Downhome magazine only has space for a mere fraction of the great stories sent to us by readers. Luckily, they're all available here. You'll find fond reminiscences about the past and personal experiences to which we can all relate.
Rememberance Day 2008 - A Personal Experience It was 11:00 in the morning on the 11th of November when my wife came down to my studio so that we could share a few minutes of silence in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the great wars.
I turned off the woodworking machinery and stood silently at my workbench. I closed my eyes and as I thought about my own liberation, powerful images reflected from the mirrors of my mind ... click to read moreIt was 11:00 in the morning on the 11th of November when my wife came down to my studio so that we could share a few minutes of silence in remembrance of those who gave their lives in the great wars.
I turned off the woodworking machinery and stood silently at my workbench. I closed my eyes and as I thought about my own liberation, powerful images reflected from the mirrors of my mind which surfaced to present graphic displays of a child's experience. It was the day of liberation in Holland.
Soldiers, trucks, tanks and other machinery of war rumbled down the village's main street. The indescribable sounds and smells and the euphoria of the soldiers and townspeople heightened the delicious hysteria of freedom. Proud Canadian troops liberated our village as the vivid memory and experience of that boy continued.
There was to be an instant outpouring of gratitude for our liberators in the only way we could by sharing with them the little we had. Mother had prepared a large pot of delicious hot vegetable soup with tiny meatballs. Each year at this hour on the day during this month I remember my mother standing to the right of a Canadian soldier as we watched the war machinery stream through town. Standing guard at the north-east corner of Hoofd Straat and Mennonietenkerk Straat the Canadian soldier with his rifle slung over his right shoulder held a little Dutch boy close to him as he supported the child, letting him sit on his right arm. The little boy held a bowl of soup for him and taking great care to hold it level watched in awe and admiration as the soldier spooned up the hot soup with obvious delight.
I remember that day most clearly as I felt the warmth of both body and the human kindness of that Canadian soldier as though it was yesterday, a memory that would last a lifetime. This event marked the day that the war came to an end for me and for the town of Uithuizen in The Netherlands. The liberation of the Dutch population by Canadian troops would create lifelong relationships for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children both in Holland and in Canada. The Dutch openly demonstrate their gratitude as they remember to this day, the events that brought our countries together and the Dutch will never forget! They will be grateful for eternity and have a special place in their hearts for Canada and Canadians.
On the 45th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, I was in Holland on business. A cousin asked if I wished to visit the Canadian War Cemetery at Groesbeek near Nijmegen. The visit was an emotional one as first Frans and I walked among the thousands of headstones identifying the Canadian boys and men who gave their lives for our freedom and rid Holland of the Nazi occupiers.
I read their names and wondered if the soldier on whose arm I had sat with his bowl of soup had survived the war or was he laid to rest here? There were few people at the cemetery when we arrived and I wondered if more people would arrive to pay their respect and demonstrate their gratitude. Then as twilight began to fall on this cool clear evening an almost reverent quiet fell over the cemetery and people began appearing, silent ghost-like from every direction. Men and women, young and old, came along the roadways, pathways and across open fields as they began to gather at the Canadian Memorial.
This one evening every year, even after 45 years, thousands of Dutch gather at Canadian Cemeteries across Holland to demonstrate an outpouring of their deep gratitude and respect for the Canadian soldiers of so many years ago. There was a small compliment of Canadian troops and a number of dignitaries who used words to express the thoughts or memories of everyone in attendance. The crowd fell silent as they dwelled on their own memories and experience of the war. Many wept openly as all hearts were openly saddened with the weight of the loss of so many Canadian boys, as deep-felt this day as it has been each year and will be again and again.
When the Canadian flag was raised and our Anthem was played I gave in to my personal sorrow and wept for the fallen. So many, who gave so much will always have my deepest gratitude and I will always have the deepest sorrow for their loss. The Dutch will never forget!
