NL GenWeb

Historical Information

Notre Dame Bay ~ Fogo District

"Sunset Glow"

Sunset Glow was a tern schooner of 240 Tons, built by J. McGill of Shelburne Nova Scotia in 1916 for Harvey And Co. of St Johns, Newfoundland. By 1949 she had enjoyed a long and useful life. Yet even at the age of thirty three years she was one of the most handsome schooners on the coast, with white topsides, black transom, oiled wooden masts, graceful sheerline, bark sails,gold leaf name boards and stem head carvings.

Built as a sailing vessel she had been used in the fish trade between Newfoundland, Brazil, the West Indies, Spain and Portugal. Later she was fitted with auxiliary power and refrigeration equipment and was used to transport frozen fish as well as general cargo.

October 1949 Sunset Glow was at the Newfoundland And Labrador Export Co. wharf in Fogo, NFLD unloading coal. Captain William Dicks decided to leave the Export Co. and anchor in the stream on the north side of the harbour to avoid grinding against the wharf in the North East gale that was moving in.

Two anchors were set and the ship was in the lee of Fogo Head, but during the night one of the anchor cables broke and the other anchor started to drag. The crew worked most of the night trying to maintain position using the engine and the remaining anchor . Help could not get out from shore due to the weather, and eventually she was driven across the harbour and beached between Miles Island [Ship Is. on chart] and the small islet at its East end.

The ship was a total loss and was stripped, for salvage by crews working from the ice during the Winter months. By Spring a few ribs were all that was left of the Sunset Glow.

Many schooners built around the time of World War One were given names of war heroes, or war themes. One was named for the Canadian nurse Edith M. Cavell, who had been executed by the Germans during the war. Her statue is in Trafalgar Square London. The name Sunset Glow is from John McCraes poem, In Flanders Fields .

Three-masted Schooner similar to Sunset Glow

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved and were loved. And now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you with failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae 1872-1918

1999 Don Bennett and NL GenWeb