Re­mem­ber­ing a tragedy

New memo­rial cel­e­brates courage of St. Lawrence and Lawn res­i­dents

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY CYN­THIA FAR­RELL SPE­CIAL TO THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

A mon­u­ment to the Trux­tun and Pol­lux dis­as­ter has been un­veiled at Cham­ber Cove.

ST. LAWRENCE, NL – Peo­ple made their way to Cham­ber Cove by bus and ATV while some even looked on from boats Aug. 12 as a new mon­u­ment was un­veiled on the Burin Penin­sula.

The memo­rial stands in the place where the peo­ple of St. Lawrence came to the aid of sailors aboard the USS Trux­tun af­ter the Amer­i­can navy ship ran aground dur­ing a win­ter storm on Feb. 18, 1942.

A se­cond ship, USS Pol­lux, suf­fered the same fate at Lawn Point.

In all, 203 sailors lost their lives that night.

The mon­u­ment serves as a memo­rial to the men and women of St. Lawrence, Lawn and the sur­round­ing area who aided in the res­cue ef­forts, as well as the sailor of the two ves­sels, both those who lost their lives and those who sur­vived the dis­as­ter.

The memo­rial was a joint ef­fort be­tween the St. Lawrence His­tor­i­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the Town of St. Lawrence.

“Our com­mit­tee had a dream, and that dream was to rec­og­nize this his­tor­i­cal site...,” said Lau­rella Stacey, chair of the his­tor­i­cal ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

“We are stand­ing here to­day be­cause of the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of our com­mit­tee. With­out them, none of this would be pos­si­ble.”

Stacey also thanked the many vol­un­teers who helped in the plac­ing of the mon­u­ment, some of whom car­ried 370 buck­ets of ce­ment up from Lit­tle Salt Cove so it could be used in the con­struc­tion of the base of the mon­u­ment.

Be­fore the mon­u­ment was un­veiled, Stacey took the op­por­tu­nity to talk about the de­sign of the memo­rial.

“The cross stands tall over the rest­ing place of the USS Trux­tun. The wings rep­re­sent the ea­gle, the em­blem of the U.S.A. From the sea, the shape re­sem­bles a ship’s an­chor, and viewed from afar the wings re­sem­ble two peo­ple kneel­ing at the cross.”

CYN­THIA FAR­RELL/SPE­CIAL TO THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

A mon­u­ment serv­ing as a memo­rial to the men and women of St. Lawrence, Lawn and the sur­round­ing area dur­ing the USS Trux­tun and USS Pol­lux dis­as­ter in Fe­bru­ary 1942, as well as to the sailor of the two ves­sels, both those who lost their lives and those who sur­vived the dis­as­ter, was un­veiled Aug. 12 at Cham­ber Cove. Mem­bers of the St. Lawrence His­tor­i­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the Town of St. Lawrence were on hand for the event.

CYN­THIA FAR­RELL/ SPE­CIAL TO THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

Capt. Bill Sigler, left, of the U.S. Em­bassy in Ot­tawa and Steven Giegerich, Prin­ci­pal Of­fi­cer/Con­sul Gen­eral at the U.S. Con­sulate Gen­eral in Hal­i­fax, N.S., pre­sented St. Lawrence His­tor­i­cal Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee chair Lau­rella Stacey with an Amer­i­can flag dur­ing the un­veil­ing Aug. 12. The flag was flown over the USS Trux­tun (DDG 103), name­sake of the ship lost off the Burin Penin­sula, on July 15, 2017.

CYN­THIA FAR­RELL/SPE­CIAL TO THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

Gus Etchegary, the last sur­viv­ing res­cuer from St. Lawrence, spoke about his mem­o­ries from Feb. 18, 1942, the morn­ing the USS Trux­tun and USS Pol­lux ran aground off the Burin Penin­sula.

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