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A Special Visit to the Kyle
The car I was driving steered obediently as I drove the stretch of almost empty highway in the direction of a sign that read TCH West. Wanting silence I had turned the radio off, and the cool air blowing through the air-conditioning ... click to read moreThe car I was driving steered obediently as I drove the stretch of almost empty highway in the direction of a sign that read TCH West. Wanting silence I had turned the radio off, and the cool air blowing through the air-conditioning was a contrast to the hot August air outside. This was the last leg of a necessary and important journey for me. It was 1999, I was 50 years old, and feeling a restlessness that was all encompassing. For the past 34 years I had lived in Nova Scotia, having married a member of the RCMP whose career took him to many different places in that beautiful province. Nevertheless Newfoundland was forever in my heart. This feeling of unease had forced me to set out once and for all, by myself, to make a big decision. I needed to know if I really could leave the province of Nova Scotia with all its beauty, farmland, and the home of my children. I had many friends, worked as a Registered Nurse in a hospital where everyone knew everyone else, and I was well settled in a way of life with my work, friends, and family.
This impulse had swept over me so quickly, the longing to be back in Newfoundland, with the rocks, the sea, boats, family and a place where I grew up but had left at the age of twenty-one. I had lived in so many places in Newfoundland and loved them all. Out of nowhere came the incredibly strong desire to be back in Newfoundland, back where I had spent my childhood years. Now I had set out to make my decision in that summer of 1999, before the new century began. I had taken time off work, tired and anxious for my life to change in some way.
In an off hand conversation someone had told me that the Kyle was sitting in the harbour at Harbour Grace and had been repainted and looked so like she did when she ran as a coastal boat. The whole thing came as a bit of a surprise, because over the years I had visited Clarke's Beach and my good friend Jean who lived there, had seen the rusting hulk, the remains of a ship obviously but had never known that it was my Kyle. And to find out it was her, and she was looking better was incentive enough to set out to see her for myself.
Growing up around the coast of Newfoundland in various communities I was certainly quite familiar with the coastal boats, the steamer reports, the term 'stormbound', and it was an accepted part of our lives in the outports. Those boats such as the Northern Ranger, the Baccelieu, the Burgeo, and the Bar Haven, to name just a few, were like today's air transports. They were necessary to carry goods and people from place to place and were an absolute necessity for the isolated outports of the Northern Peninsula and Labrador. When the steamer arrived everyone headed to the government wharf to watch the activity, the unloading of goods and passengers, and although we were warned as children not to dare go around the wharf, we still did it. We were just really inquisitive and wouldn't miss it for the world as we watched the activity from atop a grassy hill.
So, here I was, still going to see the coastal boat, but in a slightly different way today. In no time I was driving Roaches Line, and then through Harbour Grace. The sun was shining, the flags fluttering in the wind, and as I rounded the final turn I saw her in all her beauty, or so it seemed to me, the painting of the hull had done wonders for the dear old Kyle. She was sitting out her retirement years in Harbour Grace. A small viewing stand had been built, an airplane named 'The Spirit of Harbour Grace' sat nearby, and I felt my spirits soar. So many questions I had for the Kyle, and I wished she could answer them for me, but obviously I had to find my own answers.
You see, I had a connection with this ship; I was born in Mary's Harbour on the Labrador coast in 1948, and it was this ship that came to the edge of the ice in Mary's Harbour, and took Mother and me on my first boat trip. Born in November in the Nursing Station in Mary's Harbour made it a cold and uninviting ocean trip for my mother I am sure. We were going home to my father, a Newfoundland Ranger, stationed at Port Hope Simpson. It would have been December by the time my mother and I were taken to the 'KYLE', the harbour frozen, the biting winds almost unbearable, but the boat was the only way back to my father. The Kyle took us to Port Hope Simpson safely.
A few hours passed that day in Harbour Grace as I sat and wondered, fretted, mulled and tossed decisions around in my mind, with my eyes fixed on the old boat sitting on bottom, the tide low, the gulls flying overhead. I wanted to know where Mother was on the boat, was she cold, was she sick, was I a good baby? All things to find out another time.
Now she sat proudly, valiantly trying to hold herself upright, her colours bright under the sun. I contemplated the pros and cons, as I watched and listened to the sounds and sights of the day. After an hour or more I had made my decision, a decision that I have never regretted. I was coming home to Newfoundland.
