This was tricky. I really wanted to call my play October Ferry to Gabriola, using the same title as Lowry’s novel. But the title of Lowry’s novel made the distinction from the play confusing. I thought of other titles, but in the end decided on October Ferries to Gabriola as the title for the radio play.
There are two ferries in the play. One, the Atrevida, historically, carried Malcolm and Margerie Lowry to Gabriola. They really did come here for a few days!
The other ferry is the current MV Quinsam, which transports a fictional couple who, like the Lowrys, share the dream of finding a home where they can live, love and write. Their lives are mirrors, reflecting troubles, hopes and dreams similar to those of the historic couple.
I would eventually pull the contemporary couple out, and concentrate just on the Lowrys. However, they give me an interesting opportunity to incorporate more information about Malcolm and Margerie, and, to throw in my own opinions, wild as they might be.
All over the world people continue to do research on Malcolm Lowry. The contemporary couple provide an opportunity to add current information and ideas to the story.
There is interesting information about the old ferry, the Atrevida, in Lowry’s novel, October Ferry to Gabriola. On October 6th I joined a group on the Nanaimo side for the unveiling of an historic plaque by the Gabriola Museum at the Nanaimo terminal of the Gabriola ferry. The plaque is a fitting tribute to Malcolm Lowry.
Thanks to BC Ferries, the plaque will remain on the outside of the ferry terminal. Travellers can be transported back in time as they get on the ferry and journey towards Gabriola, following the same route, with roughly the same scenery, as when Malcolm and Margerie Lowry made the trip in 1946.