Lloyd, Roy John

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                                                      ROY JOHN LLOYD

“I’ll always consider myself a lobster fisherman. It’s been my life!” These were the comments of Roy John Lloyd, 66-year-old retired fisherman from Escuminac. Mr. Lloyd came into the office of the North Shore Leader to look up the files of 41 years ago. The following is from the report in the issue of April 3rd, 1936:

                                                      A Record Run

A boat owned by Roy John Lloyd of Escuminac established a record run when it was sailed from Escuminac to Loggieville on March 21st. This was the earliest date in the history of the Miramichi that a boat had been brought into Loggieville. It was manned by Mr. Lloyd and Fred Savoy Jr., both of Escuminac.

Lloyd recalls a very nice spring day with the trip taking about four hours each way. It was a 35-foot boat with a Dodge motor, the first he owned. The trip was to purchase salt from A & R Loggie’s for Fred Savoy who ran a lobster factory. The salt was used to salt herring which is used to bait the lobster traps.

“This was the only way of getting it,” says Mr. Lloyd, “roads were impossible at that time of the year, you were always getting stuck and it took more time. Besides, I believe it was cheaper. If I recall correctly, I believe I charged $15 for a complete trip.

Mr. Lloyd started fishing at the age of 14 and fished until 1961. “It’s a hard life, and sometimes there isn’t much time for your family, but I really enjoyed it.”

Mr. Lloyd went on to explain that he would sometimes have to get up at 4 o’clock, be ready to leave the wharf at 5, when they would be heading out for P.E.I. The crew stayed on the boat, but since he lived very close by he always went home at night.

Mr. Lloyd recalls the Escuminac Disaster as a “terrible tragedy.” He had two boats active during but had gotten both boats in safely. Mr. Lloyd was credited with saving Roy Saunders of Escuminac. Strangely enough no one from Escuminac was lost. All were from the outlying areas. The men who had anything to do with aiding or saving the others during the disaster had a chance to meet the Queen. He remembers the Queen asking him what he fished. When he replied lobster, salmon, mackerel, cod, flounders and smelts, he was surprised that she knew of the different seasons and said: “Mr. Lloyd, you work for most of the year don’t you? What do you do during the couple of months you have?” He explained it was used “to get this gear ready for next year.”

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (parents of Queen Elizabeth II) (had) visited the Miramichi in June 1939. The Queen paid tribute to fishermen who had rescued several men during a storm that took the lives of many.

Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd have a son and daughter, Brian and Sharon. Mr. Lloyd left fishing in 1961 due to his health and went into the construction business Lloyd Construction. He stayed with this until 1976 when he retired. He sold the business to his son Brian who he says has helped the business greatly. Mrs. Lloyd is still active as bookkeeper for her son.

After just returning from a six week vacation from Florida, Mr. Lloyd was asked which part of the country appeals to him most. “Fishing has been my life, I love Escuminac, but to be honest I would like to live in Florida for a few months of the year.” While in Florida, he had a telephone conversation with G. Roy McWilliam, former publisher of The North Shore Leader and former Member of Parliament. While speaking of Mr. McWilliam to us, he said “The North Shore Leader was a good paper then, but it’s a great paper now, I always read it!”

Source: North Shore Leader – March 30, 1977

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