The feeling of coming full circle, of being where I belonged, and where I should be had taken hold. There was an unmistakable drive to be back on the Island where I had grown up, where my roots were, my family lived, and where my childhood memories kept me grounded.
Yes, coming full circle, feeling complete, and best of all feeling at peace with the world.
The Kyle is still in Harbour Grace, and I will visit her again. But this time I will be on a different journey, a journey taken from a new home in Newfoundland, with the comfort in my soul of knowing I am where I need to be.
We take ourselves, our lives, too seriously and often become too engrossed in our day to day routines to take notice of the small struggles that go on all around us. In my lifetime, often like clockwork, I am sent a reminder ... click to read moreWe take ourselves, our lives, too seriously and often become too engrossed in our day to day routines to take notice of the small struggles that go on all around us. In my lifetime, often like clockwork, I am sent a reminder that I'm only a minute part of a much greater plan. It was on a dreary, damp June morning that I was sent my most recent reminder. In June of 2005 I lived on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on a sparsely populated stretch of road overlooking a wharf populated with lobster fishing boats sitting on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. While struggling with an ever growing list of household chores and preparing for my son's graduation and move from home a visitor stumbled up my drive. While we have our share of lost tourists asking directions to the nearest gas station, this visitor was in need of a little more than direction.
I was annoyed at my dog, a young and over zealous border collie, for what I believed was yet another round of misdirected barking. I had been slower, of late, to check on the object of his aggravation, but after a few minutes I looked out the front window to see a small, awkward and very newly born moose calf barely navigating her way up the hill to the house. I ran to the door to bring the dog in and away from the calf, not an easy feat as he danced around the calf being both protective and curious. Once he was in I continued to observe the calf from a distance secure in the knowledge that her mother was soon to follow and I was not about to interfere with the new family. Her fur was wet and her ears seemed yet to shake the creases gained in the confined space of the womb.
After a few minutes I woke up my son so he could see the calf before her mother reclaimed her. Taylor sat right up to look out his window and was rather amused by the sight. He got up and wandered out to the kitchen door to put on a pair of sandals and investigate, and was duly warned about keeping an eye and ear out for the mother and not to get too close. When he went outside he swore he could hear branches breaking in the woods behind the house so he just watched the calf from the steps. As he watched she gave up on struggling with her, as yet, uncoordinated long, lanky legs and settled in beneath a boat and trailer that my brother had left beside the house a few weeks before while visiting.
My partner, Spencer, returned home from an early morning golf game but the car pulling up the drive didn't jar the animal from her resting spot. He walked to her and spoke to her to see if she would respond, she turned her head a little but seemed very tired from whatever ordeal she had faced that morning that lead her to us. We stayed in the house for a couple of hours, only coming out once to take the dog to the wharf in the car to stretch his legs, keeping him clear of any trouble.
She had been out there more than six hours and had not moved when we thought we should check on her once more. Spencer got within a foot of her and talked to her again, this time noticing a small cut on her chest. She seemed to have little energy and only barely raised her head before going back to sleep.
It was Taylor's prom night and we needed to drive him to North Sydney, some 45 minutes away. Dressed in his kilt with all the trimmings he was ready to go. I was very proud, but the pride was shadowed by worry as we left the house not to return till late that evening. We often hear the howl of coyotes in the woods behind us, and I hoped that the calf would not fall victim to their nightly prowl. Pulling out of the drive I hoped with everything I had that the mother would return when we exited the scene to reclaim her newborn calf.
We stayed at Memorial High to watch the grand parade of all the graduates in their prom dresses and suits and I danced the first song of the evening with my son, a great tradition indeed. Taylor would be staying in to enjoy his prom and safe grad afterwards, which would go till dawn.
Unfortunately when the festivities were over for the parents I had a long drive home to think about what we might find upon our return. I was sure the calf and its mother would have reunited and returned to the woods, but I knew that if that had not happened we faced a problem.
