Blog Archives

The Majestic Caribou is another reason to come and stay awhile…

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The Great Northern Peninsula is a magical place where many natural treasures are ever present. We are home to the Viking Settlement a World UNESCO site in L’Anse aux Meadows It is the very place where the world came full circle – an event more than 100,000 years in the making. It is also home to Gros Morne National Park, the Grenfell Legacy, a community of 50 centuries, the French Shore, economuseums, ecological reserves, destination trails, giant icebergs, whales, pristine waters for fishing, hunting and full of unique experiences.  We have a strong business community that caters to tourism and hospitality industries.

We are also home of the mighty caribou. Almost every trek I make on Route 430 between my home to the Northern Peninsula East or North to St. Anthony and surrounding area I am greeted by a herd of caribou at the St. Anthony airport.

If you have never had the opportunity to see this majestic animal, I encourage you to make the trek up the Great Northern Peninsula and stay awhile, we have weeks of adventure awaiting.

Live Rural NL,

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-Wheite Bay North

Jordi Bonet Murals a Gift for All People of the North

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Jordi Bonet was born in Spain and became one of Quebec’s major artists through murals, painting, sculptures and ceramics. The panel notes how he lost his right arm at the age of 9 and had to learn these talents with his left. He has brilliant public works at the Montreal Metro, JFK Airport in New York and various churches throughout Quebec and Ontario in addition to his piece on the Great Northern Peninsula. Bonet passed away on Christmas Day in 1979 at the age of 47 succumbing to leukemia.

The Jordi Bonet Murals are a true gift to the people of the North, exhibited for all to see at the rotunda of the Charles Curtis Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony.

Honouring all those who have dedicated their lives to the Grenfell Mission

There is a special recognition to Dr. Charles S. Curtis, an unselfish servant to the people of the coast in Northern Newfoundland and Labrador contributing 48 years of his life to improving health, childcare, education, agriculture and other initiatives as part of the Grenfell Mission.

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Additionally, the Grenfell Mission thanks all past and future generations who have and will take on the challenge of improving the quality of life for the people of the North. No visit to the Great Northern Peninsula is complete without seeing such a public work of art that is on display at a hospital, where the Grenfell Legacy flourished for more than a century.

Thank you to those who been a part of the Grenfell Mission as the International Grenfell Association celebrates its centennial year. We must keep building and reaching out.  The Great Northern Peninsula has connections with the Rockefellers, the Colgate fortune, with volunteers such as Josephine Colgate volunteering with the Grenfell Mission, American Presidents, British Royalty, and even Wilbur & Orville Wright. There are many stories to tell, outreach and an ability to re-connect. As we reflect upon the past, we must also look toward the future where the Great Northern Peninsula is one that thrives on success and continuous improvement.

Live Rural NL –

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

Grenfell Handicrafts Proudly Producing for a Century!

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The Grenfell Centre, St. Anthony, NL commemorates the life and legacy of the legendary Dr. Wilfred Thomason Grenfell. Since 1892, Dr. Grenfell has impacted the lives of those on the Great Northern Peninsula and Labrador through the Grenfell Mission, which the first permanent medical services throughout the region.

In addition to advancing the medical administration, headquartered in St. Anthony, the mission worked to make social changes and reduce poverty through advancing education, agriculture, textiles and industrial projects. A number of schools were built, a lumber mill was established in 1908 in Canada Bay to create year-round employment, farms developed and co-operatives created to reduce the reliance of merchants and their crippling credit-system for fishers.

To stimulate industrial development, mission workers also organized the local handicraft industry enabling residents to sell hooked mats, knitted goods and other items at North American retail outlets. People would save their silk stockings and send them to Labrador or the Great Northern Peninsula for the women to make and sell Grenfell hooked rugs. There is great pride taken in displaying the Grenfell rug which the handicraft group has been proudly producing for a century!

I’ve purchased a membership to the Grenfell Centre and encourage residents and visitors to drop by to visit the Centre and the Grenfell Handicrafts shop.

