Kyle needs attention before it’s too late
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