Friday, July 29, 2016

#CollectiveMemories: Champney's West and the Hazel Pearl

Pei measuring the spar in front of the Heritage House, Champney's West.
Today I wanted to share two short video clips about the sinking of the Hazel Pearl in Champney’s West on the Bonavista Peninsula in Trinity Bay, NL.  The boat was previously known as the Coronet and was wrecked at least once before in Bonavista Bay in the 1930s.  The Coronet was salvaged from the initial wreck in the thirties, resold and renamed the Hazel Pearl.  It was used as a freighter before finally meeting its end on March 1st, 1945.

While the boat was lost in a winter storm local fishermen managed to salvage several barrels of cod oil from the vessel and were able to sell the oil again.  Although the boat was wrecked in the ocean the tops of the spars (also known as masts) of the ship which were painted white were visible in the sea water for years and years following the wreck.  In the recent years one of the spars from the Hazel Pearl was dragged up by two local fishermen who were cleaning a seine net.  The spar became tangled in the net and the two brought the spar ashore.  It currently sits outside the Heritage House in Champney’s West and is the source of many local stories and memories about shipwrecks in the area. 

During our work trip to the Bonavista Peninsula we measured the spar and did a couple of interviews with people who remembered the sinking of the Hazel Pearl.  The following videos showcase two locals’ memories of the sinking of the Hazel Pearl near Champney’s West in the 1940s.  Both Sarah Hiscock and Albert Hiscock grew up in Champney’s West and have personal memories of the sinking of the Hazel Pearl

The short videos below showcase some of their memories and can also be accessed on our YouTube channel.  I would highly recommend headphones when listening to the clips in order to hear the stories better!

If you know anything about the Hazel Pearl please feel free to contact the ICH office at 739-1892 ex. 2 (Dale Jarvis) or 5 (Terra Barrett) or email

~Terra Barrett

No comments: