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Community Connections Carolyn R. Parsons • correspondent • 571-3470 • carolynrparsons@gmail.com


Opening remarks I just returned from a wonderful walk along Main Street in Lewisporte on a glorious sunny day. I think we can finally do what we have dreamed of doing for so long. We can finally put away the snow blowers, shovels and winter boots, and get out the lawn mowers and rakes. In fact, I saw a fellow mowing his grass, and almost bear hugged him. Ok not him really. It was his lawn mower I wanted to hug. We have a nice new one and I’ve missed it. I also heard a bird chirping. Not a gull squawking or a crow crowing, but an actual tweet tweet tiddly dee singing songbird — right there is a sure sign that spring has finally sprung. April 23 was Earth Day. So to celebrate, I took the kids for a ride to Laurenceton — a town I hadn’t visited before though it’s only 20 minutes away. It was a chilly day, but we were still enthralled by the wonderful harbour and its pretty homes dotted around it. It seems every home in the town has the million-dollar view that so many love, myself included. My girls, Sophia and Martina, were excited by the opportunity to see more of the province they find so foreign yet so friendly. We shot some photos there, and then down in tiny Porterville where the view was equally picturesque. I love the ocean side, and I brought back from that short jaunt a deeper appreciation for the earth. The girls agree that this particular spot on our great planet is among the best.

It’s hard to reconcile the beauty of a quiet moment at the edge of the sea when the water is barely moving and the sun gives it that deep sparkling porcelain blue, especially for us who leave here and with the chaos of the scenes playing out on news networks around the world. It could make a person cynical and fearful if you let it, but everything means something — every bit of dark is a contrast to the light, every ounce of horror gives meaning to the joy and the key is to remember that moments are the jigsaw pieces of life. You can't lose or disregard a single one. It all will come together to make a complete picture that you cannot see until it's complete.

On the full moon in March, a massive storm destroyed property all over Newfoundland. Here, we are coming upon another full moon but this time the weather is pleasant and spring-like. I have nearly a book full of poetry about the moon and this one is rather short and pleasant. I wrote it on the full moon of February 2011. I was then dreaming of moving to Newfoundland. Finally made that dream come true.

Full Moon Dreams

My dream is hidden in the round moon's light

under star-filled skies on this magic night

a dove cries sadly her mourning song

but I resist the urge to cry along

 

The moon is round in the star-filled sky

I ignore the dove's melancholy cry

A fog hides well that fertile field

and my dream's truth is yet concealed.

 

The star-filled sky holds that round moon

though its magic dream fades away too soon

But the round moon's time shall come again

after crescents and quarters wax and wane

 

But a fertile field grows anyway

and doves mourn little in the light of day

then despite the crying dove's refrain

my dreams will soon come true again

Earth connections

It is difficult to celebrate Earth Day completely while worried about a potential environment disaster happening right at the shores of beautiful Change Islands and Fogo Island. I waited an entire week for Environment Canada to give me an update as to the status of their investigation. The reply I got late on April 24 was that the analytical results of the samples taken from the two dead eiders collected by a Fogo resident on April 4 showed no evidence of oiling. That was it. There was no communication on what further action they are to take. They are requesting people call via the Environmental Emergency reporting line at 1-800-563-9089. The people of the islands want better answers, and an email with a long list of very specific questions will be sent to environment Canada this week. Meanwhile, birds continue to come to shore to die, and soon the humpbacks will swim through the area and without any firm answers as to what is contaminating the ocean, the impact to the fishery is also in question. If you have any information, questions, suggestions please contact me at the email or phone number below.

 

History connections

I’ve started to do some research for a new non-fiction book I’m working on, and in doing so keep finding really interesting things to share. I found some photos of people from Change Islands hauling cod traps on the Internet. I do not know (yet) who the people are, but I noticed there is a woman in one photo.

Population fluctuations: I also stumbled upon a list of population numbers from Change Islands that span the years 1845 to 1998. Looks like the island went full circle in 153 years.

Here’s what it looks like: 1845 — 316; 1857 — 477; 1869 — 528; 1874 — 716 

1884 — 934; 1891 — 1,011; 1901 — 1,067; 1911 — 887; 1921 — 1,075; 1951 — 919; 1935 — 967; 1945 — 964; 1951 — 919; 1956 — 804; 1961 — 747; 1966 — 711; 1971 — 609; 1976 — 535; 1981 — 580; 1986 — 562; 1991 — 524; 1996 — 460; and 1998 — 350.

 

School connections

My school connection this week is actually a history/school connection. I was on the Grand Banks website and went into the House of Assembly reports. These were reports made to the government of the time by the person who went around the province reporting on how the schools were doing in this brand new country in the year 1856. It is no wonder that Change Islanders excel. It appears there is a long-standing history of it, because, according to the reports I read, Change Islands had one of the most positive and glowing reports and the highest number of children attending out of those registered. Those who attended were praised quite highly, and here is the report given on the school to the House in its entirety.

“Change Islands, The School report to the House of Assembly of Newfoundland 1856. John Janes (Master) July 9th – (students) Present 36; 10 in first class acquitted themselves admirably in reading, questions on the subject, in ciphering and writing from dictation. Several work the Rule of Three readily, and two are in Fellowship. The proportion of readers (a good test of an Elementary School) is unusually large, and no child is in the Alphabet. A most creditable school, well supplied with books. Master’s salary should be 50 pounds at least. Salary was just over 40 pounds. 58 pupils registered, 30 boys and 28 girls, 230 school days recorded. Reading, writing and Arithmetic were being taught. The 1858 Treport says school was held in a cooper’s shop and that a School room was being built.”

I love that the proportion of readers is unusually large and that there wasn’t even yet a schoolhouse. I also wonder where the cooper’s shop was.

 

Community Connections

Lewisporte

Coming up at Citadel House

May 3: Lewisporte’s own Terry Penney entertains with his image-driven songs.

May 17: Singer/songwriter Kent Hamilton from Corner Brook performs.

May 31: Lewisporte’s own brilliant pianist Andrew Gale entertains.

Mother’s Day Dinner Theatre will be May 11 at St. Matthews United Church Auditorium. Starting at 7 p.m., with entertainment by Philip Grimes and Friends.

On May 1, Pleasantview Manor is having an open house from 1-3 p.m. Food, entertainment and prizes.

Happy birthday to Lily Benson, who celebrated her tenth on April 19. Greetings from Sophia and her friends at Lewisporte Academy

 

Change Islands

Happy birthday to Tony Pelley, who celebrates on May 1. Greetings come from family and friends.

Birthday greetings go out to Craig Anstey from Alyssa and Christina. Have a very wonderful birthday Dad.

On May 1, Lydia Jeans celebrates her birthday. She is wished a very happy birthday from family and friends.

On May 4, Kathy Parsons celebrates. Birthday greetings come from friends and family.

A very happy birthday to Wendy LeDrew, who celebrates on May 5. Greetings from family and friends.

And on May 8, Denise Hoffe is wished a very happy birthday from family and friends.

If you have an event or occasion you would like to see in The Pilot please email me at carolynrparsons@gmail.com, or telephone 571-3470. Deadline is 3 p.m., Tuesday for the following week’s paper. Photo submissions of local scenery, people and or events are also welcome to be included in the Community Connections.

 

 

 

 

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