Melvin Kelsey SACHT


Melvin Kelsey

A commercial fisherman and third generation British Coumbian has died.

Remembered as a generous and gentle man who loved reading especially books on history, logging or fishing, he was a wealth of information who could tell you the story of every rock and stream on Vancouver Island’s coast and all its villages and people.

Sacht died Friday Dec. 15th in the early morning at Nanaimo Regional Hospital from Congestive Heart Failure.

In his life he was happiest at the helm of his many boats or making a set with the Islet Point.

“His great passion was fishing. Even in the end when he was too ill to go out, he would always know when and where the next opening was, “said his wife Marina Sacht.

“His life was fishing.”

Mel battled heart disease for years and was hospitalized a week before he passed away.

He died with his wife Marina and their son Malcolm, his daughter Gwen and her husband Bill Prior, and daughter Leanne and her husband Rick Brown by his side.

Mel was born in Campbell River in 1931 and was the only child of Fred Sacht and Evelyn May Kelsey. He worked with his parents logging along the coast of the Island. By the time he was 12 he had a row boat and had discovered his great passion: fishing.

In his life he would captain many vessels including the Sun Dial, Kenneth-Gail, the Del Marie, The Purse Seiner, and the Islet Point. Later in his career he owned the Richmond Star, Simoon, Vargas Warrior and his current boat the Silver Seeker. He enjoyed his time gillnetting, trolling and seining for Ocean Fisheries. He also took part in the herring fishery up north for many years.

“He loved the outdoors, and would go clam digging, pick mushrooms, and was forever picking up shells and rocks off the beach and telling you their story”, said daughter Gwen. Mel’s children were a part of his career, crewing the boats alongside their dad.

He was proud of his children. Even in ill health he managed to watch son Malcolm play sports and caught this year’s rugby game.

Mel is survived by wife Marina Sacht and their child Malcolm Sacht and his children from his first marriage with Yvonne Campbell, Lee Sacht, Gwen Prior, Ken Sacht, and Leanne Brown. He has seven grandchildren: Jodi(predeceased) Kelsey and Damien Sacht, Tory, Dayton and Kandace Prior, and Laurie Crawford.

“He was like a rock,” said son Malcolm.

His spirit of strength, generosity and common sense will be remembered by those who knew him.

A simple gravesite service will be held Ladysmith Cemetery with family and friends. The family welcomes any memories or comments: PO Box 59, Ladysmith, BC., V9G 1A1, email:

Like a Rock

My hands were steady

My eyes were clear and bright

My walk had purpose

My steps were quick and light

And I held firmly

To what I felt was right

Like a rock

I was strong as I could be

nothin’ ever got to me

I was something to see

Like a rock

I stood proud, I stood tall

High above it all

I still believed in my dreams

(Like a Rock – Bob Seger)

Arrangements by Telford’s



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