Augustine A. Etchegary (Gus) of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, born May 28, 1924 in St. Lawrence, NL, died on May 7, 2023. He is the son of the late Louis and Philomena (Slaney) Etchegary. Gus is survived by his wife Kaoukab (Kay), sons Glenn (Katrina) and Grant (Vincenza) and grandchildren Marcus (Jennifer), Kurt (Rebecca), Kaitlin (Cody), Samantha, Mikaela, and great grandchildren Ryker, Adelaide, and Lyla. Pre-deceased by his first wife, and the mother of Glenn and Grant, Nora (Fitzpatrick), sisters Kathleen (Giovannini), Florence (Poynter), Isabelle and Louise, and brothers Theophilus and Louis, as well as nieces Creusa, Adele, Joy and nephew Donald. Gus is also survived by his brother-in-law, Daniel Diab in Lebanon, and his Boulos step-children John (Susan), Stephen (Peggy) and Donna (Mark) and grandchildren Christopher (Erin) and daughter Joni, Alan (Sarah), Stephanie (Bernie) and son Ben, Gregory and Andrew. Gus also leaves his nieces and nephews Kathleen (Etchegary) Kirk, Gemma and Albert Giovannini, Thomas and Robert Poynter as well as Alexander, Zachary, Kate, Patrick, Alison, Jennifer, Joel, Cameron, Cynthia, Stephanie, Henry, Annabel, Gregory, Gina, James, Jolene, Jenna and Megan.
Gus was blessed to have lived a wonderful and full life. His identity has been intertwined with the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador for over seventy years. Though he did not set out to be, Gus became known as a fish warrior. With the pioneering spirit of the Basque in his blood, however, it may have been futile to sail away from such a date with destiny. Gus was plant manager, company president, and a strong community advocate. In all these positions he has been a passionate independent thinker, couching his opinions and beliefs in his broader experiences and commitment to his province. Gus has steadfastly and strongly expressed his concern for the demise of the province’s fishery and worried that our unique economic, social, and cultural fabric would be lost to future generations. This message was also conveyed in his book, Empty Nets which serves as an eye witness account of his experiences in the history of our diminished resource.
In the early 1970s, Gus spearheaded the creation of the Save Our Fisheries Association (SOFA) which brought national and international attention to the issue of foreign over-fishing in Canadian waters. In 1977, it was successful in convincing the Canadian government to extend its economic zone to 200 miles. Gus continued his resource management advocacy as a Commissioner at the International Commission for the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries (ICNAF) and later NAFO. During fifteen years of working through these international agencies he crusaded for Canada to extend jurisdiction beyond 200 miles to manage and protect the fishing grounds off the nose and tail of the Grand Banks. Gus was proud to play a role in these organizations and respected the work of scientists who presented their stock assessments to the various committees. He spoke often of Dr. Wilfred Templeman and other scientists whose research contributed greatly to an understanding of our fishery.
In the 2008 Spring Convocation at Memorial University, Gus was awarded an honorary degree of laws for his relentless fisheries advocacy in the province. In 2017 he was named “Senior of Distinction” by the provincial government.
Gus was extremely proud of his time playing for his beloved St. Lawrence Laurentians. He also played hockey into his 70’s with his sons and Fishery Product colleagues. Growing up in St. Lawrence Gus played soccer, and during the 50’s when he worked in Burin, he would walk and boat to St. Lawrence twice a week making sure he did not miss a practice. For his continued involvement at the provincial and national level, he was inducted into the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame, the Newfoundland Soccer Hall of Fame, and the Newfoundland Sports Hall of Fame and in 2007, was the first person from this province to be inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.
Gus was just seventeen when the American navy destroyer Truxton and the supply ship, the Pollux ran aground close to St. Lawrence. He always remembered being directed by his father to build a fire to warm the sailors who were rescued. As the last remaining witness to that tragedy, he often spoke of the event and its impact on him and the people in the community who opened their hearts and homes to the survivors.
Gus also enjoyed sailing with his favourite first-mate, Kay. In 1991, the two-man crew sailed La Reine Basque for forty-two days around the province. It was a “cruise of a lifetime” taking them into outports and communities, many of which Gus was familiar with from his early days in the fishery.
