The Dutchman in the Promised Land – Part II
Last month, we introduced you to a hard-working fishing skipper from Souris, Prince Edward Island. Bert Boertien moved to Canada from Holland in 1950, two months before his 18th birthday. After trying his hand at farming on Prince Edward Island for a couple of years, Bert later decided on a life at sea and went fishing. In 1959, he purchased the 65-foot dragger North Bay, the first of a series of vessels that he would own or captain as he carried out a very successful fishing career for over 30 ...
The Dutchman in the Promised Land
“Money is growing on trees here. All you have to do is shake the trees and it falls off!”
Stoffer Boertien might have been a tad enthusiastic in a letter to his younger brother Egbert (Bert) Boertien describing life on Prince Edward Island in 1949, but he wanted to make a strong point.
Back home in his native Holland, young Bert was working as a peat moss harvester when he received his brother’s letter. He was intrigued by Stoffer’s excitement for his new life after emigrating to ...
Building a Better Future – Part II
Last month we told you about a remarkable fisherman from Cheticamp, Nova Scotia. Leonard LeBlanc has worked tirelessly to make the fishing industry as progressive as possible. Leonard has retired from the fishing boat now but his work with various associations continues. Improving safety in the fishing industry has been a large part of Leonard’s raison d'être for a long time. An accident that claimed the life of his young son had a lot to do with that role.
This is Part II of Building a ...
Building a Better Future
Leonard LeBlanc didn’t aspire to be a fisherman when he was growing up in Cheticamp.
Although he comes from a long line of fishermen on Cape Breton Island, Leonard’s dad quit fishing in the early 1940s to join the Canadian Navy in World War II. When he returned from overseas, the elder LeBlanc took a job as a diesel mechanic on a fisheries patrol boat.
Subsequently, Leonard didn’t have a fishing enterprise to inherit from his dad, but even if his father had still been a fisherman ...
Happiness is a Clean Boat
Jana Jeffery has probably been labeled a few things, but no one has ever called her lazy.
Jana has seen and done a whole lot in her time and during most of her adult years, she’s held down a couple of jobs at the same time.
Born in Ottawa 42 years ago, where she lived until age 4, Jana grew up in Elliot Lake, a mining town in Northern Ontario. She was always an active outdoors girl.
“I grew up building forts, riding bikes, fishing and swimming in the lake behind my home and lots of ...
The Model Man – Jeff Clarke
Jeff Clarke likes to build boats — little boats, especially models of commercial fishing vessels.
So far, Jeff has built 32 and he has orders from people for another 32 or more.
Model boat builders are not rare in Newfoundland and Labrador, but what sets Jeff apart from others is that he builds models armed with nothing more than a photo of the vessel, viewed on the small screen of his iPhone. Obviously, his boats are not built to scale, but his ability to produce an almost exact ...
No Friend of Poachers
Larry Rumbolt can’t remember when he started fishing, but clearly remembers when he became a full-fledged crewmember and was paid a share of the season’s catch of cod and salmon.
The year was 1979 and Larry was 10 years old. His skipper was his dad, Charl (Charles) Rumbolt and his other boat mate was his 12-year-old brother Carlton.
The fishing season in Mary’s Harbour, Labrador was perfectly timed for schoolboys like Larry. Cod and salmon migrated to inshore coastal waters in late ...
Queen of the King Air
Teri Childs spends a lot of time looking for things on or in the ocean.
No, she is not a mariner — Teri is above that — hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet above that.
Captain Teri Childs is a pilot with PAL Aerospace in St. John’s and her job is to keep an eye on both foreign and Canadian fishing vessels, transatlantic shipping, icebergs and even monitoring whales and other marine species. When she is not flying, she’s teaching pilots in New York, which is also part of her ...
Kevin Wadman: Time for a Change
Kevin Wadman sits in a camp chair next to his motor home in a Pippy Park campground.
The newly retired fish buyer and processor from Arnold’s Cove, Newfoundland, was enjoying a relaxing, sunny afternoon in August, 2016 along with his wife, Sylvia, and their daughter Rhonda. Surrounded by thick forest, it is hard to believe the campground is just a few minutes walk from Confederation Building in St. John’s. It’s been one of Kevin’s favourite camping areas for almost 30 years, largely ...
King of Hickman’s Harbour
Austin King has been a full-time fisherman for 75 years.
The hard-working, small-boat fisherman is in his 80s now, but his peers need to get up very early in the morning to beat him to the fishing grounds. And, often when many figure it’s too rough to go on the water, you will find Austin steaming out from his homeport of Hickman’s Harbour, Newfoundland at the crack of dawn to check his nets or haul lobster pots or crab traps.
Hugely admired and respected by fishermen in his region ...