After almost 20 years, the final chapter of the "Astrolabe" saga has finally been written. On June 13, 2001, a ceremony was held recognizing the contributions of Wayne Mushrow and officially naming the second astrolabe found by him as the "Mushrow Astrolabe II".
Mushrow Astrolabe II was found by Mr. Mushrow in the summer of 1983, on a ship wreck just off the coast of Isle aux Morts, NL just 2 years after the first discovery. It is deemed to be of French origin, and is dated 1617. The name that is inscribed on the astrolabe is that of Holland and he is said to be the maker or the previous owner of this valuable navigational instrument This astrolabe is proving to be very unique indeed. The only other similar astrolabe "The Caudebec Astrolabe " dated 1632, was destroyed in 1940 by bombing of Cauldebec -en- Caux in France. This leaves Mushrow Astrolabe II the only one of this type in the world. It is the latest wedge shape astrolabe and the wreck at Isle aux Mort, NL is the first seventeenth century ocean going ship found in North America.
Finally on June 13, 2001, after years of negotiations with the Newfoundland government, Mr. Wayne Mushrow was finally recognized for his contributions to the history of Newfoundland. Two separate ceremonies were held in Mr. Mushrow's honor, revealing the second astrolabe to the world. The first ceremony was held in Isle aux Morts (where it was discovered) on the morning of June 13 and then another in Port aux Basques in the afternoon. Both were open to the public and many friends and family of Mr. Mushrow were on hand. Also attending was Newfoundland Justice Minister Kelvin Parsons, Penny Houlden, chief curator of the Newfoundland Museum, and MHA Kevin Aylward. The Astrolabes, being presented together, were brought in to the ceremony by armed RCMP officers Const. Jacqueline Deaves and Const. Greg Byrne, both of the Channel-Port aux Basques detachment.
While not much was done when Mr. Mushrow handed over the first astrolabe, the second astrolabe brought much celebration and recognition. Along with the ceremony revealing Mushrow Astrolabe II, Ms. Houlden arranged for Isabella St. John to make duplicates of both astrolabes made out of raku clay (which gives the finished product a metallic lustre) and presented to Mr. Mushrow during the revealing ceremonies. The duplicates are mounted on a wooden base and sealed in a glass case and is proudly displayed at the home of Mr. Mushrow in St. Andrews, Newfoundland
While on display at the museum in St. John's for most of the year, Mushrow Astrolabes I & II will be brought back to the Port aux Basques area every summer and displayed at the Gulf Museum from June to September, or however long the museum is open for that tourist season. A new book released across Canada called Curious Canadians has the story about the Astrolabes it is distributed by Chapters book stores.