A Breath of Fresh Air With Let Them Be Kids Playground Project
Dedicated to Fallen Soldier Corporal Chad O’Quinn
Build Day & Dedication Ceremony: June 22nd, 2013
THE BIG NEWS…On January 18th, 2013, Cook’s Harbour, Boat Harbour and Wild Bight were granted a National Let Them Be Kids Helping Hands Award!!! A Public announcement followed on February 15, 2013. You can imagine the excitement of the kids and anticipation at our Announcement Event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWTClIgwIOM.
The award provides a 50/50 matching grant towards the purchase of playground equipment, as well as support, training and resources to help make our community’s project successful. Every 50¢ we raise will result in $1 in buying power!
Think about it, for years now, the children of James Cook Memorial have dreamed of a playground filled with fun! We are located 53kms from the nearest playground or any recreational facility. The children and youth of our three communities face numerous barriers that limit their access to and participation in recreation, sport, and physical activity.
Children who grow up with a safe accessible playground gather with friends and come up with creative games. They run around, building relationships. They pretend they can do and be anything. They are astronauts, pilots, teachers, superheroes, gymnasts, world famous ballerinas, police men or firefighters. They believe in the beauty of their dreams! Playgrounds are magical in that way, they transform your thinking.
The people of Cook’s Harbour, Boat Harbour & Wild Bight have been given an amazing opportunity to provide this dream for our children. The greater impact of this project will carry forward to reach well beyond constructing a new playground. It will provide our youth with opportunities that will foster self growth, independence and leadership skills, encouraging them to take an active role in their community and create future community leaders. It will also restore pride and ownership in our area by bringing together the three communities of Cook’s Harbour, Wild Bight and Boat Harbour. It will encourage our neighbouring communities and visitors from away to stay longer in our area and promote tourism and business growth.
This project will certainly have long-term benefits to everyone involved! Various people will be present on Build Day including representatives from our equipment supplier, our coach, Let Them be Kids representative and members of our Legion as well as friends and family of Corporal O’Quinn and Military personal. There will be extensive news coverage through newspapers, CBC and NTV television, and our live web cast on the National Let Them Be Kids Website. In other words it will be widely covered!
Further Information about Build Day or donations can be found on our website below.
“Look Up, Way way up” – is a line I remember from the Friendly Giant. It is fitting in New York City where the skyscrapers are far-reaching. A visit to the 102 story Empire State Building – currently the tallest building in the City, stands at more than 440 metres. We took the elevator up 86 floors.
The skyline of New York City is breathtaking. The buildings seem to go on for miles at 360 degrees. It is not my community where if you do look both ways – you could see it all.
We arrived at the top as the sun was setting and darkness began to fall. The sky had magnificent hues of yellow, orange, red, pinks and blues as the lively city began to turn on its ever so bright lights!
There is wonder in the architectural surroundings of this city. We were successful in being photo-shopped into an image with the Empire State Building in the background. A great family portrait!
On the Great Northern Peninsula it would be difficult to find a building that reaches more than 3 stories. The views are quite different – the homes, water and boats in the background.
Every place I visit, offers something unique – New York is one that will take your breath away.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North P.S. Happy Birthday Mom!
The New York Stock Exchange is located on 11 Wallk Street – which trades in the multi-billion dollar range daily and has trillions of dollars of stock in its holdings.
Wall Street and the NYSE has experienced significant highs and lows since its formation. In my lifetime, I can only remember the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and most recent mortgage crisis which saw stocks free fall in 2008 and send many countries into Recession. The turmoil has been felt around the world as the European Union struggles to deal with debt-ridden countries, USA tries to reform tax structures and rebuild the economy and Canada feels the pains for slower than forecasted economic growth.
Does this have an impact on you? The Occupy Movement is an International Protest directed against economic and social inequality. Their recognizable political slogan “We are the 99%“. There is a growing divide between the rich and the poor as the top 1% are controlling more and more of the world’s wealth and contributing less in taxes.
There must be lessons learned to limit poor banking regulations from having such an impact on everyday people from employment, to retirement savings, to impacting interest rates and lending.
We want a bullish market – job growth and stronger economies. A walk on Wall Street and around the financial sector of New York City is a reminder how quickly prosperity for those that are not in the top 1% can be taken away. Rural Newfoundland & Labrador knows all too well when an industry they depend on is in free fall – the impact lack of appropriate action and strategic planning has on future growth.
Let us place a focus on maintaining Main Street – on the everyday people who work hard to sustain their communities. A weaker Wall Street should not send the world into free fall.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
P.S. While my brother-in-law and I walked Wall Street, my sister and mother spent lots of time exploring the retail sector.
The Governor’s House was out next stop. It was quite an exquisite place to venture, as it had a nice green space in the courtyard. The road of the square on the front had the cobblestones replaced with wooden blocks that resembled bricks. It was apparently changed at the request of the Governor, as the horses clinking on the stone kept him up at night.
The former residence is now a museum. The lower level had coaches, carriages and related items. There were two employees quite eager to take some photos with us. They noted they would pull the rope back and let us see the most important coach, the one that belonged to the Governor.
