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In Honour of Remembrance Day – Recognizing Korean War Vet, Frank Slade

Division No. 9, Subd. C-20130905-02734

Frank Slade of St. Anthony, served with the Royal Canadian Regiment in the Korean War, followed by two years in Germany. This past Memorial Day he was awarded a Korean War Service Medal in conjunction with 60 years since the end of the war. I was privileged to be in attendance for his receipt of such an honour.

I have had the pleasure to meet Veteran Frank Slade on a few occasions. I remember my first visit to his home during my campaign in Election 2011. For those of you have been, one could spend hours chatting and viewing the displays. His home is like a museum, with Mr. Slade presenting the oral history. I spent quite the time during my first visit, but looked forward to others, as I enjoy learning more about people and their life experiences.

Frank Slade also wrote the following poem in honour of Remembrance Day:

The reason I wear a poppy on this 11 November day,
To remember all those brave men who lie in graves so far away.
I remember some, but there are many.
Especially on this day I remember, my buddy Donald Penney.
Cruel men like Hitler and Hussein is the reason men die in far away land.
I don’t understand, I cannot say,
why they cause men to die this way.
In a war you cannot run, you cannot hide, you have to stand and fight the opposite side.
On land, in air, or sea, those men died for you and me
Some were lucky, some were not, they had to fight if they agreed or not.
War is a terrible thing we know so many innocent had to go.
To me war isn’t very nice, too many have to pay the price.
To bad wars have to be, to take someone dear from you and me.
I’m proud to wear a poppy remembering those men.
I hope and pray
All wars will end. – F. Slade

I encourage everyone to talk with our veterans who are still with us. But also take time on Remembrance Day to reflect upon those that gave freely their tomorrows, so we all could enjoy our today. Lest We Forget.

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

Happy Thanksgiving…

I’ve spent some time today looking at old photographs of times spent with family and friends over the years. This also included travels to Europe, USA, Caribbean, Africa and many parts of Canada, especially my home on the Great Northern Peninsula. It certainly made me realize how blessed I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

Today is the Canadian Thanksgiving. It is a holiday to celebrate the harvest and the blessings of the past year. 

Here is a snapshot of some events in which I am thankful since last Thanksgiving:

October 2012 was a celebration of one year in office as the Member for the Straits-White Bay North. It is also the month of my birthday and of course the celebration of Halloween.

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November 2012 is a time of reflection, especially on Remembrance Day for those who fought for the freedoms we have today. I placed a wreath at the St. Anthony Legion’s War Memorial on behalf of the people in the District.

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December 2012 is filled with activity from Christmas Parades, hanging lights, decorating trees and celebrating the spirit of season. Last December, I spent many hours in the Newfoundland & Labrador legislature, as a filibuster on the Muskrat Falls enabling legislation had us going around the clock until the early hours of December 22nd. My comments of the Monopoly Bill was one of the last before the vote:

I would like to reflect, Mr. Speaker, upon an episode of The Simpsons, when monopolist C. Montgomery Burns planned to block out the sun, to have the ratepayers of Springfield pay for his monopoly power. Having to consume more, pay more and not conserve, Smithers, the longest-serving employee, jumped from his party faithful and the people of Springfield suffered and so did he. In the end it did not go well for the monopoly company, but the people did prevail.

I only hope the people of the Province are not impacted to the degree this legislation offers, that Muskrat Falls does bring the employment and long-term benefits as touted, and that it also allows and permits new opportunities for wind, small-scale hydro, and other energy options. (Hansard, December 20 http://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/hansard/ga47session1/12-12-20.htm). 

Christmas was spent with my wonderful family. Good food, good drinks and good company. I thoroughly enjoyed mummering. A tradition we are keeping alive.

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January 2013 – The Great Northern Peninsula is filled with incredible beauty and an abundance of wildlife. The fjords fill the backdrop around Gros Morne National Park. I had the pleasure of seeing these caribou, as they were grazing.

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February 2013 was filled with culture, from seeing the Great Northern Peninsula’s own Megan Coles’ play “Our Eliza”, as well several hockey tournaments, Air Cadet performances, the Hospitality Newfoundland & Labrador convention and trade show, coffee-house and the big announcement of Cook’s Harbour-Wild Bight-North Boat Harbour’s Let them be kids playground for summer 2013.

