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After a devastating fire, The Badger Diner is back in business.
Childhood memories and occupational folklore with Michael Hearn
It's a sunny spring day in downtown St. John's, warm enough that Jerome Canning has left the door to his workshop wide open. A portable thickness planer is pointed at the opening. Behind it, an in-progress sideboard rests on the floor. It's a beautiful piece, well proportioned, thoughtfully designed and finely crafted. Worthy of an art gallery, it will be cherished for generations.Today, though, Jeromeâs attention is focused on the other side of his shop, where an overturned wooden punt rests on a stand. For decades now, Jerome has made a living working with wood as a furniture maker, cabinetmaker and boat builder. Lately, boats have taken up most of his time - heâs been teaching a boat building class at Memorial University over the winter and building the punt in his shop. In the summers, heâs the resident boat builder at the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador in Winterton, where he instructs courses, builds boats, and shares his knowledge and stories with visitors. He built his first boat back in the â70s with his family to go fishing, then built more, then studied naval architecture at the Fisheries College (now the Marine Institute) and has continued to build boats through the years. One of them, a half-scale model, is in the lobby of a St. Johnâs office. That boat is where our story begins. Or rather, where we are going to begin our story, for it goes way back. This is the long row, a story that stretches out for centuries and goes on for miles.Jerome, despite building dozens of boats, doesnât own a boat - until he built this one, the boat that sits upturned, nearly finished, in his workshop. Itâs a traditional Newfoundland rowboat, a punt. That it be a rowboat was important - he wanted to feel connected to the water in the way that a motor couldnât provide. And he wanted to row a Newfoundland boat of his own design, built on the provinceâs deep boatbuilding tradition. âI knew if I could keep certain angles, certain types of dimensions, proportions, thatâ¦I could actually feel comfortable saying that I designed and built and am rowing a punt that is a Newfoundland punt,â Jerome says. The Path to the PuntBefore the design began, though, Jerome had to define for himself exactly what a Newfoundland punt really was. As people moved back and forth between Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New England and other places, they brought their ideas and boats with them. The Cape Island boat of Nova Scotia became popular in local waters. The Grand Banks dory made its way to harbours from Halifax to the Bay of Islands, evolving for the unique needs of each community. And so it is for the punt, whose shape evolved over time. Jerome would have to go to the source. He would build a boat using the same methods as 18th-century boat builders.The Newfoundland punt, like the Whitehall - that famous American rowboat of New Yorkâs harbour - has its roots in the workboats of England. The first settlers of Newfoundland brought their boatbuilding methods and their boat shapes with them using a technique known as the adjustable mould or whole mould method. It uses a notched, straight stick and two curved sticks to create the shapes for the frames of a boat. By using the whole mould method to design and build his boat, Jerome figured, he would be closer to building a boat like those of his forebears.âIf I use the whole mould method then I know for certain that the punts that came over here firstâ¦Iâm going toward that punt,â he says. He also looked at the boats in the Wooden Boat Museumâs documentation program. Each year, a crew from the museum heads out to gather the oral histories of the provinceâs boat builders and lift the lines off their boats, some more than 100 years old. It was during one of these trips that Jerome met Jack Casey, an old timer who showed Jerome how to use the whole mould method to get the midship bend. âBut I wasnât satisfied with that because I didnât want to do just one frame,â he says. He had heard of Samuel Andrews, a Winterton boat builder whoâd died in the 1960s, and how he used to get every frame for his boats using the whole mould method. Jerome knew it could be done and set about researching how to do it. .For the shape, Jerome chose a trio of boats - a Fogo Island gunning punt, a Samuel Andrews gunning punt and a Marcus French rodney - to base his design on, while also consulting other boats. He looked at the length to width ratio, the angle of deadrise, the angle of the transom, the shape of the hollow, and made sure his boat had similar lines as he shaped it up, beginning with models and plans before moving on to the build. The first couple of times, he didnât like the look - and in a boat, looks matter. âAnd all the time youâre looking at it, because youâve got to trust your eye [that] she was looking good,â Jerome says. âYou draw it on paper; you make a model. The boat had to look good, that nothing sort of looked clumsy, that it had a nice, suent look.âBy the third go, he had a drawing and a model he liked. But he wanted another opinion. He sought out those who spend time on the water. âIn particular, people who use row boats because this is a row boat,â says Jerome, âand everyone said âBây, sheâs fine.