Ten thirty we arrived home and I could not see her, but the short distance up the hill to the house left her revealed there in the long grass, exactly where she had been when we left. All I could muster was grief because her lack of movement led me to believe that she had, without a doubt, passed away while we were in town. I'm sure at the time that Spencer felt the same way but he went to her without a second thought and began to talk in a calm even voice until, finally, she lifted her head once again to turn to look at him. Only a moment later she was on her feet, turning towards him, "Well," I'm sure she thought, "I'm awake, now what?"
He continued to talk to her but turned to head toward the house not realizing that she had begun to follow, not only staying behind him but close on his heels. He stopped, she stopped and waited for his next move. He continued only to stop once more and turn as she wandered past his leg rubbing against him - a display of affection I had only witnessed from domestic cats. Spencer had to laugh at this and he remarked at the time that his hunting buddies would have a good time with this if word of him making friends with a moose got out. It had continued to rain all day and into the evening and it seemed a good idea to me that we get her in out of the elements for the night. Dismissing my first request, that being that she sleep at the bottom of our bed, Spencer did not find the second idea as outrageous, that we get her into the shed behind the house. A blanket that we kept in the car for the dog was placed in the shed on the floor then in the light from our headlights I tried to lure her into the shed while Spencer got the dog out of the house to relieve himself while the calf was distracted. My voice seemed to alarm her and she panicked, running into a pile of lobster traps stored in the shed and tangling in debris behind them. Once the dog was straightened away Spencer had to come and pick up the calf to free her legs and bring her to the blanket. It was at this time that we had an opportunity to have a look at the wound, some two or so inches, just through the skin, but very open bringing fears of infection.
"There," I thought, "that was easier than we thought," she was settled and we could go in for the night. We rubbed her head to calm her and headed for the back door only to discover that she had begun to follow us once again. My suggestion that Spencer stay in the shed with her that night was enough even to make me laugh and left him shaking his head and smiling. If she had warmed up to me I certainly would have made my bed there on the floor, but I suppose half of every couple has to represent sanity! She followed us to the base of the stairs and we went inside, my heart breaking as I heard her bleating like a lamb and hoping we might turn around. Once we closed the door she seemed to wait for a few moments then slowly walk back toward the shed and shelter.
Once inside I made a call, though it was late, to the Department of Natural Resources, and after a little redirecting was able to speak to someone in the closest town who was on call. It was disappointing to hear that nothing could be done until the next day at noon when they had more staff coming in. This government ministry is but one more victim of continuing cutbacks. They would call me then to see if the calf was still around.
It was a long night, or so it seemed, as I thought of what she might be thinking. What had she been through this morning? What had her newborn eyes witnessed in their first few hours of life? What had happened to the mother that kept her from returning? She was hungry, of that I was sure. I had a feeling that she had not had a chance to nurse at all since her condition when she arrived brought me to believe that she was born only that morning. I have always given animals human thoughts and traits, and now, in a mother's heart, I ached for the lonely, confused newborn in the shed. This little beast seemed so desperate to connect with another living being. If each of us came into this world alone how would we make sense of the world around us and who we were? I was sure that she had to wonder why she was here if she were destined to wander on her own, little more than bait for any wandering predator that might catch her scent.
Most of my chores that day had gone undone, and the truth be told, I had little concern for laundry and any cleaning that desperately needed to be done. She had given me a little, very much needed perspective. My life had not been an easy one in passing years. I had moved here to be with Spencer some two years before. My home was now a place where jobs were few and far between when in the past they had always come easily to me, and where I struggled to be accepted, as yet unsuccessfully. As this small animal lay injured and hungry so close to my own bed I had to be thankful that my challenges were few when compared to hers. Though it sounds cliché I was thankful for shelter, for food and for, what I think, is the love of the most wonderful man in the world, indeed, I have it all.
Hours of thought and worry ended with an hour or so of fitful sleep ended abruptly by a phone call from Taylor at five am requesting a drive home. Feeling very much hung over without having had the enjoyment of any alcohol I pulled on jeans and a sweater and headed out to the car. I could see the outline of a little furry body above the floor of the shed, she was still asleep, or? I was relieved to see her come to her feet when I started the car to go.
