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Newfoundland, the Damnedest Hullabaloo
An organization in Northumberland County, Ontario, called Northumberland Learning Connection, is hosting a series of twelve events, titled, Newfoundland, the Damnedest Hullabaloo.
The series runs from March 28 to May 3, 2019, ending with a "downhome" kitchen party.
There will be speakers on a variety of topics: Russell Wangersky on Iconoclastic Politicians and also on How Climate Change affects Newfoundland; Peter Neary on Getting to Confederation; Greg Malone on Newfoundland Comedy; Barbara Neis on The Pink Sou'Wester, and The Culture of Fish; Robert Mellin on The Look of the Outports and Joey's Big Buildings; Dave Paddon and Karin Wells on Mina Benson Hubbard, The Woman who Mapped Labrador, and Paula Laverty on the Grenfell Mission hooked mats.
Douglas Cameron and David MacFarlane will perform The Door you Came In.
Reading your editorial in December's Downhome one line (about the stars) made us recall one of our favorite family stories.
It was summer 1992; we were visiting NL from London. I and my wife Joanne, son Clint (10) and daughter Cally (7) were visiting NL and had the occasion to be staying by ourselves at my brother in law's cabin on Little Bonne Bay Pond. The kids were long in bed and my wife had just tucked in so I went out to the generator hut to shut it down. I paused then looked around a bit.
When I returned inside I went to my wife who was snuggled in bed and said "Come here you got to see this." "What?, I'm already in bed" She asked as the start of a few protests against getting out but I insisted she eventually came out onto the deck that faced the pond.
Grumbling a bit she stood at the edge of the deck looking left and right and again asked "What?" I said "Look up" and she did. She stood for a moment looking up at the stars in stunned silence then said simply - "Get the kids." Five minutes later we were all standing with necks stretched, heads back, looking at the magnificent cosmos more clearly than we had ever seen it before. The stars are also bright in the summer in Newfoundland.
Bruce and Joanne Manning, London On.
Mummer at Burning Man
In 2016 I went to Burning Man in The Black Rock Desert in Nevada.
This week long event held on a dry lakebed is the most wonderful thing you can imagine.
75,000 people getting together for Art, Music and Spirituality.
My Playa Name I decided would be Mummer. I had been to sea for my whole adult life. I have sailed out of Newfoundland many times as a Fisheries Observer. I sailed on fishing trips from 2 days to more than two months duration.
I love The Rock and the people there.
In Black Rock City, upon introducing myself I would have to explain what a Mummer was. When I explained that Mummers would visit houses while in disguise and let the occupants guess who they were, offered drinks and had a social while there, they would be amazed. All thought the custom was wonderful.
I had a great time bringing this Newfoundland tradition to Burning Man.
Sent from my iPhone
Mummers on the Mainland
Your article Mummers on the Mainland(December 2018) sparked a good memory for us from 1992. In August of that year I received a phone call from my sister saying they were going to be transferred again (her husband was in the Canadian Armed Forces). I thought to myself, so what, they were always going from place to place in Canada. Then she stated we are going to Hawaii in an exchange with the USA Forces. That got my attention and I blurted out that I hoped she had an extra bedroom because we were coming to visit. We made plans to spend Christmas in Hawaii. We took our two daughters, age 12 and 14, out of school early in December and off we went to Hawaii. On Christmas day we put the turkey in the oven and went to the beach for a few hours before having a great Christmas feast. Our wedding anniversary is December 28 and my sister planed a party for us at their house. They invited their friends and some of my brother-in-law's work buddies which gave quite the mixture of nationalities "from mainland USA, Hawaiian, and the other Canadians. There was a total of seven Canadians in the exchange and the funny thing was that four of the seven were Newfoundlanders. When the party was in full swing" Newfoundland Kitchen Party style, in danced four mummers. My brother-in-law and the other three Forces Newfoundlanders, had secretly dressed up and entered the party. The non-Newfoundlanders were speechless and in awe as they danced and sang through a few songs. It really made our anniversary something special and a memory we will hold for a lifetime. PS we also had the cops knock on our door twice that night investigating complains of noise. After the second time we figured we should call it a night. Newfoundland Mummering in Hawaii and a Newfoundland Kitchen Party doesn't get any better than that.
Letter to the Editor
Just read the very interesting story of Neatha Stroude Riggs, "She Answered the Call" in your November 2018 issue. The Author states "All the people who were from Canada and served in Newfoundland and Labrador spring the war were considered serving overseas and given all the Veteran's Affairs allowances". My Father served in the RCAF - he signed up in Edmonton and they sent him overseas - to Newfoundland, where he served until the end of the war. He was awarded several medals, including the Volunteer Medal, with Overseas Clasp. When he was discharged at the end of the war, he was refused the overseas supplement, because by the end of the war, Newfoundland was considered Home Defence. Dad felt to his dying day, that he had been treated unfairly by Veteran's Affairs. He had signed up to go overseas, was deployed overseas, and felt he should have been duly compensated for his overseas service. I'm sure there were many others in the same situation.
Glad to took the ferry and got this issue!!
