Posts made in May 2013

June 9 Ceremony for Lost to Sea

Workers place granite slabs atop the concrete base of the monument's water feature. BELLE HATFIELD PHOTO

Published on May 29, 2013
© The Yarmouth Vanguard
Article/Photo by Belle Hatfield

It has taken eight years and countless more in time and money than anyone anticipated at the project's beginnings, but on Yarmouth's Natal Day, Sunday, June 9, the Lost to the Sea Memorial will be unveiled in a ceremony that marks its completion.

The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at the memorial, located on the northeast corner of Water and Glebe Streets, just below the town hall. The ceremony will feature music, much of it original, some written for this specific event.

The memorial project was conceived and managed by a committee of the Yarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation and has received federal and municipal support. The Town of Yarmouth embraced it as a signature legacy project during its 250 anniversary celebrations in 2011.

The goal was to see a memorial on Yarmouth's waterfront to honour Yarmouth County's connection to the sea and commemorate those from here who have been lost.

The monument design has undergone many changes, some prompted by funding limitations and others by logistical constraints. The project's final budget, excluding in-kind contributions, is estimated to be around $500,000. Canadian Heritage provided $225,000 and the municipalities of Yarmouth and Argyle made contributions towards interpretive panels. The rest of the project has been funded by the corporation, which receives its funding from the Town of Yarmouth.

Research was an important component of this project. Actually finding all of the people whose names properly belong on the monument - it includes those from Yarmouth County who died at sea - involved more than anyone originally imagined. At some point it became apparent that a website was a natural and critical extension to the project. Now a searchable database, with all the nearly 2,500 names that have been collected, is available at It is one of the project's intangible legacies.

The names are engraved by date of death on seven granite slabs, the last of which is only partially full.

In a seafaring community, it is only a matter of time before more will be etched in stone.

In addition to the monument, there will be three display panels, including one at the Cape Forchu light station and in Tusket near the courthouse and archives. They will be unveiled on June 1.

Following is the schedule for the June 9 ceremony:

Lost to the Sea Memorial Unveiling

Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 2 pm.

(Prior to the ceremony, a bagpiper will play in Frost Park.)

Introductions: MC David Warner, Secretary, WDC

Blessing and reading -- Rev. Bill Newell

Hymns by The Yarmouth Shantymen.

-- Eternal Father.

-- Partons, la Mer est Belle

Greetings from West Nova MP Greg Kerr

Original song by Kelly Bellamon

-- Fisher of the Sea

Greetings from Yarmouth mayor Pam Mood

Untitled song by Floyd d'Entremont

Greetings from WDC chair Jim MacLeod

Song about the monument by David Mahoney

-- Lost to the Sea

Monument unveiling

Songs by Phil DeMille performed by the duo, Pendulum

-- Ocean's Harvest

-- The Ocean's Last Word

Lost to the Sea Memorial Panels Installed

Published on May 15, 2013
© The Yarmouth Vanguard
Article/Photo by Tina Comeau

After years of envisioning, planning, researching and prep and site work, the first of seven memorial panels inscribed with the names of people from Yarmouth County who lost their lives at sea was carefully positioned into place on the morning of Wednesday, May 15.

And then came a second memorial panel. The others would follow throughout the day.

By the end of the process the seven memorial stones - which will make up the Lost to the Sea Memorial - will bear the names of around 2,500 people, with room left on the final stone for the addition of another 200 names if, or when, needed. Additional names would include those in the future who are lost or die at sea, or names that may have been missed or not provided during the research stage.

The Lost to the Sea Memorial is located at the corner of Glebe and Water Streets. It will be officially unveiled on Yarmouth's Natal Day on Sunday, June 9 at 2 p.m.

For years this memorial was a conceptual drawing - the original drawings were produced in 2006 following a motion in 2005 to undertake the project. As the memorial now takes shapes physically, those who have been involved in the project - including the project committee, the Yarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation and staff at the Yarmouth County Museum - are feeling a great sense of satisfaction and pride.

"We're just delighted that we finally got this in place and we're getting ready for the unveiling on June 9," said Jim Corning, executive director of the waterfront development corporation, as he watched the work taking place on Wednesday morning. "The committee that we've had has stuck with us for the six to seven years it's taken. Dick Stewart, a board member, was the original mover and shaker who wanted something on the waterfront to remember those lost, so we're finally going to see it come together."

A bronze ship's wheel and a water feature are also being incorporated into the memorial's design.

A week prior to the June 9 unveiling of the Lost to the Sea Memorial on Yarmouth's waterfront, ceremonies will be held on Saturday, June 1, in Tusket at 11 a.m. (adjacent to the Argyle Township Court House and Archives) and at the Cape Forchu lighthouse at 2 p.m. where interpretive panels drawing people's attention to the memorial will be unveiled.

A crew from Yarmouth Crane was putting the panels into place on May 15. Committee member Dave Warner said each panel weighs 7,700 pounds so additional work was needed to prepare the site for the crane. Given the weight of the panels they could not be brought to the site all at once. The first two panels were in place by 9:30 a.m.

The first of the panels includes the names of people lost at sea during unknown timeframes. After that the names are in chronological order, dating back over the past few centuries with the most recent name being that of 20-year-old Michael Doucette of Wedgeport who was lost at sea in January of this year.

There is set criteria for being included on the memorial, most importantly, the person had to be born in Yarmouth County or be a resident of Yarmouth County. Names that were submitted that didn't meet the criteria are still included on the Lost to the Sea Memorial website, but not on the panels. Stories of those whose names are on the memorial are also included on the website -

Originally the plan had been to unveil the memorial during Yarmouth's 250th celebrations in 2011. But funding and the added time required to research all of the names pushed the project back.

The total cost of the project, including in-kind donations, is expected to be just under $510,000. Canadian Heritage provided $225,000 towards the memorial and the municipalities of Yarmouth and Argyle made contributions towards interpretive panels. The rest of the project has been funded by the corporation, which receives its funding from the Town of Yarmouth.


The criteria for being included in the Lost to the Sea List:

  1. Born in Yarmouth County or a resident of Yarmouth County.
  2. Drowned in salt water.
  3. Ship is missing - entire crew lost.
  4. Fell overboard and drowned.
  5. Killed by an accident while on board a ship at sea.
  6. Killed in a mutiny.
  7. Died of disease while on a ship.
  8. Died at sea or in a foreign port (having arrived there on a ship).
  9. Died of wounds while serving on a ship, or with a connection to the ocean.