| The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Board of Directors

Jim Dempsey, Chair | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Jim Dempsey, Chair

Jim Dempsey has lived in Newfoundland for more than half of his lifetime. Growing up on Vancouver Island, he was fortunate to spend his summers on the water in small boats. At times, he had two clinker-built skiffs which he used for short adventures or camping trips in the Gulf Islands. Today Jim lives by the sea in Flatrock with his wife, Catherine and has a Henry Vokey rodney and a Norwegian-styled light weight skiff.

Jim was educated in the marine sciences. Since leaving school, he has worked as a contract consultant for marine-based industries. In British Columbia, he was the skipper of a 40 ft. work boat and travelled between the Columbia River to Alaska for work. In 1981, offshore oil brought him to St. John’s and where he spent years of his life on supply vessels measuring ocean currents and waves with the occasional iceberg on the side. In those years when the offshore was quiet, there always seemed to be something to do in Labrador. In his time in Newfoundland, he has sailed the east coast of Canada from Sable Island to Baffin Bay.

Today, he has turned his mixed environmental and marine operations experiences into a role as an emergency and oil spill response advisor. Jim learned his carpentry skills at his father’s side. There were even a few plywood boats in those days. At one point, Jim attempted to get a shipwright’s apprenticeship at the navy yard in Esquimalt. After two years of trying, he was told that they shop were leery of university boys and he gave it up. Jim promised himself that, at some point, life would include building small wooden boats. The museum has proved to be a friendly way to get into boat building where he coordinates the workshop program.

Paul Chafe, Vice Chair | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Paul Chafe, Vice Chair

Paul Chafe is an award-winning architect with eight years of international industry experience. Born and raised in St. John’s, Paul is passionate about Newfoundland & Labrador heritage, specifically vernacular architecture. He was the designer of the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation – recipient of the Southcott Award for New Building Design, presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Historic Trust. Paul also acted as Project Architect for the John C. Crosbie Sealers’ Interpretation Centre in Elliston.

Paul strives to design innovative, contemporary buildings that complement the character of the historical built environment. Paul has developed expertise in leading community design projects, as well as investigating and developing inventories of heritage buildings, structures, and landscape features.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys canoeing, woodworking, and hiking with his family.

Wallace Pinhorn, Treasurer | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Wallace Pinhorn, Treasurer

Wallace is a Professional Engineer and is a Life Member of the Professional Association (PEGNL). He is a retired Newfoundland Power Executive. Wallace has been a Member of the Winterton Heritage Advisory Board since 2003 and is an Incorporating Director of the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador. He makes his home in Winterton and St. John’s.

Lionel Clarke | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Lionel Clarke

Lionel Clarke now lives in St. John’s, but had the great good fortune to grow up with wooden boats. Long before the cod moratorium, Lionel, his brother and their friends were allowed to run around loose in Springdale, Twillingate and Carbonear, on the hills, the beaches and the wharves, and out in boat. In those days there were passenger boats and trap skiffs in every harbour, punts at every wharf and stage, and schooners were still a familiar sight. Lionel learned to row before he learned to swim.

After high school in St. John’s Lionel went to Memorial University for a few years, Dalhousie for a few more, and University of Toronto for a few after that, managing to parlay a political science degree into post-grad work in Beijing, China for a couple of adventurous years. Returning to Canada, he went to work in a tire factory for several years, before earning a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.

Practicing labour law, as a staff lawyer for a national public sector trade union, brought Lionel back home to Newfoundland in 1991. He retired from that position in 2007, but retirement didn’t take. He is now working as a public servant in the information and privacy field. Lionel currently lives in St. John’s, spends a lot of his free time playing music with friends, and with his wife Debra, travels to Scotland and other places in Europe as frequently as decently possible. He often wishes he owned a boat.

Mitchell Cooper | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Mitchell Cooper

Mitchell Cooper is a Naval Architecture graduate from the Marine Institute, who first worked with the Museum during a work term in 2012. Raised in Lewisporte, he has a long line of seafarers in his family history, making his career path both obvious and inevitable. Since graduating, Mitchell has worked in Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Halifax before returning to Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, he works with Genoa Design International in St. John’s and has been proudly part of both design and production for several of the Canadian Coast Guard and Navy’s new vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Mitchell’s broad exposure to different and unique cultures and communities throughout Canada has deepened his admiration for his own roots and the history, traditions and folklore that make up Newfoundland and Labrador.

Barry Darby | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Barry Darby

Barry grew up in Burin and fished for seven seasons while obtaining a B.Sc and BA(Ed). A retired Educator, Barry spent most of his career at the College of North Atlantic teaching math and Physics. In the 1990’s he became the Fisheries Adjustment Coordinator for the St. John’s Campus. Volunteer activities include several decades in the union movement in a variety of capacities, nine years as a director on the Capital Coast Development Alliance (zone board for economic development for the NE Avalon) and twelve years as director of the Public Service Credit Union. Barry lives in St. John’s.

