Blog Archives

Mummer’s Walk A Big Hit at Green Island Cove

Nearly forty mummers braved a -16 temperature with a wind chill that reached -31 to keep the tradition of mummering alive and well with the 4th Annual Mummer’s Walk at the Green Island Cove Lion’s Club.

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Mummers came from near and far from communities of Anchor Point, Savage Cove, Flower’s Cove, Green Island Cove, Green Island Brook, St. Lunaire-Griquet and many citizens from surrounding communities visiting the Lion’s Club, such as Sandy Cove, Deadman’s Cove and even from mainland Canada to see what the Mummer’s Walk so all about and enjoy the fun!

4th Annual    Mummer’s Walk

The rig-up started shortly after 2 PM and just after 2:30 PM, Sabrina and I started the event noting the original idea of hosting a community event that would bring people together and would encourage more active mummering in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, especially since we remembered large groups of mummers from our childhood.

The first was held in Flowers Cove, followed by Anchor Point and last years was in Savage Cove.

This years event all started with the talented Way Brothers performed a couple of traditional tunes on the guitar and accordion, including the famous Simini tune, “The Mummer’s Song“.

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The group broke out into dance on the floor. It was great to see such a crowd turn-out and participate in the Mummer’s Walk and a number of youth watching the festivities. These are the future generations to learn the tradition and pass them on.

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Due to high wind we opted to get rides to the head of the Cove and walk back to the Lion’s Club. Some Mummer’s jumped in the pans of trucks and we were off…

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The residents, especially seniors were perched at their windows anxiously waiting for the long line of mummers to pass by their homes.

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They were people waiting in vehicles, residents waving from windows or door steps, excited to see the large group of mummers. A group this large, likely not seen for decades in the community of Green Island Cove.

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The walk was a lot of fun. We would all return to the Green Island Cove Lion’s Club and have hot chocolate, Purity Syrup and Chocolates for a treat. It was a great time to mingle and talk about going mummering tonight or another in Christmas.

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So if you hear knocks on your door, please let the friendly mummers into your home and enjoy the tradition that is forever in our hearts and souls, making rural Newfoundland and Labrador that perfect place to celebrate Christmas and the place we call home.

Below is a sampling of some other photos I managed at the event:

A big thank you to all who took the time to dress up and participate, the Green Island Cove Lion’s Club for providing the venue, all the visitors who came to the event and watch, Ryan and Monty for playing a couple of tunes, Loomis for coordinating music, logistics and bringing lots of spirit and to anyone else who helped in any way. I encourage you all to go Mummering this Christmas. I’ll be doing my part to continue to keep the tradition alive.

We’ll keep you all posted on the 5th Annual Mummer’s Walk in the New Year….

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Santa’s Gingerbread House – A New Tradition at the Mitchelmore’s

Traditions become steeped in our culture and are passed on from generation to generation. Sometimes they are long standing, but sometimes they begin and will continue to be passed on to the next generation. Unlike some families that have built homemade gingerbread houses or homes from kits for years, my mom and I started building the basic gingerbread house just a couple of years ago. Here is our house from last year:

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We enjoyed building the gingerbread home and spending time together – the teamwork it required to make the icing, holding the gingerbread together and strategically placing the candy. It was decided we would add this to our list of family traditions each time we are together for the holidays.

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Here is our finished product this year: Santa’s Gingerbread house, tree, barn and reindeer sleigh.

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Although my schedule is extremely busy, one has to make time for family and continue with our traditions. We got up early and this was our first task after breakfast.

Tonight, after a day of activities we will watch my favourite Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

I’d love to hear about your family traditions. Please post in the comments section if you make gingerbread houses, sing carols, or go mummering. Keep your family traditions alive and pass them on to your children and embrace adopting new ones.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

 

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA – Christmas Greeting 2013

Christmas Greeting

Broadcast Centre

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA

The Straits-White Bay North

Christmas time has come again and what a pleasure it is to bring greetings of happiness and good cheer to you, your family, and your friends.

Take time this Christmas to spend with loved ones, rekindle traditions or possibly make new ones; it makes rural Newfoundland and Labrador that unique place we love to call home.

It is the season to give thanks to those around who have inspired you, brought a smile to your face or simply enriched your life with their presence. Together we will continue to enjoy Christmas and the joys it brings long into the New Year.

I extend to you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Cheers to a wonderful 2014!

