Man: even as a child, i could draw and paint and sketch, but when I went fishing with my father, and first started with the boats, I realized, because I could build, that that offered a very creative way to make a living, in a way that actually worked in a functional way.
And when fishing came along. and boats in particular, I just knew that was an answer for a way to live. My name is Jerome Canning. I’m born on the island of Merasheen, but my growing up was in the town of Placentia. Well, growing up there was like every kid, I suppose, fun.
We would borrow dories and flats. What we would do, of course, is go rowing and diving and fishing from that little boat. There’s a lot of boat builders I know who, actually, their fathers were boat builders. But, when I learned boats, I did learn from the older gentlemen.
Most of these people, they were boat builder fishermen. And the way they learned how to build boats, was looking. Their whole boatbuilding knowledge was really just what was passed on out on the beach or in the shed. They never had plans.
No one worked from plans. They carried on the tradition of shaping the boat by their own eye. One good thing about boat building is there’s two sides of it. There’s the side that you build alone, and there’s the side that you build with a lot of other people.
Here, the wooden boat museum in winterton, I was hired for the skill of teaching workshops. There’s something about generosity that happens naturally in a workshop. There’s a certain generosity that comes out of people. Sharing their lives, and sharing their stories,.
And that, to me, i think is the most enjoyable. What’s important to me is that I do realize that I have a part to play in passing on knowledge that I learned from my parents’ generation, and they had learned from their parents’ generation.
I want my son to build a boat with me, I think for all the same reasons that I came into becoming a boat builder. I think they’re still valid today. If I can work with my son on it, I know that he would say, I learned to build with my father.
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