ââThis brings us back to the start. Jerome landed a contract to build a half-scale model boat to display in the lobby of Maderra Engineering, giving him the chance to see a larger version of the boat and assess its lines before committing to a full-scale build. âAnd the whole time building that,â says Jerome, âI was sizing it up, and a lot of people saw that boat and said âNice looking boat,â so Iâm hoping that thatâs what it will be. Only the water will tell.âHeâll have plenty of time in the water this summer, rowing Placentia Bay with his son, then on a multi-stop trip in Conception Bay or Trinity Bay - the details are still being worked out - in a series of short rows with various rowing partners. This boat, built from traditional shapes, is really a fishing boat; thatâs what the old boats were used for and that use affects how it handles. Used as a recreational rowing boat, it will need some extra weight in her to settle into the water the way she would if laden down with fishing gear. Mile after mile, along the coast, into each harbour, a couple of hours at a time, over several weekends, Jerome will get a good sense of the boat while sharing the rowing experience with folks heâs invited along to join his adventure of the long row. It is only then, out on the water, when he will know for sure what he has created. Because although good looks are important, a wooden boat must handle as well as any other boat when on the water.Which brings us to the final question for Jerome: Why? Why build a wooden boat in the age of fibreglass? Why cast back centuries for the build method? Why boats, instead of houses?âThe why is probably just sort of who I am. I came from this tradition,â he says. âIâm a Newfoundlander. Iâm building a Newfoundland boat and Iâm building it with a method that came over with our first European settlers. Iâm using the method they used. Itâs sort of a celebration, for me, of being here in this place. So Iâm going to try to reflect that in every way.âby Tobias Romaniuk
"That's all I've ever done. Fished. I'm fishing over 50 years myself now. I loved it from the beginning and nothing has changed. I still have just as much passion for fishing now as I ever did in my life. I'm the kind that goes on the water very early in the morning - probably two, three o'clock, that kind of thing - but when I get out I won't be the first to come home. I just like to be out there, right? Sometimes I say to myself, 'How lucky am I to be in a job for over 50 years and loved it and still do?'"These are the words of Michael Hearn, a fisherman from Petty Harbour who shared his memories of growing up in this small outport on the Avalon Peninsula and working in the fishery. Mike, born in Petty Harbour in 1943, grew up in a family of nine boys and three girls. His father and his grandfather both worked in the fishery, and Mike himself got his start in the fishery as a boy.Michael Hearn, 2014 (Terra Barrett photo)âWhen we were young fellas we used to catch codfish - well, not cod, tomcods we called them, about, oh, six to eight, 10 inches long. Especially in October, November you would get them a foot long. They would be in the harbour after the old offal,â he recalls.Aside from the fun of catching tomcods, Mike and other children in the community would also cut cod tongues, make fish and play around the flakes. âEven when we were young fellas, when fish was being spread, before I started going fishing we had to make the fish. They used to call it fish makers on the flakes. So you would get up early in the morning and a lot of fish would have to be spread on the fish flakes. You would get up and spread all that no matter what, cold or warm, as long as it wasnât raining. Then in the evening, we could be up swimming; but if we thought there was going to be a shower of rain and we were up to the pond, we would have to beat it home to get that fish in before the rain came in,â he says.âWe would [also] have sword fights. The fish flakes had all longers, we called them, all small sticks about as big [around] as a Pepsi can. And then the end of them was long and pointy, so weâd crack off one of them [and] nail a little piece on the cross. Itâs a wonder we all didnât lose our eyes.âWhen Mike got his start in the fishery, the main resource was cod. But after the collapse of the fishery and the eventual moratorium, the fishery diversified with the increase of the crab and lobster fishery. âWhen we started off it was all codfish. I started fishing with my father and then it was all salt fish, and then it eventually got into a fresh fish market, which was much easier,â says Mike. âNow when the cod moratorium came in â92, after the cod moratorium we got into the crab. We were fooling around with lumpfish and things like that, but the crab has been a big saviour now. Itâs an easier fishery, especially, than the cod traps. Hook and line is pretty easy, but the cod traps was a lot, a lot of work, hard work for what you were getting because you werenât getting any price for the fish. But now with the crab, the price is good and it is much easier - very easy compared to what we were doing. So the crab is the number one thing now. There is a few lobster now, but nothing that you would depend on.â - By Terra BarrettClick here to listen to the full interview with Michael Hearn.The Collective Memories Project is an initiative of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador to record the stories and memories of our province. If you have a memory of old-time Newfoundland and Labrador to share, contact Dale Jarvis at email@example.com or call 1-888-739-1892 ext 2 or visitwww.collectivememories.ca.
