Accession number: 2009.09
Date: before 2009
Materials: wood; nylon; stone;
Measurements: 8 cm L x 8 cm W x 10 cm Hmulti dimensional
Narrative: This killick was given to Louis Boudreau, (the donor) by a gentleman from New Zealand.
Description: Object has a wooden base in the shape of an X. Each end of the X has a wooden dowel extended upwards to make a point. The top of the four sticks are tied together with green twine. Inside the wooden frame is enclosed a rock 0.6 cm high.
History of Use: The word killick has been around in its literal sense since the sixteenth century. It usually referred to a rock or big stone that a ship used in lieu of a metal anchor. Nobody seems to know where the word comes from, though it has been argued it’s from the Irish word 'killech' for a wooden anchor. The records show the word has been spelled in so many ways that it was clearly a colloquial or slang term that was passed on mainly in speech. For the most part a killick can be any size and is often simply a term used for a makeshift anchor, whether its an anchor for a boat, for a net or for the end of a fisherman's hand line.
In Canada most references to a killick originate from Newfoundland due to the continuation of the word and use of the object. However, killicks in general can be found in many different parts of the world. They can symbolically represent a community's ingenuity to create an important piece of fishing tackle, out of tough surroundings. They are also sold as decorative items as part of the historic fishing legacy.
One reason why the term and knowledge of the killick is known far and wide in marine communities may be due its continuation as a slang term in The Royal Navy. A Leading Seaman in The Royal Navy is nicknamed a killick because his badge of rank has a single fouled anchor on it.