I am born and raised in Saskatchewan but the East Coast is where I belong I think!! My husband, mother and I just came back from the most delightful trip to the Maritimes. We flew into Quebec City then drove through New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and then took the ferry to Newfoundland. On the ferry is where we found this wonderful magazine!! Soooo much to read, great articles, photos and puzzles.( I still haven't found Corky yet, but I'm working on it!). It was so good that when I got back to Saskatchewan I went online and subscribed!! It's the only magazine I subscribe to!! And i definitely look forward to getting it in my mailbox every month now!
Happy but Sad
My husband Nick and I have once again returned from another vacation (six weeks this time) in Newfoundland, and I'm happy but sad. I cannot count the ways Newfoundland and its people and places have touched my heart. In 2012 and 2015, we drove our RV down from Ontario for two months, staying in RV campgrounds. This year we flew to Deer Lake, rented a car and stayed at either cabins or B&Bs. All of our stays were so charming and clean - and, of course, everyone was so helpful and kind. We visited people from our 2015 stay, such as Gerald French from the Crow Hill RV Park in Brigus. Gerald arranged a cod fishing trip for us with his nephew and family, which was so much fun. They made us feel so welcome. We stopped in Green Island Cove and visited Nita Hughes and her husband Kirby on our way to St. Anthony. Nita had not only made us jam and mailed it to us in Ontario (after just meeting us in 2015 when we topped for gas), but ordered us a subscription to your great Downhome magazine. This year, Nita and Kirby invited us for lunch. This is what I mean about the kindness of people in Newfoundland. There are so many outstanding places to stay while visiting. To name just a few: Cupid's Haven B&B in Cupids; Inn at the Cape in Cape St. George; Celtic Rendezvous in Bauline East; Mom's Place in La Scie; Captain Cook B&B in York Harbour. Anyone who loves whales, icebergs, puffins, hiking, great food and super nice people should add Newfoundland to their bucket list. Meanwhile, Nick and I will once again dream about maybe, just maybe, making one more trip to our favourite place. - Sharron and Nick Beddard, Chelmsford, ON
VOLUNTEERS: (The lifeblood of Hospitals)
The first Monday of June 2018 I was awaken by nature's call at thirty seven minutes after five A.M., according to the clock-radio beside our bed, but before I could seek relief I had to wait for Mary, my wife, who had unusually awaken earlier than I to vacate the bathroom. I would not normally stress the time of day I arise but the night before I had set our alarm to wake me with its' clamorous chimes at 5:45 AM. An ungodly hour for a retired couple, on the back side of seventy, with no where to go and nothing to do except visit the Oncology department at the Oshawa General Hospital.
On that cold foggy day, a rarity in Southern Ontario for this time of year, we had to be in Oshawa before 8:00 AM for another of my wife's Nivolumab (NIVO) therapy treatments which have now been ongoing for longer than I care to remember. But I keep hoping, every time that I sit patiently by my wife's side that this radical immune therapy will work its' magic and help ease the constant pain that I see daily on her face and in her beautiful blue eyes.
But I digress. To help pass the time during our therapy visits we take a portable scrabble game, Yahtzee dice/score sheets and a novel or two plus other reading material. On this day Mary took our June 2018 edition of Life Is Better Downhome and was reading it while reclining in the Oncology Chair with NIVO oozing into her blood stream at 130ml per hour.
The Oshawa General Hospital, actually Lakeridge Health Center, like a majority of hospitals in Ontario has an untold number of volunteers who work tirelessly helping the professional staff in seeing to the needs of the unfortunates who have been stricken with cancer. It takes a special kind of person to serve as a volunteer on the Cancer Wards of our hospitals and seeing on a constant basis people with resignation and despair etched in their eyes and then having to put on a happy face, smile and say, âï¿½ï¿½can I get you a drink or something to eat?âï¿½ï¿½ Sometimes, but I would venture that these times are far and few between, they see hope in the patient's eyes and this gives some reason to why they volunteer. I have met a lot of volunteers in my travels across Canada and in healthier times I was one. In organizations such as the Lions Club and St. John Ambulance but never on the Cancer Ward of a hospital as I was unable to summon the fortitude so necessary to deal with despair at its' zenith. Over the past two years, while accompanying Mary to the many different hospitals she has been directed to in her endless battle against cancer, I have met a countless number of these special people called VOLUNTEER.
On that first Monday of June 2018 while Mary was perusing the Downhomer a volunteer happened to walk by her chair. "Is that the Downhomer you're reading?" she said while doing a quick about-turn and looking directly at Mary, who stopped reading and with a quizzically look on her face, looked at the cover of the Downhomer and asked the volunteer "are you from down home" "Yes, I am!" was the reply and therein started a three way conversation between the volunteer, my wife and I which lasted well over a quarter of an hour. Life histories summarized, possible relatives, memories of home, missing Newfoundland and anxious to go home again and many other things talked about. If the duty nurse hadn't interrupted us to remove the needle from my wife's arm we may well still be there chatting. This is just one example of how a volunteer can change a dreary therapy session into a memorable 15 minutes. And all because of the "Life is better Downhome"magazine.