A gorgeous day in May finds me driving at a snail's pace on a back road in the Goulds, hoping I haven't driven past my destination. Finally, I spot the yellow and white balloons tied to a tree I was told to keep an eye out for. I'm at Adelaide's Newfoundland Honey Inc. to experience the wildflower reserve and meet some honey bees. I'm getting a quick look at their Honeybee Hike and a tour of the operation in advance of its June opening.Paul and Brenda Dinn formed the business last year after three years of recreational beekeeping. Paul explains they got started mostly by chance. A friend mentioned their dog loved to run through fireweed, a plant that can grow six feet tall and is found all over the Goulds neighbourhood of St. Johnâs. Initially, Paul worried it might be an invasive species that would take over his land. âI started reading that fireweed produces one of the best honeys in the world and itâs highly sought after. So then I started thinking, âOh, I wonder if we should try getting into beekeeping.â And we did,â says Paul.Last year they made enough honey to sell, so they got mason jars and did up some labels and went to the St. Johnâs Farmersâ Market. They only expected to have a handful of customers, but they sold all 300 bottles in an hour. The next week they returned with the rest of their honey and sold out again. What had started as a relaxing hobby and a way to get their own honey-fix had turned into a successful company.When they first got into beekeeping, the Dinns had three colonies; now they have 20, and expect to expand to between 60 and 100 by the end of this summer. Adelaideâs has become Paulâs full-time job and when she retires, Brenda will join him. Itâs an âencore career,â as Paul calls it, something to do in their golden years.âYouâll never see beekeeping with us as this big industrial-style beekeeping, where theyâve got bees all crammed on a pallet and theyâre lifting them with cranes and hoist them around. Thatâs not us. We want to do as natural beekeeping as possible, and low-impact beekeeping, so the bees are benefiting by being here, theyâre doing well,â he explains. âWeâd rather leave them with the majority of the honey and just sell a little bit to whoever, ya know?âItâs an approach that makes sense. After all, if you introduce too many honey bees to an area, the surrounding flowers canât support them. Paul offers a peek inside hives during a tour of his honey bee operation.Amongst the BeesAfter getting sized for a beekeeping jacket, Paul advises me to pull my socks over my jeans so bees canât fly up my leg. And then weâre out the door and into the backyard. His family has owned this 10-acre property for over 100 years, he tells me, but weâll only explore a fraction of it. As we traipse along, I keep checking my feet to make sure I donât step on any bees. Paulâs cautioned me that they like to drink from puddles and dew on the ground.Stopping at a group of hives, I zip up the jacket and pull the hood with the mesh screen over my face. Itâs a precautionary measure, though; honey bees prefer not to sting people (and doing so kills them). âBees actually recognize people. Theyâll recognize our faces because they see us and they know weâre not a threat to them,â he says. Instead of stinging, they typically bump into you.With long gloves tugged up past my elbows, I watch the bees swarming, going in and out of the hives. Then Paul unpacks the smoker, a small circular can with a pump on the side. The smoke calms the bees, so itâs easier to check on the hives.Paul uses a smoker to help calm the bees.Paul slowly pulls out each frame to see how honey production is going. âDo you still have your spoon?â he asks. I hand it to him and he scrapes some honey off the frame and passes it back for me to taste. Itâs the best Iâve ever had.Paul is practically an encyclopedia of apiary knowledge. Every hive is different; some could have a strong queen, while in another the queen could be failing. Iâm surprised to learn that queen bees donât exactly rule with the divine rights of kings. If the queen isnât living up to the hiveâs standards, theyâll turn on her. âA lot of people think the queen is the one in charge. But the colonyâ¦act as one organism, and theyâll make decisions for whatâs best for the colony. So [if] that queen isnât laying as much as she should or if sheâs weak and not well, the colony will get rid of her and make a new queen.âBeekeeperâs LifeAs Paul explains, thereâs a lot involved with beekeeping. âIâll get up early in the morning and Iâll go down and Iâll just observe what the bees are doing from a distance. And if I see them just slowly coming out of the hive and not doing too much, itâs fine,â he says. âBut if you see all of a sudden thereâs a bunch of bees, maybe there was a mouse or a shrew or something trying to get in at the bees, at the honey. Shrews are actually the worst thing in the world for honey bees. In the wintertime, if they get in there they can actually kill an entire hive.âIf somethingâs disturbing the bees, Paul will hang back to figure it out and then intervene, but beekeepers mostly leave them alone. The Dinns check the hives every 10 days or so to see how the bees are doing.And in Newfoundland at least, the bees appear to be doing just fine. Cut off from the mainland, itâs harder for diseases and parasites (such as the varroa destructor, a disease-carrying mite that feeds off the blood of bees) to reach local bee populations. Since our bees are generally healthy, they donât need to be medicated, and that makes for great honey.âWeâre really lucky in this province to have healthy honey bees, lots of wildflowers, the weatherâs spectacular for bees. Weâve got all the right things that we really could do well from a business standpoint,â says Paul, adding continued success will depend on all local beekeepers taking appropriate precautions. âItâs a great thing going on, and itâs only going to grow and do well if people donât be in a rush to bring in equipment or bees from other places,â he says. Youâre InvitedThe Dinns arenât keeping their buzzing business to themselves. Theyâre opening their land as a wildflower reserve and hosting Honeybee Hikes, like the one I took. The small-group hikes occur three times weekly to avoid stressing the bees. âEverything we do is to be in the best interest of the bees, because the last thing we want to do is lose them,â says Paul. They also started an adopt-a-hive program, where people pay a monthly fee to get experience managing a hive. Itâs a way for people to find out if the hobby is right for them.It was definitely the right move for Paul. âTo me, itâs the best thing I ever did. I love it. I mean, itâs just a way of life. Itâs so relaxing. Weâll go down and listen to the bees, hear them and watch them going back and forth with pollen,â says Paul, adding the humming of the bees and the whiff of honey can be downright therapeutic. âWe really are lucky that this happened at this time,â says Paul. âThings came together for us.â - By Elizabeth Whitten
