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Society of United Fishermen’s Hall on Barr’d Island back to life

Pictured are (from left) Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms, Town of Fogo Island Councillor Edmund Walbourne, former Society of United Fishermen’s Hall Eliol Lewis, resident architect Kingman Brewster, Ingrid and Ansel Brewster and Shorefast Foundation founder and CEO Zita Cobb.
Pictured are (from left) Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms, Town of Fogo Island Councillor Edmund Walbourne, former Society of United Fishermen’s Hall Eliol Lewis, resident architect Kingman Brewster, Ingrid and Ansel Brewster and Shorefast Foundation founder and CEO Zita Cobb.

Accordion music played in the background to the chatter of old and new friends enjoying a cup of tea and talking about the days of old with obvious pride that the Society of United Fishermen’s (SUF) Hall on Barr’d Island had been saved from ruin.

Last fall work began to breath life back into the community building.

The culmination of community support, hard work and dedication came to a close as the official rope cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 10.

Community hosting coordinator, Fogo Island Inn Sandra Cull said, “We are excited to have had a tremendous turnout from the community, especially with unfavorable weather conditions.”

She noted that many people who attended the event had a personal attachment to the building and the society itself.

“Tears fell from fond memories of the past when Alan Coffin tolled the bell from the former Anglican church across the road in announcing to the community that the event was about to begin,” Cull said.

Zita Cobb presented historical facts about the building that included a piece of history from the sealing disaster of April 7, 1917 that delayed the opening of the SUF Hall.

“The sealing gaff later found with engravings from their (sealers) final days of survival has been under the care of Shorefast Foundation since it's purchase of the Anglican Church a few years ago,” Cobb said.

Cobb, along with Peter Decker announced that the gaff will remain in a glass display case at the SUF Hall.

Resident architect Kingman Brewster gave a great description of some of the obstacles that were encountered during the buildings renovations project as well as the personal care and caution practiced by all of the local people in efforts to preserve and use as much of the original wood materials as possible. 

“It takes much longer and is much harder to try and make a place look unchanged than it is to actually change a place,” Brewster said.

Town of Fogo Island councillor Edmund Walbourne and Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms were also on hand for the event.

 

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

Last fall work began to breath life back into the community building.

The culmination of community support, hard work and dedication came to a close as the official rope cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 10.

Community hosting coordinator, Fogo Island Inn Sandra Cull said, “We are excited to have had a tremendous turnout from the community, especially with unfavorable weather conditions.”

She noted that many people who attended the event had a personal attachment to the building and the society itself.

“Tears fell from fond memories of the past when Alan Coffin tolled the bell from the former Anglican church across the road in announcing to the community that the event was about to begin,” Cull said.

Zita Cobb presented historical facts about the building that included a piece of history from the sealing disaster of April 7, 1917 that delayed the opening of the SUF Hall.

“The sealing gaff later found with engravings from their (sealers) final days of survival has been under the care of Shorefast Foundation since it's purchase of the Anglican Church a few years ago,” Cobb said.

Cobb, along with Peter Decker announced that the gaff will remain in a glass display case at the SUF Hall.

Resident architect Kingman Brewster gave a great description of some of the obstacles that were encountered during the buildings renovations project as well as the personal care and caution practiced by all of the local people in efforts to preserve and use as much of the original wood materials as possible. 

“It takes much longer and is much harder to try and make a place look unchanged than it is to actually change a place,” Brewster said.

Town of Fogo Island councillor Edmund Walbourne and Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms were also on hand for the event.

 

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

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