Vernon Petten

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Vern Petten, Boat builder and fisherman
Port de Grave

It’s a tale as old as time across Newfoundland and Labrador, but Vern Petten always preferred to sit in a fishing boat than sit in a classroom. As soon as he was old enough to climb aboard, he started fishing, and by age fourteen he was fishing full-time with his father. He saved up the money he earned to buy a bike in order to visit his future wife, Shirley, in Bay Roberts. The year they got married, in 1955, Vernon built his first large fishing boat and has built a dozen more since then, each bigger than the last. Vern also volunteered his time as treasurer for his local church in Port de Grave – for fifty straight years! That’s a boatload of dedication right there.