In sup­port of Cable Av­enue des­ig­na­tion


Dear edi­tor,

I write in re­sponse to the ar­ti­cle head­lined “ Pre­serv­ing Cable Av­enue,” which ap­peared in the March 29 edi­tion of The Com­pass. I was a res­i­dent of one of the houses on Cable Av­enue, and am the son of Joseph Wil­liams, who was man­ager at the Cable Sta­tion in its fi­nal years.

This is just great and I am so proud that this area will be pre­served as a her­itage district. I feel a part of this his­tory.

As the West­ern Union Cable Build­ing has been part of my fam­ily’s his­tory for many years, I was ex­tremely happy when it was des­ig­nated a Na­tional His­toric Site in 2008.

My fa­ther was an en­gi­neer with West- ern Union in New York. He was trans­ferred from New York to Bay Roberts to work at the Cable Build­ing in the late 1930s. He later be­came man­ager of the sta­tion.

I re­mem­ber when I was a child, my dad get­ting up in the mid­dle of the night and walk­ing over to The Cable Build­ing, be­cause he re­ceived a call that the cable was bro­ken some­where off The Grand Banks. He was well known as a ge­nius, through West­ern Union, for his en­gi­neer­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and how to re­solve tech­ni­cal is­sues with cable trans­mis­sion.

He would math­e­mat­i­cally fig­ure out pre­cisely with the use of a “ Wheat­stone Bridge” where the break was, af­ter which he would con­tact the cable ship “ Cyrus Field” with the co-or­di­nates of the break and the ship would head for the break and re­pair same.

Usu­ally, the cause for the break was a fish­ing trawler, trawl­ing the ocean bot­tom for fish. The trawl would snag the cable and it would break.

My dad has since passed away, but I can see him now with a tear run­ning down his cheek, him know­ing that Cable Av­enue was be­com­ing a her­itage site.

I would like to thank any­one who had a role in pre­serv­ing this part of the town’s his­tory. Kevin Wil­liams


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