In support of Cable Avenue designation
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