Capt. Edward Bishop

A tribute by Capt. Abram Kean in the Daily News 12 September 1927

On Saturday night I had a ‘phone call from Captain William Winsor telling me he had received a message from Wesleyville stating that Captain Edward Bishop was dead. Naturally my thoughts went back to the time when I first became acquainted with Captain Bishop, which dates back to 1873, when he, with myself, formed a part of the crew of the brig Peerless at the sealfishery, where a friendship was built up between us which up to Saturday night had never been severed. Although at that time he was but a young man in his teens, he was strong and robust, well able to play his part as a man and soon became the idol of the ship’s company; he was everybody’s friend and nobody’s enemy. The position which he gained for himself then he maintained unto the end. I believe it can truthfully be said Captain Bishop leaves the world without an enemy. He was very unassuming in his manner, of a retiring disposition, but yet genial and well able to give a joke and take one. His first success as a business man was achieved when he entered into partnership with Captain George Hann, at Wesleyville, and operated a lobster factory at Flat Island, Bonavista Bay. After some years the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent, Captain Hann leaving Captain Bishop in full control of the factory. The partnership closed, but not the friendship which was built up between them for Captain Hann often has related to me that the years he spent with Captain Bishop will be ever remembered among the pleasant memories of the past.

In 1906 Captain Bishop put in an application for the captaincy of a sealing steamer. Sir E.R. Bowring sent for me and asked me what I thought of Edward Bishop as a sealing master. The outcome of that conversation was, I believe, the placing of Captain Bishop in command of the S.S. Algerine the following spring, for a few days later I received a beautiful walking stick attached to which was a silver plate with his own name and mine engraved on it for the good word I spoke for him on that occasion. I mentioned this to show that Captain Bishop possessed that rare gift of gratitude which so many are deficient in, and what a different world this would be if more men and women would emulate his example. I have carried that gift for his sake. I will prize it all the more now for, every time I use it, it will remind me of the gift of a departed friend. The future historians will give Captain Bishop a foremost place as one of our most successful sealing masters.

Captain Bishop married a Miss Hill of Swain’s Island. They had no issue, but he adopted one of his wife’s relations, Master Sidney Hill, and one of his sister’s daughters, Miss Annie Winsor, both of whom found in Captain Bishop an indulgent father and they in turn, I believe, respected and revered him with all the love and consideration that would be accorded their real father. His wife has not enjoyed good health for some years, and leaves this world much the better for his having lived in it. And so the end has come; for me the link of friendship which has existed for fifty-five years has been broken, but the memory of the many kind words spoken and the many kind acts done will never die; and I can only pay this last tribute of respect to a man whom I learned to admire and respect as a brother.

Captain Bishop has given the last order to furl the sail, he has stood on the bridge for the last time, given the last command, and brought his ship to port for the last time and dropped the last anchor. Apart from the place he will be given by the future historians, his name in time may be forgotten but among the two generations that he has mixed with, who have been brought in personal contact with him, his pleasant smile and genial disposition will not be forgotten while their memories hold their place. To his sorrowing wife and his many friends my family join with me in offering our sincere sympathy.


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