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I grew up on Bell Island and on page 90 of the Island of Adventures there is a picture noted as an old mine tunnel exiting the cliff face. I recognize this location as the Grebe's Nest where as kids we went to catch caplin and then sell the strings of caplin. There was no tunnel then and we would climb around the outside of the point. The tunnel was built in later years(after I left) to make it easier to get to the beach. I have been back since it was built and my thanks to those who built it. Wayne Blackmore
Looking for family
I have been enjoying reading the Downhome magazines that have been passed on to me. While searching my family genealogy I have discovered my Newfoundland roots. My Great, Great grandfather was John Tobin of Bay Bulls who married Bridget Madigan of Witless Bay 1840/02/07
My Great Grandfather William John b.1844/06/15 in Witless Bay moved to Halifax & married Catherine Nilan of Sydney C.B.
My G.G. Grandfather had siblings: Eleanor, Mary, Margaret, Stephen & Catherine, born in Witless Bay.
My Great Uncle William John married a Bridget Butt from Carbonear, Nl.
I am hoping there are some descendants
who will be able to help me fill in some blanks. I believe my Grandmother was estranged from her family for marrying out of the Catholic church. I am thrilled to have this connection to Newfoundland & a visit to Witless Bay is on my bucket list.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jean Gray
404-1066 Commissioners Rd. W.
London, On. N6K 3S3
My Claim to Fame
My parents, Clara Jane Cole and Frank Taylor were born in Carbonear, NL as was my mother's uncle, Samuel Edgar Gillet. All of them moved to Massachusetts. Samuel Edgar had a son Samuel Herbert Jillette (He changed his name from Gillet to Jillette). Samuel Herbert had a son in Massachusetts, Penn Fraser Jillette. He is Penn of Penn and Teller, a magician, comedian, juggler, illusionist, author, and actor. (http://www.pennandteller.com/wordpress/)
So, Penn is a half-newfie and my cousin and my claim to fame!
Full-newfie and proud of it!
Darlene and Peter were divorced in 2003. Darlene got the grandson, Zachary, and Peter got Maxi.
Zach is a grandson much to be envied in looks, brains and humour. Maxi, their beautiful and beloved little 11-year-old Bichon Frise, perhaps not so luckily endowed, was left over and needed a new home.
Elaine and I welcomed her.
She arrived at the Ottawa airport from Calgary via Air Canada in a fancy air conditioned cage, stocked with food and ice water, and we picked her up at the freight terminal.
From the moment she walked into our house, it was obvious we had a new family member who would wield an influence on us unlike any we had felt since our three kids had grown up and left home.
She sniffed every nook and cranny and quickly decided she liked lying at the foot of Elaine's chair in the TV room until it was bedtime. Then, into bed she had to go along with her new found parents.
She also decided she liked to walk and poop on other people's lawns twice a day, and she taught her newly bossed old granddad that poop bags in his jacket pocket were essential equipment for dog-walkers.
Today, she died. Her darling grandmother, who spoiled her rotten, as she had done much with our kids, had preceded Maxi in June. Neither I nor Maxi got over it and Maxi would still wander around the house seemingly looking for Elaine.
Now I'm even more lonely, but, I realize how much these two gave to make my later life, especially, the happy time that it has been.
What would I do tomorrow when out of habit I take the leash and plan to help Old Maxi down the garage steps and out for our morning stroll?
Often, in the early morning, about six a.m., she would be feeling full of ginger and take off up the street, looking over her shoulder and wagging her beautiful tail, seemingly wondering why I couldn't catch her. She'd then stop for a poop or pee and, still wagging her tail, she'd lick my hand as I snapped on her leash.
I could never get annoyed at her. She made me laugh when I needed to.
During the last several months, since our darling Elaine died, Maxi slept in my bed, and I can still feel the bump she would make in her sleep as she pushed closer.
She had routines which included telling me when it was time to go to bed. After cleaning my teeth, washing my face and putting on my pajamas and turning on Channel 61 at nine p.m. she'd start fussing for me to go refill my glass with water and ice cubes and place it on the floor by my feet, where she would lick the cubes and contaminate the whole thing. If I wanted a drink, which I usually did, I would have to go, rinse it out and refill it, before I had my slurp, which had been the original idea.
We'd then head down the hall to our bedroom, with her in the lead, after she was satisfied I had locked the doors, set the thermostat and turned off the lights. I then lifted her onto the bed, where her nightly routine was to roll and play and have me scratch her back and tummy, before I could get her to settle down while I had my nightly sleep inducing read.
Downhome to Keep Me Company
First I wish to thank my sister-in-law, Darlene Hubley-Kean from Badger's Quay, NL, who gave me a subscription to Downhome magazine for Christmas 2016. Last spring I visited Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time, and the kindness of the people, the great food and the peaceful beauty of the province touched my heart. So I have become attached to my Downhome magazine – the stories and the history keep me informed and in touch with Newfoundland and Labrador. Thank you for my calendar and recipe booklet, which are part of my subscription. I hope to visit Newfoundland and Labrador again in the near future, but in the meantime I have my Downhome to keep me company.