Besides his family, the fishery and sports, Gus enjoyed music especially Louis Armstrong and Charlie Kunz. During his training at the U.S. Argentia Naval Station, he and his band would regularly travel to the Newfoundland Hotel. When asked recently about his singing role he replied “Oh, I was more of a crooner”. He was also the ship’s musician on a trip to Saglek Bay, Labrador, in 1942 extracting graphite for the war effort. He serenaded the crew with one of three harmonicas that sit on his desk today.
Gus’s family extends gratitude to staff at the Family Practice, Emergency Services, and 4SouthA at the Health Science complex.
Cremation has taken place.
Visitation will take place at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road, on Tuesday May 9th, from 7-9 p.m. and on Wednesday, May 10th, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday May 11th, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. from the Basilica of St. John the Baptist. Interment will take at Mount Cecilia’s Cemetery, St. Lawrence on Friday May 12th at 11:00 a.m.
The Mass will be livestreamed and can be viewed via this link:https://www.thebasilica.net/live/
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the St. Lawrence Historical Society.
St. Lawrence Historical Advisory Committee
PO BOX 175, St. Lawrence, NL A0E 2V0
Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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Basilica of St. John the Baptist
So sorry to hear of Gus’ passing. Newfoundland has lost a voice and a resource. RIP.
Belated condolences on the passing of your Father. I recall how proud you were of him as far back as our university days. He certainly was committed to Newfoundland and its fishery – his insightful opinion will be missed.
G. Day Taylor, Naples, Florida
I am so sorry to hear of Gus’s passing. The name “Gus Etchegary” was a familiar one in our home. I had the pleasure of knowing Gus through his fisheries work with my late husband, Gerry. He was a lovely man.
My deepest sympathies.
Glenn and Grant – I am so sorry to hear of Mr Etchegarry’s passing. My first job was with Fishery Products and I worked sometimes for your Dad. He was very well respected, but he was also very patient and sweet to me during my first working days. I have lots of great memories working their and FP gave me the start of a long career in IT. I remember Mr Etchegary had a hockey night with all the guys from FP that they enjoyed immensely. We would hear the stories of the shenanigans on the ice and it was clear it was very competitive. I will never forget the look on his face when I asked him what day and time was the hockey, so I could participate. What I really wanted was to have a girls volleyball night funded by FP and it was very quickly approved by your Dad at that point. Your Dad was a force and had a presence and was respected by all, but I always saw that sweet side. RIP Mr. Etchegary
Gus was the ultimate gentleman. It was always a pleasure to meet him and Kay at Mass in Portugal Cove., and in later years at the annual Lebanese social. He was an icon and a man whose family can be extremely proud. to say he was their father /husband.
Grant, Vincenza, Samantha, and Mikayla. Please accept my condolences on your loss. Mere words are never enough to express an emotion such as grief. Time will pass, and it will show up at the most unexpected moments – but so will the joyful memories. Celebrate Gus’ incredible life, and remember that you are a part of his legacy.
My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time.
Dear Grant, Nancy, Samantha, Mikaela and all of the Etchegary family,
Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Gus. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but I hope that you find solace in knowing the remarkable life he lived.
Although I didn’t have the privilege of knowing him personally, reading about his life was truly inspiring. I can only imagine the impact he had on your life and those around him.
During this difficult time, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Vince and Jessica Galati
Glenn and family,
Condolences to you and your families. Mr. Etchegary had a lasting impact on Newfoundland, especially her fishery. A voice that will be remembered by future generations. Our sincere sympathies.
Glenn, Katrina, Kurt and Family. Just learned of your father’s passing.. Your father has left an indelible mark on our wonderful province and will always be remembered for the good deeds he had done. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this very sad time.
Our deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your Dad. May the love you have and the wonderful memories you share bring you comfort during this difficult time. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sending our sincere sympathy to Glenn and all family and friends at this sad time. God Bless all.
Wilf & Daphne Sutton,
Grant, Nancy, Samantha, Mikaela and entire Etchegary family…we are truly sorry to hear of the passing of your loved one. It sounds like he lived a remarkable life and touched the lives of so many. His legacy will live on through all those he connected with and especially forever in your hearts. You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. Sending you much love, Carmelina, Andrew, Katia and Christian
Dear Kaoukab and family, I am so sorry that the time came for you to say good-bye to the formidable Gus Etchegary. Gus definitely will go down in our provincial history for his role in the struggle for a sustainable fishery. But for you it is the passing of your husband, father and grandfather. .Please accept my warmest condolences.
Grant, I didn’t know your father personally, but he seemed like a remarkable man. I can only imagine how much you will miss him. My condolences to you and your family.
