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the Epic Story of the Gale and Breaker
The Story of the Gale and Breaker Come all ye sons of Newfoundland and sailors near and far To hear the story of the Gale lost on the North East Bar Her skipper's name was Douglas Swartz as she plowed across the foam "We'll catch a trip of fish," he said, "and by Christmas we'll be home." "Don't fear those wintry blasts," he said, "that beat her sides of steel Pull wide those engines down below and feel her dancing keel." Her course was set for Sable Isle, a sailor's grave all know Whose shifting sands abound with fish, where the treacherous currents flow. Through freezing sleet and blinding snow round Sables Cape she fled Across Le Harve and Emerald Bank to Quearo Grounds she sped At dawn beneath an angry sky, her nets were cast away To haul aboard a goodly catch before the close of day. And then, across the air it came that warning to beware A raging storm was bearing down, a sailor's skill to dare. Oh! stand away from Sables Shoals, to all this warning came Go seek the safety of the deep we pray in heaven's name. But where the treacherous currents flow the Gale had gone astray And crashing on the North East Bar a shuddering wreck she lay. With a crew of eighteen men on board she reeled in dire distress. In these raging seas we cannot last all heard her S.O.S. When on the air John Halley came, a man both brave and grand He was skipper of the Breaker with a crew from Newfoundland. "We are coming to your rescue, so keep a light on high Tonight we'll run the North East Bar, we will not pass you by." But few have dared those awful shoals and lived to tell the tale Well all men knew the double loss should the Breaker skipper fail But God rode with that rescue craft through that awful night, Dawn found them in grim Sables lee to stage a gallant fight. And not alone the Breaker stood where brave men do or die For Simon Terrio was there and his Gloucester men stood by There lurched the Gale with frozen shroud. How could those men survive? Came muffled voices from the wreck that they were still alive. Spoke Halley to that stricken crew, "A lifeline we will send When fastened well upon your mast, a breeches bouy we'll bend." But as he spoke the wind increased and the seas ran mountainous high. The wind blew 80 miles an hour, as another night drew nigh. And standing hand in hand with death as seas washed on her deck The Breaker battled through the night but could not reach the wreck. Then out from Halifax there came a cruiser strong and brave She had rescued many from the sea and knew that sailor's grave. And thus the Coast Guard skipper spoke, well learned of wind and tide To try a rescue at this time would be naught but suicide Came rescue ships from far and near a helpless watch they kept Said Swartz "On Sable we must die." On shore their loved ones wept. For now the Gale, a broken hulk, lashed by the wind and spray, Was settling in the ocean grave so anxious for its prey. It was then the Breaker stood in close, John Halley held the wheel Not near enough to render aid for reefs clutch at her keel. Heard from the Gale those solemn words, To him on high we bow As half our crew we cast adrift, may God have mercy now. Then spoke up Capt Harvey Scott, a man who knows not fear "Just hold her steady Skipper John, we'll drop our dorys clear." With Scott, stood raw boned Tom Malloy, a man of six foot two They were two of John Halley's crew of braver men there's few. And there was Gregory Toomey on the Breaker's starboard side With him there was Paddy Costigan, both fearless as the tide. How could a dory live that day? They volunteered to try. Molloy, Scott, Toomey, Costigan said "those men must not die." With life belts fastened to their chests, they cleared the Breaker's side Swept out of sight and Sables' clutching tides. Then heaven smiled on those brave men, they reached the foundering wreck Nine weary men they landed first, safe on the Breaker's deck. With salt spray frozen to their brow, said they "Again we go." Nor did they shirk till all were saved from Sables treacherous flow. And loved ones on the shore rejoiced, it was a Christmas grand And ne'er will be forgotten those brave men from Newfoundland.
Of all the things I think about Of all the things I've read, War affects all of us, From cradle to the grave. It takes the very best of us, Our young and healthy men, And shows their eyes an evil guise Of killing guns and machines. It robs them of who they are, And what they can become, And leaves behind things in the mind That they would rather never find. Because of them we can sit here, And sing along with pride, But, oh the cost they paid it all Their hearts, their souls, their lives. So let us hope that war no more In our lives will reign, And peace will rule over tyranny And our lives will be spared war's pain.