Rural Roots, including Seal Hunt Proudly on Display at MHA Mitchelmore’s Office

 

 

 

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I’m a believer in all things rural, including the seal harvest. I wear my father’s seal skin boots that are more than 15 years old and last year purchased a seal skin coat. I could give it away a dozen times a day from all the people I meet that would also like to have one. More must be done to make these products more readily available to people of the province. The seal skin tie I have, which certainly has “heart” was purchased for $60 from GNP Craft Producers in my District. They have a website http://www.gnpcrafts.ca. They also make great belts for $40, bow ties, slippers, mittens and more. Let’s continue to show our support for the seal harvest, as it is humane, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

As the blog simply states, “Live Rural” and “Experience the Great Northern Peninsula” is all about learning, understanding and sharing my rural roots with the world.

For those who have dropped by our constituency office in St. Anthony, the public gallery has an array of local art from a French Shore Tapestry, photographed seal by Chris Patey, hooked rug, sweat lodge artwork, icebergs, Grenfell embroidery, painted purity products, dories, fish and many pieces that reflect our rural region. There is a collage of images from across the Great Northern Peninsula.

However, my office at the Confederation Building in St. John’s, NL is no different. It includes many handmade items and pieces of art that I have made myself or purchased from others. I am always searching for as much local stuff as possible.

There is a lovely Chris Patey piece of Iceberg Photography on the northern tip, with a magnifying glass and fish handle, La Mousses (The French Fisherman) that I’ve been told resembles me is from The Guardian Gift Shop at the French Shore Interpretation Centre in Conche, but was made by Loretta Decker of L’Anse aux Meadows. Outport NL by Candace Conchrane is next to a handmade glass plate made at the St. Anthony College of the North Atlantic. The fused glass polar bear comes from the Grenfell Heritage Shoppe in St. Anthony. There is a stuffed seal that was given to me as a Christmas present, as well as a fish and smaller seal.

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Here is an explanation of the Gallery below:

I purchased art from Bruce Pilgrim, originally from Main Brook, the former Englee Plant which was framed by his wife Maureen, owner of Island Images Gallery and Framing Shop. It is very pleasing after all the lobbying, letter writing, petitions, telephone calls and more that Government issued a clean-up order which resulted in $1.7M to remove and re-mediate this site.

The iceberg was painted by myself in three hours when I took a class with George Bussey, originally of St. Lunaire-Griquet. I enjoyed this immensely and encourage others to take it up as a hobby.

The hooked rug, I did as well under the instruction of Sabrina Gaulton of Anchor Point. It took about 50 hours to make this tiny rug. I would like to do another, when time permits. Thus far, time has not permitted.

The “Lonely Harbour” is a piece I purchased at the Bits’n Pieces Cafe in Conche from local Natalie Byrne.

The splitting table imagery reminds me of Noddy Bay or Raleigh. It was done by William Bartlett of St. Lunaire-Griquet.

The polar bears were bought at Shoreline Flower’s N’ Crafts in Sandy Cove and the ax on the chopping block a gift from Port Hope Simpson.

The “Return of the Sealers” is my most recent purchase from the Savage Cove Come Home Year. It is a Linda Coles piece, who is originally from Savage Cove.

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador surrounds my work space every day. I am proud of my rural roots and continue to…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

4th Annual Mummer’s Walk Location and Date Announced

4th Annual    Mummer’s WalkThe Mummer’s Walk was initially held in Flower’s Cove on December 29th, 2010. This event was created from dialogue between local Anchor Point native Sabrina Gaulton and I to encourage locals to continue our valued traditions. It was always a goal that this would lead to an annual event and also include a mummer’s dance and a night of mummer in each community.

The Flower’s Cove event was well received and much fun. It included a walk, some dancing at the Lion’s Club and a few treats of hot chocolate, purity syrup and some jam jams. The tradition continued to Anchor Point in 2011, where my friends from Switzerland and Germany also got to participate in our rural tradition. It was a windy day, but still kids and adults alike dressed up and enjoyed the event. In 2012, the festivities were held at Savage Cove, which drew more than 40 mummer’s, nearly doubling past events. Also, there was a Mummer’s Dance held too!

This year we are excited to announce the annual event will take place at the Green Island Cove Lion’s Club on 29th of December at 2:30 PM. Young and old are encouraged from all communities to come out and show your traditional spirit to join the merry band of mummers.

Come big ones, come small ones, come tall ones and thin, boys dressed as women and girls dressed as men…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Scenic Winter Beauty

The Great Northern Peninsula is incredibly scenic, especially after a blanket of snow. We have beautiful forests, mountains in the backdrop and the sea is all around us. The wonder of living rural!

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These photos were taken on Route 434 (Conche Road) on a visit to the Northern Peninsula East. A friend and I took a number of photos in Bide Arm, Roddickton and Conche during the winter of 2011. We captured snowmobiles, sheds, boats, mountains of snow, wharves, ice pans and of course shared many moments of laughter. It is nice to explore what is in your own backyard, one never knows where that turn in the road will take you.