Free time isn't all it's cracked up to be. Lillian Saunders learned that lesson the hard way this winter, after a fire destroyed The Badger Diner, the restaurant she owned with her husband, Frank, for 35 years. "What do you do with your time when you got nowhere to go?" asks Lillian. "I tell you, it's not nice." So the recent reopening of the beloved eatery - an institution in Central Newfoundland, both for locals and drivers traversing the island - didnât just mark a return to work, it meant a welcome return to life as usual for the Saunders family.The FireIt all started on January 14, as Lillian was closing up shop for the night and heard a strange noise. When she went to investigate, she was horrified to discover the restaurantâs stock room ablaze, sparked by an electrical fire that originated inside the buildingâs walls. With the flames spreading fast, she grabbed two family heirlooms and fled her longtime place of business. Despite the best efforts of fire fighters, within a couple of hours the restaurant - hailed as serving the provinceâs best meal of fish and chips in a contest held by Downhome magazine in 2014 - was reduced to rubble and ashes.Lillian fled her diner in such a hurry, she left behind her coat, car keys and handbag. (Image courtesy the Saunders family)What was left of the Badger Diner following the fire (image courtesy the Saunders family)âThe only thing left standing was the chair that I sat on for the last I donât know how many years,â says Lillian. âEverything was flattened right around itâ¦I should have took a picture.âA few weeks later, Lillian turned 61 - an age when most folks are considering retirement. But instead of calling it quits, she and Frank decided to start over. Already, Lillian was missing her busy days, her staff and her customers. Back in BusinessWhile she says it wasnât feasible to rebuild from the ground up there was, in her opinion, an even better option, and it was just 20 minutes down the road in Grand Falls-Windsor. Lillianâs own parents constructed the building back in 1981, from which they ran a restaurant called Loungâs Garden (Loung being Lillianâs maiden name).âThey came here and they built it and they had an awesome business going,â says Lillian - until the divided highway went through and disrupted traffic flow to the business. Defeated, the Loungâs begrudgingly shuttered their eatery.âMom and Dad always said they wanted to see the place work again,â says Lillian. Although she and Frank eventually purchased the vacant building from her parents and ran it as a bar (called Frankâs Place), she sees its recent transformation back into a restaurant as the true fulfilment of their dream.However, making that dream come true meant a lot hard work - most of which was carried out by Frank and the coupleâs sons. In the months since the fire, the buildingâs interior has undergone extensive renovations. âWe wanted this nice family atmosphere,â says Lillian. âWe wanted somewhere you can bring your family for special occasions.â The newly renovated dining room of The Badger Diner Bar & Grill, located in Grand Falls-Windsor (image courtesy the Saunders family)Itâs a bigger space than the former venue, and itâs got a bigger name to match: The Badger Diner Bar & Grill. âThe town says that they feel I should keep the âBadger Dinerâ because itâs kind of my signature mark in the restaurant business,â says Lillian.Over time, sheâs considering adding some additional menu items, including Jiggsâ dinner on Sundays - but one thing customers can rest assured will be staying exactly the same is her prized fish and chips recipe. âIâm not going to part with that for nothing,â says Lillian proudly. She admits being named the purveyor of the âvery best fish and chips in Newfoundland and Labradorâ four years ago was a boon for her small business. Her award was lost in the fire, but a replacement now sits on a shelf in her new establishment, alongside the two family heirlooms she managed to escape with. Frank and Lillian Saunders pose in the new Badger Diner Bar & Grill. On a shelf behind them sits their award for serving the provinceâs best feed of fish and chips (decided by popular vote in a 2014 contest hosted by Downhome). Beside that is a vase Lillianâs late mother crafted and a Chinese figurine gifted to her by her late father - two precious items she saved from the fire.Several of her original staff members have reprised their roles in the restaurant, for which Lillian is extremely grateful. Sheâs also grateful for the tremendous support sheâs received from her customers. âI canât believe the messages that I got. People messaged me all the time: âWhen are you going to open? Canât wait to see you. I miss you,â and all this,â says Lillian. A contest for restaurant gift certificates held on The Badger Diner Bar & Grillâs Facebook page shortly before opening drew more than 1,000 entrants, and hundreds tuned in to watch the live draw.Back at work since mid-May, she imagines her mother and father, who both passed away six years ago, would be pleased and honoured to see their old restaurant back in business. And it looks like it might just remain in business for at least a few more years yet.âIâve been peeling potatoes since I was five, been working in a restaurant since I was 14, and Iâm 61 now. I might be there till Iâm 70,â says Lillian. âIâm going to give it my all.â - By Ashley Miller
To read the first installment of this series, click here.The tri-motor Fokker 7 seaplane, Friendship, with Amelia Earhart, Bill Stultz and Slim Gordon on board, landed at Trepassey Harbour on June 4, 1928. The crew planned to spend the night and take off for England the next day. But as they sometimes do, plans changed. Next morning a northwest wind gusting to 30 knots kept them moored to the buoy. Trepassey Harbour was very narrow, with high hills on the western shore opposite the town and at the head of the harbour. The only way the plane could take off was down the length of the harbour into a southwest wind. They would need a northwest wind once they were in the air, but not before takeoff. All their observations made them uneasy. The wind continued from the northwest and by afternoon was blowing a gale. Stultz and Gordon used the time to work on the plane. The radio had been cutting out and the oil tank had a small crack. Amelia sent telegrams to George Putnam regarding their progress.On the one hand, they had only lost a day of flying. On the other hand, the delay gave Mabel Boll and Thea Rasche a chance to