Gordon Lore may be an American, but his family’s roots are strongly connected to the fishing industry, and this helped spur him to take on the project, which involved five years of research. DRC Publishing in St. John’s recently released “The Earles of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Lore’s stepdaughter-in-law Carol Ann Triche is the great-granddaughter of Minah Earle from Change Islands and the daughter of Edna Kimmerly-Wetterau. Carol’s mom died in 1988. Triche and other members of her family travelled to Change Islands to spread her ashes in Notre Dame Bay.
“I didn’t become interested in this until Carol started telling me more about her family here,” Lore told The Compass recently during a phone interview from his home in California.
Lore’s father used to operate a seafood franchise — J.C. Lore & Sons — in Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the United States. Thus, it didn’t take much for the author to take an interest in Guy Earle, the last captain of the S.S. Kyle.
“I started going through some of the Earle family history and got kind of hooked on that … I thought it would transfer into a book.”
The many Earles
The book highlights some of the Kyle’s most notable voyages, including Guy Earle’s successful quest to steer it back to shore in 1965 after the ship struck an iceberg. Lore also spoke with some relatives about the late captain and was in touch with Libby Earle DePiero. She discusses in the book her push to get the Kyle restored. The vessel has remained stationery in Harbour Grace for the last 48 years.
Other chapters in the book delve into the accomplishments of several Earles. There’s Reginald Heber Earle, a survivor of the 1892 fire in St. John’s who invented a series of marine distress signals. The story of Second World War prisoner Harry Oake Earle is also told.
Carbonear native Davis Earle, a Rhodes Scholar, has worked on experimental nuclear physics and helped with plans to create the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Fellow Carbonear native Neil Earle, a writer and pastor who lives in California, is also profiled in the book, amongst other Earles.
Newfoundland writer Hector Earle later came on board to write about his family’s involvement in the development of the Northern Peninsula.
Lore, who is 80 and uses a wheelchair, was not able to come to Newfoundland and Labrador himself while working on the book.
“I’ve only been there once, and that was back in 1973. No more than a stopover in Gander going to Spain. I’ve learned an awful lot about the province, particularly about the Earle family.”
However, he is considering knee-replacement surgery, and if it’s a success, he hopes to visit the province in a year or so.