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A Hospital Like No Other – Visit the Rotunda in St. Anthony, NL

Curtis Memorial Hospital was built-in the 1960’s – a sophisticated medical facility at the time servicing the Great Northern Peninsula and many parts of Labrador. The John M. Grey Centre, a modern personal care facility is adjacent to the hospital and now falls under the banner of Labrador-Grenfell Health. Unlike most medical facilities – this hospital has a rotunda with a unique offering of murals that are dedicated to the people of Northern Newfoundland & Labrador.

These are the Jordi Boney Murals, which circulate around the Main Entrance. This ceramic masterpiece is forever a gift to the people and our way of living. One will see images of people, fish, trees, snowshoes and water. An important means of subsisting from the land & sea.

If you have the opportunity the next time you are in St. Anthony pull into the Hospital and take a few moments to find the meaning behind the images circling the walls.

The Great Northern Peninsula has a unique offering!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

The Great Northern Peninsula Transportation Forum

Article taken from “The Western Shorefast Fall 2010” Newsletter:

A forum on transportation in the Great Northern Peninsula was held at the Straits Arena, St. Barbe on September 8th, 2010. The forum was planned to discuss the findings contained in a report on the possible business opportunities resulting from the completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway. You can review the entire study on the Nordic Board website at

The two regional economic development boards (Economic Zone 6 and 7) on the Great Northern Peninsula, along with other partner organizations such as CBDC-Nortip, Innovation, Trade & Rural Development (INTRD), the Rural Secretariat NL, ACOA, and municipalities in the region organized this forum “for all stakeholders wishing to learn and/or have input on these emerging transportation business opportunities. The primary focus will report on the recent completion of the Trans Labrador Highway and its overall impacts on the Great Northern Peninsula as related to the road, marine and air transportation routes.”

Additionally, the forum wanted to “seek input towards developing both short and long-term strategic directions for the entire Great Northern Peninsula with respect to business development linked to transportation. Recommendations from the Forum along with the recommendations outlined in the Trans Labrador Highway Study will help shape an overall Transportation Business Development Strategy for the Great Northern Peninsula moving forward in 2010 and beyond.” The organizers sent the attendees a discussion document that spoke of opportunities to discuss: the transportation study; business opportunities and gaps; highway development, signage and webcams; high-speed Internet; emergency services and response; language services; and ferry-related topics, such as schedules, wharf improvements.

All of the presenters identified the following as major issues that will need addressing in the near future:

Impact of heavy trucking and increased traffic on existing roads

  • High Speed Internet Access
  • Inadequate Human Resources for service industry and tourism operations
  • Highway upgrading and development
  • Improved ferry service to and from Labrador, especially in winter


Several presenters spoke of the eventual need for a fixed link between Labrador and the Island, outlining proposed routes and possible costs.

The meeting concluded with an invitation from Chris Mitchelmore to prospective and existing entrepreneurs to avail of the business planning services offered through the development boards and the Community Business Development Corporation (Nortip). He encouraged entrepreneurs to work with existing networks, such as The Viking Trail Tourism Association and the Northern Peninsula Business Network.

Hurricane Igor causes severe damage to Rural Newfoundland

Hurricane Igor hit the island portion of the province, namely the Burin, Bonavista and Avalon Peninsulas on Tuesday, bringing record rainfall in a very short period of time, reporting over 230 mm in some areas. This, coupled with high winds washed out a number of roads (including the TCH), damaged infrastructure, knocked out communications/utilities – leaving more than 50,000 without power.

The provincial government describes the magnitude of the infrastructure damage from Hurricane Igor as severe. The impact of the storm was unprecedented in this province. Regional emergency management and planning officials, fire protection officers and provincial engineers are advising on issues of temporary bridge and road access, water and sewer repairs, and other infrastructure repairs. More permanent repairs will take longer.

One death has been reported. Condolences are extended to the family of the 80 year old man of Random Island, who was slept out to sea after a driveway gave way underneath him.

Despite, more than 50 communities still remain isolated, there has been progress on improving conditions as power has been restored to more than 40,000 customers. Utility crews are working around the clock to restore power. As well, temporary bridges are being installed to enable transportation or goods and emergency services to assist people in the area. There is still a lot of work to be done to make the situation more comfortable for many residents of Newfoundland. It may be many weeks or even longer before some people’s lives are back to a more normal state.

It is during trying times like this when we rely on our sense of community. It is during times like this when we need our neighbours to extend help each other through difficult times. As Newfoundlanders & Labradorians, we are known for our hospitality, often extending a helping hand in any way possible.

For photos, videos and updates visit:

We can not plan and be prepared for all natural disasters. However, we can certainly learn from this situation to become better prepared for the future. The province has received more tropical storms and natural disasters in recent years. We must as citizens become better prepared in times of emergency. We should ensure we have a supply of food and water for a minimum of 72 hours, a radio, batteries, flashlight and other necessities. How about having trained regional volunteer response teams? What about our armed forces? Are they able to place a greater role in the future with assisting in bring building, bringing supplies as they are well trained to deal with dire situations?

My thoughts are with my fellow Newfoundlanders & Labradorians that are experiencing ramifications as a result of this tropical storm.

Live Rural NL – CCM

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