The Bruce was bound for Louisburg the night being dark and drear,
When Captain Drake stood on the bridge a man who knew no fear;
Ten knots an hour she bore along against the wind and tide,
The white-cap waves they madly dashed against this proud ship's side.
The helmsman with heart and cheer so brave and strong as steel,
Stood like a sentinel at his post beside the Bruce's wheel;
The passengers were all below and all were of good cheer,
They never dreamt that danger grave was lurking very near.
But accidents will happen quick as you will understand,
There's no occasion to be safe upon the sea or land;
No gentle warning to prepare, no tender call so brief,
The Bruce with mail and passengers she ran upon a reef.
And then a great confusion aboard the ship held sway,
The helpless female passengers could only kneel and pray;
Their weeping children clinging close beside their mother's form,
It was a pitiful picture there that night with sea and storm.
The boats were ordered to be lowered, and the volunteers to aid
Were all true Newfoundlanders, they never were afraid;
Were all true Newfoundlanders, their hearts were kind and true,
When danger stares you in the face they'll risk their lives for you.
And by the Bruce's noble crew the passengers were saved,
Except death to one poor fellow, I'll agree that he was brave;
Young Pike all from his native home intended for to roam,
Was snatched all from the strangers' hands and buried in the foam.
Alas unto his wife and friends they're sad as we all know,
Alas great God who dwells above from Whom all blessings flow;
He gives the power of request all with His mighty hand,
And places him with the fishermen of dear old Newfoundland.
We had to go by motorboat from Twillingate to Lewisporte, then by train to Port aux Basques. We left there at 11:30 P.M. on a steamer, S.S. Bruce, March 23, to cross the Gulf of St. Lawrence for North Sydney. About 4:30 A.M., March 24, the steamer ran aground on the Scatteri [sic] Island, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, eighteen miles from where we were supposed to go. There was a high sea rolling and we had been going through broken ice all night. When the steamer hit the solid rock, all the lights went out and the passengers were thrown out of their beds. The steamer fell over on its side, exposed to the Gulf. This allowed every sea to go over her. The steamer had four lifeboats. Two of these were smashed to pieces and two passengers were drowned in front of me. The captain gave orders that women and children were to be taken off first. Due to the high sea, the other two lifeboats had to row four miles to land the passengers, and get word to the mainland for them to send a rescue boat. Due to the fact that it took so long for a boat to row eight miles, four each way, a rescue steamer arrived before all the passengers had been taken off. It was 4 P.M. when the steamer from Louisbourg came to take the rest of us off. We were given dry clothing and lots to eat, then taken to North Sydney where I took the train for Toronto. I arrived in Toronto March 25, 1911.NOTE: Scatarie Island is approximately 10 km (6.2 mi) long and lies in a west-to-east orientation about 3 km (1.9 mi) east of Main-à-Dieu Harbour across the Main-à-Dieu Passage. It is the second largest island off the coast of Cape Breton (Isle Madame is considerably larger). Lighthouses have been established at both ends of the island: the westernmost is known as the Main-à-Dieu Lighthouse and the easternmost as Scatarie Lighthouse. Scatarie Island, several of the adjacent islets, and the waters for one statute mile off shore now form the Scatarie Island Provincial Wildlife Management Area. It is therefore no longer inhabited, though some buildings from the former community remain standing.