Taylor slept most of the way home and gave me a chance to think about what I might do to find help for the calf. By the time I made the driveway I knew that I had to try to feed her at least until something could be done. Taylor got out of the car and went to see her. Spencer by this time had left to meet friends for a 6 a.m. tee off time in Ingonish. She seemed calmer today, following both Taylor and I as we left the shed and making enough noise to let us know that she had enjoyed enough time alone and rather enjoyed our company. Taylor was dead on his feet after a long night of foolishness and no sleep but he stayed with her when I went inside to look at the feeding issue. Warm milk poured into the thumb of a rubber glove with the remaining fingers taped up out of the way proved to be of little help, though she would lick the spray it created off her chin and the grass, she could not take it in her mouth. She preferred to suck on Taylor's fingers and seemed to find great comfort in doing so. It was no use, without proper equipment I was stumped.
She followed as we, once again, headed to the house, Taylor to retreat to his bed for some much needed sleep, while I went on to my next plan, a call to my vet. It was only 7:30 a.m. but I had hoped that there would be a vet on call, and, happily there was. The answering service would contact Dr. Claudette Theriault and have her get back to me. When she called she was ready for a question about my new collie, something easy for this hour of the morning! I told her about my predicament and the inability of anyone at Natural Resources to help me out at this time. She was sympathetic but not sure what she could do. She was booked to go to another clinic for the morning in Port Hawksbury and she knew that the vet working in Baddeck that morning, Dr. Donna Buckley, was completely booked and too busy to respond. Her solution caught me by surprise, if I could get the moose into the clinic they could feed her and tend to her wounds. It hadn't occurred to me to transport her myself but I wasn't one to back down from a challenge. I was indeed thankful that I did have an option, and more thankful yet that Spencer was off golfing and couldn't be, once again, the voice of reason.
I paced the floor, walked out to look at the moose, then returned to see what I could find to put a moose in. It was about this time that I realized that I couldn't take the moose in the car on my own, though I did entertain the thought temporarily, in the end poor Taylor would have to be pried from his bed. Easier said than done, Taylor was curled into a ball and already fast asleep with the blind drawn. It took ten minutes for me to plead my case and throw in enough mother's guilt to get him to leave his bed. He was a bag of misery but I could deal with that if we could get this done.
In his lounge pants and an old T-shirt he helped me to corral the calf into an old duvet cover and tie it in a big loose knot around her neck, something the vet recommended to keep her from flailing her legs while being transported. A second precaution, a big blue plastic sheet covered the bag, she had developed diarrhea so this protected my back seat and Taylor. I then lifted her and endured some wild protesting on her part as I placed her on the back seat of the car, my son sliding in behind her.
No time to waste as I grabbed my wallet, started the car and headed down the driveway onto the road and into Baddeck. Taylor rubbed her head and talked to her, but would fall asleep, the quiet caused her to lift her head off the seat and bleat loudly in protest. I took over, talking while I was driving trying to keep a steady banter going to keep her calm. Mother talk it was, talk used to comfort a young child, and it worked. I got distracted by a driver ahead of me on the road and she let me know very quickly, I began again, "Oh dear, oh dear," then correcting myself, "Oh moose, oh moose", my son grimaced.
Two cars ahead of me, two convertibles with U.S. plates on them, were driving well below the speed limit in an effort, I'm sure, to sightsee. The Englishtown ferry runs across a channel between St. Ann's Bay and the ocean and the five minute ride takes about 20 minutes off the trip into Baddeck and seemed my only choice. When I got to the ferry the tourists were still ahead of me, the moose was losing patience and Taylor, as he was apt to do, was getting car sick. I parked the car in the lineup and walked ahead to talk to them. Asking if I could pull ahead of them so I could get off the ferry quickly because I was delivering a moose to the vets in Baddeck elicited a raised eyebrow to say the least. They were kind enough to let me go, but only, I think, because they didn't want to detain a deranged woman. Once I had pulled to the front of the lineup they walked to the car to survey the scene and shook their heads in disbelief. All I could do was laugh and continue to reassure both Taylor and the moose that the trip was nearing its conclusion. The ferry workers were amazed and sympathetic, seems it was the first time that someone had brought a live moose onto the ferry in the backseat of a car!