get into the air ahead of them. The two women were flying âlandâ planes that didnât have the problems a seaplane had with the takeoff. Land planes were faster, could carry heavier loads and were free of the heavy pontoons that had the tendency to âstickâ to the surface of the water, especially when it was calm. It was enough to make the Friendshipâs crew wonder if theyâd chosen the right aircraft for their mission.Although Thea Rasche prepared quietly for her flight, Mabel Boll was all about the publicity. She was loud, flashy and bold - the exact opposite of the woman Amy Guest wanted as the first to cross the Atlantic by air. A few months earlier, something had happened that increased Bollâs determination to beat the Friendship into the air.Bill Stultz had been hired by Boll and her backer, Charles Levine, to fly them in their plane, Columbia, from New York City nonstop to Havana, Cuba. Following the flight, Boll claimed she had hired Stultz for her proposed transatlantic flight and she thought he had accepted. What transpired between them is speculation. What is known is that Commander Byrd encouraged Stultz to accept Amy Guestâs offer because he felt it had a better chance of success. Stultz himself said Bollâs enterprise âsmacked of the circus and unprofessionalism.â Whatever the true story, Amelia, Stultz and Gordon knew Boll was a threat.They also knew she wouldnât sit still for long. She and Levine hired Oliver Le Boutillier as their pilot and Arthur Argyles as copilot to fly the Columbia. On June 5, while the Friendship sat at Trepassey Harbour, the Boll crew waited at Roosevelt Field in Boston for the weather to improve. They planned to take off for Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and then on to England.June 6 was sunny and crisp, but the wind in Trepassey Harbour still blew from the northwest. It began to swing to the south, but James Kimball, at the weather office in New York, reported heavy rain, fog and high winds off the coast of England. They werenât going anywhere that day. Later that afternoon, a New York Times reporter in Trepassey told them Boll was planning to take off from Roosevelt Field the next morning.Although the weather had improved by the next day, a new problem arose for the Friendship crew. They discovered a hole in one of the pontoons. Once it was repaired, they made three attempts to take off, but all failed. Back on shore, they got the news that the Columbia had taken off from Roosevelt Field but had turned back due to fog. Worse, in Ameliaâs mind, was the news in the St. Johnâs Telegram. Thea Rascheâs plane was being delivered to Curtis Field on Long Island and within three days, she would be on her way to Berlin.The next few days brought no improvement in the weather in Trepassey. Amelia wrote in her log, âOur competitors are gaining on us by delay. Rasche is the one to fear. I wish weâd have a break.â They didnât get a break and, in fact, it seemed as if a pattern had been set. When the weather improved, there were problems with the plane - a leak in the oil tank, saltwater in the motors, and pontoons that refused to âlet goâ of the water. When the plane was ready to go, the weather closed in.Just when it seemed things couldnât get worse, another problem arose. Some reporters in Trepassey had alcohol with them. Stultz and Gordon began spending the evenings with them and wandering home in the wee hours of the morning. If the weather kept them on the ground, they slept most of the day. Ameliaâs mood was very low. She wrote in her log, âJob had nothing on us. We are just managing to keep from suicide.âThe worst news came on the evening of June 12. Boll had landed in Harbour Grace, where she was greeted by the whole town and taken to Cochrane House for dinner and a reception. Her pilot, Oliver Le Boutillier, announced theyâd rest for a day or two, then âtackle the Atlantic.âOn Wednesday, June 13, the Friendship made four more attempts to take off. Even with a lightened load of gasoline, the plane couldnât lift off the water. They briefly considered a shorter flight to the Azores, which required less fuel. They could refuel and continue to England. But the organizers and crew felt there were too many unforeseen dangers to implement that option. One piece of good news arrived that day. A dispute over the ownership of Thea Rascheâs plane had forced her to pull out of the transatlantic race.Another three days of bad weather kept the Friendship moored. During this time, Stultzâs drinking remained a concern. Amelia wrote, âJust now the boys are at Paddy Mortonâs and I know the liquor flows.â Then on June 16, Kimball opened a small window of hope. He reported a storm over the Atlantic, âslightly to the south of their route.â He gave them a conditional okay to start the next day.The following morning, Amelia concluded it was now or never - even though Stultz was hungover from the night before. She and Gordon filled Stultz with black coffee and she practically dragged him into a dory and onto the plane. Reporters at the scene overheard her arguing with Stultz, but all agreed Amelia appeared firmly in control.At 11:15 a.m., after two unsuccessful attempts, Amelia decided to lighten their load even more. Byrd had suggested 830 gallons to reach England, but with a tailwind Stultz and Gordon agreed they could cross the Atlantic with 700 gallons and reach Ireland.On the second run with their lighter load, Amelia watched the airspeed indicator as it slowly climbed. âThirty - forty - the Friendship was trying again,â she wrote in her log. âA long pause, then the pointer went to fifty. Fifty, fifty-five, sixty. We were off at last.â At last, on June 17, 1928, the Friendship left Trepassey Harbour. Finally, Mike Jackman could send Ameliaâs coded telegram to George Putnam. âViolet stop cheerio,â meant they were on their way.When Boll heard the Friendship had left, she was stunned. Her pilot had considered the weather report to be only fair and decided to wait for a better one. Boll claimed James Kimball had given them a different weather report than the Friendship received - something Kimball denied. The weather report had only been fair, but Amelia was the difference. On Bollâs plane, the pilot made the decisions. On the Friendship, that responsibility was Ameliaâs. Twenty hours and 40 minutes after leaving Trepassey, Newfoundland, Amelia, Stultz and Gordon landed - not in Ireland, but in Burry Port, Wales.But Amelia wasnât finished with Newfoundland yet. She had only been a passenger on this flight. Next time she wanted to fly the plane herself. Four years later, on May 20, 1932, she would be back in Harbour Grace to do just that. - By Heather StempTune in next month for the details of Ameliaâs solo transatlantic flight from Harbour Grace.
