Friends of Sable Island Society is saddened to announce that we lost one of our most cherished friends on March 4, 2022, a week shy of his 95th birthday. Aubrey Dauphinee, of Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, was a beloved contributor to our Sable Island family. He happily appeared whenever asked to regale audiences small and large with tales of his Sable Island experience, where he went to work at age 17 as a light house keeper and member of the lifesaving crew following WWII.
Aubrey generously and graciously gave of his time in many ways and presented at our 2019 Sable Island Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he stole the show. He told his story at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for our “Sable Island Stories – The Aubrey Dauphinee Chronicles” and was proudly featured in Saltscapes magazine in “Aubrey’s Story” (which won a silver Atlantic Journalism Award).
Friends of Sable Island chair, April Hennigar, recalls, “It was a very special day when Aubrey reached out to us wanting to tell his Sable Island story. He welcomed us into his home for the interview, and then into his life. Our relationship developed over the resulting years, with Aubrey telling his stories to various audiences around Nova Scotia, charming everyone he met.” April fondly recalls Aubrey’s love for sharing information about Sable Island and his phone calls and emails to stay connected and provide encouragement for the protection of this place.
“Sable Island will always be Sable Island if we don’t overdo it and do too much to help it, because what nature takes away from one place, it puts into another. So all I can say is… leave nature to its own and it will look after itself. It will stay for a long, long, long time. Nature is nature.”Aubrey Dauphinee, 2018 (excerpt from an interview as published in “Sable Island Stories: Volume One” by Friends of Sable Island in 2020)
“He was a genuine, kind, caring gentleman and natural story teller,” says April, “a charming charmer, with a dash of humorous cheekiness. And a proud cook as he fed us his homemade carrot soup on a cold January day in 2018 and then insisted we call when we arrived home safely after a two hour drive on winter roads.”
Aubrey Dauphinee wasn’t just a treasured friend of Sable Island, he was our elder statesman and we will all miss him dearly. Thank you, Aubrey, for the memories. You will be forever in our hearts and in our stories.