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Little Red Engine
Our son-in-law is a Newfoundlander. He is friendly, considerate, helpful and honest. We all love this person who manifests all the typical Newfie charms.
Every so often, probably 2-3 times a year, he visits his Mother to do something for her at her house, usually a repair or the installation of something new to make her life easier.
Recently, before Christmas, he went for a few days to do something for her, and while there, he went over to the local fire station to visit someone. When he entered, he spotted an old red fire engine that was being put up for a silent auction. This machine was in excellent condition, with very low mileage, and was 30 years old.- a real classic machine. Written bids were being made and the envelopes were placed in a box until the end of the bidding period. Being very conscious of the needs of the area, he put in a low-ball bid, hoping that others would up the ante. Shortly after, he came back to his Ontario home.
A few weeks went by. Then he got a call from an official in town congratulating him, as the proud new owner of a classic, red fire engine!
Lucky for him, he had just purchased a home in the village, so he instructed a friend to take the fire engine to his new home, and there it will stay until it gets warmer. In the meantime, he went back to his mother's to continue what he'd started for her and check up on his new house. The fire engine was where it should be and will provide transportation when his family goes home in the summer. I'm going with them! Where else would I get a chance to drive a fire engine at my age?
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