It can take a lifetime to find your way home. This is the incredible story of a resilient Newfoundland pony, whose official registered name is Baytona #221, but is lovingly called "Mudder" by the Stein family in Ottawa, who adopted her. Records from the registry of Newfoundland Ponies indicate that Mudder, in her 30s, is the oldest known living Newfoundland pony. Much of her history is a mystery, so the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) is interested in hearing from people who may know more about her. At some point we know that she was shipped out of Newfoundland to Quebec.Fast forward to the fall of 2017, when a young woman in Augusta, ON was looking to buy a pony for her brother and visited a few farms in Quebec. At one of them, where children's riding lessons are offered, she spotted an old, underweight pony who was in a stall up to her knees in mud. She couldn't leave her there, so she bought her for $500, and removed her from the farm. Incredibly, Mudder was still taking children on her back for rides.The woman boarded the pony at her stable and tried to get her to gain weight. Upon realizing that Mudder needed more care than she could provide, she reached out to horse and pony sanctuaries across Ontario and the U.S. Emily Chetkowski of Villi Poni Farm in New Hampshire responded to the call. While she was too far away to take the pony, she contacted Korrine Affleck, a councillor-at-large with the NPS who has a stable outside Ottawa. Korrine drove three hours to meet Mudder and upon seeing her, pulled a hair sample for DNA testing. A council member from NPS paid for the DNA test, and two weeks later the results confirmed that not only is she a Newfoundland pony, but that she is Baytona #221 in the pony registry. According to records, Mudder is the oldest Newfoundland pony known to be alive. After uncovering this remarkable news about Mudder, it was imperative for Korrine and the Newfoundland pony community to find the best home for her so she could live her remaining years with the care and love she deserves. Barb Stein of Ottawa heard about Mudder, and a few days later this beautiful elderly mare was moved to Barbâs stable. Mudder has since become fast friends with Lucky Irish, Barbâs other Newfoundland pony. According to Korrine, Mudderâs rescue shows why itâs important to have a strong network of people working together to save one pony at a time. "I'm proud to be part of the Newfoundland pony community. Everyone worked together to help this pony - from the young lady from Augusta, ON who travelled to Quebec to get her, to the Stein family for giving her a forever home. And the NPS council coordinated the effort and solved the mystery of just who this pony was. Incredible teamwork,â says Korrine. - By Libby CarewWe have no idea where Mudder has been or when she was shipped off the island. If you recognize her and can shed some light on the journey she has been on, please contact the Newfoundland Pony Society: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To hear this editorial, as read by author Jim Winter, watch the video at the end of this article.BANGâ¦â¦â¦â¦. One dead seal out of a population of about 7 million, 500 thousand. For over 50 years Canadian marine mammal scientists have studied the harp seal herd off the east coast of Canada, so we have a very, very good understanding of them.From this science the government of Canada sets annual quotas that sealers must abide by while sustaining the health of the herd. During this period we have more than tripled the size of the herd. The seals we hunt are fully weaned and independent of their dames. Harp seals are not now, nor have they ever been, listed by any reputable conservation agency as being either endangered or threatened.All Canadian sealers are trained and are licensed by the Government of Canada. About 99 per cent of the seals are killed by a rifle shot to the head causing instant death. We donât often miss. Think in terms of Annie Oakley. The remaining seals we take are killed instantly by a blow to the head with a regulation club or hakapik.We use everything we can of the animal: The meat for food, the pelt for fur and leather, the fat for oils and Omega3. What we cannot use we leave on the ice as food for marine mammals, birds, fish and crustaceans. The products we produce are natural and sustainable. We work in an eco-friendly manner that is environmentally sound. We are so green that Kermit would blush.We and the scientists are aware of the potential of global warming to change both our and the seals' environment. As responsible hunters we will adapt as required.There is only one seal hunt in Canada and that is a commercial hunt based upon earning a living. The people of Nunavut, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador all hunt seals the same way for the same reason. Some of the animal goes to personal use and some is sold to provide income for our families.Anti-sealing groups constantly make pious, politically correct statements that they are not against Inuit sealing. Inuit organisations - including the Inuit Circumpolar Conference - have rejected this âexemptionâ as being economically meaningless, paternalistic, and colonialistic.The recent World Trade Organization enquiry found that the âseal banâ was illegal but, to protect the âmoralsâ of EU citizens, the ban would stand. That's an interesting decision given that many countries within the EU legally kill seals as do Americans and Russians. They both also ban Canadian seal products. Hypocrisy reigns supreme.Bans exist because the multi-million-dollar American-headquartered anti-sealing propagandists own politicians in many countries. The