Passed On: Capt. Raymond Berkshire – Arnold’s Cove, N.L. Mariner
Berkshire, 79, formerly of Spencer’s Cove, passed peacefully away at G.B. Cross Memorial Hospital on Friday, October 28, 2016. Widely known and respected, not only in the local area of Placentia Bay, but also provincially and in the Atlantic region. He will be remembered for his warm smile, kind heart and dedication to his family and to those he so dutifully served in his work. More than 40 years ago, Captain Ray Berkshire made a simple decision that saved many lives, related to the tragic loss of the vessel Delroy in the summer of 1972. The Delroy caught fire near Arnold’s Cove in July 1972, sending 15 souls into the water. Berkshire, skipper of the Bertha Joyce, knew the Delroy was supposed to be behind him, and remembered seeing a light that looked peculiar way off in the distance; he says he immediately felt something was wrong. When he couldn’t reach the Delroy on the radio he turned around and went back.
In the end, his actions and the resulting search he conducted saved six lives.
Passed On: Russell Theriault – Meteghan River, N.S. Shipbuilder
Theriault, 71, a member of the A.F. Theriault & Son Shipbuilding firm passed away Oct. 5 after a courageous battle with cancer. Russell began working with his father Gus at the shipbuilding firm as a teenager and remained with the family company for the next 47 years. While the company began building wooden boats, it eventually evolved into other building material like steel, fibreglass, aluminum and developed exotic epoxy components which ended up in crafts for the military. But wood was Russell’s passion and remained so till the end.
Passed On: Joseph Purdy – Milton, N.S. Fisherman
Purdy, 99, passed away peacefully at home on October 25, 2016. He was born in Liverpool, N.S. on February 15th, 1917, a son of the late Thomas and Viola (Wambolt) Purdy. Joe was a captain of a tuna fishing vessel and took tourists tuna fishing before joining the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II. During the war, Joe served as a gunner onboard the HMCS Oakville which did escort duty between North America and Europe and saw action during the Battle of the Atlantic. After the war, he worked at Rossignol Steel & Engine Co. in Liverpool before joining the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, where he was a machinist on various survey ships, surveying the Canadian coasts and the N.W.T. Near the end of his career, he transferred to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and worked on fisheries boats in Nova Scotia until he retired in December of 1980.
Passed On: Joseph Cormier – Point Cross, N.S. Fisherman
Cormier, 79, passed away on October 13, 2016, surrounded by his loving family, at the Sacred Heart Community Health Centre. Born in St.-Joseph-du-Moine, he was the only son born to Johnny (à Joe à Marcellin) Cormier and Theresa LeBlanc. After the death of Armand’s father when he was just two years old, his mother later married Johnny (à Médée à Padé) Aucoin, a loving and doting father. All knew Armand as a very hard worker, a lumberjack, and then a fisherman for almost 40 years. Although he was retired, he was passionate about the fishing industry and enjoyed the many visits of fisherman friends. Many who came to visit him wanted to impart of his wisdom. He continued to mentor and help the younger generations of fishers by helping them with their nets and prepping for upcoming lobster seasons. He still very much enjoyed going out for a sail from time to time.
Passed On: Steven Thompson – Chance Harbour, N.B. Fisherman
Thompson, 61, passed away on October 24, 2016 at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Steven was born in Saint John on November 14, 1954 to the late Hazen and Muriel (Buckle) Thompson and was the devoted husband to Sharon Allen.
Steven was born and raised as a fisherman. His father was a lobster fisherman and after taking his first steps on a lobster fishing boat, Steven was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. He spent all of his life on the water. Growing up in Chance Harbour allowed him the opportunity to follow his heart and he volunteered for the Musquash Fire Department, and spent free time skiing, skating and playing ball. Steven was the coordinator for Fundy Fisherman’s Day for many years. He volunteered for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as the Harbour Authority of Chance Harbour and Dipper Harbour. When he wasn’t fishing or on the water in some capacity, Steven spent all of his time with his family. Both of Steven’s boats were named after his daughters.