Marine Atlantic donates steamer artifacts

Norm Strickland
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Some navigation equipment from the SS Burgeo has navigated its way into the Burgeo Museum.

The C. N. coastal boat Burgeo (known as the steamer), named after the southwest coast town, was built by Fleming & Ferguson Paisley Scotland and joined the fleet of coastal steamers in1940.

Captain Dan Strickland of Marine Atlantic delivered the pieces to Burgeo on June 2. They had previously been in storage in Port aux Basques.

With help from volunteers, they unloaded and placed the complete compass binnacle along with the steering pump and the bridge-engine room telegraph into the Burgeo Museum.

The Burgeo was 242 feet in overall length and 1421 tons. After the loss of the Caribou in 1942 she was put on the gulf run across the Cabot Strait.

As a coastal steamer, the Burgeo was the lifeline to outport Newfoundland, carrying passengers, freight and mail to those isolated communities. The Burgeo was retired from service in 1969 and sold for scrap.

In 1940 the magnetic compass was the main part of the ship's navigation. While standing in front of the binnacle, one can easily feel the stress and dedication of those sea captains and seamen who navigated the Burgeo into the small bays, coves and inlets to deliver passengers, mail and supplies to outport communities.

Marine Atlantic Spokeswoman Tara Laing said the company has been looking through its storage space to find items that can be donated. They recently donated an anchor to a museum in Nova Scotia.

She said the corporation has a proud history and they are happy to partner with communities to display these important pieces of Newfoundland history.

This equipment will be displayed with the many other artifacts on display in the Burgeo Museum. If you are in the area, be sure to visit the museum and view the many items on display there.

The town, Mayor Barter and the Burgeo Museum Committee thanks Captain Strickland and Marine Atlantic for providing the equipment to our museum.

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, Burgeo Museum

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia.She

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