Local landmark targeted by vandals
Whale bones used to break window in museum
Vandals have probably sealed the fate of the Whaling and Sealing Museum in South Dildo. The building, located on the main road in South Dildo, had windows smashed out sometime late Sunday night March 22 or early Monday morning March 23.
“Whoever did it, climbed up on a picnic table and took a whale bone and used it to beat two panes of glass out of one of the big windows in the front of the building,” says Hilda Reid, secretary/ treasurer of the museum.“This has really put us in a hard spot. We’re a non-profit organization that exists on public donations and a few heritage grants and we honestly don’t know if we can afford to replace the window. If we can’t, then this year the museum won’t open.”
It isn’t the first time the building has been hit by vandals. Over the past few months the doorknob on the main door was beat off, safety handrails torn down and the glass to the meter socket box broken and then hauled off the building.
“They broke the glass to the meter box first and then came back later and just yanked it completely off the building,” says Reid.“They were pretty bold and brazen about it. It’s a wonder they weren’t electrocuted. It’s disgusting, senseless and beyond disappointing! “
According to Reid, vandalism in the area is on the increase. Someone recently shot the streetlight, next to her house, with a pellet gun and one of the windows in her neighbour’s house was broken.
“It all takes place between the late night and early morning hours because I guess the person doing it knows there’s a good chance they won’t be seen then,” says Reid.“The RCMP have been called each time, but no one has been charged and there doesn’t seem to be much moving on it. Eventually the person or people doing this will be caught. They’re going to get what’ s coming to them, but for now it’s really frustrating because they are forcing us to consider closing. I really don’t know if it is worth the effort anymore.”
According to Reid the Whaling and Sealing Museum is a local landmark.
“It opened in 1984 and houses hundreds of valuable artifacts, documents and photos of the industries when they were in full swing in the area,” she says.
“Fortunately none of the artifacts have been damaged yet, but as far as I am concerned, it’s only a mat- ter of time before that happens.”
Many of the artifacts at the museum are tools of trade once used by local whalers like Iver Iverson, Henry Mahle and Clarence George, all deceased. Captain Iver Iverson, a native of Norway, found himself stranded in Newfoundland during the war. While travelling the province he recognized the potential for whaling in Trinity Bay and in 1947 opened a whaling operation in the area.
Captain Henry Mahle, also of Norway, settled in South Dildo and worked as a whaling captain for the duration of the whaling era.
Captain Clarence George, born and raised in Dildo, was known in the area as one of the most suc-
ONGOING VANDALISM - Over the past few months the Whaling and Sealing Museum in South Dildo has been plagued by vandalism. The latest incident occurred sometime late Sunday night March 22 or early Monday morning March 23. The culprit climbed up on a picnic table and used a whale bone to beat two panes of glass out of one of the windows in the front of the building.