Alec Douglas Moores: a man of great achievement

Melissa Jenkins
Published on April 22, 2014
Alec Douglas Moores

The wind was bitter cold and the frozen pellets of snow were falling on April 19 for the first time in weeks.

Local business tycoon, Alec Douglas Moores, 94, passed away three days earlier at his home.

Many attendees for the funeral had to walk long distances to the steps of Coughlan United Church due to their vehicles flooding the street.

There wasn't an empty seat in the church. More than 200 people sat shoulder to shoulder for one final farewell to the prominent businessman, who was born in Blackhead, Conception Bay, in 1919.

Dozens of colourful flower bouquets lined the altar of the church, with the largest at the foot of the casket. Many more were given to St. Paul's and St. Peter's parishes, as well.

"He was very well liked," a former colleague sitting near the back of the church could be heard whispering, adding there were more than a hundred flower arrangements at the funeral home.

The service paid tribute to Moores, who was a former mayor of Harbour Grace, member of the House of Assembly and prominent figure in the fishing industry.

But most importantly, he was praised for the love he had for his wife Maysie (Babb) Moores, who was buried less than 48 hours before her husband's death.

"(He had a) loving wife, who he adored so much. He followed her to the pearly gates," grandson Gregory Moores said about his grandfather.

A smile could be seen on the faces of some of the family, recalling the love the two, who were married for 68 years, had for each other.

Grandson reminiscent

Standing in front of friends and family, grandson Gregory explained some things about his grandfather that he will remember.

He described how Moores used to tell tales of being in the outdoors, hunting partridge and fishing salmon.

Gregory talked of how business was an important part of his grandfather's life, so much so he never retired.

Moores passed that love for business on to his three sons, Doug, David and Darroch, who have been very successful in their own professions, Gregory said.

And most importantly, his grandson said being busy was something Moores loved to do, and doing so allowed him to be social.

"He was always warm and engaging," Gregory explained. "Always respectful, decent, honourable and caring.

"Alec loved life. He loved his life."

The rest of the family didn't speak at the service, but each one shared a look of love for the family patriarch.

Moores was a member of the Freemasons. His brothers from the local chapter attended the funeral, and sat in the front pews to show their respect.

A large procession of vehicles began at the church immediately following the service, leading to the cemetery on Military Road.

After the cemetery service was complete, son Doug patted the top of the casket, as if he was patting his father on the back one last time.

Big name in fishery

Moores began his 77 years of steady employment in Fogo at the Bank of Nova Scotia, but moved to Montreal in 1944 to work for Steers Ltd., an importing/exporting company.

In 1947, he began his 67-year span in the marine and fishing industries, taking on the role of general manager and vice-president of Northeastern Fish Industries Ltd. (NEFI).

Those who have knowledge of the industry likely know Moores' name. He was seen as a post-Confederation "visionary" for being instrumental in marketing other types of fish besides cod, including squid, mackerel, caplin and herring.

When NEFI ceased operations in 1968, Moores began his own enterprises: Ocean Harvesters Ltd., Moorefish, Harbour International and Alec. D. Moores Ltd.

He was also responsible for the opening of the province's largest cold storage facility in Bay Roberts, Moorfrost, in 1997.

Some of the attendees at the funeral said they were previously employed at businesses owned by Moores. Some had said he was a friendly man and others said he never acted like a boss, but rather, an equal.

Moores worked right up until the day he died.


Moores was given recognition for his many accomplishments. The first being the 1967 Canadian Centennial Medal, a medal given to Canadians to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.

To receive a medal, a person had to be recommended by governments, professional, education and cultural associations, military and protective services, veteran groups, sports associations or charitable bodies for providing a valuable service to one's country.

In 2012, Moores was inducted into the Atlantic Canada Marine Industries Hall of Fame for his long-term involvement in the marine sector.

Other awards and recognitions he received over his lifetime included the Queen's Jubilee medal in 2013, inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame in 2002, was a two-time president of the Fisheries Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, a director of the Fisheries Council of Canada and has had a street named after him in his hometown.