Preserving a Nova Scotia cultural icon

Jamie Heap
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The Book Review: Forever Bluenose: A Future for a Schooner with a Past. By Ron Crocker. Restoration photographs by Mark Doucette. (Nimbus) $27.95, 112 pages.

Iconic. That’s the one word that best describes the Bluenose, Nova Scotia’s most famous schooner that gained fame through its participation in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland fishery and as a racing vessel. From there, the Bluenose became a promoter of Oland beer before it became one of the province’s key seafaring tourist attractions.

Moreover, the Bluenose became a cultural symbol of economic enterprise and self-sufficiency; a monument to the offshore banks fishery that has been immortalized on the Canadian dime and Nova Scotia licence plate while becoming a touchstone for Nova Scotians.

“The bones of the new Bluenose, like the skeleton of a majestic dinosaur, had been assembled at last in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia,” writes author Ron Crocker, a journalist and retired television producer and executive, of the Bluenose II’s restoration in the spring of 2011 in his introduction to Forever Bluenose that he wrote in April of 2013.

In Forever Bluenose, Crocker traces the long and storied history of the the original Bluenose’s launch in 1921down to its modern day restoration. Recently, attempts to restore the Bluenose have become a source of controversy due to the fact that its restoration is taking longer than anticipated and is costing taxpayers more money than projected.

Complete with over 50 full-colour restoration photographs taken by retired teacher and professional photographer Mark Doucette, as well as photographs from its racing and commercial prime, Forever Bluenose makes a compelling case for preserving Nova Scotia’s most recognizable schooner for future generations of Nova Scotians to enjoy, even if the final cost to Canadian taxpayers will exceed $17.5 million.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Lunenburg

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