Wayne and I took a wonderful trip to Newfoundland and Labrador. We knew life in both parts of the province was dominated by fishing and wanted to learn more about what it was really like. One of my souvenirs was the Our Life on Lear’s Room: Labrador by Greta Hussey (Flanker Press, 2011).
Ernest and Caroline Lear were Greta’s parents. They lived in Hibbs Cove on the Port De Grave peninsula in Newfoundland where her father was a day fisherman who returned home each night.
Greta was born in 1921 and grew up supporting the family’s fishing enterprise. When cod became scarce in the Conception Bay area near their home, Greta’s father decided to go to Labrador where fishing was better. Greta and her mother went on the annual trip from late May to October to Labrador to set up a fishing camp. Through 1947 this became a cycle of life. They packed the supplies they would need for living and fishing with them on large coastal boat carrying passengers and freight between Labrador and Newfoundland. The trip itself would be an adventure for a young girl.
|Labrador fishing station.|
A semi-permanent camp was built at Batteau. This was called a room, and theirs was Lear’s Room. It was a rectangular wood building at the water’s edge where cod would be cleaned and dried before selling to the fish buyers that traveled the coast. A simple cabin nearby provided the family with living space away from the fish processing.
|Old Labrador fishing boat.|
The money the family made during the summer sustained them back home in Newfoundland for the rest of the year. Not an easy life, but very interesting looking from the outside in.
I really enjoy reading memoirs and tales about the regions I visit and where live in Coastal BC. How about you? -- Margy