LETTERS: Anger still simmers over the fate of the Norisle

So many people put their heart and souls into saving the venerable piece of Island history

To the Expositor:

As a member of the Friends of the Norisle, I am completely disgusted with the Assiginack council on mothballing all the efforts that were done in order to attempt to actually do something with the Norisle.

People do not realize how close the ship actually was to being removed and the steel infrastructure restored. Basically all it would have taken was two signatures. One for the grant and one to sign over ownership, for example.

Mr. Moffatt, I believe that you and your council’s intentions were to have someone else do your dirty work for you. Who else would have cleaned out all the junk that the township accumulated in the lower car deck etc. I believe that you treated us as a subcontractor and already had been in contact with Tobermory Maritime Association for quite some time.

Since our first steering committee up until we were locked out we had many challenges. Some of them were from so called “concerned” persons who called upon the ministry to stop us from proceeding. Yes, there was asbestos; yes, there were other issues; but we grabbed the bull by the horns and kept going. Was this a concerned person or persons or was it just jealousy that we in fact were going to make something out of Norisle and you, since 1974, have exhausted all your resources.

Assiginack wanted to get rid of the Norisle to make room for more docks. You obviously had the chance to do so without all the legal proceedings and court costs. Now because of your bad business decision, your taxpayers now have to pay. 

A decade ago in The Expositor there was an article stating that Assiginack was considering sinking the Norisle. Is this about the time that you made contact with Tobermory Maritime Association?

I give credit to all the people who have volunteered their time and effort on the Norisle. John and Wayne invested many, many hours with the Norisle and gave it their best shot trying to negotiate with the township. I’m sure they didn’t have this much trouble when they brought the Muskoka steamers back to life.

Many people have approached me in the last year or so to find out what they could do to help, and even Collingwood had a plan to possibly put her on display in the old drydock as part of the shipbuilding heritage of the area. 

You need to preserve history and not let it be forgotten by sinking it where a handful of divers will see it.

Before my father passed away this past March, there was nothing in this world that he wanted more than to see her at least be towed for restoration. He would have not been happy at the outcome and he was a strong volunteer offering his millwright experience when needed.

As someone said during the very first “Save the Norisle” meeting, “If it’s gonna go down, it’s gonna go down kicking and screaming!”

Bryan Morgan

a ticked off Friend of the Norisle