Grenfell rugs, carvings, labradorite rings, books, pendants, necklaces, paintings, prints, embroidered hand crafted items, apparel,  knitted items and a variety of other local souvenirs stock their shelves. I love dropping by to purchase locally made and handcrafted products. Some of their knitted goods went to Europe with me on my most recent vacation to give my friends a little piece of something from “the Rock”. If you are a local craft producer, you should look at having your product offered at this location. It’s so important to support and buy local products, as they have the greatest impact on the local economy.

Now 100 years later, the International Grenfell Association continues to promote the initiatives surrounding community economic development, health and education started by Grenfell and his believers that the people of the North should have access to these vital services and be masters of their own destiny. Many of the projects started are still in existence a century later, and others could stimulate new ideas and be re-visited to pursue economic opportunities for the people of the North.

The Grenfell Historical Society and Grenfell Handicrafts should be proud of their achievements. Let’s keep building for the next century!

Live Rural NL –

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

Grenfell Heritage Days A Big Success!

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The legacy of Sir Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell continues to be celebrated by the people of the Great Northern Peninsula at the annual Heritage Day in St. Anthony, NL. Hundreds of people typically flock to the Grenfell Memorial Park surrounded by the hospital, mission store, co-operative, former orphanage, handicraft operation and a network of other buildings – all the wonderful things Grenfell created to improve the social and economic well-being of the region more than 100 years ago. This year’s event was held at the Polar Centre as a change in venue.

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The day began with the Teddy Bears Picnic. I enjoy volunteering for this even each year, which typically involves flipping a few burgers for those that wish to have a grilled afternoon snack. I arrive a little early to see the St. Anthony and Area Boys  & Girls Club had set-up a number of games. They were also making balloon animals and I was able to lose an epic balloon sword fight to Logan. It was great fun! Lots of children, accompanied by their parents or guardians enjoyed games, free books, dancing with Strawberry Shortcake, face painting, Teddy Bear check-ups at the clinic and lots of other activities.

As the evening drew on there were tables set up with games of chance, bake sales, craft sales, 50-50 draws, penny sales, auction, food and music.

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The Skipper Hot’s Band treated us to an evening of music, where some took to the floor for a step or two.

Likely the biggest hit of the evening was the polar bear paws, essentially fried dough with a cinnamon batter with sauce and whipped cream. They created quite the line up! I purchased some delicious baked goods and beautifully handmade craft items, including baby blankets, cardigan and hat and booty set.

A lot of organization goes into these events. Many thanks to all the people involved and those who volunteered their time. Those who can – do, those who do more – volunteer! 

Supporting this event is about giving back to the local health auxiliaries, which helps raise money for priority medical equipment at our local hospital.  The Grenfell Legacy is alive and well, more than 100 years since the recognition of the International Grenfell Association (IGA) and 120 years since Grenfell first came to Northern Newfoundland. His presence is still felt today.

Live Rural NL –

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

The Grenfell Foundation hosts Heritage Day on July 8th in St. Anthony

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The Grenfell Foundation hosts the annual Heritage Day fundraiser to purchase priority medical equipment for Labrador Grenfell Health south chapter. I encourage all residents and visitors to drop by St. Anthony’s Polar Centre on Tuesday, July 8th.

Last year’s activities was a huge success. I enjoyed watching the old-fashioned square dancing, playing games of chance and enjoying all sorts of fish and barbecued dishes.

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The Teddy Bears picnic also kicks off in the afternoon, with many kids games put off by volunteers at the Boys and Girls club. Many other organizations are represented with booths set-up. It was a pleasure to bring greetings at last year’s event as the Member of the House of Assembly for the District and volunteer.

The Grenfell Foundation was able to purchase over $200,000 worth of priority equipment, with assistance from $150,000 donation from St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. This year the goal has been set to over $100,000 to purchase a number of pieces of equipment that will be distributed at a number of facilities including the John M. Gray Senior’s Residence.

If you can drop by and have an afternoon and evening of fun, while supporting the health care needs of the region.

Live Rural NL –
 
Christopher Mitchelmore
The Straits-White Bay North
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