What’s with the hat?
Originally published 2014. Updated Oct 31, 2022
If you’ve caught a few moments of our annual Telethon at any point over the last 40-plus years, you’ve probably noticed a rather distinctive chapeau: The “Seagull Sou’wester”. Although the history of the hat is usually mentioned (a few times!) during the broadcast, we think it’s past due for some formal recognition here.
The History of the Seagull Sou’Wester
In 1982, the famous Sou’Wester was donated by Jack Campbell of The Sou’Wester Restaurant and Gift Shop at Peggy’s Cove, to Dr Garth Vaughan for use in the Newfie Bullet Show Band, as the members were known to wear hats of different types at their performances. Mrs Marion Reading made the seagull, attached it to the hat, and donated it for the performers to use.
Brian Johnston auctioned Mr Vaughan’s hat in 1983 during the Christmas Daddies Show (now the Christmas Angels) performance, and got several bids – the highest being $60. The highest bidder returned the hat for the next Christmas Daddies Show, who challenged others to bid as well, and the tradition continues to this day.
Bids for the Sou’Wester have grown substantially over the years and contributed tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the Christmas Angels (possibly more!) Between 1982 and 2001, the Newfie Bullet Show Band played on the Christmas Angels show for 18 years and raised $17,000 auctioning the hat during those years.
39 Years and Counting
Our 2014 Telethon marked the 32nd ANNIVERSARY of the “SEAGULL SOU’WESTER”. The Seagull Sou’Wester and the beautiful paintings by Garth Vaughan have raised well over $35,000 over the past 31 years. These funds have directly benefited local children and families of Hants County. The images below are just a handful of recent years.
2021 Nothin’ Fancy, in memory of Gerald Bonang
2020 Oulton Fuels
2019 Abe Zebian, Bob Morton & Jim Ivey
2018 Abe & Samira Zebian, Joe’s Mens Wear
2017 Laurie Bell & Karen Allison
2016 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2015 Ernest F Smith Excavating & Septic Service
2014 Ernest F Smith Excavating & Septic Service
2013 Ernest F Smith Excavating & Septic Service
2012 Dexter Construction
2011 Nu Air Ventilation Systems Inc.
2010 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2009 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2008 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2007 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2006 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2005 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2004 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
2003 Jim Armstrong
2002 Global Santa Fe Drilling
2001 Mitch Brison
2000 Central Building Supplies
1999 Royal Canadian Legion Branch #9
1998 Lindsay’s Funeral Home
1997 The Financial Group
1996 Ernest F Smith Excavating & Septic Service
1995 Royal Canadian Legion Branch #9
1994 Royal Canadian Legion Branch #9
1993 Royal Canadian Legion Branch #9
1992 Mark Tracey Landscaping
1991 Gerald Bonang, Nothin’ Fancy
1990 Mark Tracey Landscaping
1989 JP Construction
1988 Ernest F Smith Excavating & Septic Service
1987 Allen Beverages
1986 Lindsay’s Funeral Home
1985 Hantsport Citizen Enhancement Society
1984 Lohnes Funeral Home
1983 Royal Canadian Legion Branch #9