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Today, I will be travelling to Main Brook and Conche, as part of my duties as the Member of the House of Assembly. It is only a matter of time and winter beauty will surround the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Enjoy the great outdoors and experience the Great Northern Peninsula!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Underground Salmon Pool – A Natural Wonder

The Underground Salmon Pool is the only known place in the world where Atlantic Salmon swim through underground river caves to get to their spawning grounds. Hiking & walking interpretative trails. Guide service provided by Mayflower Adventures in Roddickton. (According to the Province’s Tourism website www.newfoundlandlabrador.com.)

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I encourage residents and visitors of Newfoundland & Labrador to enjoy this natural wonder. Interpretative panels explain the nature of the old growth forest, the rich lumbering history of the Canada Bay Area and the boardwalk offers incredible viewing vistas.

Here are some photos taken on a visit, where I captured anglers casting in designated area, birds, squirrels, views of salmon, natural erosion of limestone and the underground river. There are two entry points if you take Route 432 (Grenfell Drive) you will see the signage directing you to this destination.

Share your angling stories in the comments section. Have you visited the Underground Salmon Pool? If not, add it to your next “To Do” list. You simply could not be disappointed if you like the beauty of the great outdoors!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

It’s never to early to start planning your Winter vacation on the GNP

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1311172644-1The Great Northern Peninsula has one of the longest winter seasons on the Island portion of the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. We are the ideal location for an array of winter activities and enjoy the scenery as you experience the countryside, view the frozen Strait of Belle Isle with Labrador as the backdrop or snowmobile on our most Northerly section of the remaining Appalachian mountains.

There is a number of trail networks for cross-country ski-ing or snow-shoeing, as well as the opportunity for the adventurous type to visit alternative locations.

You can enjoy ice-fishing activities, pond skating or a good ol’ hockey game that really immerse you in all the fun and enjoyment winter brings to the people of the North. We embrace winter activities and have a love for spending time in the great outdoors, whether it be at the cabin with a crackling fire, game of cards and a cup of tea or at home with the family building a snowman and making those snow angels we all did when we were kids.

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It certainly is never too early to begin your plan to enjoy all the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Picture Perfect in Norris Point

Norris Point is picture perfect. A beautiful community surrounded by the mountains and pristine waters of Bonne Bay.

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I spent a lot of time on the beach growing up in Green Island Cove, hearing the waves gently touch the shoreline, picking mussels or throwing rocks. However, the beach was not sandy like the one here in Norris Point. There is something about sand, that makes me want to stop and play for a little while, whether it be writing my name, building a castle or getting my toes buried into the fine grains. On many of my vacations, I have a photo of “Christopher” and ‘whoever’ ‘place’ and ‘year’ drawn in the sand. There is something special about the water that will also have me coming back for more.

I made a few footprints in the sand on this beautiful March day in Norris Point back in 2011. These old photos remind me of the prayer, “Footprints in the Sand” which reinforces about in times of need, we should look back and see the footprints in the sand to realize that Jesus is, has and always will by our side.

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Enjoy Sunday and Live Rural -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Missing Grandma’s Raisin Pudding…

I always manage to have a big helping of my Grandmother Mitchelmore’s raisin pudding. It has that great vanilla flavour, bountiful amount of raisins and texture of sweetness, creating a perfect pudding – ones only grandmothers seem to know how to prepare. The raisin pudding during a Sunday dinner at Nan’s house is truly a treat. Maybe the art of food for traditional meals get enhanced by the younger generation over time.

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It has been quite awhile since I’ve had the pleasure of Nan’s homemade soups, puddings, bread and other treats. While on vacation this past August, I got news that my grandmother at the ripe age of 81 years had broken her leg.

My Nan is a very active senior, as she maintains large flower beds, vegetable gardens, does crafts, makes quilts and also does quite a bit of travelling. Although, the past few weeks have been the quiet road to recovery, no doubt in the coming weeks she’ll be back on her feet as busy as ever.

I’m certainly looking forward to sitting with her, chatting and enjoying her traditional meals in the near future. The time we spend with our family in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, will be treasured memories.

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Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Forest Industry on Great Northern Peninsula Forgotten by Government: Mitchelmore

For Immediate Release:

November 7, 2013

Forest Industry on Great Northern Peninsula Forgotten by Government: Mitchelmore

Independent Member Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) says Government inaction has led to the loss of forestry jobs and economic opportunity on the Great Northern Peninsula.

