Dr./Captain Michael L. Hadley
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Maritime Achievement recognizes and acknowledges individuals and organizations along British Columbia’s coast and inland waterways who have made noteworthy contributions to BC’s maritime interests in the areas of science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, art, and academic endeavours.
Dr. Michael Hadley has had several intersecting and concurrent careers as an author, professor, and naval officer. Starting as a Union Steamship deckhand, he later commanded naval vessels and trained reservists before retiring at the rank of captain. Throughout this he earned a PhD in Germanic Language and Literature from Queen’s University and taught in these disciplines at University of Victoria. Michaels’ language skills allowed him to interview WW2 U-boat crews and write extensively on the subject. His maritime experience led him to author and co-author eight maritime books including a history of the Columbia Coast Mission boats. Michael and his wife, Anita, established the Hadley Memorial Award at the Bamfield Marine Services Centre, where his parents were married in 1926.
Quoted from his forthcoming memoir Boxing the Compass: Charting a Life. (Heritage House Publishing, 2024)
“Through my Newfoundland forebears and my proximity to the ocean, I acquired what Farley Mowat once called ‘a romantic and Conradian predilection for the sea and ships.’ Whether through direct experience or my own literary imagination, the sea and seafaring have provided me with reference points, cues, and motifs. They have given shape and context to my reflections.”