Letters from our Readers
Schooner Seeks Safe Harbour
Dear Ron; A couple of years ago I wrote to you about the possibility of finding a new home for the Sherman Zwicker. After much soul-searching, I feel the time has come to pass this fine vessel on to a new owner, or a group, in order to preserve her longevity. Both myself and the crew are not getting any younger, and already we have lost some of our members in one way or another.
Much of the history of the vessel pertains to Newfoundland. Although she was owned for many years out of Lunenburg, like so many other schooners on the Grand Banks, the majority of her crew was from the south coast of your island. The boat was a fixture in Newfoundland ports such as Harbour Breton, English Harbour West and Burin.
In about 1958, she was sold to Captain Max Burry from Glovertown and sailed out of that port for 10 years to various locations "on the Labrador." It was just by a stroke of luck that Captain Burry and I met, and I became the new owner in 1969. This vessel has been a huge part of my life for many years and I have mixed emotions about stepping down. So, if you have any ideas of whether it might be feasible to preserve this boat in Newfoundland, where she rightfully belongs, give it some thought and let me know your ideas.
Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA
Nice to hear from you again, George. I enjoyed the tour you gave me of the Sherman Zwicker when she was in St. John's. She is certainly a beauty, and I wish you all the best in finding her a deserving owner. If any readers know of someone who would be interested in purchasing this historic vessel, contact the Grand Banks Schooner Museum at P.O. Box 123, Boothbay, Maine, USA, 04537; tel. 207-633-4727; or visit the organization's Web site at www.schoonermuseum.org.
Attention Harmon Base Workers
Dear Ron; Being a subscriber to Downhome for many years, I realize its potential to get readers to respond to some far-out inquiries. This is a long shot, but here goes.
I was born in 1930 in Labrador, during the summer fishing season of that year. My family's Newfoundland residence was Carbonear, where I grew up and went to school. I left Newfoundland in 1949 for Toronto. I found work with a U.S.-based company and worked for them for 42 years (21 in Canada, and 21 in the U.S.) retiring in 1992. My wife and I now live in Arizona; we have been back to Newfoundland many times over the years.
After graduating from high school, I spent parts of 1948 and 1949 working as a civilian guard at Harmon Air Force base in Stephenville. My job was to patrol the construction sites after the workmen left to make sure there was no pilfering of materials. (We were given a whistle and a flashlight for protection; I never once used either.) Over the years I have wondered about my old workmates. I was a kid of 18 when I started there, and most of these men were a lot older; I would doubt that any of them are still with us.
Possibly some of their relatives might read this and could identify the names of family members who were civilian guards at the base in time period I am referring to. Here are some names I remember: Bill Malloy, Mick McCann, Jim Morrisay (possibly Morrison), Eric Gosse, Fred Hutchison and Vince Poole. Vince was closest to my age and, as I remember, was taking a correspondence course in some subject. I have no idea what towns these men were from, but I'd love to hear what happened to them after 1949.
Sun City West, Arizona, USA
If any readers can help Clarence, they may write to him at 19901 N 129th Dr., Sun City West, AZ, USA, 85375; or telephone 623-546-2993.
Kelsey's Farm Memories
Hi Ron; Here is an old photo of my two granddaughters, Courtney and Julia Sears, and myself, Frances Andrews. As little girls they were introduced to their very first farm (including pigs, cows, hens and horses) on this same spot where they're standing, which is now the new Canadian Tire store on Kelsey Drive is St. John's. It was once known as "Kelsey's Farm," owned by my brother-in-law and his family. Those girls also picked their very first blueberries, strawberries and raspberries on this land. I, too, have very fond memories of winter sleigh rides all around that area, which is now built up with commercial businesses like Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers. All three of us have wonderful memories of this place in the past; what it has become is a good sign of progress.
Keep up the good work with Downhome; it's a great book full of interesting stories and information. Congratulations on such an amazing publication.
St. John's, Newfoundland
Above is the photo showing Courtney and Julia Sears with their Nannie Andrews, and Queenie the Horse.
To read the rest of the Letters from our Readers, see the March issue of Downhome.