The Vancouver Maritime Museum family was notified this weekend of the passing of Leonard McCann. Leonard was more than an author, curator, and museum professional. He was a teacher and a good friend to all.

He was associated to the Vancouver Maritime Museum for over 40 years as Curator and in the last few years as Curator Emeritus.

Leonard was born in Shanghai. From1941 to 1945 Leonard was interned, along with his family, in a prisoner-of-war camp. He arrived in Victoria, B.C. with his mother after the war. He worked at various jobs in Vancouver and Toronto before venturing into the museum field. He worked for a time at the Royal Canadian Engineers Museum in Chilliwack and ultimately joined the Vancouver Maritime Museum as an assistant curator in 1968.

He is a recipient of a BCMA award for his publication “Ship without a Sail” (1971), served as president of the Vancouver Historical Society 1978-1983 and in 1992 was awarded the Vancouver Historical Society Award of Merit for his historical conservation of maritime history. In 2015 he was a recipient of the SS Beaver Medal for outstanding contributions to British Columbia’s Maritime Heritage.

Leonard presented a serious demeanor, but was well known for his sense of humour and commitment to the museum profession. Over the years he provided assistance to thousands of researchers, multiple publications on BC maritime history and the acquisition of important collections including Captain George Vancouver’s “Arnold 176″ chronometer from his voyage to the West Coast.

He will be missed.

Extract from:

Images: VMM. Leonard McCann Archives.