Historic launch at West Pubnico village

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Published on August 24, 2010

TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Marcel d'Entremont stands next to La Tatane as it is tied next to the newly constructed wharf at the village. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Watching the launch. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Alan McCormack guides the oxen pulling La Tatane down to the wharf. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Alan McCormack guides the oxen pulling La Tatane down to the wharf. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane goes for a short sail following the launch. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Father Maurice LeBlanc. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Rigging up the ropes on the slipway to help launch La Tatane. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Village interpreters Michel Boudreau, Olen d'Entremont and Marcel d'Entremont stand next to La Tatane. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane launch. Tina Comeau photo

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane launch. Going into the water. Tina Comeau photo

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane launch. Olen d'Entremont keeps an eye on the progress. Tina Comeau photo

Published on August 24, 2010

Pushing La Tatane out on the water. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane launch at the Acadian village in West Pubnico. Tina comeau photo

Published on August 24, 2010

TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane launch. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

La Tatane launch. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Le Village volunteers Sherman d'Entremont and Reginald d'Entremont stand in front of the boat shop. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Oxen are used to drag La Tatane down to a wharf that was recently constructed at Le Village. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

Published on August 24, 2010

Boat builder Jimmy d'Entremont gives the crowd a wave. TINA COMEAU PHOTO

By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

NovaNewsNow.com

When he was building the replica early–1900s lobster fishing boat at the Acadian village in West Pubnico ¬– without the aid of any power tools – Jimmy d’Entremont did a lot of running back and forth between the village and his boat building shop a short distance away.

On Tuesday, Aug. 24 when the boat, La Tatane, was officially launched during a re-enactment boat launch at Le Village historique Acadian de la Nouvelle Ecosse, the distance between the village’s replica boat shop and the wharf was a shorter distance, but for the village, d’Entremont and the hundreds who gathered to watch, it was a monumental walk.

And once the boat was finally in the water, and d’Entremont – along with village volunteers Sherman d’Entremont and Reginald d’Entremont – went for a short sail, the builder of the boat said it glided through the water like a yacht.

It was the first wooden boat Jimmy d’Entremont had built in 25 years, and it was also unlike any other his boat he had ever built before. For d’Entremont, who had spent a year building La Tatane, it was an emotional moment, particularly given the large crowd that turned out for the launch.

“It was touching to see them,” he said. “I didn’t think there was going to be that many people. I was really surprised.”

La Tatane was pulled to a recently constructed wharf on the village property by two oxen being guided by Alan McCormack. Village interpreters dressed in period costume added to the historical authenticity of the event. Aside from the digital cameras and the occasional ringing of a cell phone, the boat launch was like olden times.

Having a boat on site to depict the Acadian way of fishing in the early 1900s has been a dream of the village. And it took many helping hands to achieve it. The building of La Tatane required expertise and assistance from the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, Lunenburg Foundaries and R&N Steelworks – the latter businesses helping  with the steel rudder and shaft. Reginald d’Entremont helped to get the engine running for the boat, whose keel and ribs were constructed with oak and pine used for the planking.

When these boats were used back in the early 1900s, sails helped lobster fishermen travel to and from shore – although they often didn’t venture far off, only around five miles explained d’Entremont. Eventually make and break engines came along making the task somewhat easier.

Aside from working hands, it also took funding to see the boat building and wharf projects come to fruition. Among the partners for the projects were the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, which contributed $26,000; the Municipality of Argyle, which contributed $7,000; RBC employees under the employee volunteer grants program – Cora and Clara d’Entremont and Cassie and Neil Amirault – who contributed $4,000.

The balance of the cost of the project was obtained through fundraising events put on the volunteers at the village. In 2009 the events generated a profit of $22,000.

Organizations: Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, Department of Tourism, RBC

Geographic location: West Pubnico, Lunenburg

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