Home on the Rock
Tiny wrinkles tell a tale of many decades past Of sleepless nights and lonely flights and weary eyes are cast A home was left behind to make a living far from shore Happiness came at last as he moved home to leave no more It's the plight of Newfie folks to raise their little ones to grow and leave But their roots they'll not shun every year the ferry comes bringing tourists and homesick boys to the ferry dock because no matter where they roam, they always belong on the rock. The less fortunate ones who never see their roots listen to their parents' stories of rainy days and old rubber boots Of ships that left and never returned, of brave soldiers who gave their lives so they could live to see the dawn and feel the romance of fields of fog and picking blueberries near the bog. They all like their feed of moose and a feed of tasty trout Relish the first feed of lobster at the first taste they give a shout "Oh my God it's good to be home, heaven must be great, Could it be any better than this food upon my plate?" They come from places far away and enjoy the local treats But our heritage you have to experience being from Newfoundland can't be beat Soon I'll leave and go far away and enjoy far off places But to the island I'll return if my God graces.
My Canada I have been fortunate to visit Some of our beautiful and vast land From the Rockies, Lake Louise Halifax to PEI's red sand Toronto; strong in its diversity Ottawa, a city I love so dear Montreal, I watched my first NHL game Even called my dad from there Quebec, where my friends live I've explored so many places Especially the vast culture That put smiles upon our faces The Prairies I've never been No reason can I give Nor have I been up North Where our Indigenous peoples live Moncton, I've taught courses And explored its many joys Fort Mac after the fire Calgary to visit my boys Now the best I've left for last I'm sure you'll understand After all folks, come on I am from Newfoundland So, east we have St. John's The city of history galore Then down the coast of the boot The Burin Peninsula's rocky shore Up northeast a little ways You'll find a million hidden delights Make sure you take time To watch the sunset on any given night An isthmus to drive through The fog gets pretty thick Slow down, take your time Actually, being alert, is the trick Clarenville and Random Island Look down at the view As more of our elegance Is laid out in front of you Now mosey down the Bonavista shore Way down in the bay There are tons of little towns That will be sure to make your day Travel through Terra Nova National Park Watch out for the moose Past Eastport, Glovertown, Gambo To the town named after the goose You can rest awhile in Gander A most welcoming place to be Aviation, the Queens visit, Come From Away Some of our fascinating history All central Newfoundland Has lots of charm to share And if you branch off north or south There's magic everywhere In the Springdale area A lovely birch forest you will spy Take time to slow down To capture its charm as you drive by West we are now Our mountains stand so tall Confirming to the world That Newfoundland has it all The Great Northern Peninsula Straight up the Newfoundland neck Gros Morne National Park, Flowers Cove So many historic places to check Corner Brook, Deer Lake Stephenville, Port aux Basques too Cities, towns, communities Waiting just for you For around each bend you turn A road leads you to some place Don't matter which you take The landscape puts a smile upon your face Take a trip to Labrador You could visit Goose Bay Where breathing freezes your nostrils It's that cold up there some days Lab City, Wabush, Nain There's Churchill Falls too All lovely towns In winter you need a skidoo Hundreds and hundreds of communities I could not name them all They are waiting for your visit Winter, spring summer or fall Hike around our shores Climb our mountains high Capture all its glory And heave the contentment sigh. So, on this glorious day, I'm a proud Canadian; of that I'm sure But, I'm much prouder to be from Newfoundland Labrador! Pamela Peckford Gander, NL
The years don't fade the memories
There's a place inside my mind, where the spray of the salt water ocean soothes my soul. Where the fabric of my childhood has been woven. Running down that hill, walking up that street, knowing the friendly faces of those I meet. Home is the place inside my heart where I began. It's the word that starts and ends with me. It's when I close my eyes, I can clearly see; It's the place I'll always long to be. I can still hear that church bell ringing on a sweet Sunday morning, smelling the Sunday dinner as we walked home. Standing on that shoreline, the wild wind in my hair. The years don't fade the memories, I'm still there. So leave the porch light on for me, I won't be gone for very long. I'll be back home before those streetlights come back on. The years don't fade the memories, I'm still there. (I am originally from St. George's NL.)
We are Newfoundlanders The people of "The Rock" With our sense of humour, We are a happy lot. The weather's not always pleasant, But it doesn't bother us. We have learned to be quite patient And not to make a fuss. They tell us we are hardy, And I believe it's true, We face our daily problems Without our getting blue. We share with everybody, We welcome everyone. Hospitality is a virtue, And it is not just for some. Our doors are always open, We share whate'er we can, We show concern for others, Every woman, every man. So if you are a stranger And you "come from away" You'll get a great reception, You will really want to stay And join us Newfoundlanders As we go our merry way.
