News Release Archive

"There's no life like it," says Bill Cox, 80, a Second World War
navy veteran and shipbuilder who can't get enough of the sea.

Mr. Cox is one of 40 Nova Scotians with the opportunity to take
part in history by becoming part of the Matthew crew, a replica
of John Cabot's ship. Boarding the vessel Wednesday, Aug. 27, in
Shelburne for the one day trip to Yarmouth, Mr. Cox could end up
mopping the decks, sewing sails, cleaning and oiling the hull and
doing galley duty.

"I've sailed on many types of boats of various power, but I look
forward to sailing the Matthew because it is such a unique
experience," he said.

A Shelburne native, Mr. Cox began sailing at the tender age of
eight. His first boat was an 80-year-old goth rigged sail, which
he bought when he was 16 years old. Later, he worked as crew on a
large ketch rig that ran from New York to Palm Beach, Nassau,
Port au Prince, the Cayman Islands, Montego Bay, Havana and back
to the United States. In 1942, he joined the navy and served on
the destroyer St. Laurent, which saw active duty north of the

Even after he was released from the navy in 1945, Mr. Cox wasn't
sick of the sea or boats. Charting unknown waters of his own, he
decided to form a boat-building company with his father and
younger brother called Harley Cox and Sons.

The business thrived for more than three decades, making
commercial boats up to 20 metres long and patrol boats for the
RCMP marine division. In fact, they did so well they bought the
Shelburne Shipbuilders Yard and started constructing
28-metre-long longliners, scallop draggers and Cape Island-type
vessels. In 1985, Harley Cox and Sons built its last boat. 

Today, Mr. Cox continues to spend a good part of his life on the
water in his Pelican fibreglass boat cruising along the coast of
British Columbia up to the Arctic Ocean. Having the chance to
sail on the Matthew is a thrill for Mr. Cox,  who can't wait to
do everything the old-fashioned way.


Contact: Renee Field
         Economic Development and Tourism

sab                     Aug. 25, 1997         4:45 p.m.