They had taken several snaps. I had tried to explain that the placement of us would not get a good photo of the carriage as we were standing at the focal point of the object. However, the bad photo ops continued as we moved through the museum. The employees eagerly asked us to have our camera and take some photos for us and take us to what seemed like a prohibited area. It has ended up with several dozen humourous photos. After about four rounds we would have no more of it. Some basic photography skills are needed for more serious photos, but I reflect on this moment and tears almost come to my eyes. I will not forget the insistence of us taking photos by the pair of marble bathtubs, a dresser and the bed, which the person commented to the tune of “No Six” and smiled. Immediately, I thought of a character by the name of Eleanor, a 90 year-old sex therapist, who would have something to say about that one.
All jokes aside, if local people are interested in tweaking their photo-taking abilities, they may wish to consider enrolling in the digital photography course offered at the College of North Atlantic, St. Anthony Campus. I am still working on completing it.
After providing some coins and exchanging monies we left. We passed a couple of peacocks and left for a rest before dinner and some nightly entertainment.
Here is what I learned:
German: Ich bin aus Neufundland and ich mag schokolade
English: I am from Newfoundland and I love chocolate
German: Ich moche einen Mojito!
English: I would like a Mojito!
I think I would need a lot of practise to become conversational in German, especially since some of the enunciation is quite different from how I am use to speaking. I often wonder if people would be interested in learning more about our rural dialects and if they too find it challenging? I may only have to look back to the few people I have Screeched-in to make Honorary Newfoundlanders to know the phrase “in’deed ’tis me ol’ cock and long may ya’ big jib draw” is not as easy as it sounds.
That night we went to a Gran Concierto of Bueno Vista Social Club nature with 9 stars. The cost was 50 C.U.C. per person, which included a three-course meal.
There were dancers, singers and entertainers of all sorts as they worked the room. There was a lot of life and attention paid to these true stars. They had talent, just like rural Newfoundland has natural talent – no lip synching or special Hollywood effects.
One of the men, wearing white and blue with a Harry Hibs hat came up and shook my hand. I’m practically almost famous! Despite the poor service and mediocre food, the entertainment made the night. Joining the conga line was more than memorable and so much fun!
The night reminded me of being at a good old-fashioned Newfoundland kitchen party. Everyone had smiles on their faces and were quite happy to take part in the festivities to the sound of great music.
Stay tuned for the final couple of days of the Cuban vacation. It will take you to Vinales and also reveal the New Zealand connection. There is no need to miss a post, subscribe to the Live Rural NL blog by entering your email near the top right corner and get updates in your email. If you missed a post on the Cuban vacation, I’ve included some related links below. All of them can be found under the Category of Vacations.
Enjoy Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
- A Cuban Vacation – Part 1 (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation…Part III (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation…Part IV (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation – Part II (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation…Part V (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation….Part VI (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation…Part VII (liveruralnl.com)
- Cuban Vacation…Part VIII (liveruralnl.com)
- Back in Rural NL after Cuban Vacation (liveruralnl.com)
The amount of green vegetation was quite the shocker for me. There were many impressive fields, trees and forests thriving in Cuba. Some of this may be due to the exceptional amount of humidity in the air.
One of the stops via train led us to a restaurant and bar. We ventured inside to get refreshments to quench our thirst. The temperature almost unbearable, with my clothing getting wetter by the moment as I perspired. A bottle of icy cool water never tasted so wonderful as it did at that moment.
Suddenly, a guy from the train told us that just down the stairs there was a contraption to press sugar cane to have a juice. He noted it was better with added rum for just 2 C.U.C. We ventured down. Little did we know we would be put to work pushing this device.
A two person job and a couple of turns we had enough juice collected for a couple of drinks.
The delicious end product – with rum for extra flavor.
After catching the train, we returned to Trinidad. Tobias and I met up with Umberto at the park. He toured with us, showing hidden gems of Trinidad. He also kept trying to sell us on visiting a family restaurant, despite us telling him that we had made previous commitments with our Casa for a traditional meal at 8 PM.
We were going for ice-cream, but instead walked to the Casa de La Musica. We opted to spend some of the afternoon at a nearby bar. We had rounds of Mojito‘s and Buchanero beer for all. It was an afternoon of sharing a few drinks and trying to talk to Umberto without him knowing English and myself not knowing Spanish. A little bit of friend and a good translator in Tobias we were able to have some conversation.
Suddenly there was a scream from a nearby table. A snake had dropped from the vine ceiling. The music was great, when suddenly my attention was no longer with Tobias and Umberto but two beautiful women across the room. The brunette and I had shared a few smiles with our eyes and the blond reminded me of a certain Doctor Heritage. Since Tobias was engrossed with trying to explain in broken Spanish my position of working for a non-profit in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador conducting Community Economic Development and business development services. I had to get up, in one part because I knew they had a good story to tell and secondly I had to passed them to get to the restroom.
The ladies greeted my presence with a smile. From hello I tried to get their accent and had asked the blond if she was from New Zealand (we later did make a connection from New Zealand); however, this women was currently enrolled in her third year of medicine in the United Kingdom. We had some beginners chat about the UK, Cuba and not wanting to overdo my visit let them know we would be going to Casa de La Musica at 9-9:30 PM. They noted they would hope to meet us there.
Stay tuned for more adventures of Cuba in Part VI.
Live Rural NL –
Christopher C. Mitchelmore