Seeking Navy Buddies
I took out a subscription to your magazine to see if two family names of young ladies that I knew from Newfoundland would show up in some issue. These two young ladies and I joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1963. We were in the same training group in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. The young ladies' names were Ruby Barter and Sharon MacKay. We lost track of each other after we left new entry training in December 1963. We were stationed at different sites and I have been wondering where they went and where they are now. I realize that trying to reconnect with them is nearly impossible but I thought that you might be able to help me in this search. We are all in our 70s now and have probably changed names. I was known then as Mar or Robbie, for my name was Mary Ann Robidoux. I know this is a really weird request, but I had to try.
letter to the editor
Hello, I am looking for some help from your readers. A few years ago, I read an article in a Newfoundland newspaper that talked about how some families in Newfoundland had been lead to believe they had Portuguese ancestry when in fact their heritage was Mi'kmaq. I have always suspected that my mother is of Mi'kmaq descent and not Portuguese as she has been told. Anyway, I did not keep the article and can't seem to find it anywhere. I'm wondering if maybe your readers could help me out.
S. Parsons (709 739 8165)
Why should Newfoundlanders have to buy a licence and tags for the "Food Fishery"? We are deemed to be untrustworthy. Our Atlantic neighbours have been treated better since 1992 and the silence of our politicians is deafening. MP Nick Whalen assured me that "everyone was going to be treated the same." That must be an alternative fact. Everyone knows the stocks have rebounded in recent years and according to Mr. Alberto Wareham of Arnold's Cove are expected to double again in the next three years. On the water we are guilty until proven innocent by the armed Fisheries Affairs. We don't even have the right of "freedom of passage" like drug dealer do on land. Why is it that we never hear of any infraction "off shore? In conclusion, I would suggest that we should be allowed to take a fish from the pot anytime; there would be fewer fish caught in the long run. Who has more historical attachment to the lowly cod? PS If the Fisheries scientists wanted to protect cod fishing they should do two things 1) Ban gill nets 2) Ban commercial capelin fishing
Suddenly, St. John's
On February 26th, 2017, our KLM flight from Amsterdam to New York suddenly began to change speed and direction! We were informed we were to be diverted to St. John's, Newfoundland, as a crewmember was ill. The Crewman got the immediate medical attention he needed, and 270+ passengers and nine horses got a surprise day in Canada!
My wife, Wendy, and I are from Norwalk, CT, in the USA. We had never been to Canada before, let alone Atlantic Canada, so far North and East of home!
When we found ourselves displaced in time and place, we looked for some advice. we got our advice, all right, from some of the nicest people we have ever met!
Funny, big hearted bus drivers, Portugal cove Holiday Inn staff, Citywide Taxi drivers who were like volunteer tour guides, Crew from supply ships in the harbor, and Yellowbelly brewery barstaff. Of Course, the terrific gal at the Downhome shop on George st.!
We had time to explore George st, Water st. and Gower St., with its trim Jellybean colored houses, amd more. We saw the huge oil-rig supply ships, like the Atlantic Heron, drank some fine Yellowbelly local beer, and ate hot Poutine!
Jet-lag was never so fun!
We loved experiencing the "Downhome
Way of Life", even if only for a few hours. What wonderful people we encountered all day!
We did have to leave later that day, along with other passengers, and the nine Dutch horses that spent the night on the plane, munching Canadian Hay.
The plane smelled like Noah's ark when we finally reboarded for New York!
What an unexpected adventure for your neighbors from down the coast!
Thanks to all the kind people, including the Doctor who helped our crewman!
We hope to return one day, with a bit more time to spend "Downhome" in Newfoundland.
Best, James and Wendy Kenyon
Visiting the wrecks
I read with interest your article on the wreck of the Pollux and Truxton. I toured this area in 2011 and was fortunate enough to be put in touch with a Mr. Rik Edwards who guided me to the wreck of the Pollux. His mother, Ena Farrell Edwards, wrote a book on life in St. Lawrence including the wrecks. She took the only pictures of the wrecks with her little Brownie camera. The title is âSt. Lawrence and Meâ.
When Rik and I arrived at the scene, the cross has been blown down so we first set it up in a rock cairn. Rik had made many trips to the site as a boy to gather bits of salvage metal for pocket money. As we climbed down the cliffs to the shoreline, I was surprised to see the black bunker oil above the high ride line still on the rocks after all these years. Persistent stuff!
As a CFA, I have only experienced prairie blizzards but I tried to imagine the horrendous force of the February gale in 1942 that forced a mix of freezing water and bunker oil into and out of the little cove that Mr. Brehm mentioned in his account. It was hard to imagine that anyone could have survived. Another example of the big hearted men and women of Newfoundland.