It’s a very sad day for me as I am writing this tribute to a very dear friend of mine and a friend and ambassador to all the fishing industry on the Northeast coast of Canada.
When I returned to the fishery in 1976, Gus Etchegary was a well-known name in the fishing industry because of his connection with the largest fish company, Fishery Products.
It was after the moratorium that I got to meet Gus when Cross Country Checkup did a live show in St. John’s, hosted by Rex Murphy. I had the honour of being a guest on that show, that was broadcasted live across Canada. Gus was in attendance, and I got to meet him and his wife and ever since we have been in contact with one another.
We were fighting the most important fight in this province’s history — the fishery — our reason for being here.
Gus was the most knowledgeable person about the fishery that I have ever met and there will never be another one like him.
Since I met Gus many years ago, we have had many conversations about the fishery (that’s all we ever talked about) and the documents he has sent me I couldn’t carry in one load. He inspired me to keep the fight going and gave me a reason to carry on the fight as long as I did, while I have given up the fight, Gus had carried on. I will say to the better end — I could never understand where he got the energy.
Only a couple days ago I sent a letter to David Boyd from Twillingate, another friend of Gus and mine, encouraging him to keep doing what he can because I have given up because of lack of energy and Gus because of age and ill health, little did I know I would be writing this tribute today.
To the family, you have my deepest sympathy, I am sad that he is gone but happy that I got a chance to meet and work with him over the years.
There will never be another person who was so passionate and worked so had to try to get the powers that be to try and build back the once great cod stocks and other species that this province was built on, and without it many of our rural communities will not survive.
I, like Gus, believe it can be done but it has to be done by many people who are willing to take on the task and carry on the battle that he started.
Rest in peace my dear friend.
Green Bay, N.L.