Off the ferry and up the road to the main highway with no time to waste completing a 40 minute drive on a foggy morning with an unwilling passenger, well, actually, two. It was 8:45 am when we reached the vet clinic, it didn't open till 9 a.m. I had been told that Claudette, the vet on call, would not have a chance to warn the vet working in the office this morning of this arrival, so I was ready for anything.
Talking, humming and waiting till a van arrived around the side door and a few moments more till they got inside and opened the door, seemed an eternity. The second the door was unlocked I got out and made for the stairs.
"I've got a moose in the car, can I bring her in?" I heard the words coming from her mouth and could scarcely believe them myself. The receptionist nodded and smiled looking as though she was expecting to be part of some elaborate practical joke. The smile turned to shock as I made the top of the stairs with an armful of moose, bleating and upset, she really did hate to be carried, must be a moose thing.
After standing there so she could survey the scene, she pointed toward an examining room and I carried her in. Holding her on the table we were greeted by the vet, Donna, who was coming though the door to see what the fuss was about. She was understandably taken aback but she watched while I showed her the location of the wound and told her how I had come to be in possession of a moose. We agreed that she might be calmer on the floor so I took her down and removed the covers. There she stood, calm, quiet, very accepting of a rub or a pat on the head. Her big brown eyes watching each of us as we talked about her and what should be done next.
They would stitch her up and check for infection but the wound seemed pretty clean and she seemed in pretty good overall health. A call was made to find formula and a bottle to finally get something into her empty belly and I began to calm down, slowly. I realized that I had been running on adrenaline and worry and could now feel my shoulders drop as I had finally found help for Millie, yes, we had a name for her now.
We said our goodbyes and were reassured that we would be contacted with any news. I guess if she were male I could say that I was passing the "buck," but I knew that her face would stay in my mind and I would worry about her for some time. Taylor slept all the way home only waking to stumble to his bed. Spencer returned from his game hoping that the Department of Natural Resources had come to get our visitor. All he could do was smile when I finally told him the real story, but he's come to expect such things from me. The roller coaster ride will always have interesting loops for us.
The vets office called later that day to let us know that she was stitched up and taken to the Two Rivers Wildlife Refuge on the Mira River and they were very happy to have her, she had a home, I was thrilled.
One week after she was taken to Two Rivers they called to tell me she was doing well, gaining weight but not out of the woods yet, a funny thing, I thought, to say about a moose! Two weeks later a reporter from the Cape Breton Post called for an interview, I never did find out how they heard the story but it appeared, complete with a photo of her in her new home, she looked wonderful.
Living in the country has afforded me not only the luxury of peace, but the opportunity to observe life and understand what living truly is. The pace of life here allows us to slow down and observe the change of the seasons, harsh reality of nature and the difficulty in facing challenge and adversity and, most of all, the joy of living. I may become discouraged once again but my next obstacle will arrive just in time to remind me that without challenge we will never truly know what it is to be alive.
In sending this story, I wish to include a very short biography of my life.
I was one of 13 children born and raised in St. John's. I graduated from the Presentation Convent in the Forties, and went to work as ... click to read moreIn sending this story, I wish to include a very short biography of my life.
I was one of 13 children born and raised in St. John's. I graduated from the Presentation Convent in the Forties, and went to work as a secretary at Fort Pepperell. I subsequently met and married the base commander of Fort Pepperell at that time, Colonel Frank Blunda. We were married for 18 happy years and traveled the globe. We also had two wonderful children who live near me in California. Frank died in 1964 of Lou Gehrig's Disease.
In 1982 I met and married a wonderful man, Ralph Haney, who was Vice President of Kaiser Aluminum, and he died shortly thereafter of brain cancer.
I have written several stories about my family and Newfoundland, which were published in the Insight column of the Evening Telegram.
My brother, Ray Gallagher, who is a member of the Newfoundland Sports Hall of Fame, still lives in St. John's. He subscribes to Downhome. at 58 Empire Ave., A1C 3E6, Tel: 709-722-5165
My sister, Rita McDonald (who was maid of honour in the wedding photo) also lives in St. John's.
