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Captain Emard Court: A living tourist attraction in North Rustico

You might say 92-year-old Emard Court is still fishing these days — not for lobster, cod or mackeral. Instead, he sets bait to catch tourists.

'With him in the foreground, they know they've been to P.E.I.'

Captain Emard Court lives next to the lighthouse in North Rustico Harbour. (Pat Martel/CBC)

You might say 92-year-old Emard Court is still fishing these days — not for lobster, cod or mackerel. Instead, he sets bait to catch tourists.

The retired captain sits by the window inside his little yellow house, right next to the North Rustico Harbour lighthouse, watching for the next tour bus.

As the tourists scramble off the bus, they head straight for the iconic lighthouse, and that's when the captain makes his move, with the help of a walker.

Court receives visitors from around the world. (Pat Martel/CBC)

He shuffles out the front door onto his veranda.

He's every inch the image of an old fisherman: A long, white wispy beard, a red plaid shirt, topped off with a black sou'wester (a fisherman's rain hat).

Like fish to bait

Suddenly, like fish to bait, the tourists wriggle closer to snap photos with Court, and the captain once again has his catch of the day. 

It's a scene replayed all summer.

Captain Emard Court greets tourists

5 years ago
2:37
Captain Emard Court greets tourists 2:37

"They come from Italy, take my picture, and Canada and the U.S.A. and Ontario," he said.

Court said he never tires of having his picture taken.

"No problem, no problem. We got to send them home happy." 

"Talking to the tourists and having his picture taken, that's his favourite past time in the summer," said Ron Curtis, Court's nephew.

Stories from the old days

Court tells the tourists stories from the old days, when he hauled in the traps onto the boat by hand, before there were motorized winches.

"Well, them times everything had to be done by hand. Pull all them traps up from the bottom of the ocean, pull everything by hand," he said.

Greeting tourists is Court's favourite summer past-time. (Pat Martel/CBC)

Court never married. He said his father wouldn't let him.

"I was living with my dad, that was the problem," he said.

He now has the good company of his caregiver, Krista Grady.

"She looks after me good. She's my hearing aid," said Court, who is hard of hearing.

"She's good to me, and I'm good to her."

Grady is also there to help Court meet and greet the steady stream of tourists.

'They know they've been to P.E.I.'

"We gotta satisfy the people that comes," said Captain Court, as he settled down on his kitchen chair, peering out the window, waiting to haul in another catch.

"He's right at the end of the road here by the lighthouse and tour buses come along and take pictures of the lighthouse, and with him in the foreground, they know they've been to P.E.I.," said Curtis.

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