The Project

Letter from the Honourable Patron John C. Crosbie

Patron of the Sealers Memorial Campaign

The Honourable John CrosbieI have always believed that the best way to move forward is to truly embrace our past. In recent years, a central thread in our province's historic tapestry has been misunderstood and often misrepresented. Through sheer necessity, those who have made a home on these coasts–going back to the earliest Aboriginal people–have been sealers. It was the Innu and Inuit who showed the first Europeans the value of this resource. In fact, it was oil from the seals off Newfoundland and Labrador that fueled the earliest street lamps of London. Yet there has been little recognition of the contributions of sealers to our society and economy. With Home from The Sea, we are working to change that.

Two years ago, I was approached by the Elliston Heritage Foundation. This group recognized that the 100th anniversary of the 1914 sealing disasters was fast approaching and no memorial existed commemorating those lost in the tragedy. Nor did any memorial exist to the countless Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have lost their lives working in the seal fishery before or since.

I am convinced that the time has come for this memorial. We remain a society that makes its living from the sea. And from industry to labour groups to communities to families, we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in our prayer that everyone who heads out on the water and the ice–whether a sealer, a fisher or an oil rig worker–will come home safe and sound.

It is with great pride that I invite you to join with me and other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians as we commemorate the sacrifices of those who faced hardship and danger to support their families and build our communities. In doing so, they helped lay the foundation for the amazing opportunities we enjoy today.

The Honourable John C. Crosbie, PC, OC, ONL, QC
Patron of the Sealers Memorial Campaign

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