Albert M. Bunker, 77, of Matinicus Island, died Sept. 12, 2007. He was known for his readiness and ability to help in any emergency, and was involved over the years in several search and rescue operations on the waters around Matinicus Island. He worked closely with the Coast Guard, and their appreciation for the many years of help was demonstrated when a Coast Guard Honor Guard accompanied him back to Matinicus for the last time on the day of his funeral.

Bunker loved speed, and he enjoyed racing his lobster boats, often beating the younger fishermen. In his last race, this past summer, he and his F/V LAST ONE saw first place in his class. Neighbors who might catch a ride with Albert back to the island after a visit to the mainland will agree that he didn’t like to make the trip slowly.

He worked for years with the Penobscot Bay Pilots, and took pride in hailing a vessel over the VHF from the “Matinicus Island Pilot Station.” For years he put pilots on or took them off the big oil tankers, cargo ships and tug-and-barge combinations with his lobster boat, exhibiting great skill in boat handling, and managing safe trips under difficult weather conditions.

As a lifelong Matinicus resident, Bunker was involved with the beginnings of both the Electric Company and the Fire Department on the island, serving as Fire Chief for a number of years.

He also assisted the Maine Audubon Society puffin researchers, transporting them to and from Matinicus Rock and Seal Island.

Perhaps more than anything else, those who knew Albert Bunker remember his mischievous, twinkling grin and his sense of humor, as we think back and tell stories about our courageous and capable neighbor.

— Eva Murray, Matinicus