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A Magical Place and its not Disneyland! A Magical Place and its not Disneyland!
Have you ever had the privilege of taking a trip to a magical place and not leave the province of Newfoundland and Labrador? Let me tell you about such a place, its Merasheen Island located in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. This past summer we had the opportunity of spending almost a week there during their annual garden party, what an experience it left us with so many memories ... click to read moreA Magical Place and its not Disneyland!
Have you ever had the privilege of taking a trip to a magical place and not leave the province of Newfoundland and Labrador? Let me tell you about such a place, its Merasheen Island located in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. This past summer we had the opportunity of spending almost a week there during their annual garden party, what an experience it left us with so many memories and wonderful friends that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
We meaning my husband Don and I along with our friends Dan and Peg Seneca from Maine, USA, have the pleasure of travelling the province by boat every summer, each year we pick a bay and this year it was Placentia Bay, after touring the bay and visiting several other places we finished off at Merasheen Island.
Merasheen Island has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is a resettled community, even though all the old homesteads are gone, the people are coming back and building their summer homes. They have so much passion for the place it is absolutely undescribable! We were welcomed into their homes, told stories of how life was growing up on the island. We were given a good history of the island and what resettlement done to the residents, especially the older folks.
Being an outsider and living just outside the overpass, we don't know what it is for some one to come to your community and tell you that you have to leave your home, your school, your church, your friends and especially those who had passed on. When we hear about resettlement we like a lot of other people who never experienced it, we think that it's the right thing to do, spending all that money on just an handle full of people, don't really make sense do it! But go back there and listen to the stories of the people who travel back there every summer, how they tell of the broken hearts of their parents and grandparents who were forced to leave their homes. The younger ones would have left anyway, but the misery that was endured by the people of Merasheen and any other resettled community must have been and to this day is and always will be unbearable. We could see it through the stories, songs and tears....
Merasheen people love a good time, we were there when they arrived by the boat loads. We were all in awe when they started to descend on the island. It was an amazing site to see what they would bring with them for a few days because coming to Merasheen you made sure that you had enough provisions for two weeks even if it was only two days you were staying for, due to the weather conditions you had to be prepared. Some were bringing out items for their cabins everything from the kitchen sink to oil stoves!
They love to dance, for three straight nights we danced and we danced! There was none of this warming up the music, each night there were three different groups who provided the entertainment. The first group would start, two chords on the accordian and out goes one person than two, than three and next thing you know seventy five percent of the people were on the floor all caught out hands and dancing together, I believe it was called threading the needle. Than it would be a waltz and than another jig, this continued on and on. Next it was time for the second group, they would just step in and take over not missing a beat and than the third group would end of the night. Every song was a Newfoundland song, with the exception of a Johnny Cash thrown in because someone knew that hubby loved Johnny Cash! What a wonderful time we all had!
We were suppose to leave on Sunday morning but because of the forecast we decided to stay and we are so glad that we did. We were experiencing the Merasheen Magic up to that point but not as strong as we did that Sunday, when about seventy five percent of the population was getting ready to leave. We watch them load up the boats, with people and provisions, than that's when the real Merasheen Magic happened, Art Pink came down on the wharf with his accordian and played the Merasheen Farewell and Merasheen Born and Bred. As soon as Art started playing, the singing started and the arms started waving back and forth, this continued on the wharf and the folks in the boat were singing and waving and it continued until the boats left the harbour.
Always with the camera or video camera I had the privilege of capturing this magic, and provided these people with videos on YouTube of the Merasheen Magic 2013 and pictures on my website. These videos and pictures have been shared with their families and former residents of Merasheen who cannot make it back. Via email and Facebook, I have been honoured to hear from many of them some we met and some we never met, Merasheeners from as far way as Seattle and Florida have sent messages of how much they loved the videos and pictures. We look forward to meeting them in 2015 when they celebrate the Merasheen Reunion. The people of Merasheen have to be commended for their passion and God willing we will have the opportunity to experience the Merasheen Magic once again! Like we all have said we cannot explain it!!! Its just MAGIC!