One woman has been a constant through the entire history of bathtub racing, and for that, she’s being honoured.
Margaret Johnson, longtime volunteer and a former vice-commodore of the Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, is being recognized this year on souvenir coins and at the Sailpast on Wheels parade as part of the Nanaimo Marine Festival this coming weekend, July 19-21.
“This year, we salute a woman affectionately referred to by our tubbers as ‘Mom,’ the matriarch of our society, Margaret Johnson,” noted the Bathtub Weekend program, distributed inside today’s issue of the News Bulletin. “Margaret and her entire family have worked tirelessly since the first race in 1967 to ensure the safety, camaraderie and execution of Marine Festival and Bathtub Weekend.”
Margaret’s husband George took part in the inaugural race to Vancouver, and they have taken part in racing and volunteering ever since. Margaret’s son Paul raced alongside George for many years, and daughter Wendy is still an active member of the bathtub society executive.
Johnson is parade marshal this year and will lead the Sailpast on Wheels on Saturday, July 20, from Victoria Crescent along Commercial Street and Front Street to Maffeo Sutton Park, starting at 10:30 a.m.
“Margaret loves flowers, especially tulips. If you can, please pick a flower from your own garden to display proudly as she passes by,” the program noted. “All bouquets, flowers, etc. can then be placed at the finish line near the statue of Frank Ney where Margaret and her family will oversee the great race on Sunday morning.”
This year the souvenir coins come in copper-plated, enameled copper-plated and enameled nickel-plated and sell for $10 each. The limited edition collector’s set has three coins in a jewel box and consists of a copper-plated coin, one nickel-plated coin and one gold-coloured coin and sells for $40.
To purchase coins, call 250-753-7223, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a cheque and $10 shipping and handling to: Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, PO Box 1001 – Nanaimo A, Nanaimo, B.C., V9R 5Z2. Coins will also be available on site during Bathtub Weekend and at Alpha Gold and Silver located at 32-1708 Bowen Rd.