Published on August 18, 2013
Ava Gallant, 4, of Lark Harbour tries her hand at the spin the wheel game during Come Home Year children’s activities at the Benoit’s Cove playground on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013.
Published on August 18, 2013
Alphonsus Compagnon, left and his sisters Sandra Park, Delores Roy, Geraldine Whitely and Arlene Carmody travelled from all across the country to visit with their mom Isabel Compagnon and attend the Come Home Year festivities in Humber Arm South.
Families enjoy spending time together during Humber Arm South festival
BENOIT’S COVE — For Arlene Carmody coming home means getting to spend time with family and friends.
The Barrie, Ont. woman spent the past week enjoying the Come Home Year Festivities in the Town of Humber Arm South.
The south shore Bay of Islands town is made up of the communities of Halfway Point, Benoit’s Cove, John’s Beach and Frenchmen’s Cove.
Carmody, nee Compagnon, grew up in Benoit’s Cove and left home when she was 19.
“Same as every other child that leaves home I bee-bopped a little bit,” said Carmody with a laugh. That bee bopping took her to Ontario and Nova Scotia and back to Newfoundland before she found her footing in Barrie, Ont. where she’s lived for 25 years.
But even though she’s made a home elsewhere, Carmody, 57, still makes trips back to Benoit’s Cove. It was during a visit in spring 2012 the decision was made to make the trip again this year for Come Home Year.
Carmody is one of Isabel and Valmour Compagnon’s 15 children. Mr. Compagnon died last March.
Her brother William lives in Deer Lake and her sister Geraldine Whitely just moved back to Benoit’s Cove from Burlington, Ont. Other than that everyone else is away, so this year, she said, the oldest children came home to visit with their mother, who still lives in Benoit’s Cove, and take in the festivities.
Delores Roy also of Barrie; Sandra Park of Winnipeg, Valerie Lambert of St. John’s and Alphonsus of Grand Prairie all made the trip. Joining Alphonsus were his wife Karen and their children, Shaelyn, Cody and Ryan.
'It's always interesting'
It’s the first time in a while so many of them have been together and with a slight hint of humour in her voice Carmody said like any family gathering “it’s always interesting.”
Between the siblings, their families and some other relatives the house was quite full at times. William, his wife Tina and daughter Lily came down from Deer Lake, Valerie’s husband Sherwin also came along, as did Geraldine’s husband David and then there was Aunt Rowena Gardiner from Baddeck, N.S. and cousin Joyce McCurdy from Peterbourgh, Ont.
“Oh my goodness we haven’t stopped,” she said. She said the family took in events every day and night. Of all that she has done during the week, Carmody said three things in particular stood out for her with the first being the resettlement re-enactment last Sunday.
“It really touched home, because you always wonder about your history and how they did it, so that was awesome,” she said.
She also said the family opted to make its own trip to Wood’s Island and the 16 who went on Tuesday had a fantastic day. And finally the midwife play was also a well enjoyed event.
Meanwhile, Sarah Hiscock comes home from Fort MacMurray every summer to visit with her family in Frenchman’s Cove, but this year the visit was extra special.
“Everyone is home this time, that’s the difference. So when everyone comes home the same time you actually get time to spend time with everybody together.”
She said there’s been lots of family get togethers and pot luck suppers including one at her grandmother’s old home in Frenchman’s Cove. She figures there were about 50 members of the MacDonald family present for that one.
Hiscock’s husband Lamont, daughter Anna and mother Sandra Hunt also made the trip from Fort MacMurray with her.
“We’ve taken in every day,” she said of all the events, adding they were all excellent. “I can’t believe they pulled it off so well. The amount of work that went into this, it’s amazing to watch.”
Besides spending time with family and friends, Hiscock said the highlight of Come Home Year for her was attending the Dr. Hook concert on Wednesday.
The 10-day festivities wrapped up Sunday with a breakfast, music, skits, a closing ceremony and fireworks.
My Home (Newfoundland)
There is no better place,to bring a smile to my face.
No where else I’d rather be.
Then with the memories it keeps giving me.
My Home, My Island.
It seems to gently take my hand,
And lead me down the roads of my past.
Slowly I stroll now,
No longer the need to move fast.
With every step I wear a smile.
As my thoughts flow back with every passing mile.
A poem by former Benoit’s Cove resident Sandy (Compagnon) Park who now resides in Winnipeg. Park wrote the poem while home to take part in the Town of Humber Arm South’s Come Home Year festivities.