Kyle needs at­ten­tion be­fore it’s too late


Dear edi­tor,

Thirty years ago my grand­mother, Mar­garet Pen­ney Butt, told me a story of how she trav­elled from the Labrador to the port of Har­bour Grace on the S.S. Kyle.

It was a stormy Novem­ber night when the pas­sen­gers dis­em­barked from the ves­sel and pro­ceeded to Car­bon­ear.

As there were no mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling to and from each town in 1919, they had to walk the long jour­ney to there homes. Upon ar­riv­ing at her hum­ble house, my grand­mother shortly there­after gave birth to my fa­ther, James P. Butt.

I re­cently passed by the S.S. Kyle and no­ticed her once proud and mighty struc­ture is slowly and in­evitably be­ing con­sumed by the har­bour, which she has called home for over 40 years. Green moss cov­ers much of her up­per decks and many birds now call this “Bull­dog of the North” their home.

A sense of sad­ness over­took me as I looked at this de­cay­ing car­cass, but mar­velled at the sto­ries that this struc­ture held.

I feel there can be mean­ing­ful life for the S.S. Kyle if there was an un­der­tak­ing to re­store and transform her into an at­trac­tion that would gen­er­ate tourism in our lo­cal econ­omy. The prospects of re­float­ing her are highly un­likely. But surely there can be some other means of pre­serv­ing this part of our her­itage.

In con­clu­sion, I would sug­gest that lo­cal ser­vice groups, busi­ness con­sor­tia or other in­flu­en­tial en­ti­ties make an ur­gent ef­fort to stop this ero­sion of our past.

Let us come to­gether as a group and work on mak­ing this a re­al­ity. Frank A. Butt


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