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March 2013 I was able to celebrate the success of community groups and the important roles they play in Community, like the Green Island Cove Lions. Also, Winterfest, carnivals, town halls and lots of community engagement happens in March. Not to mention the presence of seals.

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April 2013 brought me back to Labrador. There is a pristine and natural beauty. Everyone should take time to experience all regions of our province.

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May 2013 many graduations were held. It had me reflect that it has been 10 years since I graduated from high school with 19 other classmates. A number of people are now married, have children, new homes and wonderful careers. It is always nice to see former classmates and remember our time shared together. This September when I went to Edmonton I was able to re-connect with a few, as well I get to see others at weddings and special occasions on the Great Northern Peninsula, while some have chosen like me to live rural.

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June 2013 we celebrate the Iceberg with an annual iceberg festival. It was also a time when I saw communities come together and build an incredible playground in Cook’s Harbour. To also learn about people and their talents, such as boat building and hear about the flurry of fishing activity happening along our coast. Summer is always a busy time. We have much to be thankful, from the land and the sea.

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July 2013 After a Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony, I decided to host my family for a Canada Day shed celebration. A big bbq spread was for all to enjoy neighbours, friends and family members. We even broke out the accordion. These are the moments you’ll remember all year. It is so important to take time to celebrate with your loved ones. July continued with Come Home Year celebrations in Conche and were followed in August by Roddickton and Savage Cove.

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August 2013 I was reunited with my friends from Europe. We all first met in Prague on an exchange in 2007. I was thrilled that all five of us were able to make the sailing trip in Sardinia, Italy. We have been many places together, including Czech Republic, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Cuba, Edmonton, British Columbia, Toronto, St. John’s and the Great Northern Peninsula. I look forward to our next expedition :). 

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September 2013 Labour Day was spent with family enjoying food, games and each others company. I am so thankful we got to spend a weekend where we were all together. I also was happy to travel to Edmonton to see a very good friend of mine marry the love of her life. It was such a great weekend helping and hanging out. I don’t think I laughed so much all year. So good to see former co-workers, family and friends in a city I lived and worked.

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I’ve had some very incredible experiences throughout 2012-13 engaging people. There are high points and there are low points, I’ve made new friends and have had to say good-bye to some old ones. There are demands during special occasions and evenings that may take you away sometimes from your family and loved ones but when you can spend time together make it count. Family is the cornerstone of our lives and society.

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On Thanksgiving 2013, I’ll be spending it with my sister and extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. May next year’s harvest, blessings and experiences be ones of which you can reflect back upon and be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving and as always, live rural…

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

The Good Old Hockey Game

And the best game you can name is “the good old hockey game” (Stompin’ Tom Connors lyrics)

I spent some time over the Remembrance Day weekend watching the annual hockey tournament hosted at the newly built Polar Centre, St. Anthony.  A total of 13 teams participated in the 19+ and 40 years of age and older category. Over the course of several games locals and expats showcased their talents. It was truly enjoyable to relax and enjoy the love of the game. I loved watching the players race after the puck, some in their mid-60s competing with those just rolling over 40 on the ice. Quite the dynamic!

Organized tournaments help boost the local economy through hotel stays, restaurants, beverage service, gasoline purchase and other retail sales. I have to admit that stadium poutine is one I recommend. Something about the chill in the air of crisp fries, melting cheese all smothered with gravy. Yum! It’s like getting your popcorn at the movie – a must!

I hope this is the first of many recreational and minor hockey games I’ll get to watch during the course of Fall and Winter. If you are visiting the Great Northern Peninsula, why not drop by one of our local stadiums to watch our talented youth and adults take to the ice? You could rent the ice or throw some rocks at the Polar Centre, as they have a curling option. As a curling fan of more than 20-years, I hope this year I’ll get to throw my first rock this season!

Arenas are avenues for Trade Shows, Conferences and Conventions. Let’s have that chili cook-off, traditional Newfoundland cooking competition or fishing exhibition locally. We have so many opportunities to exhibit our talents on ice or off. Our arenas are one of the many places you should consider visiting when you trek rural Newfoundland & Labrador!

Live Rural NL

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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