We Will Always Have Our Sealers
DESCRIPTION: "We will always have our sealers While there's a ship to sail, While sturdy crews have fish and brewis, While there is rain and hail." The poet admits that there are many changes, but affirms that there will always be a need for the seal hunt
AUTHOR: Otto P. Kelland (1904-2004)
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Kelland); reportedly written 1945
KEYWORDS: hunting technology
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Ryan/Small, p. 155, "We Will Always Have Our Sealers" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Otto P. Kelland, _Anchor Watch: Newfoundland Stories in Verse_ (privately printed, 1960), pp. 89-90, "We Will Always Have Our Sealers" (1 text)
NOTES [137 words]: This reportedly was written as Kelland watched the sealing fleet set out in 1945 (although Kelland printed it in Anchor Watch without any commentary). An old sealer commented that the few ships sailing would be the last (apparently meaning that they would not be replaced when they broke down). Kelland wrote this piece as a counter-argument.
Obviously the truth was somewhere in between. Seal-hunting continued, and continues, but between the over-harvesting that has destroyed the herds, and the general changes in the economy, and environmental protests, it seems likely that the seals of Canada will soon be safe -- such of them as remain.
And the steam sealers that had been the heart of the fleet since the 1860s were almost gone by 1945. The very last, the Eagle, was scuttled in 1950; see "The Ice-Floes." - RBW
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