End of an Era.

Saturday, June 16, 2012 - The Final Wave
Saturday, June 16, 2012 – The Flags Flew at Half Mast – The Final Wave

In 1929 it opened its doors and in 2012, 83 years later, it shut down its machines for the very last time. For 83 Years, Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited produced paper for countries around the world, giving many men, and women, of Brooklyn, NS and its surrounding areas a job to support their families. The rumors started on Thursday, June 14 that the upper hands were meeting to discuss the upcoming shut down. It looked bleak. The morning of Friday, June 15 will be a morning no one from Queens County will ever forget: Bowater Mersey Paper Company will become Idle, permanently.

Idle, forever. We, as a community, knew that this would happen. Did we expect it to happen as soon as it did? Absolutely not. I, myself, expected to be old and grey before the doors of Bowater Mersey would close forever.

On the final night I went down to the parking lot to greet my father. Unfortunately for me, he wasn’t coming out until early morning. I snapped some pictures from across the river, in the night. I saw that every door was open, every light was on, and the more I paced, the more I realized it was the end. I have a small pinch of regret. I regret not calling my father to meet me, or asking someone to let me in. I don’t know why I didn’t follow my instincts, but I didn’t. Maybe it was a good thing I didn’t? He had a final night with his coworkers. Took his pictures, and had a few laughs. 40 years is a long time to spend working in one place, albeit, in many departments. It had to be surreal for him, and everbody else who walked out of that gate the following morning. Knowing you were the last people to see the rolls of paper come off the machines. Two machines that will never again run. Never again roll up tons of paper.

Idle, forever.

I can’t begin to imagine what the workers feel, but I can feel heart-broken for them. A little piece of our community has been snuffed out, put to sleep by a corporation that say they have run out of options. It is a devastating blow, but a blow that we, as a community, will rise up through. It will take time to collect up all the pieces and put them back together. It will take time to realize where you will go from here. This door may have closed, but another is opening. A new adventure awaits.

My love, my admiration, for all those who worked at Bowater since 1929. It’s truly an end of an era.

Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited
Company Information
Legal Name: Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited
Operating Name: Bowater Mersey Paper Company Limited

Location: BROOKLYN, Nova Scotia
Website URL: http://www.abitibibowater.com

Company Description

Manufacturer of newsprint and lumber
Country of Ownership: Canada
Year Established: 1929
Exporting: Yes
Quality Certification: ISO 9001
Primary Industry (NAICS): 322122 – Newsprint Mills
Alternate Industries (NAICS): 321111 – Sawmills (except Shingle and Shake Mills)

Primary Business Activity: Manufacturer / Processor / Producer
Product Name: Lumber
Product Name: Paper, Newsprint (excl. Groundwood & Specialty)

Market Profile
Geographic Markets:
Export Experience:
•Costa Rica
•Dominican Republic
•Hong Kong
•Puerto Rico
•Sri Lanka
•Trinidad and Tobago
•United Kingdom
•Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

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