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Family Reunions are Incredible – Way Family Reunited After 25 years

It all started 25 years ago with a family gathering of close to 200 members of Augustus and Susanna Way convened in 1989 at the Flower’s Cove Lion’s Club to celebrate their growing family tree. 

Today, the tree branches are getting longer as more great-great grandchildren and even great-great-great grandchildren have been added to our family tree. In 1989, I was one of the younger members, just shy of 4 years old. 

 On July 24-27 2014, our Way Family reconvened for an incredible weekend together to share stories, meet family members we had not seen in years and also connect with new additions, as well, create new dialogue and memories for many decades to come.

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The Official Opening included a meet and greet, speeches from the organizing committee, Mayor of Flower’s Cove and yours truly, the Member of the House of Assembly for the District and was hosted by our very own Loomis Way. It was followed by a flag raising ceremony, the Flower’s Island song, lots of food and music by Nellie Wilson. The Lion’s Club look amazing with decor, banners, sheets of family photos, a memory wall, news clippings and photo albums taking us through the years.

The nights were late, but no one seemed to tire of anyone’s company, especially with Nellie Wilson, Dwayne Snow and Jig’s Dinner playing consecutive nights. It truly was a celebration of family and fun with large meals, music and lots of dancing. Many opted to participate in the recreational cod fishery over the weekend, plus there were family bbqs, games, shed gatherings, dart tournaments and a family bonfire on the point. One couldn’t ask for better weather, or better timing given the Provincial Government removed the fire ban at 6 PM, in time for our lighting at 7 PM. Wonderful luck indeed!

I can not thank all our family members who dedicated their time to plan, organize and ensure the perfect family reunion was had 25 years later. We are truly lucky to have you as part of the family. I’m impressed by all the musical talent in the family, just wish I had inherited some of it. In the meantime, people will still have to put up with my bad car singing and love for all things rural and traditional Newfoundland & Labrador. 

If you haven’t had a family reunion yet, why not start planning? Family is the cornerstone of our lives and society. 

Looking forward to the next planned family gathering!

Live Rural NL –

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

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Expanded Childcare on the Peninsula Helping Retain & Attract Youth

Accessible and affordable childcare is key to building a stronger community. Rural regions of the province also need these services for recruitment and retention of professionals and workers. In The Straits-White Bay North, the people have been getting it right for 20 years, as the Riddles & Rhymes Daycare in St. Anthony celebrated two decades of operations at the local College of the North Atlantic campus.

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Riddles and Rhymes Daycare offers childcare services for the general public and for College of the North Atlantic students. This is an ideal environment, especially for a parent wanting to pursuing further post-secondary, as they can drop their kids off at the daycare and check on them during break time.

This is a non-profit corporation established by a concerned group of working parents that worked hard fundraising and gained the attention of Government to ensure access to childcare was available to those of the St. Anthony Basin Area (Cook’s Harbour to Goose Cove and all places in between). At the celebration event in May, we heard the centre had some difficult years in the beginnings, but they were able to prevail and are a very successful model for other communities to follow. A timeline of events throughout the years clearly illustrate the impact this service has had on our children, employees, employers, students and the region as a whole. Affordable and accessible childcare helps build stronger communities.

In June 2013, a second daycare, “Little Folks” opened in the regional administrative centre of Flower’s Cove primarily serving a region of Castor River to Eddies Cove East

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The Little Folks Daycare is an initiative that shows how all things are possible when people, organizations and Government come together to fill a need and find rural solutions. This resounding group of parents, concerned citizens, Town of Flower’s Cove, Regional Economic Development Board and other partners never gave up – their work is to be commended.

I am especially proud to see a building re-purposed to provide a much larger contribution to the regional community. This former clubhouse was built with public funds to serve the softball field, which seldom saw the use to justify maintaining such a wonderful structure. We have many more buildings in our communities, either public buildings, former business, church owned property that could become a multi-use to expand the dynamic and help diversify our economy on the Great Northern Peninsula. It just takes a strong will from a small group of individuals to have a big impact.

Investing in this initiative with the support of Government also helps with recruitment and retention of workers for business, organizations and government. These are the type of investments in which we are proud, as they provide a safe, caring and structured environment that fosters strong education and advances social skills, giving our children an early start. 

I must commend all parents, volunteers and organizations that saw this need and encourage everyone to do what they can to support both Riddles & Rhymes and Little Folks Daycare, as they are two key entities for sustaining and growing our region.

This may also be an initiative for the residents of the Northern Peninsula East to consider working to establish a non-profit daycare in the regional centre of Roddickton-Bide Arm.

If you are considering starting a business or moving to the Great Northern Peninsula for employment or education there is exceptional childcare services available if you are thinking of starting or continuing to raise your family. You too, can enjoy everything this great place has to offer.

Live Rural NL –

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

 

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!

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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

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:

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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.

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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

 

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