CORNER BROOK — People are still on a high from the great time had up on "the hill" this past weekend, according to Margaret Noseworthy.
The Corner Brook woman was one of the organizers of a reunion of former King's Road residents. She said it was exciting to see people she had not seen or heard from for as long as 30-plus years — people she didn't even recognize, but were able to share past stories of life on "the hill."
King's Road, as it was, was lost in the west side redevelopment of what is now Greening's Hill and surrounding area in Corner Brook.
The road was one of several that went directly up the hill, a contrast to the parallel layout on the hillside now.
There is still a King's Road in the area, but it is not the same route.
Noseworthy said there were about 15-20 houses on the steep street, mostly containing very large families whose lives were changed when the current west side layout was constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
"We talk to our kids about where we grew up; we cannot even take them to show them," she said. "There is a sense of loss there with what happened with the west side renewal project. Nothing as strong as people who were relocated and stuff like that back in the (19)50s and (19)60s, but it was similar. The place we grew up was gone."
Many of those people still had a connection, according to Noseworthy, but it was almost only ever rekindled when another friend died.
"It seemed the only time we would meet is at funerals," she said of her childhood friends and acquaintances. "We always discussed doing a reunion, but it seemed nobody wanted to organize it."
That changed in December when Noseworthy, Margaret Buckle and Ivy King started the planning. It took quite some time and effort finding the people to invite, but Saturday evening the number of participants at a dinner and dance surpassed the 90 seats they had accounted for.
The reminiscing was back to a day when everybody knew everybody, said Noseworthy, and when there was a job to be done all hands were there to help. She said an upbringing on King's Road was mostly about two things — walking to Margaret Bowater Park to hang out and swim and picking berries or exploring the caves on the "rockies" (Captain Cook's Lookout). Hence, two of the main events were a Friday-evening meet and greet at the lookout and a Sunday afternoon picnic at the park.
Noseworthy, who even went for a dip in the chilly stream Sunday, said it was an amazing experience.
"It was so much more (than I expected)," she said. "People will be talking about this for a long time. I don't think we ever thought it would actually happen. The biggest joy was seeing people connecting and that we agreed we were not going to wait so long to get together again or that we will keep in touch."
The sentiment was shared by one of her co-organizers.
"It went marvellous," Buckle said. "It was so exciting, more than I ever expected. It brought back a lot of memories."
Tickets were sold on a painting capturing the occasion by Amanda Gosse, and $200 was raised $200. The group will be donating the money to the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society, in memory of friends who have died because of cancer.
Local singer Mena Lodge also wrote a song, "10 King's Road," which she performed daily throughout the weekend. The song about growing up on the west end of Corner Brook in the 1950s and 1960s will be included in the musician's next CD, said Noseworthy.