CANSO: Nova Scotia fishing communities know the challenges and dangers facing fishermen and women who are engaged in the fishery.
Fishing and the challenges of the sea are not strangers to Canso and the surrounding fishing communities in eastern Nova Scotia. The history of fishing and its role in early settlement in Nova Scotia has earned Canso the title as one of the oldest fishing ports in Nova Scotia.
During the past 400 years, Canso like many Nova Scotia fishing ports, has experienced the bounty of the sea, as well as the hardships and cost associated with the fishery. The Seamen’s Memorial in Canso is the host site for the annual Provincial Seamen’s Service held on the second Sunday in August which is Seamen’s Memorial Day in Nova Scotia. The Seamen’s Memorial Day Act was promoted by former Canso Mayor Ray White, the Town of Canso and the Canso Lions Club and was proclaimed in 1989.
The Seamen’s Memorial Day Act encourages Nova Scotians to focus on the importance of the fishery and to reflect on the dangers involved in the fishery. The act draws attention to the dangers and the human cost to individual families and communities with the aim to promote safety in the fishing industry. Nova Scotians are welcome to attend the Provincial Memorial Service in Canso or visit numerous memorials in other coastal communities on Seamen’s Memorial Day
The 42nd Annual Provincial Seamen’s Memorial Service will be held in Canso on August 12 at 2 p.m. The Interfaith service will include area churches and the ecumenical choir. Local community groups will form the Honour Guard as names are read from the Seamen’s Memorial and from the “In Memory” list of names. The Star of the Sea Church in Canso will be the host church and will be used as the alternate site if the weather is unsatisfactory. Federal, provincial and municipal representatives will bring greetings and remarks from their communities and from the Province of Nova Scotia. The Annual Provincial Seamen’s Memorial Service is hosted by the Canso Lions Club.
The Memorial was unveiled in 1976 to mark the 75th Anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Canso. Lion Ray White has chaired this project with assistance from Lion Cathy DeRabbie area clergy, and community groups. Local groups and individuals who are laying wreaths or making a donation to the Memorial Site are asked to contact Lion Cathy DeRabbie at 366-2721 to ensure that their name is included in the memorial program. A reception will be held at the Canso Lions Club after the memorial service. The Seamen’s Memorial Service marks the beginning of the annual Canso Regatta.
On Sunday August 19, the memorial wreaths will be taking to sea. Area boats will meet at Whitman Wharf at 1 p.m. to pick up wreaths from the memorial. The boats will circle the harbour and take the wreaths to sea as a final tribute.