August 8, 2001
(Tourism, Culture and Recreation)
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Kevin Aylward, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, and Gerry Reid, MHA - Twillingate-Fogo, invite the media to the opening reception celebrating the Fogo Marconi Wireless Station Site as a Receiving the World Communications site. The event begins at 11:00 a.m., August 11, at the Fogo Marconi Wireless Station site.
Fogo Marconi Wireless Station Site
Built in 1911 at the instigation of the Newfoundland government, the Marconi wireless station on Fogo Island was for many years the only one along the hundreds of kilometres of Newfoundland coast between Cape Race and Belle Isle. Built near the community of Fogo, it operated for 22 years and connected to an overland telegraph line, provided an invaluable communications link to local and passing mariners, and those bound to and from the Labrador fishery. It was also the main link to the Battle Harbour wireless station – through it the people of the Labrador Straits were linked to the North American "land line" telegraph network.
Fogo Island is located at the northeastern corner of Notre Dame Bay, an area that has been fished for hundreds of years, going back at least to the Beothuk Indians. Fogo's wide harbour and proximity to fishing grounds fostered a vibrant community and much activity – even Jacques Cartier lowered anchor within its protection.
Native, French, English, transplanted Newfoundlanders . . . Fogo Island has seen populations rise and wane, each leaving its mark. Today, behind the town of Fogo, the Marconi wireless station site is on a sightseeing path to the abandoned village of Lion's Den. Through interpretive panels, it tells the story of the ebb and flow of communities and cultures, and the important role wireless technology once played in keeping those in the fishery safe, prosperous and in touch.
Media contact: Mary MacNab, Communications, Special Celebrations Corporation, (709) 729-3813.
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