I’d like to take a moment to mark the passing of Henry Vokey of Trinity, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, at age 91. Henry was a Newfoundland cultural icon. A traditional wooden boat builder of 50 years who build an estimated one thousand boats. He built everything from the 14 foot “Rodneys”, larger trap skiffs and ocean going 60 foot schooners. His boats were work boats for fishing and travel that were a part of Newfoundland’s social, cultural and economic life for a past generation. With a distinct style everyone knew a “Vokey Boat” when they saw one.
If you ever took a sailing tour out of St John’s harbour on the schooner J and B, you’ve been on a Vokey boat.
Thankfully, his boats are kept alive and being used and kept for pleasure and craft by a new generation and a revival of interest in Newfoundland’s wooden boats which Henry has been instrumental in driving.
His last schooner, the Leah Caroline, was launched in 2012.