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Historical Information

Conception Bay North

Reproduced from the Daily News – Bay Roberts Supplement July 1965
Contributed by Carol Walsh.

Meet the Old Timers of This Growing Town

The colors and character of a place relay mainly on its citizens and the older and more venerable the citiizens the more character there is.

The oldest citizen of Bay Roberts is 95 year old “Uncle Will French”, a gentlemen with aristocratic features and a courteous manner. Uncle Will lived most of his life in French’s Cove moving to Bay Roberts eleven years ago. In his young days he was a fisherman and farmer and he can tell stories about old Bay Roberts that had been passed along by his ancestors. Mr. French is a spry 95 and takes a walk every day, visits his friends and goes to church. “That’s as much as anyone can do”, he says.

Isaac Badcock is a youthful 80 year old former fisherman of Bay Roberts. He has been a successful fisherman all his life and was his own master. “I never brought a man to the Labrador but he paid his account,” he says.

He did his fishing on the Labrador and loved it. He would take his wife and daughter and he became a ‘livyer.” “We had a fine comfortable home there for the summer months. It was a nice wholesome place,” he recalls.

Mr. Badcock was a sealer as well but he was never too fond of it. He recalled one spring in particular when he was on board the Nascopie and she lost her propellor when she was east north east of the Funks. After calls back and forth between her owners and the captain, it was decided to try and tip the ship so the men could repair the damage. The men began to shift coal to her head until her anchors went down under the ice and her stern went high in the air, then the sealers went to work and built a stage around her stern so they could work out over the sea. They had to cover the stage with canvas because of the intense frost. The men worked over the propellor for a day and a night to get it in good working condition and a couple of days later for Nascopic was working her way through the icefields as good as new.

Isaac Badcock is retired today but he felt he would have fished much longer if Confederation hadn’t ruined the Newfoundland fisherman. Confederation more or less forced him to retire.

The Mercers, Dawes and Bowrings were pioneers of Vancouver and New Westminister, B.C. Most of these former Bay Roberts people held important positions in each city. Their descendants are still prominent in the west.

Another distinguished citizen of Bay Roberts is Miss R.F. Parsons, O.B.E. who received recognition for her work in the First World War…….end.

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