The Memorial Statue
Bonds that endure
Created by renowned bronze sculptor and visual artist Morgan MacDonald, the sculpture will be a representation of father and son Reuben and Albert John Crewe, residents of Elliston who perished in the 1914 SS Newfoundland sealing disaster.
One Story Among Many
In 1911, Reuben Crewe was one of a handful of sealers who swam to safety when their vessel sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Afterwards Reuben's wife, Mary, insisted that he give up sealing. She could no longer bear the sleepless nights of worry for his safety.
The Crewe's son, Albert John, was 16 and eager to go sealing in 1914. He secured a berth on the SS Newfoundland after much negotiating with his parents. Reuben, well aware of the dangers of sealing, reluctantly went with his son in hopes of keeping him safe.
Rescuers found Reuben and Albert John frozen in an embrace, the father attempting to shield his teenage son from the elements. Mary recounted later that she was awakened the night of the disaster to see Reuben and Albert John kneeling at her bed and that she was struck by the look of peace on their faces.
While this scene provides a compelling and heart-wrenching image of the disaster and the inspiration for the memorial sculpture, it also embodies the essence of the Home From The Sea campaign. It carries with it stories of courage, resilience, family ties and communities rallying together in times of tragedy. As a sea-going people, these are stories which continue to resonate and help define who we are.