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Bay Roberts Fire Department is a Shining Example of Answering the Call for St. Lunaire-Griquet

The Bay Roberts Fire Department is a shining example of answering the call and doing their utmost to protect personal property and save lives. I had the privilege of visiting this Department on November 1st, meeting Fire Chief Norman, firefighter Dean Franey and Mayor Wood. I was given a tour of their Department, discussed equipment, sharing of services and gained a much broader understanding and appreciation of the work they do to serve a large population of more than 6,000 people in conjunction with their Municipal Council.

I arrived in Bay Roberts after a significant loss on the Great Northern Peninsula when a cornerstone business of Hillier’s Automotive was gutted by fire in St. Lunaire-Griquet in October. In a newspaper article, Deputy Fire Chief Humby had highlighted their lack of protective fire suits as a major concern for their growing department members. He highlighted the Firettes, would be raising money to try to purchase eight suits that were needed.

Hillier’s Automotive destroyed by fire, Northern Pen, October 6th, 2014

I sent this information our via Twitter and was surprised to get a response from Bay Roberts Fire Department saying they may be able to be of assistance in helping St. Lunaire-Griquet with their need. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to accept on behalf of St. Lunaire-Griquet Fire two full bunker suits and third jacket. This was an amazing contribution by Bay Roberts and illustrates their giving spirit and the importance of helping those who have a need.

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Offering Protection, Northern Pen, November 5th, 2014

It was very pleased to see they had a Memorial space dedicated to firefighters in the Town, who have passed away and also the Heritage Society have posted interpretative panels. They still have their number one fire truck since the 1946, which gets used in parades, but not for active service. This type of initiative could be replicated in other Towns and Departments to give recognition to those who give their service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Fire Chief Snow became a new dad and was at the hospital for the delivery upon my return to the District and I wanted these suits to be with the Department as soon as possible, as one never knows when a fire call may strike. I presented President of the Firettes, Mona Snow with the bunker gear. This will help them greatly with respect to their fundraising goals for the remaining suits they need.IMG_20141114_143847

A tour of Bay Roberts illustrated a vibrant Town  with respect to tourism, fishery, small business, growing sub-divisions, a planned business park and community economic development initiatives such as festivals. I enjoyed seeing the Mad Rock and network of walking trails, well-marked signs and a visit to the Mad Rock Cafe for a delicious meal. I would highly recommend a visit and look forward to a return in the near future.

The Town of Bay Roberts is poised for future growth and ideally located to capitalize on future opportunities. They are also capitalizing on the use of social media with active Twitter accounts, Facebook Pages and a visually appealing website to keep people informed and engaged. Towns, organizations, business or volunteer groups not active on Twitter and Facebook should consider adopting. It’s a New Year!

I want to extend a thank you to Bay Roberts for your kindness, hospitality and generousity. Bay Roberts, like the Great Northern Peninsula, is a place you will want to experience.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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Christmas Parades on Great Northern Peninsula Exude Community Spirit

The month of December marks a number of community events from Christmas concerts, annual award nights, church functions, tree lighting, breakfast/brunch, socials, appreciation dinners, Santa visits, dances, hockey tournaments and of course the Christmas parade. On the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula there is so much activity. It shows signs of an active volunteer base, supporting strong, vibrant communities as each place offers something unique to bring together residents to enjoy a sense of community, a sense of involvement and just exudes the spirit of Christmas.

I plan to focus, primarily on parades given they were hosted in St. Anthony, St. Lunaire-Griquet, Flower’s Cove, Conche, Englee, Main Brook, Roddickton, Bide Arm, L’Anse aux Meadows, Hay Cove, Noddy Bay, Straitsview, Savage Cove and Anchor Point.

St. Anthony (December 13th)

St. Lunaire-Griquet (December 13th) – Held on December 20th, 2014

Weather postponed the St. Lunaire-Griquet Christmas parade and the event was held the following Saturday and I was unable to attend. If there are people who have photos this parade and are willing to share, please email mitchelmorec@hotmail.com.

Flower’s Cove (December 13th) – Held on December 14th, 2014 which enabled me to attend.

Conche (December 19th, 2014)

Englee (December 19th, 2014) – Held on December 22nd, 2014

This event was originally scheduled for December 19th, but weather greatly impacted the viability of a successful parade. The event was held on Monday, December 22nd and I was unable to attend. If anyone has a few photos they would like to share, please send to mitchelmorec@hotmail.com.

