Letters from our Readers
Dear Ron; Recently, in a Value Village store, I came across this pre-owned 500-piece jigsaw puzzle (pictured at right). The box says it's a Newfoundland scene; I assume from the tidemarks on the rocks that it shows a property on the coastline - though almost certainly not on the part I saw so often from my grandfather's trap-skiff, on the route from Middle Battery to our cod-trap just south of Cape Spear.
Maybe one of your readers will recognize the place, and tell me where it is. Though I've visited Newfoundland frequently with my Winnipeg-born wife, Roberta (who loves it!), we have not been there in the past six years. At 88 years of age, we may never be near it again until our ashes are scattered there.
However, as long as we breathe our interest and pride in Newfoundland will never fail, so we would love to know the site of this picturesque property. We would be much obliged if you can help. Perhaps the person with the information would write to me.
Somewhere in the files is the piece I wrote when the Downhomer was in its infancy. You have come a long way since then, and are to be congratulated for what you are doing for Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders!
Rev. Walter C. Sellars
Downhome readers love mysteries, Rev. Sellars - thanks for sending this in, and for your contribution in the past. If any readers recognize the place on the puzzle box pictured above, leave a comment (at right).
20 Years of Downhome
Hi Ron; It is hard to believe that Downhome has been in existence for 20 years! I suppose I have been a subscriber for nearly that long. In the days when it was still in newspaper format, I used to write to you frequently. A letter of mine could be found in nearly every issue. (In 1993, my family and I went back to "the Rock" for a visit, after an absence of 20 years, and I found that I was quite popular on account of my letters to the Downhomer!)
I remember when your friend, Bruce Roberts, was active in the Downhomer and often wondered where he disappeared to. I recall that the late Harry Brown called you both the "Twillingate Mafia." Harry was a nice guy; it's a pity that he had to go so soon, but then that's life, eh?
Since you wrote (in "Between the Boulevard and the Bay," January 2008) that Downhome now has a circulation of about 50,000 copies every month, it would certainly appear that your efforts to promote "the Fawderland" have been highly successful. And of course, I wish you continued success in the future!
Austin J. Murphy
Toronto, Ontario (formerly of Lawn, Burin Peninsula)
I remember your letters from the early days, Austin. Bruce still lives in Ontario. We talk from time to time about the "old days" of Downhomer and the Downhome Radio Show. Harry Brown was on our radio show a number of times. I miss dropping in to visit him in Holyrood, where he lived after he moved back home.
Dear Ron; Several months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Michael T. Wall when he was visiting a friend here in Australia. I had received a package from him late last year, in which he had sent lots of used stamps gathered from friends. I collect such stamps, and sort them for the Anglican Church in Australia. I have done this since 1974, in which time I have sorted more than one million stamps for such organizations as The Freedom From Hunger Campaign.
I am a retired Chief Inspector of the New South Wales Police Force, in which I served from age 15, as a cadet, until retirement in 1985. I am still in touch regularly with the local police station; I am also the Welfare Officer with the NSW Retired Police Association in our area.
During our talk, I asked Michael T. if he knew how to obtain a current list of fire departments within the Ontario region. I collect shoulder patches from fire departments around the world, and use them to make up displays for our two local fire services here: New South Wales Fire Brigade (Senior Service in our city) and the Rural Fire Service (which has 16 outlying units to service the small townships). Enclosed are shoulder patches from our two fire services.
I am seeking more fire department shoulder patches and, as Michael T. said, you may be able to assist me. I would appreciate any help you can give.
Stanley A. Warburton
Michael T. has a long history with Downhome - perhaps he mentioned in your chat that over the years, we've helped reconnect people with places, things and each other through our Letters section. If any readers can help Chief Inspector Warburton in his quest for shoulder patches - or a list of fire departments in Ontario - they may write to Stanley A. Warburton, 4/163 Kinghorne Street, Nowra, NSW 2541, Australia.
Dwyer Kuehl Obituary
Dear Downhome; Just a little note to express a big "Thank you" for your wonderful magazine - I've enjoyed it for years. My mother was Sadie LeValliant (Blundon) from Port-aux-Basques, and my father was Rev. A.E.B. Blundon, originally from Blundon's Island (Fogo). Both are deceased. In our local paper, the Watertown Daily Times, I noticed an obituary for a former Newfoundlander, Olivia Dwyer Kuehl. It seems like she had an interesting life. I thought maybe some of your readers might remember her family; she was born September 29, 1914 in Bay Roberts.