Everett Fancey | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Everett Fancey

Everett is a Professional Engineer and retired college administrator. He was born in Bishop’s Falls and spent his early years playing on the banks of the Exploits River. For the river, where he spent his summer days, he had access to family built wooden boats which included a punt, a Gander River boat, and various plywood flats. The Gander River boat was used for excursions out in Notre Dame Bay. To this day, Everett maintains a strong connection to boats and the sea.

After high school, Everett studied engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland and at the Technical University of Nova Scotia, which lead to a career in heavy industry, education and consulting. During an industrial sabbatical from education in the late 70’s, Everett studied automation of the long line cod fishing industry, which lead to worldwide patents for baiting long lining gear.

Everett maintains his connection to industry through an association with a local environmental management firm, and his connection to the ocean with a small, but unfortunately not, wooden boat.

Frank French | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Frank French

Frank’s educational pursuits started with obtaining BA and BA (ed.) degrees, and continued to his retirement as a teacher. For the last 20 years he has been involved in private sector management, retiring in 2018. Frank has given many years to his community as a volunteer; having served on the Town Council, Fire Department, Local Heritage Board and Wooden Boat Museum Board. He was an incorporating Director of the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador, Chair of the Provincial Founding Steering committee for the Museum and served four years as Board Chairperson. Frank’s father and grandfather were both traditional wooden boat builders. He makes his home in Winterton.

Lee Hedd | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Lee Hedd

Lee Hedd is a Naval Architect and business leader with over twenty-five years of experience in managing marine design and Research & Development projects across the globe. Raised just a stone’s throw from the steps of the Wooden Boat Museum in Winterton, Lee grew up surrounded by wooden boats and influenced by the local inshore fishing industry.

His professional experience has ranged from the development of designs and concepts for large high-speed catamaran ferries and novel marine vehicles to the management of hydrodynamic studies for a wide-range of vessels and offshore structures, including winning America’s Cup yachts. Lee has an international reputation for his expertise in design-contraction and has published and presented papers at numerous industry conferences including Mari-Tech, Arctic Technology Conference, Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE), SNAME Maritime Convention, Tugs and Barges, International Conference on Fast Sea Transportation (FAST), Symposium on High Speed Marine Vehicles (HSMV).

Outside of his role as Director of Business Development for Oceanic Consulting Corporation, Lee maintains a keen interest in the development of numerical simulation techniques and their expanding application to Naval Architecture. He is a Naval Architecture graduate of the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and is an active member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), where he has held several executive positions at the Section Level.

Lee enjoys being on the ocean as much as possible and can usually be found on Winterton’s traditional fishing grounds during the annual recreational cod fishery.

Beverley King | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Beverley King

Beverley began her career working with Abitibi Price in Buchans as a Clerk Accountant with the Mineral Exploration Department. She continued working in the Mining/Exploration field as an Exploration Assistant with various mining companies including BP Canada, Royal Oak Mines and Voisey’s Bay Nickel. Beverley joined the Wooden Boat Museum of NL in 2008 as the Administrative Assistant and became the Project Manager in 2009. She is experienced in Project Management, Human Resources, Office Administration and Occupational Health and Safety. In 2020, Beverley retired from her position as Project Manager with the Museum to pursue her lifelong goal of opening a bakery, Just Like Sisters Bakery & Sweet Shop, in the community of Heart’s Content.

Ray Piercey | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Ray Piercey

Ray Piercey is a Certified Information Systems Professional (ISP) with 30+ years of experience in the area of Information Technology (IT) management. He has extensive experience in the areas of Strategic Planning, Project Management, Contract Management, Policy Development, IT Budgeting, Business/Systems Analysis, Design, Implementation and Programming. Over the years, Ray has been Project Leader for several large-scale IT Projects giving him extensive experience in the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Ray fished 3 cod traps from wooden boats at Hant’s Harbour from June to September 1968 after finishing Grade 11 and before starting Memorial University (MUN).

Ray holds B.Sc. (Mathematics) and B.Ed. (High School) degrees from MUN and an Information Systems Professional (ISP) certification with the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS). Ray and his wife Sandra reside in Paradise and have two grown children, residing in St. John’s, along with one Grandson. Ray and Sandra also maintain the Piercey homestead in Hant’s Harbour which they use as a summer cottage.

Max Ruelokke | The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador

Max Ruelokke

Max is a native Newfoundlander, born and raised in Grand Bank. He is a professional engineer who graduated from Nova Scotia Technical College in 1968. He has significant experience in engineering design and construction, government and regulatory service, offshore support services and offshore fabrication/shipbuilding. His senior appointments have included President and CEO of Marystown Shipyard Limited, Deputy Minister of the Department of Industry, Trade and Technology and Chairman and CEO of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board. Max was named as a Fellow by Engineers Canada in 2009, and received PEGNL’s Award of Merit in 2014. He is currently an independent consultant, offering services to the offshore oil and gas industry.