Main Brook (December 20, 2014)

Roddickton-Bide Arm (December 20, 2014)

L’Anse aux Meadows, Hay Cove, Noddy Bay, Straitsview (December 20th, 2014)

If anyone has photos of this event and would like to share, please send to mitchelmorec@hotmail.com. I had committed to attending the Roddickton-Bide Arm parade several weeks in advance.

Savage Cove Christmas Parade (December 21st, 2014)

Town of Anchor Point Christmas Parade (December 23rd, 2014)

There was much time, organization and volunteer efforts put forward by many community leaders, business and residents to ensure these Christmas parades and a host of other activities were successfully held on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, some for 50 years. The people of the Peninsula continue to make big things happen in small communities!

Let’s keep building in 2015!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Community Leaders, Ideas and Innovation changing our Rural Landscape

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A community is built and shaped by the people that live, work and share common interests and goals. On the Great Northern Peninsula we have strong communities and leaders that have big ideas and use innovation to create new jobs, opportunities and experiences.

Glacier Glass, Englee, NL is shining example of a newly founded social enterprise that meets those interests and goals for local residents, the greater region and those visiting to experience and take away a little piece of the rock at the end of the winding Route 433. This initiative is placing Englee on the map as a destination, if you want a unique and authentic rural experience.

Last night, I had the opportunity to participate in a Glass Art Class (3 Hours) hosted by instructor Doris Randell at the Glacier Glass studio. I am a complete novice when it comes to glass art, but I have always been interested in making things by hand, learning the traditional way of doing things but also willing to try a new approach. We opted to make a poinsettia designed dish for the holidays and a set of coasters with our supplied materials. It brought back school year memories of arts and crafts as we took the scissors to cut the pattern to trace on the glass. Next came the fun, but intimidating part of cutting the glass. Like riding a bike, one starts with the training wheels attached and Doris had us scoring the glass with scrap at first as practice to breaking our pieces for the dish. Each piece got easier as we felt more comfortable working with the material and it was quite fun learning how it was made and doing it for yourself. There are many steps beyond the cutting and breaking of glass, there is some shaping with the grinder and some colouring to add detail. Doris is an incredibly talented community developer, crafty and certainly puts off a phenomenal class! Click on the photo gallery below to see a bit more of the process:

I look forward to seeing the end result after the product has been fired up in the kiln!

Local area residents participated in a several week long program and learned this particular craft making incredible product. The concept of training local people to make unique glass art products, has proven its worth that we are open to trying new initiatives in our small communities and that we have hidden talents we may never have had the opportunity to exhibit. Glacier Glass now gives anyone the opportunity to participate in a class, make their own product at a rate of $75.00 a session. If anyone would like to book a session, please contact 1-709-866-2711 for more details or visit Glacier Glass on Facebook.

Also their shop has a number of exquisite pieces for retail if anyone is interested in a special gift. Lots of unique Newfoundland & Labrador items available, holiday and special occasions too!

There are many opportunities to expand to wholesale, expand into various retail outlets, continue training sessions and offer learning vacations to those wishing to come, stay and experience all the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer!

The Great Northern Peninsula is poised for growth because we have exceptional community leaders, ideas and innovation that continue to make big things happen in small communities. Our rural landscape is changing and we are the catalysts changing that landscape!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Main Brook Research & Development Corporation Building A Diversified Economy

Community economic development should be at the heart of any small Town. The Great Northern Peninsula has numerous development associations (White Bay South, White Bay Central, St. Barbe, Straits Development and Rising Sun), as well as St. Anthony Basin Resources Incorporated (SABRI). These entities have partnered with communities and local groups to create and maintain infrastructure, provide employment, training and the delivery of a number of programs. We need these entities to build stronger economies and communities in our region.

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The Main Brook Research & Development Corporation is another shining example of community building at its finest. The non-profit corporation has local Directors and develop the Town’s assets, such as the property leased by Northern Lights Seafoods. The attraction of a processor to the Town has created dozens of direct local jobs and supported many fishers on the Great Northern Peninsula since 2009. This has lead to millions of dollars in economic value re-circulating in the community and greater region. Northern Lights Seafoods is also pursuing new product development for scallops, which can lead to longer-term employment and more secondary-processing. This creates greater sustainability for the company, workforce and community.

Another major milestone for the Main Brook Research & Development Corp. was the divestiture of the Federal Public wharf. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, Mayor Leander Pilgrim (Director of MBRDC) and I took part in the official transfer ceremony at Long Pond, CBS.

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The corporation and community now has control over an asset, which they can use to generate revenues and create new opportunities for off-loading of fish product, shipping and receiving goods and services at this deep-water port and also be a destination for recreation, pleasure and commercial craft.

