In September 2010, l asked my granddaughter’s teacher if we could take her out of school for two weeks to attend a wedding in Newfoundland. She replied, “Yes, it would be a great experience for Katie.”
What an experience it turned out to be.
As it turned out, Hurricane Igor was barrelling towards the island, just in time to crash the wedding.
The groom’s parents, Cal and Jackie Sceviour, were driving to Newfoundland from Fort McMurray, Alberta, for their son Eric’s wedding on September 25 in Burgoyne’s Cove, Trinity Bay. They picked us up in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The first part of the trip went smoothly. We were in Nova Scotia before we heard the frightening forecast about the hurricane. It wasn’t until we were passing by Corner Brook, on our drive across Newfoundland, that we got our first taste of Igor when the rain started. Nearing Badger, roads were already flooding and by the time we reached Gander, roads were closed.
We’d all come so far and now here we were, stuck for two days mere hours from our final destination. However, my granddaughter was here for an experience and I was going to show her one, no matter what. Instead of sitting around and sulking about the weather, we visited Sandy Cove and Eastport. We tried to reach Salvage as well, but the road to that community was washed out. So we doubled back and had a delicious meal at Rosie’s. Next day we drove the Gander Bay Loop.
When we were able to continue on our intended journey, we made it as far as Clarenville. Due to impassable roads, we had to park our vehicle at a relative’s house on Random Island and travel over the ocean via longliner belonging to Dennis Miller. His boat was the only way in or out, and without the help of Dennis and his son over the days that followed, the wedding surely would have been postponed.
We arrived in Burgoyne’s Cove at about 1:30 a.m. on September 23. Friends and family were waiting for us on the beach with a bonfire going. Everyone formed a receiving line on the wharf and passed our possessions along to waiting cars.
By morning, most folks agreed the wedding would have to be delayed until the next weekend. But the bride, Holly Miller, wouldn’t hear of it. She ran from house to house convincing everyone it was still a go. It was going to take more than hurricane Igor to stop her wedding.
So everyone pulled together to prepare for the 25th. Ladies needing their hair done boarded the Steven's boat and headed to Clarenville at 5:30 a.m. on the day of the wedding; the minister and his wife caught the boat back. Liquor was fetched from Petley on Random Island. Local men built makeshift bridges over washouts, and anyone with a quad or vehicle in between washouts volunteered to move guests to and from the wedding site. Eric and Holly were being married in an open field under an apple tree in Hodders Cove, on land has belonged to the bride's family for generations.
While the day was cloudy, the rain held off. Relatives from Petley arrived via boat. The supper and dance was well attended with only about 15 people missing the event. Two family members from Toronto were also Screeched-in during the festivities.
Despite the damage that Igor wrought upon Newfoundland, the hurricane brought us all a little closer together. With everyone pulling together for this event, no one really felt isolated by the washouts – and Holly and Eric certainly had a wedding they will never forget. And my granddaughter had a trip of a lifetime.