For years the forest industry has been on life support with the downturn in demand for newsprint, shedding hundreds of jobs on the Peninsula. The current shutdown of Holson Forest Products has made matters worse, as local workers, business and Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm and surrounding communities suffer from economic instability.

“Millions of public dollars was invested under the Forestry Diversification Program to re-build the sawmill, establish a kiln and a 60,000 MT pellet plant in Roddickton’, says Mitchelmore. ‘It is evident from months of unproductivity; there are barriers that must be overcome to provide a product that is in demand to market. It’s time for Government to ensure that public money is protected and work with the company to become fully-operational.”

“This business model is ideal to maintain rural jobs and build sustainable rural economies. Government should not forget the value of the forest industry on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is time to get serious about developing this important industry.”

During a meeting of the Public Accounts in October, Department of Forestry and Agrifood officials stated they were committed on having a fully-functioning pellet plant in Roddickton-Bide Arm. The Minister should re-affirm the words of his officials with an action plan to have pellet production begin at Holson Forest Products within six months.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
Tel: 1-888-729-6091
Email: cmitchelmore@gov.nl.ca

Universal High-speed Broadband Vital to Global Competitiveness: Mitchelmore

For Immediate Release

November 5, 2013

Universal High-speed Broadband Vital to Global Competitiveness: Mitchelmore

Independent Member Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) calls on Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development to place greater emphasis on universal high-speed broadband.

“Broadband builds stronger economies, supports commerce, educates students and is vital to advancing community development’ says Mitchelmore. “On November 1st the Minister stated the Government was well on target to reach 95 per cent coverage for the province by 2014.”

Newfoundland and Labrador are not leaders in high-speed broadband, even if 95 percent of households will have basic broadband access by end of 2014. Nearly 200 communities are still unable to access high-speed internet and only two-thirds of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps. These statistics are bleak when we consider rural broadband speeds.

Despite the Province investing millions in a rural broadband initiative, the lack of a complete strategy has resulted in missed funding opportunities, failure to develop mapping of current broadband availability and speed, as well as, a plan to achieve universal access under a timeline to meet these critical goals.

The District of the Straits-White Bay North was an early adopter of Federal funding that added high-speed Internet to 36 communities of the Great Northern Peninsula in 2005. Nearly a decade later, communities of Bide Arm, St. Julien’s, Pine’s Cove, Eddies Cove East, St. Carol’s, St. Anthony Bight, Great Brehat, Goose Cove and North Boat Harbour remain without service.

“The province needs to build stronger partnerships between the public, private sector and community groups to advance universal broadband,” said Mitchelmore. “It’s time to develop and make public a mapping model that shares information, encourages collaboration among providers and ensures we get best value for our tax dollar invested to bring broadband access to the remaining communities without it.”

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
Tel: 1-888-729-6091
Email: cmitchelmore@gov.nl.ca

Icebergs are your doorstep

In June the icebergs scatter the coves, bays and shores along the Strait of Belle Isle and surround the entire Great Northern Peninsula.

These icebergs were taken from the doorstep in L’Anse au Clair, Labrador this past summer:

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The Peterman Ice Island left these icebergs in Goose Cove, Newfoundland on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula in July 2011.

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The Great Northern Peninsula hosts an annual iceberg festival, which is scheduled to run from June 6th to June 15th, 2014. Check for updates at www.theicebergfestival.ca.

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Icebergs are at your doorstep on the Great Northern Peninsula. You can see them on boat tours, at Festivals, with binoculars, on walking trails, up close or on the distance.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Mitchelmore recognizes Barbara Genge Induction into Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame

I made the following statement in today’s House of Assembly:

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Christopher Mitchelmore
MHA, The Straits-White Bay North
Private Member’s Statement
Barbara Genge – Tourism Hall of Fame 

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Barb Genge, a successful entrepreneur, engaged community leader and champion for sustainable development for being inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame.

Barb is President of Tuckamore Lodge Ltd., an award-winning hunting, fishing and adventure tourism lodge located in Main Brook, which is considered one of the best outfitting lodges in all of Canada. She believes in full economic utilization, without abuse, of nature’s resources and operates her lodge by these principles.

Barb is an inspirational entrepreneur and true leader of the north, exhibited through a lifetime of advancing the profile of tourism on the Great Northern Peninsula. She was a founding member of Viking Trail Tourism Association and its predecessor which levered millions in funding for Viking Millennial Celebrations at L’Anse Aux Meadows. She served 15 years as an Economic Development Officer at White Bay Central Development Association establishing community partnerships and investing millions into environmental and tourism related-projects.

In addition, she is a recipient of the Sustainable Tourism Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and PRIDE award for excellence in tourism.

I ask all hon. Members to join me in congratulating Barb Genge on her business and community success.

