NEW BEDFORD, MA – The port of New Bedford soon will have a new monument honoring fishermen, as well as a special website dedicated to remembering those lost at sea since 1925. The two efforts are not officially connected but both were born of a desire to pay tribute to fishermen and their families for their hard work at sea.
The Fishermen’s Tribute Fund Committee is nearing completion of a 10-year campaign to build a monument to those who make New Bedford the top valued fishing port in the nation.
Despite a rocky start that committee Chair Deb Shrader likened to “carrying a load of bricks for seven years,” the fund has raised over $100,000. In addition, the city has donated a site at the entrance to the harbor, a sculptor and landscape architect are on board, the monument design is finalized, and the bronze statue is being cast.
The Fishermen’s Tribute Monument depicts the scene of a fishing family – a mother stands near her fisherman husband, who is down on one knee, his daughter in his lap hugging him, his hand on the shoulder of his son who holds a crew cap.
The monument is full of symbolism that fishing families will recognize. The passing of the cap to the son signifies the continuation of the fishing tradition, while the clinging daughter expresses the regret of separation that her mother must hold in. The woman is located in the back of the scene, standing tall, representing the wives and mothers who stay behind to hold their families together while fishermen are at sea.
“This is the life of the fishermen, coming in or going out. We’ve all been there,” said Shrader, wife of Ronnie Shrader, who captains the F/Vs Tradition and Norseman and also is on the committee.
Read the rest and much, much more in the June issue of Commercial Fisheries News.
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