Hard work pays off for Kielly’s Cove group

Federally funded refurbishment coming to completion

By Jerry Conway | Vol. 12 No. 15 (July 25, 2019)

The Cod Moratorium began in 1992 and it resulted in the biggest lay off, by some accounts, in Canadian history. The premises at Kielly's Cove were deserted and no upkeep was performed on the wharf or boat shed for many years.

The ribbon was cut in Gaskiers - Point LaHaye on Friday July 12 on a federally funded, but locally-driven refurbishment of the wharf and boathouse at Kielly’s Cove. On hand for the ceremony were, from left Bill Goulding, Director Small Craft and Harbours; Hillary Gibbons, Ed Tobin, Steven Hynes, Earl Kielly, Curtis Critch, Mayor Shannon Critch, committee president Gerald Tobin, MP Ken McDonald, Lane Tobin, Kain Tobin, Lucas St. Croix, Jerry Conway ,Sheila Meehan, Calvin Kielly, Eleanor Kielly, Carol-Ann Gibbons, Mitchell St. Croix, Helena Critch, Gabe Critch, Edward Kielly, and Avery Critch.

The ribbon was cut in Gaskiers - Point LaHaye on Friday July 12 on a federally funded, but locally-driven refurbishment of the wharf and boathouse at Kielly’s Cove. On hand for the ceremony were, from left Bill Goulding, Director Small Craft and Harbours; Hillary Gibbons, Ed Tobin, Steven Hynes, Earl Kielly, Curtis Critch, Mayor Shannon Critch, committee president Gerald Tobin, MP Ken McDonald, Lane Tobin, Kain Tobin, Lucas St. Croix, Jerry Conway ,Sheila Meehan, Calvin Kielly, Eleanor Kielly, Carol-Ann Gibbons, Mitchell St. Croix, Helena Critch, Gabe Critch, Edward Kielly, and Avery Critch.

It was in late 2011 that Gerry Tobin approached the Gaskiers -Point LaHaye Community Council about finding some money and possibly taking on a project to do some necessary repairs to the boatshed and wharf.

It was suggested to Tobin that he form a committee and try to access funds. On Dec. 31, 2011 the first meeting was held in the home of Calvin Critch and a committee was formed consisting of four executive members, Gerry Tobin as president, Calvin Critch as vice-president, Earle Kielly as secretary, and Carol Ann Gibbons as treasurer.

There was a total of 14 people at this meeting and the name Kielly's Cove Boatshed and Wharf Committee was chosen. On Nov. 27, 2012 the committee was incorporated thanks to the work of then secretary Earl Kielly. Shortly thereafter Earl resigned from the committee and I became his replacement as secretary.

Since that time President Gerry Tobin had dealt with many people from MHA's to provincial and federal officials from DFO and Small Craft Harbours to access funding. He was successful with some funding and a local card game also raised some funds. The roof shingles were replaced, new metal was installed on the eaves, new doors were installed both front and back, some new windows were put in and a large amount of painting and removal of a large slab of concrete which had broken off from the end of the wharf, was undertaken.

In February 2018 there was a meeting in St. Mary's arranged by then Mayor Johnny Critch between the Kielly's Cove Boatshed and Wharf Committee Inc. and our federal member, Ken McDonald, the MP for Avalon Riding. The result of that meeting was that the committee was told that there was money available and on March 9, 2018 a meeting was held at the Town Hall with Bill Goulding, the Regional Director of Small Craft and Harbours and an engineer Paul Curran. There was much discussion about the Small Craft and Harbours divestiture program and the benefit to us as a non- profit committee. There were a couple of more meetings at the wharf and in the Town Hall and on July 5, 2018 all present signed a concept drawing giving approval in principle for this concept and design that we see here today. This is posted on a wall in the boatshed. This project was the first one approved in Newfoundland under the Small Craft and Harbours divestiture program.

On Nov. 29, 2018 a contract was awarded to Granite Management for $893,168. There were six bidders on this project. Dec. 17,2018 is when dismantling of the wharf commenced. Work continued throughout the winter and spring until the present day and the end result of the work is visible here today. I suggest to you that this wharf has now cost in excess of $1.2 million dollars. A great piece of infrastructure for our community and it was constructed without a lost time accident or incident. A great accomplishment considering the harsh weather at Kielly's Cove this past winter.

When the final assessment and surveys are completed by Mr. Goulding, this wharf and boatshed will be transferred to the Kielly's Cove Boatshed and Wharf Committee Inc., which is a 16 member strong community-orientated not-for-profit volunteer group.

Posted on August 8, 2019 .