Capt. Blackwood – a Tribute by Capt Abram Kean in the Daily News 4 March 1938

Another sealing master has answered the roll call, this time Capt. A. Blackwood of Wesleyville. Capt. Blackwood is the son of Capt. Peter Blackwood of Brookfield, but he married the adopted daughter of Capt. Edward Bishop of Wesleyville, a Miss Winsor, and according to the desire of Capt. Bishop, he went to live with him at Wesleyville. Capt. Bishop placed him master of one of his fishing vessels and later on second hand with him at the sealfishery. And when Captain Bishop’s health failed him in 1926, Capt. Blackwood was first placed in command of the S.S. Eagle on a second trip, and for the next few years, he was in command of the Eagle and in 1928 made a second trip. In all he made four trips in the Eagle and made a good second to Captain Bishop. In 1929 he was appointed Master of the S.S. Imogene and late last fall it was discovered through failing health, that he could not hope to command that ship again, and Capt. W.B. Kean was appointed in command of the Imogene. From 1926 to 1937 he has brought in 379,810 seals, and had his health held good until the allotted span, there is no doubt he would have established a world’s record for himself, and the Imogene would have maintained she has already established, a world’s record for herself. The Imogene still remains, and no doubt all eyes will be turned on her for the future.

But Captain A. Blackwood’s record will stand as it is, and his record not only in connection with the sealfishery but in every other department of life is one of which every Newfoundlander might justly feel proud. At 20 he was a handsome young man and with a great determination to lead in everything he touched, and being of a pleasant turn of mind, made him a favourite among his chums and no doubt his passing will be regretted by hundreds. His death at fifty-three is rather premature, but the work he crowded in these years is what he will be remembered by. Let me quote the words of Philip James Baily: “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.” Although I am not now in active service, I feel certain that all the captains, officers and crews of the sealing fleet, will join with me in offering our tribute of respect to one of our numbers, who played such an important part in the sealing industry of this country, and also join with me in offering our sincere sympathy to his bereaved wife and family in their great loss. On behalf of the Captains, Officers and crews of the sealing fleet.

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