Blog Archives

Live Rural NL blogger visits Penny Lane

There are places I remember, all my life…the Great Northern Peninsula will be one of those places. The line is from one of my favorite  songs, “In My Life” by the Beatles. For many years now I’ve love their music, but certainly didn’t appreciate Paul McCartney’s stance with former wife, Heather Mills-McCartney about the Canadian seal hunt in 2006. I will continue to support this humane hunt; it has been a tradition in my family for centuries as a means of both income, subsistence and necessity.

After living in Europe during 2007, I travelled nearly 30 countries but did not make it to Liverpool, UK. It would be 5 years later, September 2012 that I would walked Penny Lane.

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While on a taxi tour with an American, Aussie and two die-hard seniors from New Zealand got a get day trip experiencing many facts about the Beatles, former residences, milestone moments in the city and where they got inspiration for many of their sounds. It had to have been the best 10 pounds I spent, unless one counts the pints of English ale.

In Penny there is a Barber Shop…we had the opportunity to stop in and say hello.

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Strawberry Fields Forever…nothing to get hung about despite what John’s Aunt had told him.

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A visit to the church yard to see all the lonely people – Eleanor Rigby Father McKenzie (Vicar McKenzie)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, yellow submarine…

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This one was belted out from all of us while on the taxi tour. We’ve played a few of these tunes at home on the Great Northern Peninsula on the Beatles edition of Rockband. I’m typically the drummer, but certainly can not compare to Ringo Starr. It’s pretty inspiring when music crosses generations. I like many of the bands my parents did and my mother will even chime in with her rendition of eight days a week on Rockband. I’m not sure that we will sell any platinum albums, but we certainly know how to have fun.

There is something wonderful and uplifting about music. We certainly have that ability in Newfoundland & Labrador to write, play and sing about our way of life through our traditional Newfoundland folk music. Where do you get your inspiration? For me, I get inspired by the sights, sounds and people around me and write about them on this blog, liveruralnl.com.

I later toured the museum of The Beatles Story, which had memorabilia, story boards and displays tracing the group through the years.

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That evening I decided to visit the Cavern, where The Beatles would perform in their early years. Live music was played covering many of my choice Beatles songs.

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A wonderful evening. I met two Brits, who worked for the Red Cross (one who resembled a local Telegram reporter) and a Spanish lady as we traced the footsteps of the Beatles after the band finished at the Cavern. We would go to the Grapes and chat with other locals. It made for a memorable last evening in Liverpool. The Beatles story is a magical experience and I would recommend to fans, if you can  take the time to visit this modern-day city.

It is amazing sometimes how you can live in a place, as I did in London and not take the time to visit Liverpool. However, I am not richer for having had the experience and most likely the wait made me appreciate it even more. For those of you that have yet to experience the Great Northern Peninsula, I encourage you to come to the very Northern Tip…it is well worth the experience, maybe you too will find your inspiration around every corner.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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Live Rural NL retaliates against Ellen’s stance of “Stop Seal Hunting in Canada”

Dear Ellen Degeneres

I am deeply disappointed that you have chosen to become the latest  celebrity to advocate against the Canadian Seal Hunt, joining forces with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). You have joined a growing list of mis-informed celebrity predecessors, including Beatle Paul McCartney and Playmate, Pamela Anderson. We only need to remember then Premier Danny Williams taking on Paul McCartney and Heather Mills-McCartney on Larry King Live. Danny Williams not only illustrated how un-educated Paul and now former wife was on the matter of the seal hunt, he also embarrassed them in terms of knowing their Canadian geography. Mr. Williams invited them to come to Newfoundland & Labrador to see for himself. Paul remarked along the lines that he was already there when really he was in Prince Edward Island, another province.

PETA is an organizations that uses images of baby seals and presents mis-information to create a cash infusion.  Their website states: “PETA is drawing global attention to the annual slaughter of tens of thousands of baby harp seals”.

This statement is false! Myth: The Canadian government allows sealers to harvest white coat seals.

Reality: The harvesting of harp seal pups (white coats) and hooded seal pups (blueblack) is illegal in Canada and has been since 1987. The seals that are harvested are self-reliant, independent animals. (Source: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/seal-phoque/index-eng.htm)

Ellen your website states: Seal hunting is one of the most atrocious and inhumane acts against animals allowed by any government.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s manages the seal hunt, which is sustainable. One only has to look at the harp seal population growth. In the 1970’s there were less than 2 million seals, now in 2011 there is more than 9 million harp seals. The government allocates an annual harvest quota that is supported by scientific research. The Seal Hunt is HUMANE, STRICTLY REGULATED and ENFORCED. How is harvesting seals any more atrocious and inhumane than the fish that is caught, cows, chicken, pigs, moose and other animals that are killed for human consumption? What about cattle that are ranched and grown strictly for human consumption? They have no chance for anything but ending up as some form of beef, maybe a burger – unlike seals, who are self-reliant, independent and able to fend for themselves.

The seal hunt has been around in Newfoundland and Labrador for centuries. Without the seal meat, oil and skin for clothing many people of the rural communities would be burdened with economic hardships and other woes. The sealskin boot has provided the warmth and protection from the elements of surviving in a difficult winter climate. The seal skin is water-resistant, protecting the feet from getting damp when cutting firewood to heat one’s home. Seal skin provided necessary protection that may have saved human lives.

My father was a fisherman, his father and his father before him. They have all harvested seals to aid them in providing for their families. My father had prepared seal skin to be made into boots. I still proudly wear them, as winters in Northern Newfoundland tend to be very stormy. I walk knee-deep in snow, many days throughout winter to reach my car. I understand the deep-rooted tradition and the necessity of the seal hunt to ensure life in rural regions could continue. How dare you make such uninformed comments that continue to negatively impact the fishers in rural regions.

I ask that you do further research on this matter and re-consider your stance on the seal hunt. I invite you to come to Rural Newfoundland and Labrador to experience for yourself first-hand the seal hunt. You should use your celebrity status to do good instead of blatant abuse.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

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