Thank you.

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

MHA Reveals Design of 2013 Christmas Cards

Independent Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North) announced at noon today the winners of his 2013 Christmas card contest at White Hills Academy (Elementary) in St. Anthony.

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“I was very encouraged that more than 90 students participated in this year’s contest announced in September” says Mitchelmore. “All entries are available for public viewing at our constituency office’s public gallery on 279 West Street, St. Anthony until Christmas.”

In 2013, our District will have two unique card designs (depicted below) that showcase a total of nine student’s artwork that will brace the cover and back of the card. All businesses and households will get their own copy in time for the holidays.

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This year’s winners are:

  • River Hedderson, Truman Eddison Memorial, Grade 5
  • Hannah Pilgrim, Mary Simms All-Grade, Grade 3
  • Neil Rose, White Hills Academy, Grade 4
  • Brock Taylor, White Hills Academy, Grade 3
  • Emma Hillier, Truman Eddison Memorial, Grade 6
  • Chelby Symmonds, Sacred Heart All-Grade, Grade 5
  • Jeffrey T. Pilgrim; Truman Eddison Memorial, Grade 6
  • Shelby Parrill, White Hills Academy, Grade 2
  • Amy Simms, White Hills Academy, Grade 4


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Each winner will receive a certificate and copies of the cards for their distribution.

“I congratulate all who participated and hope this encourages other schools and students throughout the District to also share their creativity and imagination for others to appreciate.”

For information, contact:

Lavinia Crisby, Constituency Assistant
Tel. 454-2633
Email: laviniacrisby@gov.nl.ca

 

Have you been to Bide Arm?

Bide Arm was the only new community created under the Resettlement Act in 1969. Residents from Hooping Harbour, Williamsport, Little Harbour Deep, Englee, and Fox Harbour relocated to the new community (Source: roddickton.bidearm.ca)

My former co-worker during 2008, Tony was a resident of Bide Arm. He would talk about his beautiful community with much pride and one could hear the excitement 2009 would bring with Come Home Year. I felt the same sense of excitement as my hometown, Green Island Cove would also be celebrating Come Home Year in 2009.

The Come Home Year would ensure resettlement was a focal point, with a replica of Ashton House being towed and many other homes depicting a sign, saying “The Family Name and I was towed…”

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This summer, I visited the community on the day LG Health sent an advisory concerning air quality as forest fires raged in Labrador. One could certainly see the haze, but the beauty of this magical place remained.

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I would encourage residents and visitors to the Great Northern Peninsula to add this place to your experience – there is the Armistice Park (which highlights the rich history of boat building (http://roddickton.bidearm.ca/armistice/), walking trails, Ashton House, Scenic Pursuit Boat Tour (http://www.scenicpursuit.com/), playground, family owned small businesses, Apostolic Faith Church and a photo waiting to be snapped around every corner.

There is a scenic view from the doorstep of serene water, groves of trees and hills surrounding the arm. In July 2011, I drove with my friend, Riley from British Columbia as the Municipal roads were being paved for the very first time (See photos in post: http://liveruralnl.com/2011/07/26/offer-more-grants-to-towns-less-grants-to-big-business/). However, there is still needed infrastructure when it comes to road repairs to Route 432 and Route 433 to help drive passenger traffic to this community, as well as addition of high-speed Internet. I encourage you to sign petitions by clicking here. Let’s do this together!

Bide Arm is certainly beautiful beyond the summer months. As recent as this past week one could see the bright leaves as they have changed colour and the peaceful surroundings of a small Town that has so much to offer. If you have been to Bide Arm, share your experience. If not, please add it to your places to go…

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
 
Recommended Reads:
Scenic Pursuit Boat Tours- Tourism at its Finest.

Underground Salmon Pool, Roddickton-Bide Arm, NL

Winter road to Roddickton-Bide Arm

Roddickton Come Home Year Exudes Community Spirit

It’s All About Regional Marketing

 

Savage Cove Come Home Year a Shining Example of Community Spirit

Savage Cove has about 150 current residents, but that certainly didn’t hold them back for organizing a Come Home Year Celebration that would see hundreds return to their roots and enjoy a week-long celebration from August 12-18th. When a community has a belief and goal, they tend to set the bar high and in many cases exceed expectations.

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Despite a windy day at the start, no one’s spirit was dampened. This was a first for the community and the waves likely reflected the energy of having everyone home again. In the weeks leading up to the event, people volunteered many hours building a structure to add to the Harbour Authority Building to ensure they could handle capacity.

The committee dedicated many hours and was heavily supported by the community and those expats away to ensure monies would be available for materials, bands, bags and other events through their fundraising efforts.

