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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.
The Little Locket of Petites, Newfoundland
When Georgina Smith (Atilde Courtney), 75, saw a posting on Facebook about a recently published children's book set in the resettled outport of Petites on the south west coat, her curiosity was piqued and she ordered two copies. Georgina, who now lives in Stephenville, was born and raised in Petites.
When the books arrived in the mail, she was astonished to see a photograph of the very house where she was born, as well as a photo of a headstone in the Petites' cemetery inscribed with the names of her three uncles who drowned in a fishing accident on Jan 22, 1935: Norman Courtney aged 27 years, Clayton Courtney aged 25 years and Frederick Courtney aged 21 years. Photos of Petites' Bethany Church also brought back a flood of memories, as Georgina was married in front of its altar and later had her four children baptized there. Bethany Church is believed to be one of the oldest surviving wooden churches in Newfoundland.
The Little Locket of Petites, Newfoundland was written by Lynne Sawford, a 76-year-old woman who operates a bed and breakfast and artist studio in Rose Blanche. She was inspired to write the book after her 10-year-old grand niece, Anne, came for a visit last July. On a glorious summer day, they packed a picnic and went by boat to Petites, three miles along the coast from Rose Blanche.
Anne was delighted to run free and explore every nook and cranny of Petites, which was closed down in 2003 when the community was relocated. Anne made pretend houses in the tall grasses, searched for china figurines and bits of coloured sea glass by the brook, and decorated a driftwood tuckamore tree on the beach with strands of sea kelp and bird feathers.
Beautifully illustrated with photographs that were taken during Anne's exploration of Petites, the book tells the story of a young girl, Wistful Wavey, who discovers her grandmother's long-lost locket in an old chest that washes up on the beach one morning after a terrible storm. The chest had gone to the bottom of the sea 40 years previously when the schooner that her grandfather had been on, foundered on the rocks nears Petites.
The Little Locket of Petites is a tribute to the beauty of this abandoned Newfoundland outport and to the importance of exploration and discovery during childhood.
Copies of the book can be ordered by contacting Lynne Sawford through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lsawford or through her web site for the RoseSea Bed and Breakfast at www.roseblanche.ca From mid May to mid October: (709) 956-2872 and from mid October to mid May: (613) 687-6182. E-mail: email@example.com
I will send the photo of the book cover under photo submission. Cathy
The other side of the planet
When I was a child, it was commonplace for our parents to tell us that if we dug a hole in the back yard and just kept going we would come out in China! But I'm here to tell you that from south-eastern Australia that's just not true....our nearest landfall on the far side of the world is Newfoundland. And yet, oddly enough, we have good friends in Trepassey. It sure makes 'catching up' somewhat of an odyssey, but we'll happily do it as often as we can. Perhaps it's a shared interest in our Celtic history and music or the hardy and resilient nature of our people, raised in such isolated locations, but we always feel welcomed, included and right at home. We'll be back in July for a wedding.......and won't that be a shindig!
Growing up in Gander in the 1940s
I was so pleased to read Gloria Durham's reminiscing about her time in Gander during WWII. I lived there at that time and am one of the few that has been here almost ever since. I was only 12 years old when the war ended and I have to say we have the same memories. My father was a civilian electrician who came here in 1937. The family followed in 1940. As Gloria said it was "overseas" for Canadians. We lived in the only "houses" in the RCAF section.
It was a very different life from most NFLD children. My parents home was "home away" to troops from all branches of the military. We were treated very well with Christmas parties, use of the swimming pool and bowling alley ect. Movies were open to us, as were all the entertainments. I saw Frank Sinatra and many other stars as well as the first run-movies. As many as parents permitted.
It still makes me feel a little "different"as I wasn't from "town" or the "bay." It was so different when so many settled here after 1945. There was only 14 children when school opened in 1941.
Merry Christmas to Newfoundland
In all of the years that I have received Downhome I have not expressed my thanks for the magazine in general, or the absolutely beautiful calendar I receive every December.
I left Newfoundland on New Year's Eve 1964 but I still call it home, and enjoy every article and bit of news I can get. I don't visit as often as I did, but my heart is always there. Once a Newfoundlander, always a Newfoundlander. There's no place on earth like it!!!. But you all know that!!!
Kay (Powell) Ivins
Ed Brought Back Memories
Ed Smith's column in the December issue "a gift to last" brought me to tears as it made me think of my own special Christmas involving skates.
I don't remember my exact age, but I was probably around 12 as well. I was using old hand me down skates. I tried on a new pair when I was at a store with Mom and Dad, but didn't get them because they were a bit pricey and Dad didn't make a lot of money fishing.
We always opened our gifts on Christmas Eve, and we did that year. I don't remember what my parents had for me. I got up the next morning and went to get my stocking. There was a wrapped gift under the tree with my name on it. I opened it and it was the skates I had tried on.
These days kids get all kinds of expensive gifts and few seem to appreciate them. Well I'm telling you, I appreciated those skates more than I can say.
The Tickle Pond Cove incident
This refers to an article in your Feb 2016 publication about the incident of the horse (Kitty) going through the ice, and her rescue at Tickle Cove Pond.
In 1954 I was the relief agent/telegrapher in the Railway station at Princeton. I boarded with a family named Prince. The senior male in that family was Alf. I believe he was 81 or 82 then. He hauled the mail by horse and cart or sleigh from there to Kings Cove for years. His son John came home from Lake Louise and purchased a 1950 Fargo pick up and took over where his father left off. He told me many, many stories including reference to the incident at Tickle Cove Pond. He had passed by the spot hundreds of times and related it as if he had been there.
Incidentally he had a grandson John, whom I babysat many times and who is still a fairly renowned singer in Canada. Maybe my claim to fame.