bought politicians pass laws denying their citizens their democratic right of choice. One anti-sealing corporation has assets of over 100 million dollars. Little wonder they have pet politicians doing their bidding. International markets for seal products exist as they always have. But Canadian sealers are denied access through the actions of hypocritical international politicians in the pockets of the anti-sealing corporations. The democratic right of citizens of those countries to use or not use seal products has been stolen. Anti-sealing propagandists have manipulated media for half a century with their unsubstantiated comments and pseudo facts, aided and abetted by their celebrity friends. They issue âno newsâ press releases for media regurgitation. They and their celebrity friends organize media stunts and journalists come running like Pavlovâs dogs to the bell parroting what is said no matter how ridiculous. An uncritical media acts as their PR arm rather than as legitimate journalists who query and question. The entire media circus is a travesty of fiction over fact. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: Never have so many been deceived by so few for such a nefarious reason.Many thousands of rural Canadians are directly and indirectly employed in the sealing industry earning a living for their families. Unlike urbanites, few rural people have the luxury of an annual salary. So each little bit of income counts. Ending sealing is not the goal of the animal rights corporations; it is merely a tactic. Their goal is the elimination of manâs use, any use, of all animals for any reason. If they are successful in their anti-sealing campaign who will be the next victim. You?Anti-sealing propaganda is an insidious thing and unless countered by a critical press and politicians prepared to ask hard questions it will continue as long as it is profitable. Anti sealing is the second greatest propaganda campaign of the last 85 years. It is time for politicians and media to remember the immortal lines of Pogo: I have met the enemy and he is us.It is time for politicians to climb out of the pockets of these multi-million-dollar anti-sealing corporations and grant their citizens their democratic right to choose for themselves to use or not use seal products.It is time for the media to climb out of the pockets of these anti-sealing corporations and do what journalists are supposed to do: question, query, investigate and bring some skepticism to the so-called facts they are fed.Canadian sealers want all citizens of all countries to have their democratic right to choose for themselves and not have that right denied by bought politicians and knee-jerk journalism. Change bad laws and give the democratic choice to buy or not buy seal products to the people, not the politicians.History proves that when propaganda triumphs, democracy loses.BANGâ¦â¦â¦â¦. Another dead seal out of a population of about 7 million, 500 thousand. - By Jim WinterJim Winter is a former CBC journalist, ACTRA (Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists) award-winning documentary writer and founding president of the Canadian Sealers Association.
On June 4, 1928, a huge Fokker 7 seaplane approached Trepassey Harbour. It circled twice before landing on the choppy water. On board were the pilot, Wilmer (Bill) Stultz; the co-pilot and mechanic, Lewis (Slim) Gordon; and a young social worker from Boston named Amelia Earhart.This was how Amelia Earhartâs arrival in Newfoundland was reported. But these few sentences were just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface lay a much bigger story, filled with secrecy, intrigue and daring.For example, Amelia wasnât supposed to be there. Amy Guest, the wealthy American socialite whoâd organized the flight, planned to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air. Sheâd leased the Fokker 7 tri-motor seaplane when Commander Richard E. Byrd, the famous Antarctic explorer, decided it wasnât ideal for his next expedition. She then hired Stultz and Gordon as her crew. She named her plane the Friendship, a symbol of the good relations between America (her birth place) and Britain (her husbandâs home).That was when fate stepped in. Amyâs family had lived through her fox hunting and African safari days, but now she was a middle-aged mother of grown children. They and her husband drew the line at the transatlantic flight. They refused to lose her to the icy waters of the North Atlantic.Amy reluctantly turned the search for her replacement over to her American lawyer, David Layman, with the following criteria: âI am determined that an American shall be the first woman to fly across to England. Someone nice who will do us proudâ¦a lady, educated, and if possible, a flyer.âDavid accepted help from New York publisher George Palmer Putnam and Boston public relations specialist, Hilton Railey. Putnam had extensive experience in planning expeditions and then publishing books about them. Railey had a network of reliable sources.Railey called a good friend, who was familiar with the Boston aviation scene, for a recommendation. His friend knew of âa young social worker who flies.