Mabel Lemoine (96) cut the cake as part of the East End Channel Community Reunion celebrations on Wednesday, Aug. 3rd.René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

Original Published on Aug 08, 2022 at 09:39

By Jaymie White, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES – Come Home Year 2022 saw thousands of people flocking home to Newfoundland and Labrador, and many communities on the Southwest Coast had their own celebrations to commemorate the event. Most towns offered days of fun and festivities, including Port aux Basques, Isle aux Morts, Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou and Burnt Islands.

In Port aux Basques, the community reunions were held on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Army Hill, Brook Hill and East End Channel held their own day of celebrations, offering a variety of activities for folks to reunite with those they have not seen in years.

East End Channel hosted their street party on Lillington Avenue, and it was attended by a myriad of people, young and old, who arrived to enjoy all the festivities they had to offer. From 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., fun time for the kids took place. Offerings included games such as ring toss, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, hotdogs and snacks with lots of prizes for the kids to take home.

From 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., attendees were serenaded by the musical talents of Gorden Cormier. Fireworks followed at 10:00 p.m.

After that Larissa Bishop took to the stage and surprised the crowd with a solid ukulele and vocal performance, so it seems East End Channel has yet another musical talent to add to its roster.

The event was such a success that attendees have flooded the group’s Facebook page with high praise and thanks to the organizers. Pulling off the street party was not an easy task, and in fact there was some doubt as to whether or not there would even be a Channel reunion at one point.

The committee for the East End Channel event, Rosalyn Roy, Rene Roy, Evelyn Lilly, Marilyn Lillington Underhill, Tanya English, and Michael Oliver, worked tirelessly since June to ensure everything was in place and on time for everyone to enjoy.

For the last Come Home Year reunion in 2015, the street party was a last minute success.

“We set it up in less than a week last time. It was three or four days, and we just threw the party together and we had several hundred people on the street, including tourists. But this time, we’ve been at it for weeks now,” said Rosalyn.

The planning for the 2022 reunion didn’t come without some hiccups.

Initially the town’s Come Home Year committee declined to provide port-a-potties to the community reunions, citing cost. About a week or two before the reunions, the town reversed its decision and agreed to supply the port-a-potties to each community reunion.

“From our end, we were happy to have it and are glad they changed their minds,” said René. “It saved us about $400 for our street party, by the Town donating this. That’s what we estimated for the cost and why we started fundraising in the first place. Last time we had Come Home Year, they donated, and that’s why we didn’t have that expense.”

With the port-a-potty off the list of expenses, the funds were used to pay for Gordon Cormier’s musical performance, as well as food, toys, games and other expenses. Corporate sponsors made up the difference.

René also said that the Town agreed to block off the end of the road, and erected barricades up to stop vehicles from going in and out, and the RCMP made regular stops to ensure proper security. The town also donated hot dogs and buns to each of the community reunions.

Because the committee wanted to offer a wider variety of food and activities, they also cooked chili, moose soup and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on demand. Dessert was courtesy of T’s Treats, which delivered a huge cake.

Games played both children and adults included tug of war, ring toss, pippi, hula hoops, jai alai, and softball.

René, who is a volunteer firefighter (currently on medical hiatus) also spoke with the fire department to get tips on how to successfully set off the $217 in fireworks, without them toppling over after they were lit.

“He (Chief Jerry Musseau) put it together. He actually did it himself. He used duct tape, deck screws and a few long boards I had out back in the shed, so that was really great of him.”

The committee members are grateful to see the overwhelmingly positive response to their weeks of hard work.

“Some people said it was the best yet,” said Evelyn Lilly.

Justine Anderson – © Jaymie L. White / Wreckhouse PressJaymie White, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 08, 2022 at 09:38

Come Home Year Craft Fair

By Jaymie White, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES – As part of Come Home Year 2022, the Community Market took place at the Bruce II Sports Centre between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. last Wednesday.  Local vendors presented a fantastic showing of handmade crafts, jewelry, candles, paintings and the like for the crowd to pour over while listening to the live music.

One vendor, Kathleen Buchanan, had a table displaying diamond paintings and costume jewelry, some of which she made herself. Buchanan said this is her first time as a vendor at a Come Home Year Event.

“It’s nice to see so many people,” said Buchanan. “We go to the Christmas events at the Lion’s Club. It’s busier with the Christmas ones. There’s no big crowds at any point, but there has been a steady flow of people.”

Buchanan said she has been enjoying Come Home Year so far.

“I’ve been taking in a lot of the events. It’s nice to have so much family home. That’s the best part, seeing family.”

Tables were set up, not just for individuals selling their wares, but for small businesses as well. 

Wildflower Co. had numerous all-natural skin care items for sale such as soaps, bug balm, body oils, body scrubs, soaking salts, and face masks. Owner Justine Anderson, said she originally started the business in Port Aux Basques, but she is now located in the Codroy Valley.

“We use a lot of locally foraged wildflowers as well as plants that we grow in our own garden. We pride ourselves in using all-organic ingredients, as much as possible. We use very low scent. We only use essential oils, no fragrances.”