I enjoyed marching with the crowds, as family banners were held high. There were so many, I may not have captured them all. Last Christmas we held the 3rd Annual Mummer’s Walk in Savage Cove, with about 40 mummers walking the same path as those registered for Come Home Year. It was incredible to see hundreds march proudly from St. Mark’s Church through the community to end up near the point.

The week of activities was impressive and added something for the whole family, such as a bon fire with fireworks, kids activities, play day at the playground and recreation cages in Flower’s Cove, seniors card game, bingo, Newlywed Game and nightly entertainment. There were craft producers, daily breakfasts and most importantly lots of new memories being made.

Savage Cove is another small community that shows, even small communities can do big things. Next year, Eddies Cove East will be holding its first Come Home Year Celebration. I want to thank everyone involved, from the committee, other volunteers, residents, those who came back and others from the region who supported this Celebration. I’m proud we can celebrate our communities in a big way, it builds a stronger rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Thank you for doing your part.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Felting a Family…

Today, I was looking back through some photos I had recently taken and this one happened to get my attention..a loving family that sits on my constituency office desk in St. Anthony.

Division No. 9, Subd. D-20130906-02738Carol Roberts of St. Anthony is a fiber artist. She works with wool product and other textiles to create. Thank you Carol for sharing your talent with me. The concept of spinning wool on the Great Northern Peninsula has only been lost by a few recent generations. The spinning wheel would be found in some early settler homes as they would create their own home spun sheep’s wool to make knitted stockings and other articles of clothing.

This summer Ms. Roberts along with a friend had taken a spinning wheel and started introducing new people to the process at Grenfell Heritage Days this past July. This is an exciting step because we have incredibly talented people in the region that are interested in small-scale craft production. There is opportunity to network, take workshops and make and sell product. I personally would like to see a craft co-operative established.

Rural sustainability is built on our ability to utilize the resources and enhance our skill set to get best value from them. There is opportunity for more raising of sheep in the District, selling and carding of wool and the creation of unique wool products that are of high-value, such as the items depicted above. If you like Ms. Roberts’ felted family or other products, many are available at Grenfell Heritage Shoppe at the Grenfell Interpretation Centre in St. Anthony.

Is a fiber arts or textile festival something to consider for the future on the Great Northern Peninsula?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving…

I’ve spent some time today looking at old photographs of times spent with family and friends over the years. This also included travels to Europe, USA, Caribbean, Africa and many parts of Canada, especially my home on the Great Northern Peninsula. It certainly made me realize how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving. It is a holiday to celebrate the harvest and the blessings of the past year. 

Here is a snapshot of some events in which I am thankful since last Thanksgiving:

October 2012 was a celebration of one year in office as the Member for the Straits-White Bay North. It is also the month of my birthday and of course the celebration of Halloween.

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November 2012 is a time of reflection, especially on Remembrance Day for those who fought for the freedoms we have today. I placed a wreath at the St. Anthony Legion’s War Memorial on behalf of the people in the District.

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December 2012 is filled with activity from Christmas Parades, hanging lights, decorating trees and celebrating the spirit of season. Last December, I spent many hours in the Newfoundland & Labrador legislature, as a filibuster on the Muskrat Falls enabling legislation had us going around the clock until the early hours of December 22nd. My comments of the Monopoly Bill was one of the last before the vote:

I would like to reflect, Mr. Speaker, upon an episode of The Simpsons, when monopolist C. Montgomery Burns planned to block out the sun, to have the ratepayers of Springfield pay for his monopoly power. Having to consume more, pay more and not conserve, Smithers, the longest-serving employee, jumped from his party faithful and the people of Springfield suffered and so did he. In the end it did not go well for the monopoly company, but the people did prevail.

I only hope the people of the Province are not impacted to the degree this legislation offers, that Muskrat Falls does bring the employment and long-term benefits as touted, and that it also allows and permits new opportunities for wind, small-scale hydro, and other energy options. (Hansard, December 20 http://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/hansard/ga47session1/12-12-20.htm). 

Christmas was spent with my wonderful family. Good food, good drinks and good company. I thoroughly enjoyed mummering. A tradition we are keeping alive.

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January 2013 - The Great Northern Peninsula is filled with incredible beauty and an abundance of wildlife. The fjords fill the backdrop around Gros Morne National Park. I had the pleasure of seeing these caribou, as they were grazing.

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February 2013 was filled with culture, from seeing the Great Northern Peninsula’s own Megan Coles’ play “Our Eliza”, as well several hockey tournaments, Air Cadet performances, the Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador convention and trade show, coffee-house and the big announcement of Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-North Boat Harbour’s Let them be kids playground for summer 2013.