Off to the Ocean
Off to the ocean, off to the sea. The place we love most is with the wind of uncertainty. The place we love is blown to dust. All we need now is more fuss. But we need help to go far, To ride the waves with the wind. Through the beach with the sand. Down the hills to the sea. By the mist with the deep place far from Earth. Down through the wind, when the tide reaches the sea. The ocean waves turn to wind. To our place that is our home. Is now gone with the sea. We now live with our heart to this place. by Adelaide Babstock Age 8
Some slouching on the shore, others stand erect. A bright red stage faces the wind its legs are getting wet. At the end of a sun-bleached wharf stands an old grey splitting table. The new painted boat upon the slip is straining at her cable. The peeling paint of a nearby stage appears so sad and forlorn. Just like the pile of lobster traps they are also peeled and worn. If the walls of these old sheds could speak what yarns they would tell. About the cuffers of the men and of young boys as well. A place to gather and have a smoke those days are in the past. So these red stages must be restored to make sure they last and last.
Autumn is near As near can be, The leaves are falling from off the trees. Cool winds blow softly through the rows of all the vegetables the farmers grow. Harvest has come It is time to reap. Some crops we sell and some we keep. Picking and weeding, It's a lot of work, But it can also be fun Digging down in the dirt. Our elders know What it's like to toil from dawn to dusk working the soil. After it's all over And the cellar is stuffed, No worries this winter, Cause we have veggies enough.
From Grounded to Glorious
The day started off prosperous with blue skies and sun. On the 11th day of September in 2001. There was school classes, day shifts, and children at play. Nobody was ready for what would happen that day. The great state of New York would soon change forever. The whole world watched it unfold and they all cried together. The world trade centers fell from harsh evil attacks. New York's finest responded with no time to relax. The events shook our souls and chilled the blood in our veins. For the people now lost forever in those buildings and planes. But along with those who had died, there was another great fear. Regarding the still active aircraft which were up in the air. They had to leave airspace quickly; no matter the route they had planned. And that's when a small town changed forever; known as Gander, Newfoundland. For it had an old airport, that was built years ago. Many people had passed through and planes would come and then go. But on September 11th, and with sparse information, this quaint little airport became a hub destination. Plane after plane Gander's airport did bring. The taxiway got so crowded, planes nearly touched wing to wing. The adrenaline was spiking and all emotions had swirled. For there were aircraft and faces from all over the world. Even though stress was quite heavy, hearts were light as a feather. Because all the people of Gander had to now come together. One fact of Newfoundland's history, or any story or tale. It's that when tragedy strikes? Newfoundland will prevail. Once the planes had all landed there was much work to do. With passengers grounded for hours and stuck there like glue. There were many passenger frightened, and full of aggression. Nobody told them what happened or answered one single question. When folks finally deplaned they could now stretch and stand. Then they learned of this place which was called 'Newfoundland'. Volunteers scrambled and struggled as they sprinted and hurled. They had to draw arrows towards Newfoundland on a map of the world. For these new guests were so anxious the events came in a blur. They had to look at the map to see where they even were. And to be sure it was blatant, and to make sure it was clear. They wrote three words by the arrows which read "You Are Here". There were great language barriers in both writing and speech. But all folks still received help as far as Gander could reach. Although the terror was strong, the Gander spirit was stronger. All passengers were frantic but not for much longer. All who helped had to struggle but their intentions were sound. Passengers all had to learn, that they were now on safe ground. No matter how much sleep they had missed. No matter how long they had stood. The people of Gander helped everyone in any way that they could. They prepared countless meals, and they reeled out miles of cables. They opened the doors to their homes and they pulled out the chairs from their tables. Every counter had food, and every floor had a cot. Every kettle had water, and every burner a pot. The workload pushed their efforts far beyond any ridge. Folks even transformed the town's ice rink into a large walk-in fridge. They would turn a frown to smile, or at least get exhausted from trying. There was always someone to talk to. There was always a shoulder for crying. They hooked up phones to call loved ones, and they provided clean clothes. They made strangers their friends for long gone were the foes. They threw birthday parties for children, and took out tours for a glance. They provided music and singing, to share laughter and dance. The whole