Anderson also debuted a brand-new soap for the occasion, to commemorate the Town of Port Aux Basques, the community that helped her launch Wildflower Co. The soap is peppermint and clay infused with local wildflowers and comes in a variety of rock shapes, but if you didn’t move fast, you were sure to miss out, as it was a hit at the Community Market.

“The Grey Foggy Day soap has been very popular because it’s very, of Port Aux Basques. It’s reminiscent of being here.”

Anderson said she has never been at a Come Home Year event before, but it’s been a great experience.

“I started in 2016. This is my first big Come Home Year event. I started at Scott’s Cove. Every summer I would go set up there. It’s been wonderful. It’s so nice to see so many people around. Everybody is in the spirit of celebrating their love of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Triquetra Creative Arts were also enjoying their first time at Come Home Year craft fair as well. Jim and Yvonne Lane began their business just under a year ago, and the main focus is all things geek, gamer, and fandom.

Spread across their table, they had tabletop roleplaying accessories such as dice and dice towers, wooden welcome home signs, resin artwork, headset stands, ornaments and more.

“We have a little bit of everything. We started out about a year ago and really focused on gaming and geekery, all those fun things, like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, anything geek related,” said Jim.

Everything on the table, with the exception of the dice towers, are all his own designs. Some items were made in molds while others, like the towers, were 3D printed.

“We hand paint them, and all the other things we have here, in wood, 3D prints, and resin are all my own designs,” said Jim. “We can also do a lot of custom work as well.”

They are currently working on their own website where people can view and purchase their work online. 

“This was our very first event for Come Home Year. It’s actually our very first local show. We’ve only actually done one other,” said Jim. “We did Gander Geek Fest, and we have a couple of other ones in the fall. We’re going to CaperCon in Sydney and Atlantic-Con in Corner Brook, but this is our home craft fair in Port Aux Basques. It’s been a very good experience, a lot of positivity, a lot of people really interested in what we do and, because I do a lot of my own designs, a lot of people ask me about potential custom work.”

The Bruce II offered more than the Community Market that day, they also had a Kid’s Gym where parents could take their children to have some fun before heading back outside in the heat to take in the rest of the Come Home Year events.

Ryder Lomond Anderson is the winner of the Great Come Home Year Race.– © René J. Roy / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

Original Published on Aug 08, 2022 at 09:38

The Great ‘Come Home Year’ Race for 5-12’s

By Jaymie White, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES – The results are in and Ryder Lomond Anderson is the winner of the Great Come Home Year Race. The race, which was open to participants from ages five to twelve under parental supervision, combined treasure hunting with local historical sites and was designed to build up excitement for the Come Home Year celebrations.

Every Monday beginning on May 9 and ending on Aug. 2, the Wreckhouse Weekly newspaper published a clue about where a hidden code can be found. Once discovered, the code was entered onto a racers tear sheet and would be needed on the final day to be able to solve the final puzzle, obtain their prize voucher, and claim their winnings.

All participants who solved the final puzzle won a prize package. Up for grabs were gift certificates, event passes, cash, and sweet treats. Those racers who finished in first, second, and third place, received a trophy. The first place prize package was valued at over $300.

The hidden codes remained in their locations for four days, Monday to Thursday, before being removed, so racers needed to be quick to get their code in order to solve the final puzzle.  The clues were sometimes difficult, and this meant racers, who were not allowed to discuss clues with other teams, had to think outside the box and ask questions around town to figure out some of their locations.

There may have been a little rain on the final day of the race, but participants were all smiles when they figured out the final clue and made their way to the finish line to collect their prize.

Even after a slight coordinate mix up in the morning, the racers wasted no time.

Arriving just after 1:00 p.m., only an hour after the final clue was posted and even less time after the corrections were made, claiming first prize was 8-year-old Ryder Lomond Anderson who said he had a lot of fun participating in the race but the clue at the dog park was his favorite.

In second place was a brother and sister team, Iris and Jude Osmond. Jude pulled up minutes after Ryder to claim their prize package. 

It was a family competition for first and second place finishers. They are cousins who were neck and neck throughout the whole race, right up to the final few minutes when one car sneaked ahead of the other.

Nikita Roberts, mother of the second place team, said it was hilariously cutthroat throughout the whole race and she wasn’t sure if it was more for the kids or the adults.

“She went one way. I saw her, and she blocked me off, then I went the other way and got stuck behind somebody who was going 20 the whole way, and I think Ryder got there two minutes before we did.”

There were no hard feelings between the adults who had just as much fun as the kids and were so excited for each other to finish the race in first and second place.

Jude said he and his sister had a lot of fun figuring out the clues and he couldn’t pick a favourite, but there was one that was exceptionally difficult – Knox Avenue Cemetery.

Jude said the weather in Port Aux Basques didn’t always cooperate for the racers.

“I remember one of the places actually, the wind blew it off, and we couldn’t figure out if it was a 60 or a 09.”

Rounding out the top three finalists was Tegan McPhee who arrived just before 1:30 p.m. to claim her prize package.

Tegan agreed with the other racers that it was a lot of fun and challenging at times. She couldn’t pick one clue that she liked the best. She loved all of the clues, and she was very excited to take home third place.

Congratulations to all of the racers!

These items reprinted with permission from Wreckhouse Weekly News, Port aux Basques, Newfoundland