The fight, the fish, the Hockey Legend

The images one can capture while driving Route 430 to my hometown is incredible. The fjords are ever-present at Western Arm Brook and continue North of Cow Head. They will turn heads and create a few words of “amazing”, “just beautiful” and “unbelievable”.

On a bone chilling Boxing Day of 2011 we walked parts of the boardwalk, to reach the fjords may take you about 40 minutes. During summer one can take the Western Arm Brook Boat Tours and get a closer look at the ridges carved by glacier action some thousands of years ago.

How could we resist being three grown men with some wet snow on the ground. We moulded in our hands a formidable snowball and had a friendly snow fight. It was anything short of the snowball wars I remember as a child. It is refreshing to stop and enjoy the simple things and life – laugh and recall the earlier years and your first experience with throwing a snowball.

It is unique hills and remnants of the Appalachian Mountains are ever present on one side of Route 430, with the water on your left as you drive North. We enjoyed a delicious bowl of homemade turkey soup. A common dish after the big Christmas Day Turkey Dinner for many Newfoundlanders & Labradorians. The night was filled with meeting friends, dancing and celebrating the festivities of the season.

On the 27th we were invited to my Aunt and Uncle’s house to feast on fish. The menu included codfish, salmon, halibut, scallop, shrimp, crab, wrinkles and britches. The fish was coupled with salads of all sorts and homemade beats and pickles. I must say my puddick was completely satisfied after the meal, not to mention a sponge cake served with whipped cream, vanilla pudding and mandarin oranges. In typical nature of any crowd of Newfoundlanders we surrounded the kitchen table and yarned for a while. My little cousin of 9 years of age had prepared a series of questions for my Swiss and German friend, ranging from their favourite colour, sport to what it is like at Christmas in their country.

We had arranged to go ice-fishing the following day. During the evening we would attend a Memorial at the Straits Arena.

The crowd jammed into the arena, filling it to capacity as hundreds of students, family and friends from our neighbouring communities came out to remember the great Hockey Legend of Mr. Baxter Hughes.

Mr. Hughes was my former high school teacher, the father of one of my classmates and a wonderful human being. He touched the lives of so many during his teaching career. One thing for certain is he had an immense passion and love for the game of hockey. As we heard from his daughter give a heartfelt speech and other members of his family be present, former teammates, hockey players and fans watch as his jersey was lifted to near the rafters. It was a touching moment in time, as we reflect on the lost of a loved one. As we look back we remember past times shared and are ever grateful the impact these people had on our lives and growth as a person.

Thank you Mr. Hughes for the life lessons you have taught me.

After the special ceremony a hockey game started, which proved to being very engaging.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA

The Straits-White Bay North

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