A public meeting was hosted on Thursday, where the corporation updated residents on matters of the wharf and other potential ventures it would look to pursue or find partners to create more economic development for the Town. The meeting clarified the $675,000 Federal transfer and noted the uses of these funds are for the long-term maintenance or the removal of the structure in this was necessary. However, the corporation has a business plan to generate revenues and wisely use invested dollars to create new opportunities, make enhancements and create employment at this location. It is great to see an engaged group of residents, as dozens came out to participate and become more informed, including myself.

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The actions taken by Main Brook Research & Development Corporation has really position the community for further growth and sustainability as they continue with their diversification plan. I commend these community-minded individuals for taking ownership, working together and never tiring to advance the place you call home. It is making a tremendous difference.

The Town of Main Brook has a population of 265 people according to the last census, it has survived the devastation of being a one industry town and losing that big employer. Employment in the 1930’s was almost exclusively in the forest industry, when the community first started to become inhabited. In the late 1940s, Bowater’s moved in and constructed a company town which consisted of apartment buildings, offices, machine and carpenter shops, two warehouses, a retail store, a garage, and a complete water system to capitalize on the rich timber resources.

Main Brook holds the distinction of being once of only 11 Towns that were incorporated before Confederation. Population was growing, but all was halted in 1968 when Bowater’s closed their Main Brook operations, citing weak markets and advancing technology. The community never gave up, smaller scale forestry operations continue and still today Coates’ Lumber produces quality products that are found in many homes, garages and buildings around the region. Many pursued the fishery and tourism also played a significant role. Main Brook is home to the award-winning internationally recognized Tuckamore Lodged, owned and operated by Barb Genge (http://www.tuckamorelodge.com/).

Today the Town and Recreation Committee continues to put the finishing touches on a beautiful 35’*50′ Community Centre that can host functions large and small. This social space will create new activities and opportunities for the Town, with hundreds of thousands invested since 2012. The Town has approved an number of new building lots, which will help boost the population and purchased a brand new piece of snowclearing equipment, as well upgrades are occuring to the chlorination system to improve Town drinking water. The community has a K-12 school, family resource centre, four churches, fire department and the White Bay Central Development Association.

There is a vibrant small business community in Town too, given the amount of people coming to Town to engage particularly in fishing and hunting activities. Isabella’s Country Meats, J&B Outfitting, Tuckamore Lodge, Main Brook Convenience & Gas Station, Hare Bay Stores & Liquor Express and more.

The community is part of the French Shore, has a neighbouring ecological reserve, incredible trails, bi-lingual stop signs, a recreational park and some of the best waterfront views around. Not to mention St. Anthony airport is just a 30 KM drive away. Main Brook is growing due to the determination and ingenuity of those who live there and also those who support the local businesses and organizations, you are all are building a stronger community and making a better Great Northern Peninsula.

I encourage you to find ways in your own community to incorporate new ideas and create the opportunity! Let’s keep making big things happen in our small communities on the Great Northern Peninsula. Congratulations Main Brook on all your success!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Mussel Festival returning in St. Lunaire-Griquet this weekend!

Last year, residents in St. Lunaire-Griquet started a community development initiative to host a mussel festival, a fitting name given the Town is the only site of aquaculture on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. 

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I enjoy eating the locally grown mussels from our restaurants in St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove. Northern Delight and the Daily Catch are two fabulous dining establishments. Mussels can also be purchased at Burden’s General Store or Hedderson’s Store (out of town mussels can be found at Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Anthony and through Gloria Barrett, Black Duck Cove). One gets great value from buying 10 lbs for $15.00. Buying mussels supports our local economy, it creates and maintains employment and leads to other economic opportunities that supports our small business and the non-for-profit community. St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI)’s initiative has positive impacts on the 16 communities of Cook’s Harbour to Goose Cove and even the greater region. 

One can see the schedule of events below of this year’s planned activities for the Mussel Festival in which I am delighted to attend the official opening. The volunteer committee has given many hours of their time and have worked with other groups such as the Firettes to help raise needed money for the volunteer fire department, as well drawing upon local talent and events for all ages. They deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to creating new opportunities in their small town.10606521_10152229744921835_3211486857501492555_n

I would encourage local residents of the Great Northern Peninsula and visitors to the region to enjoy a fun filled weekend at the Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet and of course, get a fine feed of mussels. 

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA                                                                                                    The Straits-White Bay North                                                                                                 @MitchelmoreMHA

 

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