Many people gathered at Port Hope, as the rain clouds cleared and the sun came out, to see Canadian author Farley Mowat who was the guest of honour and main speaker, at the unveiling of the official bronze plaque mounted on a unique dry stone structure ( based on his book the Farfarers,) built over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The 'Ancient Music Trio' provided a wonderful musical contribution during much of the ceremony. Farley looking sprightly despite a bad cold, read a passage from his book, which delves into the mystery of these little-known archaeological structures, found in parts of Arctic Canada. He explained in more detail his connection to the boat-roofed house project and giving his approval, expressed gratitude for all the effort that went into actually bringing it to completion. He went on to explain about the importance of putting things in historical perspective and that people should "... always remember that in terms of human discovery, no one is ever the first."
Afterwards Stephen Smith ( whose property the monument was built on) spoke a few words and then Farley was invited to read the inscription on the plaque.
'Eight hundred years before Columbus sailed to the New World, seafaring walrus hunters and traders from Great Britain’s Northern Isles are believed to have landed in north eastern Canada, even before the Vikings arrived.
Venturing far from their homes, the adventurers sailed double-ended, open boats sheathed in walrus hides. As winter swept a hostile, treeless land, they flipped their light, translucent vessels on to dry stone foundations and used them as snug, boat-roofed houses.
This small-scale replica was inspired by archaeologist Thomas Lee’s excavations in Ungava, northern Quebec in the 1960s. It celebrates Canadian author and Port Hope resident Farley Mowat, who told the story of this long-forgotten people in The Farfarers.'
--Port Hope Friends of Farley Mowat, 2006