I’m very sorry for your loss. Gus was a valued friend of my late father, Capt. Mike Melvin. I heard him spoken of often in our home growing up. His kindness around around the time of my father’s passing was greatly appreciated our entire family.
With deepest sadness we send condolences to
Grant,Nancy, Samantha, Mikaela, and to the rest of the Hachigary family
You are in our prayers
Zio vittorio zia Barbara and family 🙏🙏
Very sorry for your loss.
Thinking of you all
From Edward, Lillian and Lisa Laurie.
To Glenn and family,
So sorry to hear of your father‘s passing. He was truly a great Newfoundlander and has contributed so much to our province and indeed the country and the world. As you know, I admired him greatly! Please be assured you are all in our prayers at this sad time, and also that we join you in celebrating his wonderful life.
Melvin and Karen
It was with sadness that I heard about the passing of Gus Etchegary. He was truly one of a kind. I had the pleasure of working with him on a number of fisheries-related projects while working at the former Department of Fisheries & Aquaculture. The one I remember most was the province’s campaign to stop foreign overfishing in the early 1990s. He was a powerhouse of energy and persistence. When he spoke, people listened. He understood, more than many others, the importance of the fishing industry to our province. For me, he will always be remembered as the best fisheries advocate ever! My condolences to Gus’s family and friends.
Thinking of the family at this time, he was such an inspiration, always so kind to our family and our boys Colby and Ashton, great neighbour to have for many many years. The kids always remember visitng them in Halloween, and they knew that their home was always their first stop. Great memories of him.
To Mrs Etchegary we hold you and your family close to our heart today and everyday.
I was sadden to learn of Gus’ passing and extend my heartfelt condolences to Kay and the family.
An astonishing life of accomplishment and service to his beloved Community and Province.
A pioneer in his life long battle for a “ sustainable “ cod fishery .
May the good Lord grant him eternal rest and give comfort to the family.
Kay, Glenn, Grant and families
Condolences for your loss. Gus indeed lived a full and productive life driven by passion and commitment,.
We will miss his voice, and we need more voices like his to cut through the hyperbole in the political sphere.
Agree or disagree with him, Gus was always on target.
I can only imagine who is addressing now.
Onward … R.I.P. Gus.
Condolences to all the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this sad time. Rest In Peace Mr. Etchegary 🙏
Gus was a man of conviction and warmth. I’ll never forget the very personal, moving stories he permitted me to record about the Truxton and Pollux disaster and other experiences. Sincere condolences to Kay and family.
Condolences to the family.
Even though I did not know Gus personally I feel a keen loss with his passing. He was present in public discourse on fisheries management in Newfoundland and Labrador with rare civic passion. The sheer energy of his voice coming from the radio always caught me.
I didn’t know him and I didn’t always agree with him but somehow I feel his passing as if he were a great friend.
I applaud Gus Etchegary.
Condolences to all of Gus family, RIP!
Mrs. Etchegary, Glenn and family….my sincere condolences not the passing of Mr. Etchegary. He was a wonderful man and no better a “Commodore” could Newfoundland have had to take command of making sure our fishery survived.
Kay, Glenn, Grant and families,
So many wonderful memories of Gus and your families! I got to know you all when my late husband Lester(Hutch)Riche worked at Fishery Products for so many years. He had such respect and admiration for Gus and enjoyed working closely with him.
Our many social gatherings during that time were always very special as Kay and Gus were the ultimate hosts.. I think of those times whenever I drive over Dogberry Hill Rd.
Thanks for the memories!
Glenn and Family – so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. What a life he lived. There must be so many stories and memories being reminisced over the past few days. Even with such a full life, it’s always sad to say goodbye. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Scott and Debbi Billings
Please accept my condolences on the recent passing of your father . His legacy will live on in this province for years to come . Certainly a life well lived .
Grant, Glenn and Mrs. Etchegary,
I just wanted to pass on my deepest condolences to Mr. Etchegary`s recent passing.
I remember fondly going with Grant every Saturday morning during the mid-70`s up to St. Bon`s Forum to play a game of hockey with Mr. Etchegary, Glenn, and many others who played during that time. The games there were high intensity and it wasn`t just an ordinary game of scrap hockey it was high tempo and lots of puck battles. It resembled more like a competitive game with something on the line.
