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category: History
published: March 2014
ISBN:9781771173292
publisher: Flanker Press

Left to Die

The Story of the SS Newfoundland Sealing Disaster

by Gary Collins

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post-confederation (1867-)
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $80.85
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
category: History
published: March 2014
ISBN:9781771173292
publisher: Flanker Press
Description

“They didn’t die like flies, you know, like I’ve heard some reporters say over the years. Oh no, it wasn’t like that a’tall. The men who died didn’t just drop like flies. There was nothing quick or easy about it. They had frozen feet, and fingers too numb and cramped with the cold to wipe the tears from their eyes.”

Cecil Mouland, the last living survivor of the SS Newfoundland sealing disaster, told his story to Gary Collins in the fall of 1971 while travelling to St. John’s, where the old ice hunter would live out his final days. This book grew from that encounter and stands alone as the defining tale of the Bonavista Bay men who were left to die on the ice.

The historic convergence of ice, seals, and men in late March 1914 marked the end of Newfoundland’s innocence. Men both young and old left their homes from all over the province that year to pursue the annual seal hunt. Among the vessels that took them to the ice was the Newfoundland, a wooden-walled steamship captained by the famous Captain Westbury Kean. With no wireless aboard the ship, the stage was set for seventy-eight of the men who went over the side and their fates sealed.

Left to Die is Gary Collins’s most ambitious and creative work of non-fiction, a storytelling masterpiece. With new photos and new research revealed, he recalls with stunning clarity what history remembers about the sealing disaster of 1914.

About the Author
Gary Collins was born in a small, two-storey house by the sea in the town of Hare Bay, Bonavista North. He finished school at Brown Memorial High in the same town. He spent forty years in the logging and sawmilling business with his father, Theophilus, and son Clint. Gary was once Newfoundland’s youngest fisheries guardian. He managed log drives down spring rivers for years, spent seven seasons driving tractor-trailers over ice roads and the Beaufort Sea of Canada’s Western Arctic, and has been involved in the crab, lobster, and cod commercial fisheries. Gary’s writing career began when he was asked to write eulogies for deceased friends and family. Now a critically acclaimed author, he has written nine books, including the children’s illustrated book What Colour is the Ocean?, which he co-wrote with his granddaughter, Maggie Rose Parsons. That book won an Atlantic Book Award: The Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. His book Mattie Mitchell: Newfoundland’s Greatest Frontiersman has been adapted for film. Gary Collins is Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourite storyteller, and today he is known all over the province as “the Story Man.” His favourite pastimes are reading, writing, and playing guitar at his log cabin. He lives in Hare Bay, Newfoundland, with his wife, the former Rose Gill. They have three children and three grandchildren.
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