The Town of Hawke’s Bay is known for it’s logging history and also local legends like fiddler Rufus Guinchard. 2015 brought many people home to the community with the planned “Come Home Year” celebration. Their theme was “We’re from the Bay and we like it that way!”
It takes many long hours to organize and plan a week of activities and for that the committee is to be commended. There was much spirit around town with businesses and homes sporting banners, flags and decorations welcoming people back to the community. The old festival site of the Rufus Guinchard Music Festival was revitalized and put back to good use. I enjoyed the famous chicken and chips at C&P Take-out, which was a busy location, Maynard’s Torrent River Inn & Pizza Delight was filled like back in the 1980’s and new businesses like The Great Canadian Dollar Store would benefit from increased traffic. Top Ten Motors gas station pumps seemed always full and I enjoyed a conversation over coffee with a former classmate I had not seen in years. The impact of Come Home Year is far reaching for business, for residents and for the community!
I attended the Lumberjack Competition, which had Lumberjack’s of all ages. It also showcased the early years of logging and had some various saws on display. I had a great conversation with Mr. House, Con & Nova and Marlene Maynard as we talked about the town, the forest industry, the festivities and of course a little politics. It was nice to see youth tossing logs, sawing and also racing.
It was a fun filled afternoon in this lumbering town. Lots of spectators, a barbecue in support of the local fire department and so many children playing at the adjacent playground. The evening brought a gospel concert that would showcase many local and vocal talents from those away.
After a couple of hours of music, the perfect way to end an evening is watching the sunset across the Bay! Hawke’s Bay Come Home Year was a big success, it showcased leaders and volunteers that continue to make big things happen in our small communities. I was even more encouraged when local councillors talked about the possibility of bringing back a weekend like the Rufus Guinchard Music Festival. There is so much potential to continue to add vibrancy, social and economic opportunity with the right people and the will to make it happen. I thoroughly enjoyed my time Hawke’s Bay and look forward to visiting again soon.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)
There will be nightly entertainment with a Tribute to Rufus Guinchard on June 24, 2011
As well, an evening of fishing delight on June 25, 2011
For more information visit the Torrent River blog for frequent updates at http://torrentriver.wordpress.com/.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
Each community has a character or iconic individual that is memorable or does something out of the extraordinary. For the Town of Hawke’s Bay on the Northern Peninsula that person is 90-year-old Great-Great Grandmother, Cecilia (“Celie”) Smith.
Over a pot of rabbit stew today at dinner, the conversation between my great-aunt, great-uncle and grandmother turned to bear sightings. I had mentioned to my uncle that while on vacation travelling to Conche (the French Shore) I saw a small cub near roadside. Then travelling on the Trans Canada Highway later in the week I saw another black bear. I have lived in rural NL for nearly 20 years and have never seen a bear until this summer. This re-called a recent article in the Northern Pen, Western Star and Telegram newspapers with the title, “90-year old bags bear”.
This is not the first bear for this spry woman. I recall back in 2007 watching an episode of CBC’s Land & Sea, which profiled her at 87 & 88 years of age having trapped at least two previously (Celie’s story can be viewed at: http://www.cbc.ca/landandsea/2009/04/celies-story.html). This woman built her own home, a home for her parents and others, provided maintenance and worked 32 years at the Maynard’s Motor Inn, worked as a fisherperson and logger. She still maintains a large garden, does woodwork and other daunting tasks that most people my age and younger wouldn’t tackle, yet at 90, she makes it look easy.
She has a real love for the great outdoors, the forest (woods) and at her cabin, which she built. She enjoys rabbit snaring and does so on her own snowmobile, accompanied by her great-grandson. To me she is one pretty cool great-grandmother. Even today she continues to beaver trap with her son and continues to hold a bear hunting licence.
Celie Smith has the right attitude about many things including:
- Trapping or growing her own food instead of eating products at the grocery store with ingredients we can’t even pronounce
- Staying active and getting fresh air
- Keeping a good sense of humour
- Having that one drink of whiskey at night
I remember a book given to me by an elementary school teacher, called The Legend of Princess Sheila NaGeira, which I read 15 years ago. The book left an impression on me because I remember she lived to be 105 years old according to the Legend and that she lived by the philosophy that “it is better to wear out, than to rust out.” So let’s take a page out of Celie Smith’s book, get outside and enjoy rural living.
Slowly Sipping Whiskey –