Town of Lunenburg postpones Fishers’ Memorial Service as South Shore prepares for Hurricane Dorian

Given the serious weather forecast for this weekend due to Hurricane Dorian, the Town of Lunenburg has made the difficult decision to postpone the annual Fishers' Memorial Service that was planned for this Sunday, September 8, 2019 until the following Sunday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m.

Environment Canada issued a tropical cyclone warning September 5, advising that on the latest forecasts, the most likely track projection brings Hurricane Dorian south of the Maritimes on Saturday, pushing through eastern Nova Scotia late in the day.

The Fishers' Memorial Service will take place on the waterfront near the Fisheries Museum. This is an annual event in honour of the many men who have lost their lives while pursuing their livelihood in the fishery. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Bridgewater Fire Department Band will provide the music and will be assisted by the voices of a massed choir of various local churches. The Roll of Honour is to be read by Mayor Rachel Bailey and will include the names of those fishermen lost in the years ending in nine, covering the last century.

Following the service those present will proceed to where wreaths will be placed either at the Fishermen's Memorial or aboard a working fishing boat to be taken out to sea. The ceremony will continue as the wreath-bearing vessel steams to open water where the clergy aboard perform a prayer of committal and the wreaths are then deposited in memory of the lives lost.

Any individuals or groups wishing to place wreaths at the service are welcome to do so. After placing an order for a wreath with a florist, please contact the Lunenburg Town Office at 902-634-4410 to provide your details to be included.

A compass rose shaped granite Fishermen's Memorial on Lunenburg's waterfront bears the names of those fishermen lost from the early 1900s to the present day. There is also a Memorial Room at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic (2nd Floor), which will be open so that family members and visitors may see the mural painted by renowned Nova Scotia artist Joseph Purcell with the names of the lost fishermen hand painted by his wife Tela Purcell, herself an accomplished artist.

With the arrival of Hurricane Dorian on Saturday, Environment Canada is calling for severe winds and rainfall, large waves for the Atlantic coast, and the chance of a storm surge. Environment Canada warned that most regions will experience some tropical storm force winds. Near and to the south of the forecast track, winds should reach hurricane force.

As the storm moves across Nova Scotia, there is a possibility of hurricane force northwesterlies behind it. Wind impacts will likely be enhanced by foliage on the trees, enhancing tree damage and tree falls, and potentially causing power outages.

The forecast also calls for rainfall in amounts of 50 mm, but north and west of Dorian, a swath of more than 100 mm is likely. Some districts have received large quantities of rain from Post-tropical Storm Erin last week, and with the soil moisture still very high from Erin, excessive runoff may exacerbate the flooding potential.

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