The Seagull Sou’wester

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.

2014 - Rev. Bill Gibson wears the seagull-topped sou’wester that will be auctioned off at the 33rd annual Christmas Angels show on Dec. 6 in Windsor, as funding co-ordinator Cathy Cox holds the Garth Vaughan painting that will go to the successful bidder. (GLEN PARKER )
2014 – Rev. Bill Gibson wears the seagull-topped sou’wester that will be auctioned off at the 33rd annual Christmas Angels show on Dec. 6 in Windsor, as funding co-ordinator Cathy Cox holds the Garth Vaughan painting that will go to the successful bidder. (GLEN PARKER )

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.

The Tradition

A Hants County Christmas Angels tradition since 1983. Want to see your name on this list? Tune in to our annual Webathon, or contact our Annual Coordinator for details!

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

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