A fit­ting trib­ute to Dan

Bay de Verde Har­bour Au­thor­ity ded­i­cates new pier to na­tive son

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

Af­ter be­ing awestruck by the nat­u­ral and rugged beauty of the land­scape and the ocean, a first­time vis­i­tor to the Town of Bay de Verde can’t help but no­tice the modern and elab­o­rate port fa­cil­i­ties in this snug, busy har­bour.

There are two break­wa­ters, a se­ries of float­ing docks, a govern­ment wharf and a pier along the north side of the har­bour.

It’s all in tip-top shape, and most of it was built within the last decade.

Talk to just about any­one con­nected with the fish­ery in the com­mu­nity — and that’s just about ev­ery­one — and they’ll likely men­tion one name when asked who was the driv­ing force be­hind all this har­bour in­fra­struc­ture. That name is Dan Blun­don. Blun­don was the re­gional en­gi­neer for Small Craft Har­bours, a divi­sion of the Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans.

It was his job to en­sure port fa­cil­i­ties in the prov­ince were safe and up to stan­dard for the de­mands of the fish­ery and other marine ac­tiv­i­ties.

They say no one did it bet­ter than Blun­don.

“He was a level-headed fel­low who was easy to talk to and got things done. There was no fool­ing around. ‘If you’re go­ing to build a wharf, build a wharf.’ That’s the kind of per­son he was,” says Karl Coish, chair­man of the Bay de Verde Har­bour Au­thor­ity board of di­rec­tors.

Blun­don is orig­i­nally from Bay de Verde, and likely had a soft spot for his home­town.

Over a 10-year pe­riod be­gin­ning in 1997, roughly $10 mil­lion was in­vested into the port by Small Craft Har­bours.

By all ac­counts, it was money well spent.

Bay de Verde is one of the busiest fish­ing ports in the prov­ince, and has rou­tinely been at the top of the pack in terms of yearly land­ings.

Sev­eral years ago, some 25 mil­lion pounds of raw ma­te­rial was landed in Bay de Verde, cre­at­ing much-needed em­ploy­ment for the hundreds of peo­ple who work sea­son­ally at the ex­pan­sive fish pro­cess­ing plant.

Pay­ing trib­ute

But just over two years ago, Blun­don died sud­denly, leav­ing be­hind five chil­dren and a wife. He was 59.

His death came as a shock to many, es­pe­cially those in­volved with har­bour au­thor­i­ties through­out the prov­ince.

“He was very highly re­spected,” adds Coish.

“ You go to con­ven­tions and you talk to peo­ple from other har­bour au­thor­i­ties and the first one they speak about is Dan,” notes Dave Martin, har­bour su­per­vi­sor in Bay de Verde.

The Bay de Verde Har­bour Au­thor­ity felt it was im­por­tant to hon­our Blun­don’s con­tri­bu­tions to the town, and pre­serve his legacy.

It has done so by nam­ing a pier in his hon­our. Ear­lier this sum­mer, the har­bour au­thor­ity held a cer­e­mony to of­fi­cially ded­i­cate “Dan Blun­don’s Pier,” which is lo­cated in an area once known as Blun­don’s Point.

A plaque was un­veiled by Blun­don’s mother, Olga, which reads: “ With great ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Dan Blun­don for his ded­i­ca­tion and con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of Bay de Verde Har­bour.”

The plaque is mounted in the cliff, and is ac­ces­si­ble by us­ing a new wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble look­out plat­form that was built re­cently by the au­thor­ity.

“ Words can’t ex­press what Danny Blun­don did for this place,” Coish states.

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

— Karl Coish,chair­man, Bay de Verde

Har­bour Au­thor­ity This is a view of “Dan Blun­don’s Pier” in Bay de Verde. A ded­i­ca­tion plaque in mem­ory of Dan Blun­don has been mounted in the cliff, and is ac­ces­si­ble by a new look­out plat­form built this sum­mer.

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