Mr. Etchegary , about 35 years older then myself and Grant was whipping around the ice and going after the puck as good as any of us. When teams were sorted out at the beginning to see who would play with who I always wanted to play with Mr. Etchegary and feed him the puck rather then try to take it off him!(HAHA)
God Bless you Mr. Etchegary!
Brian, Mabel, and O`Grady Family
Condolences to the family I did not know the man but listened to him many times on open line and fisheries broadcast he was a great man such passion for the fisheries wad one of a kind for sure will be missed
Mrs. Kay, Glenn, Grant and family,
I am so saddened to hear of Mr, Etchegaty’s passing. My dad (Capt. Curtis Mitchell) had such respect and admiration for him and he so looked forward to their many telephone conversations. He was such an ambassador for our beautiful province. Take comfort in your many wonderful memories and celebrate his life! RIP Mr, Etchegaty!
Glenn, Grant, Kay and family,
I was very saddened to hear of Mr. E’s passing.. My sincere condolences to you all at this difficult time.
Your Dad (Mr. E) leaves quite a legacy with his unwavering commitment and passion to the things he held dear, including the NL Fishery, sports, but most of all, his commitment to family.
I know you are very proud of his many accomplishments. I hope these wonderful memories will be a comfort to you all.
So sorry to hear of the passing of Mr Gus Etchegary. My deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to the Etchegary family. He will be remembered and missed.
Kay, Grant, Glen and family. Our hearts go out to you at the passing of your great patriarch. He was a wonderful human being. Love, Dallas and Phil
Steve and family
Please accept our sincere condolences. Thinking of you at this sad time.
Betty and Walt Combden
So Sorry to the Family For Your Loss, Of such A Special Man!
Glenn, Grant and family:
Our sincere condolences on the passing of your Dad. A wonderful man to so many. His legacy will be his involvement in the fishery there is no doubt. However, his family will also be his legacy. Take joy in his long and fruitful life. Gus May you Rest In Peace.
Robert and Joyce Penney
Grant and family, we are sorry to hear of your father’s passing. We send along our condolences in the hope that it will provide you comfort during your time of deep loss. Glenn and Elaine Cleary
To the Etchegary Family our deepest condolences. Gus was voice, visionary and a true gentleman who never gave in or up. Our province is lessened without him. May he rest in Peace.
Sending my sincere condolences of thoughts and prayers to the family.
I had the opportunity to read Gus’s book Empty Nets. It took me awhile to really dissect all the information that Gus meticulously penned in his book. Truly a must read for any Newfoundlander/Labradorian to read the history of Fisheries in this province. I never met Gus, but often had the opportunity to hear him bring his wisdom to various media regarding our fishery. We have not only lost a fine gentleman but a person of strategic knowledge.
Kay, Glenn, and the Etchegary Family,
Gus’s passing brings an end to an amazing life. It is sad but there is also much to celebrate. His life was full of accomplishments. And whatever he did, he did it with commitment and passion.
His role in the development of NL’s fishery has no parallel. He was a leader in the transition from salt fish to frozen products. And he was the driving force in getting the 200-mile limit. Even in retirement,, he continued to be a strong advocate for better management of the fishery. In so doing, he contributed immensely to the development of NL’s economy.
On a personal level, I enjoyed many conversations with him about a wide range of topics.
It is the end of an era. He will be missed.
Glenn and Family. I am so sorry to hear of your dads passing. He certainly went through life determined and dedicated. Know you all must be proud of his many achievements. He is a true Newfoundland & Labrador Legacy. I so so enjoyed his book ‘ Empty Nets’. May the many years you have all shared memories bring Peace and Comfort. .
Kay and Family Sorry to hear of Mr. Etchegarys passing.
Glen and family
Sincere condolences on the passing of your Dad.
Condolences, Helen Walsh.
Condolences to family and friends. Gus was my dad’s first cousin. My dad was Loyola Slaney oldest son of Rennie. That makes me his second cousin I guess. Anyway, he was always respected by us all growing up. You didn’t have to listen very hard to hear his name mentioned with fondness. RIP Mr. Gus. You left us with a living legacy.
Glenn, Katrina & Family — We were saddened to learn of your father’s passing and have been thinking of you all. The many fond memories you share will no doubt provide a great sense of peace and comfort at this difficult time. Sending our heartfelt condolences. God Bless.
Louis and Darlene
Dear Glenn and family,
My deepest condolences on the passing of your father. I started my career in the fishing industry with him at the helm. He was passionate with a tremendous work ethic, a legacy to passed on. I am also proud to be associated with reactivating the plant in St. Lawrence. I remember we always had to stop at the cemetery for you to say a prayer.
