By Doug Underhill
Baie Ste. Anne is the first community
along the southern shore of Miramichi Bay close to the Northumberland Strait. It is approximately 30 miles below the City
of Miramichi. It and Escuminac along route # 117 where the wharf is located, form a community that primarily relies on fishing.
It is an area with strong Acadian roots. The majority speak French, although most are bilingual.
It is said that Jacques
Cartier entered Miramichi Bay in 1534, perhaps landing at Escuminac Pointe. On October 6, 1789 records show that "a Joseph
Tibido, John Eber, Peter Blauson, Benjamin Blauson, Paul Doucette, Villeroy Doucette and Baptiste Blauson, Canadians and Acadians"
made application to become settlers in the area. As they say, the rest is history.
Although never incorporated as
a village, Baie Sainte-Anne has continued to grow. Today the Baie Sainte-Anne community which includes Hardwicke and Escuminac
has a population estimated at 2,000.
The community is home to Yvon Durelle who was Canadian and British Empire light-heavyweight
boxing champion. Durelle came within a whisker on what is still considered a slow count of becoming world champion when he
knocked Archie Moore to the canvas in the first round in Montreal December 10, 1958. He now has a small boxing museum in his
home in Baie Ste. Anne.
Baie Ste. Anne also has its own senator in the Honourable Norbert Theriault.
Ste Anne also survived on of the greatest fishing disasters ever known. On June 19 1959 a fleet of 54 vessels set forth for
salmon on Miramichi Bay. But a freak storm hit the area with 22 boats being lost and 35 men and boys drowned. There is a monument
to these brave fishermen at Escuminac.
The Raymond OšNeill and Sons and the Fishermenšs Co-op process lobster and
a variety of other species which are shipped world-wide. Approximately 200 people are employed with this business.
besides fishing Baie Ste. Anne has a peat moss industry and a beautiful dune beach along with a light house. It has a high
school, several churches, stores, the Ade Theriault Arena, Community Centre and Golden Age Club. It also has its own Chamber
of Commerce with Alphonse Turbide as president. Turbide survived the storm that caused the Escuminac Disaster. He was a boy
of 14 when he went out on one of the fishing boats that fateful evening.
Each year there is the community "Blessing
of the Fleet" and a "Fruit de Mer" Sea Food Festival.