in the European waterway network. The canal has been closed since 2006 when the 50m long Vadencourt aqueduct presented a risk of failure (photo by Michael Clarke). Repairs were to be carried out in 2012, but one of the local authorities committed to the project has recently withdrawn its funding.