Maritime Packers in the 1970's
Beulah Jane Wright was born in River John where she lives today. As a teenager she followed her brother to work the crab at Lismore and then to Maritime Packers in Caribou. She remembers a carload of folks commuting to Caribou from River John. At Caribou, she discovered she was good with the numbers and with people, attributes that shaped her rest of her working life. At the factory she began to help fisherman with their taxes, a task she maintained for years afterward.
Beulah's photographs of her days working in Caribou Harbour reflect the vivid sense of community that surrounded the seasonal fisheries. The working environment was multi generational and bustling. Yet change was coming as the business of fishing consolidated and the canneries at Caribou began to decline.
Beulah worked at Maritimes Packers in the early 70’s. By 1966 the Broidy family had sold the plant to National Sea Products. By the mid 1970's, the plant had fewer workers and had no longer boarded seasonal workers. The Acadian presence diminished. There were more traps but lighter catches. Local lobster canneries numbered 3 in 1979 down from 17 in 1920.
In 1971 Beulah photographed a boat going through the Little Entrance. A decade later the Little Entrance would be silted over and soon after the Maritime Packers would close completely.
Beulah went on to become an adult educator. She traveled Nova Scotia extensively teaching business skills to fishers and farmers. She is an avid genealogy researcher sought out for expertise in Maritime family history. She is also an avid collector of porcelain teacups, a hobby begun as an itinerant teacher.