BC Ferries offers free rides, cookies on this Vancouver Island route on Saturday

BC Ferries offers free rides, cookies on this Vancouver Island route on Saturday
The Pune’luxutth is pictured on Dec. 1, when its new name was unveiled.

BC Ferries is offering complimentary service and snacks onboard a ferry that travels to and from Vancouver Island this weekend.

On Saturday, Dec. 9, the company will offer free rides on the Chemainus-Thetis-Penelakut route to celebrate the return of the Pune’luxutth vessel.

The vessel was previously named after Kuper Island – which itself was renamed Penelakut Island 13 years ago for its ties to the Penelakut Tribe.

The vessel’s new name, the Pune’luxutth, is the Hul’qumi’num’ word for Penelakut and was the name chosen by the Penelakut Tribe, according to BC Ferries.

READ MORE: BC Ferries changes name of vessel servicing Penelakut Island to honour Indigenous heritage

It’s a departure from the dark history of the formerly named Kuper Island, which was home to the Kuper Island Industrial Residential School, where roughly 147 students died by the time it closed in 1975.

The vessel, which first joined the BC Ferries fleet in 2007, recently completed a five-year stint in dry dock for a refit.

It’s set to return to service on Dec. 9, which is when complimentary service and free cookies will be available.

“This is a very special day for us to witness. This is part of history,” said James Charlie when the ship was unveiled on Friday following its refits.

“I can’t get over how I had to ride in the car deck, couldn’t go upstairs, now they’re naming a vessel after our territory,” he said. It’s beautiful. It’s a beginning.”

SEE ALSO: New banner names those known to have died at the Kuper Island Residential School

With files from CHEK’s Kori Sidaway

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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