â Railey called Amelia and arranged a meeting. He was impressed with her and directed her to New York to be interviewed by Amyâs lawyer.George Putnam met Amelia first and, by all accounts, she impressed him very much. He took her to David Laymanâs office for her first formal interview. He was satisfied that she fulfilled the criteria Amy had given him. After meeting Amyâs brother, John Phipps, Amelia was offered the last seat on the Friendship.Even though she was just the passenger, the flightâs organizers took a bold step. They made Amelia flight commander. They felt it was important for her to be in charge, since the purpose of the expedition was to demonstrate a woman was capable of flying across the ocean. Layman prepared a letter addressed to Stultz, Gordon and anyone else concerned, which stated in part, âThis is to say that on arrival at Trepassey of the tri-motor Fokker plane Friendship, if any questions of policy, procedure, personnel or any other question arises, the decision of Miss Amelia M. Earhart is to be final. That she is to have control of the plane and of the disposal of the services of all employees as fully as if she were the owner.â Their decision would prove prophetic.The Friendship was moored at the Jeffrey Yacht Club in East Boston, but Amelia had to stay away from the plane. David Layman and George Putnam told her the flight had to be kept secret. Female competitors, namely Mabel Boll and Thea Rasche, were planning their own transatlantic flights that summer. The two men decided that no announcement would be made about Ameliaâs flight until the Friendship had taken off for Trepassey.Amelia Earhart made history aboard this aircraft, the Friendship. (Photo courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum)After writing her will and letters to her parents, and packing a small bag, Amelia joined the men in the predawn hours of June 1, 1928. Their first attempt to leave Boston failed due to lack of wind. The big seaplane required the correct combination of wind, speed and weight to get off the water, and on that day the combination eluded them. Their second attempt, on June 2, was cancelled because of fog.On June 3, they again took the ferry to the Friendship and boarded. Slim Gordon stood on the pontoons and cranked the starboard, port and then centre engine. He scrambled back into the plane and they began their takeoff run. They had to attain 50 miles an hour for liftoff and again they failed. The day dawned warm and clear with a good breeze, so they knew the problem was weight. The crew deplaned 6 five-gallon cans of gas and, at 42 pounds lighter, tried again. The plane was still too heavy to lift off. Since they couldnât eliminate more gas, the auxiliary pilot who was accompanying them as far as Newfoundland offered to stay behind. Removing his weight of 150 pounds made the difference. The plane lifted off the water and disappeared into the morning sun. They were on their way to Trepassey - or so they thought.By the afternoon, fog had settled over Nova Scotia. They had to overnight in Halifax, but how were they going to keep Ameliaâs presence a secret? Stultz and Gordon went ashore with the flight sergeant who had come out to meet them from the seaplane station. Amelia remained on board. The only accommodation they could find for the three of them was in Dartmouth, across the harbour from Halifax. They returned to the plane, picked up Amelia and hurried to the hotel. Amelia went straight to her room, while the men went out to look for food. By breakfast the next morning, the secret was out. The New York Times wrote, âBoston Girl Starts for Atlantic Hop, Reaches Halifax, May Go On Today.â The Herald Tribune said, âGirl and Stultz on Atlantic Flight Halt at Halifax; Going On Today.â Amelia, Stultz and Gordon managed to get free of the reporters and took off at 9:30 a.m. After a flight of four hours and 24 minutes, they circled Trepassey harbour twice before landing on the choppy water. A flotilla of dories came out to meet them. In each, a man stood swinging a rope to lasso the plane and tow it to a mooring. Amelia called them âmaritime cowboys.âAmelia Earhart (left) and Wilmer Stultz exit the Friendship after a successful flight. (Photo courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum) Fred Gill, the town magistrate, and his two sons picked up Amelia and Bill Stultz and rowed towards the dock. In the distance, Amelia saw young girls dressed in white pinafores running down the hill to the shore. She thought they must have been dismissed from school to meet the Friendship. Later, she found out they had simply jumped up and run out when they heard the plane. The nuns were not pleased by the girlsâ behaviour, nor by the trousers Amelia was wearing when she stepped out of the dory.After making sure the plane was properly moored, Slim Gordon joined Amelia and Bill at the dock. They were officially greeted, photographed and interviewed by the press. The story of their flight had been announced by George Putnam. He was very aware of balancing the secrecy of the flight with the need for publicity once the Friendship had left Boston.Accommodation for the flyers was arranged with the Devereaux family. Richard and Fanny owned a small two-storey house with an attached general store. Amelia had her own bedroom, Bill and Slim shared a room, and Fanny and Richard slept in their own room. The Devereaux children were sent to relatives to spend the night.The flyers planned to refuel the Friendship that afternoon and leave the next morning, but a northwest wind began to blow down the harbour and it was impossible to load the gasoline. It would have to be done in the morning. Meantime, Amelia walked over to Mike Jackmanâs house/telegraph office to send a telegram to George Putnam: âGood trip from Halifax. Average speed 110 m.p.h. Motors running beautifully. Trepassey Harbour very rough. Three hundred gallons of gasoline were loaded today. Everybody comfortably housed and happy.â - By Heather StempThis is the first of a multi-part monthly series on this heroineâs historic travels, the adventure and intrigue, and Newfoundlandâs role in her journey to fame. Click here to read the second installment.