Friday, August 10, 2007

Provincial Mariners' Memorial

Newfoundlanders have been tied to the sea for over 500 years. It isn’t just because so many made their living on the water, because often you will find Newfoundlanders during scarce leisure time by the sea, or a brook, river or pond with a line in the water. Or with a camper parked by a tranquil pond with a campfire and guitar nearby. The ebb and flow of the tides, of water, is inexorably linked to our people; to every inhaled and exhaled breath of a Newfoundland native. And while pull of the water sustains us in so many ways, it has also resulted in thousands of deaths. It seems that the ocean demands a price for all that is taken from her, and sometimes that price is paid in blood.

There is a price paid by those left behind as well: families left grieving and broken because their dads or other relatives were taken by an obdurate ocean. It is made more difficult when the ocean keeps her dead, for the families have little sense of closure.

A memorial was unveiled this week to pay tribute to all those lost at sea, and to offer some comfort, and recognition of the sacrifice made by those left behind. A life-sized bronze statue of a woman staring over a small pool of water was unveiled in Grand Bank, N.L., as the Provincial Mariners' Memorial I have yet to see this for myself but the image provided by the site reveals a moving structure- imbued with the dignity and grace demonstrated by so many Newfoundland families who have lost loved ones. I have included the image here, but I encourage you all to visit the official site to see how the work was done, and to learn about some of the shipwrecks recorded there.

I would really love to have some pictures. If anyone out there plans a visit, or lives near by please feel free to message me and let me know- I would appreciate it. It is a haunting memorial just in pictures, it must really be something up close.

1 comment:

WhitbyDude01 said...

Very well really have a finger on the pulse of the Newfoundland nation don't you?

I recently saw an episode of "Land and Sea" (available on CBC) on this memorial and it was nothing short of stunning. I found it to be and emotionally moving and a fitting tribute to all those who have been touched by death from the sea. Newfoundlanders I think are more familiar with this than anyone else.