Daily News, 1938

June 25, 1938

“Uncle Dicky” Seaward Will Be 101 in August


Till Blindness Overcame Him Fished Offshore Until the Age of 95


“Uncle Dicky” Seaward has passed the century mark and is moving up toward the home stretch – still going strong. In August next he will celebrate his 101st birthday.

“Uncle Dicky” lives at Gooseberry Cove, near Random, the same spot where he was born. He is the oldest person in the neighbourhood, and can remember clearly when there was only one shack Random Island.

“Uncle Dicky” is the spot character in that section. The people talk of him as a wonderful old man, and they talk to him more than to any other person for the same reason. Whenever there is anybody to listen, he talks too.

The many experiences of his long life are common knowledge to his less-aged neighbours. The old man is blind – lost his sight several years ago – and his chief occupation nowadays is listening to the news and living over again his active years, reminiscently.

Blindness Only Defect

Blindness is “Uncle Dicky’s” only defect in spite of his hoary age. His hearing is perfect, his health is good and his memory is still keen and clear. He does not get out of doors much, but that is only because he cannot see to get around.

In fact, the Gooseberry Cove veteran’s strength is so much younger than his years and his eagerness so keen, that he finds it a bit irksome to sit still and do nothing. A neighbour relates an anecdote that is going the rounds over there now.

A fishing schooner was not doing so well as might be, and the popular feeling was that the skipper and crew weren’t too fond of work. Somebody was telling “Uncle Dicky” about it. “Goody God,” snorted the old man – that is his pet phrase – “If I only had my eyesight!”

Long Career

In the years that are gone, “Uncle Dicky” was master of a schooner himself and he worked hard and did well. For years he went to Labrador as skipper of a crew, and many were his experiences and hardships. He fished off shore at home until he was 95 and was able then “to hop about like a young feller.”

“Uncle Dicky” went to the icefields for many years, worked in the lumberwoods, did almost everything common to the outport Newfoundland bread-winner. That is why to-day, in his sightless retirement, he follows every development with avid interest.

In telling strangers about Random’s Grand Old Man, neighbours generally begin with what seems to have been “Uncle Dicky’s” greatest feat. Some years before old age came upon him, he walked across Trinity Bay from Grates Point to his home over the ice in March.

He had come in from the spring ice-hunt, and wasn’t waiting for anybody or anything to take him back home. At Grates Cove he got out on the ice – heaving, loose stuff – and plodded along over the dangerous Bay until he finally reached Gooseberry Cove safely. It was a 30-mile crossing, and it seems that it was the only time it was done on foot.

Birthday Celebrations

Last August, when the date of “Uncle Dicky’s” 100th birthday rolled around, Gooseberry Cove and environs prepared to celebrate. A great feast was spread, a merry time was had, and the blind old man who on that day rounded off a century of life, was the central figure. This year he will have a bigger birthday party, and one more candle in his cake.

“Uncle Dicky” was quoted to this reported by those who know him closely as being both a non-smoker and a non-drinker all his life. They thought this total abstinence might have something to do with his longevity.

“Uncle Dicky” lives with his daughter, and the threshold of the little home is well worn with the daily parade of people who come in to see the old gentleman. In his old age, “Uncle Dicky” has the love and regard of all who know him, as he had in his years of active work.

In the sentence above, I wrote “in his old age,” and it has just occurred to me that it is a good thing the veteran will not be able to see this “piece in the paper about him.” He’d snort, I guess, if he read that phrase, and use his pet expression.

For, really, Uncle Dicky Seaward is 101 years young.


July 22, 1938

Gooseberry Cove Notes


Raymond Langor

GOOSEBERRY COVE. July 18th — On May 14 as the first ray of early dawn, shed its ray upon earth the soul of Raymond, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Langor, passed from the night into a more beautiful and glorious dawn. Raymond was called away at the early age of 16 years. He had a severe attack of mumps early in the winter but up to that time was always a healthy boy, taking part in almost every thing in work or games. He was only ill for a few days, with a very bad headache, and while loved ones and friends looked on none realized the end was so near, although only ill for a short time everything that loving hands could do was done by the people of his own place, also friends from Southport and Butter Cove, but none could save him. The blow came as a severe one to his family, as he was his father’s only help and his father is sick most of the time, unable to go away to work, and at the time of his death their oldest daughter, Annie, was a patient at the General hospital.

Raymond was a bright boy, always stayed at home with his mother, and it seems sad that one so gay and full of life should be so suddenly taken away, but God’s will is not our will and God’s will is best although it seems so hard to see our loved one go. He was borne away by his young comrades on Sunday May 15, and laid to rest in the C. of E. cemetery on the Cross Roads. Mr. S. Spurrel read the burial service in the absence of the clergy, Rev. Dickenson. The coffin was covered with wreaths and roses, placed there by loving hands of his friends and companions. He is greatly missed and time goes on and those who love him best will miss him most and time alone can heal the wound. He leaves to mourn his sad loss a mother and father, 3 sisters and 3 brothers, besides a number of relatives and friends to mourn their lost one.

It’s hard to break the tender cords

     When love has bound the heart

It’s hard, so hard to speak the words

     We must forever part.


— One who loved him.


Transcribed by Maria Drover, October 2023

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.