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(Weekly Record, March 19, 1892)

The "Hearld" Astray on the Trinity Bay Affair

When a few days since this community was visited by the direful calamity which brought so much suffering, death and desolation to our doors, few, if any, had other than the most sympathetic of feelings for the bereaved, and the most thankful of feelings towards those who were endeavoring by every means in their power to rescue the perishing and cheer the afflicted ones. For the time every difference of opinion on other matters dropped, humanity asserted itself, and, irrespective of creed and calling, all united in one common effort to rescue and relieve. We had hoped that the same feeling would be manifested through the whole country, and that for the nonce political animosity would give way to nobler feelings of sympathetic humanity. thank Heaven! in the majority of cases this did occur. there are, however, in every land, men with a sordid desire to do an injury to every one whose political ideas are not parallel with theirs; and who take any and every opportunity to vent their spleen; and we are pained to see that this country is not wanting for men of this despicable stamp. This may be seen by reference to the Hearld of the 1st inst. and other late issues of that paper. Without any regard to facts the Hearld launches out into a dirade of abuse against the Government, and makes use of language so impious and vindictive as is worthy only of the most depraved of mortals.

The Hearld thinks it has cause for complaint in the fact that the Government did not send out a steamer earlier than Monday the 1st inst. Those of us who know every circumstance connected with the direful affair know, too, that the Government's action was as prompt as circumstances warranted. The Government was not in receipt of any intelligence of the calamity until late on Sunday night, and that intelligence went from the South Side of Trinity Bay, from which no really reliable information could be obtained, - the men giving the intelligence, knowing only of their own fate, could not give any idea of what had befallen the others who were caught in the gale. Neither was anything definite known here until Monday, and hence the delay that occurred in the Government being informed of the matter. So soon as the real state of affairs became known the Government acted, and acted promptly. The Labrador was despatched, but with what result - she was unable to get in the Bay owing to the blockade of ice. This would have been the case had she been despatched on Sunday. The Bay became blocked on Saturday afternoon and night; and no steamer would have been able to effect a passage after Sunday morning. The only other time that a steamer could have got in the Bay to have been of benefit to those adrift was on Saturday afternoon, and no one ashore either on the North or South Side of the Bay was aware at that time that such a terrible tragedy was occurring at our doors. How then could the Government have acted differently? Only the Hearld writers profess to know. All in this community, including the friends and relatives of the dean and missing men, express themselves perfectly satisfied that the Government did all that could be done by mortal men under the circumstances; and if those whose painful lot it is to be the sufferers are satisfied why should the Hearld endeavor to reflect upon the Government merely to vent his political spleen. Had its editor one spark of truthfulness, or manliness, in his composition, he would be ashamed to see his paper disgraced with such articles, knowing, as he must, that they are utterly false and unfounded.

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THE TRINITY RELIEF FUND

We are pleased to know that the fund being raised in St. John's for the relief of the sufferers by the last disaster is steadily increasing. Many persons have subscribed handsome sums towards the fund, and the thanks of the distressed are due and hereby conveyed to the subscribers. We believe it is the intention to appoint a committee to distribute the amount collected, and in this matter the greatest care should be exercised. Knowling the circumstances of the people we should suggest that all the fund be not distributed at once, but that a monthly or quarterly allowance be made to each family according to their need.

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Transcribed by James Butler, 1997
Revised by Jim Butler, September, 2002

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