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March 2013 I was able to celebrate the success of community groups and the important roles they play in Community, like the Green Island Cove Lions. Also, Winterfest, carnivals, town halls and lots of community engagement happens in March. Not to mention the presence of seals.

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April 2013 brought me back to Labrador. There is a pristine and natural beauty. Everyone should take time to experience all regions of our province.

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May 2013 many graduations were held. It had me reflect that it has been 10 years since I graduated from high school with 19 other classmates. A number of people are now married, have children, new homes and wonderful careers. It is always nice to see former classmates and remember our time shared together. This September when I went to Edmonton I was able to re-connect with a few, as well I get to see others at weddings and special occasions on the Great Northern Peninsula, while some have chosen like me to live rural.

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June 2013 we celebrate the Iceberg with an annual iceberg festival. It was also a time when I saw communities come together and build an incredible playground in Cook’s Harbour. To also learn about people and their talents, such as boat building and hear about the flurry of fishing activity happening along our coast. Summer is always a busy time. We have much to be thankful, from the land and the sea.

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July 2013 After a Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony, I decided to host my family for a Canada Day shed celebration. A big bbq spread was for all to enjoy neighbours, friends and family members. We even broke out the accordion. These are the moments you’ll remember all year. It is so important to take time to celebrate with your loved ones. July continued with Come Home Year celebrations in Conche and were followed in August by Roddickton and Savage Cove.

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August 2013 I was reunited with my friends from Europe. We all first met in Prague on an exchange in 2007. I was thrilled that all five of us were able to make the sailing trip in Sardinia, Italy. We have been many places together, including Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Cuba, Edmonton, British Columbia, Toronto, St. John’s and the Great Northern Peninsula. I look forward to our next expedition :)

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September 2013 Labour Day was spent with family enjoying food, games and each others company. I am so thankful we got to spend a weekend where we were all together. I also was happy to travel to Edmonton to see a very good friend of mine marry the love of her life. It was such a great weekend helping and hanging out. I don’t think I laughed so much all year. So good to see former co-workers, family and friends in a city I lived and worked.

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I’ve had some very incredible experiences throughout 2012-13 engaging people. There are high points and there are low points, I’ve made new friends and have had to say good-bye to some old ones. There are demands during special occasions and evenings that may take you away sometimes from your family and loved ones but when you can spend time together make it count. Family is the cornerstone of our lives and society.

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On Thanksgiving 2013, I’ll be spending it with my sister and extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. May next year’s harvest, blessings and experiences be ones of which you can reflect back upon and be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving and as always, live rural…

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

Preparing the Seal Skin

The tradition of making sealskin boots has been around since seals inhabited the waters along the Strait of Belle Isle. For generations those who came before us participated in the hunt and the several week process of bark-tanning the skin to turn into a product.

Each summer, these laced in seal skins are commonplace at the Steven’s homestead. I am quite pleased to see this tradition continue. My father knew this process and the techniques used to soak, stretch and tan. I still have a pair of his sealskin boots, in which I wear in winter. I too would like to learn the seal skin boot making process.

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There is a book about seal skin boot making on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is entitled out of necessity. It is available at GNP Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East (www.gnpcrafts.ca).

Sabrina Lisa Fashion Design also believes in environmentally sustainable and all natural products. The sealskin wallet depicted below is one I use every day. It does not contain dyes, chemicals and was handmade.

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We should keep our traditions of the Great Northern Peninsula alive. More people should learn the process and also support entrepreneurs, craftspeople and the rural economy. We have a wealth of talented people and experiences.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

The Wood Pile

I am a bit of a card shark. I think it runs in the family. Although it has been awhile since I’ve played a good game of 500’s, 120’s, Rummoli, Queens, Flinch, Rook or others. However, the photo of this wood pile in Grandois/St. Julien’s brought me back to some younger days of playing cards with my mother…

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Often when she played a three, she referred to it as the “wood pile”. It has since stuck with me and sometimes I will say it as well. I wonder the origin of  this colloquial or vernacular language? It is likely passed on from generation to generation.

Playing cards with Aunt Gertie, she would refer to each suit in a unique way: Spades as “shovels”, Clubs as “bakeapples”, Hearts as “the bleeding hearts” and Diamonds as “the Big Brook crew” (Big Brook is a re-settled community on the Great Northern Peninsula, in which the residents family name was “Diamond”). I’ll never forget the games of cards we played. They were always full of energy and laughter.

We have a wonderful, vibrant and unique language on the Great Northern Peninsula. Our local culture remains strong.

