‘Disgusting, senseless and beyond disappointing!’
cessful whalers of all time. George continued the hunt until a ban on whaling was issued in 1972.
The history of these men, made during a time when whaling was a flourishing occupation in the province, is displayed in showcases at the museum. Most of the exhibits are surrounded by whalebones and teeth.The tools and information on Captain George were donated to the museum by his son Vaughn George.
The museum also contains numerous arrow tips and axe heads used by the Beothuk Indians. The artifacts were uncovered from archaeology sites on Dildo Island and Russell’s Point.
A six-day-old fetus of a humpback whale, photo of a two headed whale calf, scores of hunting tools and a 50 mm harpoon gun are also displayed and hundreds of photos, documents and newspaper clippings line the walls.
“The artifacts here are very valuable because they preserve the rich heritage of the area,” says Reid. “It would be a shame if anything happened to them and just as big a shame if they couldn’t be shared with visitors.”
If the museum doesn’t open during the upcoming tourist season it will mean the loss of at least two summer jobs.
“We’ve employed at least two students during the past nine summers,” says Reid. “But that may not happen this year, everything is up in the air right now.”
Other members of the museum committee include John Woodman, acting president; Steve Blake, vice president; Calvin Reid and Vaughn George.
If the museum is to remain open more volunteers are needed.
“We really need more support from the communities and we need more committee members,” says Reid.“This facility is an important part of our local history.”
Placentia Whitbourne District RCMP are hoping a tip from the public will lead them to the culprit or culprits responsible for vandalizing the museum.
“It’s likely someone from the general public knows who is doing this,” says Sergeant Boyd Merrill.“If they do not want to call the RCMP and use their names then they can always call Crime Stoppers, but it’s important that they report what they know.This is a wonderful little museum and many people are quite proud of it, but it has been plagued by ongoing vandalism.”
According to Merrill crimes such as vandalism are solved more quickly when the community gets involved. When that doesn’t happen, the crooks get bolder and the problem gets bigger.
“When people quit caring about vandalism to businesses and public buildings then the issue soon spreads to homes,” he concludes.
Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
DAMAGED - The RCMP and members of the Whaling and Sealing Museum in South Dildo are hoping someone from the public will help them catch the person or persons responsible for vandalizing the museum.