Florence (Gallagher) Haney
Do you remember the Forties and Fifties when young people were married with very little fanfare and practically no expense? My younger sister, Loretta Marie, and her fiancé, George Lewis, had one of those beautiful weddings in St. John's, Newfoundland, on January 22, 1947. The ceremony was held in the Nun's Chapel of the Presentation Convent. Their witnesses were Loretta's younger sister, Rita Catherine, and her fiancé, John McDonald.
In this nostalgic wedding day photograph they proudly pose on the steps of the convent, looking young and happy. They are dressed in their Sunday best, and look very cute wearing pretty hats, and holding their leather gloves. They also carried leather purses on their arms, which they put aside for this photograph. All were residents of St. John's.
Much has to be said for marriages performed in those years, because they seemed to survive "for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health," and I believe those unions lasted longer, because they were more involved with family, church and friends. In those times divorces were rare, and most of those young people stayed together for a lifetime, and raised wonderful families.
Loretta and George have six beautiful children, and 12 grandchildren, and after more than 60 years of living happily ever after, they are still in good health, and enjoying their well-earned golden years. They live near their children in Plainview, Long Island, New York.
Four years later, on August 15, 1951, Rita and John were married in St. John's, and had a more elaborate ceremony. All the same family members, relatives and friends were present, and during the ceremony, Rita's youngest brother, Ray sang Schubert's Ave Maria. Their witnesses were John's brother Kevin, and Rita's oldest sister, Jenny, who came from New York with her two children for the occasion. Jenny's little girl, Irene, was the flower girl, and her youngest son, Gerard, was the ring bearer. A wonderful reception was held later at Glenfer Farm.
Rita and John had two beautiful children, John and Lynn, and three grandchildren. They were happily married for thirty-seven years, until John passed away in 1988 at the age of 62. Rita never remarried, and still lives in St. John's. ... Hide full submission
Florence M. Haney Camarillo, CA
(3 rating, 2 votes)
RCMP Success in Policing Natuashish While news from Natuashish is often negative, according to the RCMP, there are many positive initiatives taking place in the Innu community.
Natuashish was developed seven years ago as a means of resettling former residents of Davis Inlet.
Since an alcohol ban was put in place in 2008, things have improved a great deal in the community says RCMP Sgt. Ren Osmond, officer-in-charge of the Natuashish detachment.
The new by-law prohibits ... click to read moreWhile news from Natuashish is often negative, according to the RCMP, there are many positive initiatives taking place in the Innu community.
Natuashish was developed seven years ago as a means of resettling former residents of Davis Inlet.
Since an alcohol ban was put in place in 2008, things have improved a great deal in the community says RCMP Sgt. Ren Osmond, officer-in-charge of the Natuashish detachment.
The new by-law prohibits the sale, purchase and possession of alcohol in the community.
"Natuashish has come a long ways since Davis Inlet. They still have a long ways to go in various respects. But, things are changing slowly and the alcohol ban is making a big difference," Osmond says.
RCMP members in Natuashish participate in the breakfast program, have an active school liaison program, work with elders to improve their quality of life, and play hockey with youth in the community.
"We've also participated in the student for a day program where we go in the classroom and sit with the kids. We do the homework the same as the students do."
There are numerous other ongoing initiatives as well, Osmond says, including the popular Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program taught by the RCMP to the school children.
"We also meet with the elders every second Wednesday. There's a hot meal cooked and served to them. Then we sit down with them and make crafts or play games or tell stories," Osmond says.
During the fall of 2008, 12 people from Natuashish attended a drug and alcohol treatment program at the community's local healing lodge.
The lodge has several addiction counsellors and will be continuing to offer treatment programs on a regular basis, Osmond says, which will help people who were drinking but now need to stop because of the new by-law.
"Prior to the healing lodge being built, in order to get treatment people had to leave the community and not many people went because they didn't want to leave their communities for a longer period of time," Osmond says.
On Oct 23, 2008 Cpl. Keith Mackinnon, Cpl. Guy Caines and Const. Glenn Dudley presented a drug, alcohol and violence presentation to the group.
The presentation was well received, Osmond says.
