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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

A Billion+ Reasons to Visit the Town of Flower’s Cove

The Town of Flower’s Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula, is formerly known as French Island Harbour, as it too is steeped in French history and part of the French Shore. Flower’s Cove as it is known today, is the administrative hub of the Straits region with a regional hospital, regional K-12 school, regional community youth centre, community-based daycare centre, non-profit 33 bed personal care facility, retail co-operative, pharmacy, restaurant, B&B, gas station, retail outlets,  construction companies, RCMP detachment, banking & financial services, tax services, recreation opportunities, churches, Lion’s club, seniors, youth groups and other organizational clubs.

The Town of Flower’s Cove, working in consultation with the now defunct Nordic Regional Economic Development Board (due to Federal & Provincial budget cuts) had worked on helping Flower’s Cove grow its tourism assets by adding two informational pull-offs that promote the Town’s business community and tourism attractions, as well as a mural and good signage throughout the community. Many of which are depicted below in key chains that are available for sale at the L&E Restaurant:

Division No. 9, Subd. C-20130613-02044

Flower’s Cove was the home base of Rev’d Canon John Thomas Richards, who was an Anglican minister in the early 1900’s. He operated without a church, but by encourage the women of the community to establish a building fund by making and selling sealskin boots. St. Barnabas Church was built circa 1920 and is known locally as “Sealskin Boot” Church.

Flower’s Island Lighthouse, first lighthouse keeper was Peter Flower, shortly thereafter it was operated by the Lavallee family for decades until automation. The Straits Development Association has developed an interpretation and viewing area, as well as continues to pursue opportunities to develop the area into a working site to add to the Town’s tourism assets. Icebergs are often spotted in the harbour, so have your cameras ready!

Marjorie Burke’s Bridge has been restored and leads to 600 million to 1.2 billion year old thrombolites. These micro-organisms form a clotted bun-like structure that area  special find, only in a few places around the world. The calcium carbonate from the limestone rocks create an environment for these unique formations.

Thrombolites

The White Rocks Walking Trail is an easy stroll that gives nice views of limestone plains, forested and water areas at a pace for the walker of any age. There are certainly great photo opportunities and resting areas as well. A perfect place for a picnic.

Flower’s Cove may be a tiny town, but there is plenty to see, do and experience! A billion+ reasons to visit on a trek up the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Marketing Rural Newfoundland & Labrador & the VTTA

Today I attended the Viking Trail Tourism Association’s Annual General Meeting at the Plum Point Motel. The chairs were filled tourism operators, employees, government workers and development organizations. We recognized our role and the role we have in advancing tourism on the Great Northern Peninsula. There was much talk of partnership, packaging and being creative!

The Viking Trail Tourism Association is a member-based non-profit industry association that promotes  its members and the greater region since 1988 – entering a milestone of 25 years of service. It continues to purchase advertisements in magazines such as “Downhome” and “Sledworthy”, attend trade shows, and provide members updates. However, it recognizes that it must reach out beyond traditional means of print advertising and is also focusing efforts on the social media.

  • Facebook Page: Viking Trail Tourism Association.
  • Twitter/@vikingtrail

I encourage you to like/follow them and share with friends. Start interacting, ask questions and post your own travel experiences and stories about the Great Northern Peninsula. Visit www.vikingtrail.org/contact.php or email info@vtta.nf.ca if you would like to contribute, become a member and help this non-profit member-based group advance its tourism initiatives.

Today’s meeting got me once again thinking about marketing the rural experience…it’s sometimes the little things we do…

I recently stayed at the Battery Hotel & Suites, which has the most amazing view of St. John’s harbour, NL en route to Signal Hill. As I checked into my room, I had to pass Room 400 Flower’s Cove which is just 14 KM from my hometown and has a unique tourism experience of Thrombolites (living rocks), White Rocks Walking Trail, Marjorie Bridge, Seal Skin Boot Church, Flower’s Island Lighthouse, local foods and great conversations. I immediately felt at home! A place I truly could relate…I immediately told other guests about Flower’s Cove.

Despite the star marking the location of Flower’s Cove being a little too far south I thought this little marketing initiative was powerful. My own room was historic Cupids, the oldest continuously settled British Colony in Canada and the second oldest in North America – what a view the room boasts. Neddie’s Harbour Inn (www.theinn.ca) on the Great Northern Peninsula also has local names for their rooms.

Now imagine if each room at the Battery had content from across the Province. Why not have a story board of Flower’s Cove with local sights, history and stories inside Room 400? Let’s create a means to further cross-promote regions, businesses & attractions. There may be a role for the VTTA, Destination Management Organizations, Business & Department of Tourism, Culture & Recreation to find new creative ways to ensure we reach out in new ways to share the beauty of rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

I commend the VTTA and your efforts to date. I know you will work with your members and others to build upon the tens of thousands of tourists that experience Route 430: The Viking Trail every year.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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