As many households pack in wood in preparation for winter, after reading this post the next time you play a three in a game of cards, maybe you too will think of the “wood pile”.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

A Great Viking Feast for St. Anthony & Area Boys & Girls Club

Saturday, September 28th – Leifsburdir becomes the gathering place for the St. Anthony & area Boys and Girls Club for a Great Viking Feast and annual fundraiser.

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I attended my first fundraiser in September 2011 and missed 2012 as I was in Liverpool, England touring the hometown of the Beatles. However, I was very pleased to come out and support this worthy cause in 2013 and hopefully for many more years to come.

First of all, Leifsburdir, is the only sod hut restaurant in North America. They offer a viking performance of sagas by rein-actors over dinner throughout the summer season. I encourage you to take this experience in while visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. For more information visit: http://www.fishingpoint.ca/feast.html

The owner gives back each year, by donating their space and providing the meal to all patrons who take in the evenings event. The viking staff also give back by volunteering their talents and providing entertainment. The business community is involved by contributing prizes, including Provincial Airlines providing return airfare to St. Johns for two. The Boys and Girls Club had staff involved and youth helping to serve at each table – coffee, tea and desserts. It is a great sense of coming together for a cause everyone believes in – that is, providing much needed funds to ensure programming can continue and expanded for St. Anthony and area youth.

The club is now in its 13th year and has more than 200 youth registered at its centre. The success of the club, also demands increased supports whether from Government, grants or funds raised from outside sources. The Boys & Girls Club is a charity and can issue a tax receipt if anyone would like to support a local cause. Please contact 709-454-2582 or colleen@stanthonybgclub.com for any further information.

I had a wonderful time and ended up winning a prize. It is great to gather in our unique social spaces, enjoy the talents of those around us and help organizations thrive. If you were not able to take in this year’s event be sure to mark your calendar for the last Saturday in September. It will be a fun-filled evening.

Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

How does your garden grow?

An old nursery rhyme went like this…

Mary, Mary, Quite contrary
How does your garden grow?

Here are some of our results:

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As a young boy I always helped my grandmother and grandfather tend their gardens. I enjoyed everything from digging the trenches to laying potato seed to pulling stocks and reaping the reward of our harvest. Even as a young lad I certainly didn’t mind rolling up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. One thing I did not like doing though was – weeding. Thank goodness for grandma, who had the patience to ensure our beds were not overtaken by them. My grandma and extended family members continue to maintain these gardens growing a variety of crops.

I still have an appreciation for growing local food stuffs and want to get more involved in maintaining a garden and greenhouse. Now that the harvest time is nearly over on the Great Northern Peninsula, it is a great time to consider growing local in 2014!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

L&E Restaurant Serving For 25 Years

25 years for many of us is a lifetime committed to serving the public. For my entrepreneurial aunt, well she’s been self-employed in the food service business for nearly 40 years. That is a milestone for any business owner.

Long before the L&E Restaurant moved to its new location in 1988, owner Linda Rose was serving up chicken and chips from her former business, Rose’s Snack Bar. The move was contemplated as a new high school was being built on Route 430 to replace the aging one in Flower’s Cove. The new location, adjacent to Consumer’s Pharmachoice, Brook’s Boutique & NL Liquor Express has driven traffic to this business over the years.

She is a fully licensed restaurant, with a broad menu offering that goes well beyond the original chicken and chips, burgers and hotdogs to include a variety of seafood dishes, soups, sandwiches, salads, turkey, beef, breakfast and other dishes. She also has soft serves, ice creams, sundaes and a variety of coffees.

I’ve been eating treats at L&E for as long as I can ever remember. This past Wednesday, I dropped by for a feed of chicken & poutine. It was more-ish! After the meal, I gave my Aunt a certificate recognizing her 25 year business milestone and wished I could have been there on the anniversary. She told me, it was quite a busy day, with an in-flux of customers as she had a giant cake and offered 25% off all purchases for the day.

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She recognizes the importance of giving back to her customers and community, from customer appreciation day to donating to a local event. Before I left, I was reminded about the 50-50 draw to support the Straits Regional Volunteer Fire Department.

The restaurant has changed a little over the years, from softer color tones, the addition of a fish tank to a gallery of folk art painted by her talented son, Danny Rose. His art work is not only displayed at L&E but in many homes throughout the region, province, country and beyond. It is great to see the passion of entrepreneurship and love for rural Newfoundland & Labrador that exists within our family. However, some things will never change – like the red chairs, the nostalgic jukebox or the atmosphere created by local people loving the food and joining the conversations in one of our social spaces on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Congratulations on 25 years L&E Restaurant! Let’s hope to see many more, as this place has been a local fixture in the region.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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