#03585
The Sinking of FLB 101 (David Blackmore) video
#1062: YouTube video by NLTreasure
©2014 ~ Used with permission ~

My dad was a fisherman, made his living on the sea,
To put food on the table for the family and me;
He commanded his boat, FLB 101,
With a crew of Isle aux Morts boys,
she made her last run.

I remember the year like it was yesterday,
Dad asked me to join him
on the voyage 'cross the bay;
As a young lad of thirteen I was privileged to go,
Unaware of the perils in our bunks down below.

Dad took the first watch
and at midnight smelled smoke,
He shouted to his crewmen who abruptly awoke:
"The engine room is on fire, burning out of control,
All hands to the lifeboat and God save our souls!"

The sea was flat calm,
moon and stars shining bright,
A vessel approached through the darkness of night;
The wind now increasing, the dory started to rock,
The crew sat there wishing
they were tied to the dock.

A Navy vessel appeared in the waters nearby,
Her search lights turned on, all the men gave a sigh;
They were rescued that night from a watery grave,
God must have been watching
'cause all hands were saved.

I watched as our vessel went down to the sea,
With a cargo of fish the men had to flee;
Our boat it was laden, had Halifax on the scroll,
Where the men would split the earnings
when the fish it was sold.

The fire on board FLB 101,
Destroyed the vessel, took away all their funds;
To return back to port with no money to show,
Broke the heart of each fisherman
with their head hanging low.

The Canadian Navy ship Terra Nova
and her crew of brave men
Helped survivors get back to their loved ones again;
To reunite with their families and all of their friends,
They all got home safe to go fishing again.

This tragedy in my mind will never go away,
It's so clear in my mind as if it was yesterday;
Although a young lad of just thirteen years old,
I remember that night and I can still feel the cold.

It's a hard experience for just a young lad,
But I just had to go with the Captain, my dad;
We may have lost our vessel and the cargo within,
But thanks to God and my dad
we all lived to fish again.

The sea was flat calm, oh, and stars shining bright,
A vessel approached through the darkness of night;
We may have lost our vessel and the cargo within,
But thanks to God and my dad
we all lived to fish again.
But thanks to God and my dad
we all lived to fish again.

####.... Jim Yetman of Bryant's Cove, NL, and David Blackmore of Port aux Basques, NL, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, ©2013. Music and arrangement by David Blackmore with accordion by Freeman Walters. All rights reserved ....####
The video above features a recording by David Blackmore.

See more songs by David Blackmore.

Per David Blackmore: This is a true life ballad from the words of Wilf Warren, the youngest survivor of the tragedy of the fishing vessel FLB 101, for whom this ballad was written. Many young boys went to sea in Newfoundland in the years gone by and came back as men… It was a hard life for most. Emanuel Warren, the Captain of the FLB 101 and Wilf's dad, asked him to go along for the trip to Halifax to sell their catch. There's no doubt in my mind that Wilf too came back a man that night. This song will serve as an everlasting memory for the families of the crew of the FLB 101.

Per Jim Yetman: I totally agree with David's summary of Wilf Warren's story. This ballad will truly be an everlasting reminder of that tragic night etched deep in the memory of our very dear friend, Wilf Warren. It will serve as a tribute to him, the crew of the FLB 101, and all their families and friends for many years to come. This song is also dedicated to all those brave souls that have departed and moved on. David Blackmore and I would like to thank Wilf Warren for sharing his story with us and allowing us to put it in song to be remembered by one and all. Please note that all photos in the above video were from the collection of Wilf Warren.

NOTE: Per Clarence Vaustier in his book, People Of The Sea, Flanker Press, ©2011, the FLB 101 sank on July 16, 1961.

From Government Involvement in the Fishery, 1940-1970: In 1943, the Newfoundland Commission of Government began offering loans to fishing companies willing to invest in frozen fish plants and offshore trawlers. After Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, the Liberal government of Joseph R Smallwood continued this practice. Between 1950 and 1967, the Smallwood government provided nearly $30 million in loans to fish companies to build, expand or maintain processing plants, or to buy trawlers.

Initially, trawlers financed by the Fisheries Loan Board were numbered - in later years they used place names and then fish names. According to Wilf Warren, in 1958 both the FLB 100 and the FLB 101 came to Isle aux Mortes, the community where he lived. After the burning and sinking of the FLB 101, Wilf's father, Emanuel Warren, captained the FLB 100. The other crew members were Leander Harvey, Dave Strickland, Joe Kinslow, and Seaward Lawrence, all of whom lived to fish for many years after.



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