CANSO – The Seamen’s Memorial in Canso is the host site for the Annual Provincial Seamen’s Service held on the second Sunday in August which is Seamen’s Memorial Day in Nova Scotia. The Seamen’s Memorial Day Act was promoted by former Mayor of Canso Ray White and the Canso Lions Club and was proclaimed in 1989.
Last Sunday, August 13 under threatening skies residents from the Canso area and from around Nova Scotia gathered at the Seamen’s Memorial to remember fishermen and fisherwomen who have lost their lives while engaged in the fishery. The large crowd participated in the scripture reading and the songs presented by area churches. The 5th Canso Scout Leader and RCMP member lowered the flag during the moment of silence followed by Pipers Lament by Sandra and Aird MacIsaac.
The Hon. Lloyd Hines Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure brought greetings from the Premier and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and highlighted the importance of the fishery to Nova Scotia and the efforts to promote safety on the sea. MODG councillor Janet Peitzche congratulated the Canso Lions Club who are celebrating their 50th anniversary and reflected on the importance of the fishery in Guysborough County.
St. Mary’s Warden Michael Mosher mentioned several fishing communities in his county, the Search and Rescue unit at Port Bickerton and that the Memorial Service reflected the challenges facing residents from his area engaged in the fishery.
Mayor Ralph Hadley brought greetings from the Town of Mulgrave which has a history associated with the sea.
Following the speeches, the guests laid their wreaths on the Seamen’s Memorial. Juanita Dort GCIFA and King Lion Janet Delorey read the names from the Memorial and the in-memory list. Family and friends placed wreaths or plaques on the Memorial as the names were read. A special Honour Guard stood on the Memorial with representatives from the RCMP, 5th Canso Scouts, Cubs and Beavers and Canso /Hazel Hill Volunteer Fire Department. Members of the Canso Lions Club assisted the public during the Memorial Service.
King Lion Janet DeLorey welcomed everyone to the Annual Provincial Seamen’s Memorial Service. MC Lion Ray White reflected on the personal attachment for families and friends to the Seamen’s Memorial service and the community pride in the significance of the Memorial to the area and the province. MC White thanked the community and Fishery Minister Keith Colwell for their continued support. The public were invited to the Lions Club for refreshments prepared by members of the Canso Lions Club.
On Sunday, August 20 the wreaths will be taken to Whitman’s Wharf (behind Canso Seafoods) to be picked up by boats for the blessing of the fleet. The wreaths will be taken to sea and placed on the water as a tribute. The public is welcome to attend and must bring life jackets for safety. Whitman’s Wharf is closed to the public due to ongoing upgrades and repairs. The boat parade can be viewed along the waterfront walkway.