On Nov 14, 2008 a graduation was held for the participants with numerous Innu government officials and community members in attendance. During the graduation ceremony, Osmond - on behalf of the RCMP - accepted a certificate of appreciation and recognition for his members' part in making the treatment program a success.
RCMP in Natuashish celebrated Addictions Awareness Week in November by participating in a sober walk around with school children and local residents. The walk, which was well attended, was hosted by the local health commission, he says.
"After the walk everyone met at the school and hotdogs and pop was served. The pop and hotdogs were donated by the local MIGS (Mushuau Innu General Store)."
One of the highlights for the year, especially for the children of the community, came on December 24, 2008 when RCMP members took part in the community's first ever Santa Claus Parade.
"All three police vehicles were decorated and involved in the parade. Barry Pinhorn who is a guard at the detachment, dressed up as Santa Claus and Const. Wayne Cross dressed up as an elf," Osmond says.
Many of the children spent time around the police vehicles getting to know the officers.
"Then, after the parade, members served hot dogs and hot chocolate at the Natuashish school," Osmond recalls.
The parade went a long ways in bridging the gap between the police and the community's youth.
Osmond is no stranger to policing on the Labrador coast. In addition to Natuashish, he's also policed in Hopedale, Nain and Rigolet. During his three-year Hopedale posting, he spent the first year rotating into Davis Inlet.
"So I can certainly see the difference between what the community (of Natuashish is now) to what Davis Inlet was."
Osmond reiterates how much healthier the community is today than it was before the alcohol ban was put in place.
"A lot of our calls for service have gone down and in some cases by 50 per cent. That's a big difference."
Helping the community means forging partnerships with all stakeholders, Osmond says.
"We've got to play a part, the band council has to play a part, the health staff plays a part as well as many other groups in the community. It's a big wheel with a lot of cogs in it to make it go around."
Policing in Natuashish means officers live in the community rather than come in for a few weeks at a time. That initiative has also helped lessen the gap between the police and the community, he says.
"The people get to see our wives and our kids and that's a big help as well. So when we're improving the community, we're improving it for our own families," Osmond says. ... Hide full submission
I would like to talk about an incident that happened around the time I was 10 years old. Mom owned a small house that was adjacent to the house that I grew up in on New Pennywell Road, St. John's, NL. This ... click to read moreI would like to talk about an incident that happened around the time I was 10 years old. Mom owned a small house that was adjacent to the house that I grew up in on New Pennywell Road, St. John's, NL. This house was rented to the Anstey family, Albert and Lorraine Anstey. Mr. and Mrs. Anstey had three boys, Albert Jr., Kenneth and ?. Kenneth and ? were twins, about two years of age. One of the twins, I think Kenneth, fell down in the well that was situated in the crawlspace underneath the house. His twin brother came running to Mrs. Anstey yelling, "Kenneth has fell in the well." His mother came screaming from the house. Mom went out to see what the commotion was all about. I followed closely behind. Mom ran to the well. The well was about 10 feet deep. Mom fell to her knees and bent as far as she could into the well. When she put her hand into the water, she felt Kenneth's hair and pulled him out of the water. He was blue and not breathing. Mom yelled to me to go get a barrel that was resting between the two houses and roll it over to her. I did it while Mom started CPR on Kenneth. When I arrived with the barrel, Mom rolled him face down back and forth on the barrel a few times. When she did, Kenneth threw up all the water he had swallowed. I was told to call the Fire Dept. When I returned, Kenneth was sitting up and breathing. Looking back on this incident, I have never found anyone treat a drowning victim like that. I have since wondered if everybody did what Mom did (getting water out of the lungs) there would be more survivors of drownings. Mom was also looked at as a midwife back in those days. She helped with the births of many babies years ago in our area. I have included a photo of her taken in the 1980s. She passed away in 1987.
Gary Rowe of Winterton, Newfoundland was awarded a medal of bravery for the rescue of a drowning friend at Outside Pond in 1975. The medal was presented by then Governor-General Jules Leger at Government House. In July of 1975, he was also named CJON's Citizen of the Week in honour of his heroic actions. (Newspaper Clipping from a local Winterton newspaper, dated Jul 30, 1975.)