Thinking about you during this time.
It is with a contrite heart we express our sorrow to Kay and the Etchegary Family . Gus will be remembered for his friendship , commitment to others , and crusade for a better Province . Rest in Peace Dear Friend .
Our condolences to Kay and family members. Jane and I share lovely memories of having you and Gus join us fur Christmas social events. Our events together in PCSP were always a positive gathering. Best wishes.
Grant and family,
I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Please accept my condolences. Take care and hold your memories close to your heart.
Our deepest condolences to the Etchegary Family .
Jeannette (Giovannini) and David Holden
Our sincere condolences to Kay and the Etchegary family. Gus was the face of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery and was known worldwide. It was an honour to have worked with him for many years at Fishery Products.
Dave and Carol Anne Northcott
Kay, Glenn, Grant and Family
Sincere condolences on the loss of your dearest Gus. A person of unwavering conviction, Gus was tenacious in pursuit of improving the management of our fishery resources. Newfoundland and Labrador has lost its most outspoken advocate for actions to effect the rebuilding of fishery resources..
Glen & Family,
Our deepest condolences on the passing of your father.
What a great legacy he leaves. I was one among many of his admirers. Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time..
Dear Mrs. Kay and Etchegary Family,
Mr. Gus will forever be my hero. His friendship changed my life for the better. I remain eternally grateful for the kindness that Mr. Gus and the Etchegary Family bestowed on me and my family. God bless you all!
Glenn, Katrina and Family,
Our thoughts are with you at this time of loss. Your Dad has left a wonderful legacy for which you all can be proud and cherish. Tommy and Rhonda Williams
My most sincere condolences to all the Etchegary family, lots of good memories swimming in Mr.Etchegarys pool with kurt. Gone but will not be forgotten, RIP
Glen my sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of your dad. Will always remember the hockey games we played together. He was a great friend to me and I always appreciated his advice when working together at FPI.. Take care.
Sorry to hear of Gus’s passing, my thoughts and prayers are with all family members at this very sad time, GOD bless.
Gus was an inspiration – his passion never failed to gave voice to the importance of Newfoundland and Labrador and its fisheries – he will be greatly missed… Condolences to the Etchegary family…
My most sincere condolences to all the Etchegary family, remember him and his son Glen from my days with FPI. Gone but will not be forgotten, RIP Mr. Etchegary.
Gus was greatly respected, loved and admired. He was a Titan who will long be remembered for speaking out on behalf of fishing communities impacted by overfishing and mismanagement of resources. Condolences to Kay and to the family.
David and Janet Vardy
My sincere. Condolences to the Etchegary family
on the passing of your loved one
A truly remarkable man
To Grant and family, deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved Dad. What a full life he led! He leaves behind many memories. Thinking of you all ❤️
Kay and Family
We are so sorry to hear of Gus’s passing. Having met his acquaintance many years ago at the various local hockey rinks and in later years around our stores I was always in awe of his passion and great demeanour. He always made time to answer my many questions and I received a varied education on many topics.. I am all the richer for having known Gus, and he will be missed.
My sincere condolences.
My sincerest condolences to Kay, Glen , Grant and families.. I have fond memories of my relationship with Uncle Gus and family. His support and encouragement were ever present to me as a child and young adult.. my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Gennie Murphy( Fitzpatrick)
A visionary ,remarkable man whose stewardship of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery will be marked in history..God Bless his wonderful soul. Condolences to all the family . .Take strength in his never ending love of our province and the memories of wonderful times .Rest in Peace Mr.Etchegary
So sorry to hear of Mr. Etchegary’s passing. Sadly, his generation and people like him we will never see again in our time. I have great memories which I will forever cherish of him during my years at the RNYC. I loved to listen to his stories and his input and passion of many subjects including the fishery and soccer. My thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful wife Kay and all his family and friends. May his precious Soul Rest In Peace.
Kay, Grant, Glen, Gemma, John, Steve, Donna and all the family, sending heartfelt condolences to you all at this most difficult time.
Gus was greatly admired, loved and respected by all. I feel truly blessed to have known him all these years and shared wonderful times with Kay & Gus and the family on the boat, in the pool, bbq’s , sing alongs on Boxing Day, etc. Heaven has gained another star. My thoughts & prayers are with you all. Sincerely, Sharon