WEDGEPORT: ‘’If there’s a big ship coming crashing through the night. It can leave a wake of misery.’’ These are two lines of a new song, Silver King Tribute, by Gary Kent of Yarmouth.
Kent will sing his song at an anniversary commemorative mass for the six-man crew of Wedgeport fishermen who lost their lives the night of Aug. 22-23, 1967. An American, a nephew of two crew members ‘’along for the ride’’, was saved.
The mass will be celebrated by Monsignor Gérald LeBlanc, Monday Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. in Saint Michael’s Catholic Church of Wedgeport. Msgr. LeBlanc, a first cousin to Camille LeBlanc and second cousin to Ray LeBlanc, two of the victims, was also one of the priests and nuns who were tasked, very early in the morning of Aug. 23, to convey the sad news to the families of the drowned men.
Forty-four years after the tragedy, the six are still remembered not only by their families but also by many other people such as Gary Kent.
The Silver King was a herring seiner fishing off Yarmouth, N.S. the night it was struck by a tugboat returning to its home port of Saint John, N.B.
The other crew members (not mentioned above) were, Roderick Boudreau (Captain), Edgar Boudreau, Vernon Boudreau and Stanis Bourque. The Boudreaus were not related. Bob McDowell of New Jersey, nephew of Camille and Roderick, who was vacationing at the time was a passenger aboard. He was saved from the overturned boat by fishermen cutting a hole in the bow of the hull. He has since then died. The oldest of the drowned men was 54 and the youngest 24.