Dr. Eileen Blendon Burge
Harrisville, New York, USA
Thanks for your letter, and the obituary of Olivia Dwyer Kuehl. It sounds like she accomplished many things during her lifetime (read the entire obituary below). If any readers remember Olivia Dwyer Keuhl, we'd love to hear more about her. Leave your comments (above right).
Olivia K. Kuehl
GOUVERNEUR - Olivia Kendall "Doll" Kuehl, 93, Lake Worth Fla, a summer resident of Morristown and a longtime resident of Gouverneur, died Thursday at Heritage Green hospice program in Lynchburg, Va.
As a young woman before World War II, Mrs. Kuehl was food and beverage manager for Canada Steamship Lines at winter resorts in Bermuda and the Bahamas, and while spending summer sat the Manoir Richelieu at Murray Bay, Quebec. With the outbreak of the war in 1939, she returned home to St. John's, Newfoundland, to manage the restaurants at the Hotel Newfoundland.
Born September 29, 1914, in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, one of seven daughters and two sons of Alexander Edward and Louisa Hodder Dwyer, she attended school in Harbour Grace, Newfoundand, and McGill University and Royal Victoria Hospital, both in Montreal, Quebec.
She married Frederick George Kuehl of New York City, a mining engineer and Army officer, on July 7, 1943, at Pepperell Air Force Base, St. John's, just before Lt. Kuehl's deployment to the Southwest Pacific. Upon his discharge in 1946, the couple moved to Gouverneur, where Mr. Kuehl was vice president of International Talc Co., Natural Bridge. He died Dec. 7, 2000.
Mrs. Kuehl was a member of the First United Methodist Chucrh.
At home in Gouverneur, at their summer cottage on teh St. Lawrence River and later at their winter home on Okaloosa Island, Fla., she wa sknown as an investor,a n avid gardener, a collector of early American antiques and a prolific artist.
Her watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings won many regional and several national competitions, especially in her later years. One mixed media work, "Riverbed," was viewed internationally in a traveling exhibition sponsored by the U.S. government. Two oils of the St. Lawrence River remain on rotating exhibit at the U.S. capitol in Washington, D.C. In September 1980, 14 of her paintings, ranging from pre-war watercolors of Bermuda to oil landscapes of the north country in winter to abstract mixed media pieces, were shown as part of a month-long retrospective at the Fells Point Gallery in Baltimore, Md.
Surviving are ason, Dr. Alexander E. Kuehl, Morristown; a daughter, Anita Kuehl Taylot, Bedford, Va; two granddaughters, a grandson and four great-grandchildren.
Twin daughters, Ann and Jane, died shortly after birth, and Mrs. Kuehl's eight siblings all died before her.
The body was cremated. A memorial service will be at a later date. Arrangements are with Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Lynchburg/ Donations may be made to Gouverneur First Methodist Church.
A Class Remembered
Dear Ron; In both the March and April 2008 issues of Downhome, you ran a picture of a school class taken with their teacher, Miss Tuck, and asked for more information about it. Well, the photo shows a class of the Methodist School in Cavendish, taken in the 1914-15 school year. You can see part of the Church of England in the background, with a picket fence separating that property from the school. I recognize some of the children by family resemblance, and by family pictures in my possession.
In the back row: Walter Jackson, Stanley Jackson, unidentified missionary worker, Chesley Jerrett, Malcolm Jackson with Edward Jackson in front of them. Not sure of the girl, maybe Edith Jerrrett.
In next row: Peter and Hedley Critch (I'm not positive about that), Eliza Mae Jackson (Baker), Ethel May Jackson (my mother), Maude Jackson (Jerrett), Stella Jackson (Morris), and three girls (maybe Jerretts).
Two little boys sitting in front: Marshall Jerrett and Gordon Legge.
My mother spoke many times of missionary workers who visited the schools when she was young. They wore uniforms and I vaguely remember her saying they were from England. The lady in the picture must have been one of them. I didn't pay much attention to my mother at that time; now I wish I had. Another interesting thing is that Miss Tuck boarded with Loyal and Hazel Legge, who were Gordon's parents. I hope this information is beneficial to you. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the pictures.
That photo was submitted by Abbie Whiffen, whose mother was the teacher, Ethel Tuck. Thank you for sharing that information with us.
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