BARRINGTON - The Municipality of Barrington’s lobster pot tree on the North East Point waterfront has been lit for the season, with new stories being told on the more than 160 buoys created by local residents that adorn its boughs.
A community tradition since 2009, for the past four years buoys in memory of those lost at sea, fishermen who have passed on and in recognition of those that are fishing on the water now have become part of the custom.
One new buoy added to the tree this year tells the story of how a tragedy on the opening day of the lobster season in 1964 led to the establishment of the first Canadian Coast Guard small lifeboat station in Clark’s Harbour in 1966.
“On the opening day of the lobster season in southwestern Nova Scotia my grandfather Stillman Quinlan, and his nephew James Smith, lost their lives after they encountered foul weather. The “Jane and Judy” was on its maiden voyage. It was that incident that led to the establishing of the Coast Guard life station in Clark’s Harbour and the first Coast Guard vessel known as the 101,” reads the note accompanying the buoy.
“Christmas at the Causeway is a celebration of both Christmas and the kickoff to the lobster season. Located at the causeway joining Cape Sable Island to the mainland is a giant lobster trap tree. It is decorated with buoys of present-day fishermen and in memory of fishermen who have passed and fishermen who were lost at sea. This year my family will add a buoy to the tree in memory of my grandfather Stillman, known by his nickname Wrigley.”
Then there’s the memorial buoys for father and daughter Troy and Tori Symonds, who passed away 16 years apart, but both made a living on the water.
The lobster pot Christmas tree will remain lit throughout December and usually attracts a regular stream of visitors.