town was united to do all that they could. They took the focus off evil and shined light on the good. How many tears did they shed? How many words came out stuttered? How much coffee did they perk? How much toast had they buttered? How much bedding they laid out? How much tea did they steep? How many handshakes and hugs came when emotions ran deep? In every nook there were gatherings, and every cranny was a perch. They used the school, and the Legion, and even the church. Every resource was helpful with stealth employed as they used it. Local businesses gave what they could and nobody abused it. There was no time to argue or to be a debater. If something was needed? They would immediately cater. Countless tasks took place with a wide range of criteria. Carried out by Gander's fine people, and those in the Lewisporte area. Many hearts may have sunk and many spirits did bend. But to those who had showed up as a stranger? Would soon leave as a friend. The volunteers would stay busy well into the night. There was always somebody to comfort and tell "You'll be alright". If there was unbearable stress, or if the horizon showed trouble? The town's efforts would amplify and their output would double. The town's motivation was far tougher than granite, to help thousands of people from all over the planet. They used countless methods and they used countless ways. And when it was all said and done? Their story lasted five days. Their help came without contracts. Their help came without price. And the help simply came from good people who were humble and nice. The whole town stuck together, with not one person alone. They literally took their community and turned it into a home. This tragic event may have happened on that day in September. And it's one the people of Gander will surely remember. But not because of the terrorists or those buildings that fell. But because of the people they nurtured and their story they'd tell. They would always honour the fallen and monuments would be laid. They'd also remember the strangers they helped, and the new friends they had made. So many stories were born, with countless memories to keep. And those who helped were so tired? That they were too exhausted to sleep. For life can change rather quickly, and on the turn of a dime. But good must always take precedent as well as endure every time. Thousands of strangers had landed with the unknown to expect. Each one was shown hospitality, grace, and respect. And if there was one thing they had learned besides the great gift of living. It's that Newfoundlanders are heartfelt, good natured, and giving. They brought about positivity and removed all the glooms. With their bodies so tired they were running on fumes. When it came time to leave? A part of them wanted to stay. And many relationships prosper up to his very day. Gander had helped many people no matter where they did roam. But the day finally came when all the strangers went home. It was sad when they left, and no one could deny it. The Town of Gander seemed different as well as eerily quiet. You could hear a pin drop in the distance. You could hear every last hush. There was no more hustle and bustle, and long gone was the rush. It was then that they realized the hearts they did touch. The act of helping out strangers had just meant so much. Between all of the tears shed and all of the work driven sweat. It's an event that the whole town will never forget. One point which was proven? And came right from the start? Was that Gander's a small town but it has a big heart. The town's hospitality had come in great fashion. It was fueled by emotions, empathy, and strong passion. Because regardless of terror they still came out victorious. These strangers showed up as grounded but they departed as glorious. -Curt Budden
Those Nine O'Clock Nippers
Those 9 o'clock nippers I've recently discovered, Are A.M. and P.M. Those little blood suckers! I've killed them aplenty Thousands! I'm sure, But they keep acomin' Acomin' for more. They'll sneak in down under Where the sun never shines, Till those blood sucking buggers find your behind. You can hide in a tent Or a fancy gazebo, But 9 o'clock nippers Just know where to go. So break out the Raid and the Nippers Be Gone, Cause 9 o'clock nippers Arrive after dawn.
Myrtle Moose met Marvin Moose One day behind the red caboose. Myrtle said (with little tact) "I'm not impressed by your puny rack." Marvin turned and walked the track. His feelings hurt by Miss Myrtle's crack. He skulked along upon the ties, Big moose tears falling from his eyes. Myrtle walked the other way. She felt proud; She'd had her say. She held her head high and sniffed the air. She tossed her mane without a care. Past the old train then into the woods, Myrtle sauntered. The alders were good. She didn't see or smell the man Watching her, a gun in hand. The hunter had Myrtle in his sights. He cocked his gun but Myrtle took flight. She'd heard a sound, a rustling of leaves. Myrtle the moose ran through the trees. And as she ran, she spied the gun But she also saw what had made her run. Hid in the bush was Marvin the moose Rubbing his rack to set her loose. Myrtle Moose met Marvin Moose Next day behind the red caboose. Myrtle said with a lot more tact: "Your rack is great! And that's a fact."