Lobster trap furniture

Brian Locke (left) has been turning old lobster traps into furniture since 2020, following the delay of the start to the spring lobster season. Since then, he’s donated proceeds from the sale of the furniture to causes and organizations he feels are important. This year, one such donation is to the West Prince Caring Cupboard. Rick Cameron, president of the West Prince Caring Cupboard, said the organization is happy to receive the donation, noting residents of West Prince are very generous when it comes to support. Jillian Trainor photo

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When lobster fisherman Brian Locke began building furniture during the delay to the start of the 2020 spring season, he decided to donate the proceeds from those sales to a worthy cause. This year that donation is to the West Prince Caring Cupboard, totalling $230.

“You have to eat, and with the Caring Cupboard, that’s something that’s going to help everybody that needs it,” he said.

This is the third donation from the proceeds of the sales. Previous donations were made to the COVID-19 unit at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax, and to the cancer unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.

Mr Locke and his wife, Ellen, attend services at the O’Leary United Church. Because of restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person services weren’t possible for a time, and there were restrictions regarding the donation of physical items, as the items had to sit for three days to ensure the virus was no longer on the items. The Locke’s donation of the proceeds from furniture sales to the West Prince Caring Cupboard was something that just made sense, as it would be helping people close to home.

Made from old lobster traps, Mr Locke has to take the cement out of the bottom of the traps, fix up the netting on the traps, and disassemble them so they can be made into a variety of pieces like chairs, flower pots, and coffee tables. It usually takes a few hours to build one of the larger pieces, but the total amount of time depends on how much prep work is involved.

Mr Locke said the only real cost is his labour, and as lobster season hasn’t yet begun, his labour isn’t worth anything just yet.

Rick Cameron, president of the West Prince Caring Cupboard, is grateful for the donation to the organization’s coffers.

“It’s wonderful,” he said. “West Prince residents, we find, are very generous, and Brian and Ellen are examples of that.”

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