A.C. (Fred) Rogers was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1919 and raised in the Trout Lake area of Grandview. Rogers served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the war and afterwards worked as a welder and pipe fitter. He first became interested in shipwrecks in the 1950s and he taught himself how to dive using a homemade scuba tank. His career underwater began with small jobs – clearing cable or rope caught in the wheels of towboats. Rogers soon began to search for known wrecks with his diving partner, Ed Seaton. Along with Seaton and 2 other divers, Rogers was the first to see the remains of the HBC steamer Beaver off Prospect Point (Stanley Park) in Sept. 1960. Other wrecks located by Rogers include the Valencia, Ohio, Kennecott, Bristol, Del Norte, and Alpha.
Rogers continued wreck diving until 1972 when he and partner Ed Seaton sold their boat and parted ways. During the fifteen years they were dive partners together, they explored much of BC's west coast – from southern Vancouver Island up far north as the Alaskan border. In 1973 Rogers turned his twenty years of shipwreck research into the publication "Shipwrecks of British Columbia" that resulted in a B.C. bestseller that chronicles more than 100 shipwrecks and their discoveries. In 1992 Rogers followed up with the book "More Shipwrecks of British Columbia" and in 2004, Rogers self-published the book "Historical Divers of British Columbia: A History of Hardhat Diving, Salvage and Underwater Construction", a culmination of fifty years of research on the subject.
Now retired and living on Vancouver Island, Fred Rogers is widely acknowledged to be the shipwreck historian of British Columbia.
Records in the fonds consist of research materials and photographs accumulated by Fred Rogers for use during dive trips and writing books about the history of local shipwrecks. The research materials consist of notebooks, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings (original and photocopies) and magazine articles on various vessels. The fonds includes draft versions of articles written by Rogers for submission to magazines and marine-related news columns. The photographs document various types of vessels (mainly tugboats) under steam and working on the water. Rogers has supplied provenance information on the backs of most of the photographs, identifying vessel names, date of photograph and minor facts about the vessel's history.
The records have been divided into three series.
Records have been arranged by subject, as determined by the creator. Photographs donated with the fonds have been labelled as belonging to the "Fred Rogers Collection" and have been filed alphabetically by vessel name into the larger VMM photograph collection. Please see the cross-reference index for a list of all the photographs in the fonds.