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December 1999 

Owl's Head Memorial Group
by Karl and Pat Richardson

"In these communities we don't need to be reminded of the dangers of earning our living from the sea", said Karl Richardson, chairman of the newly-formed Owl's Head and Area Fishermen/Fisherwomen Memorial Group. "Tragedy has touched our lives far too often. However, if a material object such as a memorial or park can in some way help ease the pain, unite a community, or remind sea-going people of the dangers they face, then the ideas of this group are worthwhile", he said.

The memorial group was formed on October 18th at a meeting in the home of Frank and Connie Stevens, Owl's Head, with 12 people in attendance. The meeting focused on the reasons for such a memorial, its location, what type of memorial would be appropriate, and how the project should evolve. Because the Owl's Head and Little Harbour wharves are home to fishing boats from other Loop communities, it seemed right that Ship Harbour, DeBaie's Cove, Souwest Cove, Clam Bay, Clam Harbour, and Lake Charlotte also be included in the group.

All present at the meeting agreed that the term "fisher", currently in use to describe a person whose occupation is fishing, is inappropriate. The group's name thus became Owl's Head and Area Fishermen/Fisherwomen Memorial Group.

The group established four primary goals:

  • 1. To create a lasting memorial to fishermen/fisherwomen from these communities who were lost at sea.

  • 2. To focus attention on the dangers of earning a living at sea.

  • 3. To develop a sustainable and safe ocean environment where fishermen/fisherwomen, small boat operators, kayakers and visitors can find enjoyment.

  • 4. To develop a spirit of cooperation and unity within our communities.

The results of these goals will be measurable through the involvement of the communities and improved awareness of our environment, increasing our exposure in other parts of Nova Scotia and Canada, and ultimately bringing greater social and financial rewards.

The group also decided that rather than just one fixed monument, the memorial could become a park encompassing a number of locations and ideas. A fixed memorial and a small boat /kayak launch site will be built in Owl's Head, with a hiking trail from Souwest Cove to the site of the former Owl's Head lighthouse. Other projects will be considered and developed as the group grows.

It was agreed that work on the memorial park in Owl's Head will begin at once, with a completion date prior to Dec. 31, 2000. Planning and development of the launch and trail will be carried on in conjunction with park work.

It was also agreed that the Eastern Shore Rowathon be recognized as an event sponsored by the Owl's Head and area group. Elections resulted in a slate of officers including Karl Richardson as chairman, Frank Stevens vice-chairman, and Helen Stevens Laybolt secretary-treasurer.

Since the October meeting, the executive has met with representatives of HRDA and completed an application for funding from the Canada Millennium Partnership Program. They have accepted from Frank and Connie Stevens a donation of land overlooking Owl's Head Harbour, have begun clearing the land, and will begin in December to do the actual planning for the park and memorial.

Anyone interested in participating or joining the group can contact members or call Karl Richardson at 902-845-2491 or email Owl's Head



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Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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