Appreciating the co-operation of community volunteers

Dave
Dave White
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A smooth slab of concrete roughly the size of a regulation basketball court is poured and set to have some nets erected in short order.

Part of new sports field installations being made at the old potato grounds in hometown McIvers, the new ball court stands a welcome first project of the fledging McIvers Recreation Committee.

So far, so good. Kudos.

Appreciating the co-operation of community volunteers, local sponsors, public fundraising, and availing the support of a $15,000 provincial sports and recreation grant, committee chair Amanda Lovell yet recognizes there is much work to be done.

“A bit of it could have to wait until after the Tattie festival,” Lovell said.

Some 40 years on since the first eager softball rookies leveled out the sunken trench lines for the first games played on old Uncle Billy Park’s two-acre garden, the ball park has continued to be maintained by the community and seen some minor upgrades over the years.

The McIvers Community Improvement Club later built, and yet maintains, a children’s playground adjacent the ball park.

The club’s new 50 x 80 outdoor sports court and a canteen storage utility building being built on site, as well as planned installation of a new softball backstop and dugout cages, a regrade of the infield, raising the height of the outfield fence, and the widening accesses and egresses stand among the committee’s mid-term plans.

School sport and community health and wellness initiatives stand to benefit on the north shore outdoor zumba, anyone?

For young hoopsters and hockey players, the new ball court will be a new delight to share, a place to exercise, train and compete. For festive fun lovers, a dance floor, then, in time for an official opening at TattieFest 2014, maybe.

The new court may look to get a further polishing from the many shuffling feet keeping time with the lively music expected to grace this year’s family garden party and outdoor music festival in old McIvers.

A project of the McIvers Volunteer Fire Department, the 4th annual TattieFest goes June 27-28 with a host of fun times and musical talent adding to the lively dance of nature by the shorebirds which inhabit the backdrop of McIvers Island Tickle and the Blow-Me-Down Mountains. Picture-perfect weather can only add to it, but someone else is in charge of that.

Top-end entertainment

The nationally-acclaimed Corner Brook band Sherman Downey and The Ambigous Case headlines TattieFest 2014. They take to the outdoor concert stage at the McIvers ball park 10 p.m. Saturday night.

The list of gifted local and area entertainers also lined up to play for the fire department fundraiser through the TattieFest weekend include Robyn Terry, Bully Murrin and Rod Terry, as well as Neil Park and Michael Porter, the popular duo known as Baloney and Tatties. Other bands include Rattler Pug, Nick and the Mayhems, Almost Unanimous and Big Talk Sam.

Children’s events and a bouncy castle contribute to the family fun. Games of chance, canteen and bar tent services, as well as public use facilities, even a new dance floor, will all be available on site.

Day and weekend passes are available at the gate.

Also on the calendar

TattieFest kicks off the summer festival season in rural Bay of Islands. Also upcoming on the bayside holiday calendar is the Crankin’ ‘In The Cove festival at Cox’s Cove, Bayfest 2014 in Humber Arm South, as well as the upstart SkonaFest at Long Cove at Frenchman’s Head, and the long-running York Harbour Days. All offer family fun and holiday celebrations through the next two months in beautiful Bay of Islands.

Behind the scenes, dozens of working committees and hundreds of volunteers around the bay add some cultural flavour to the magnificent scenery and the fish and wildlife gracing these coastal ocean waters.

With official summer now just two days away and school children out for their long holiday, foot traffic and all manners of personal conveyance are coming to occupy highways and biways and sideroads as the season progresses.

Capelin weather, foggy damp and rainy days experienced these last couple weeks signal the start of the spawning runs by the schooling bait fish, luring salmon, trout, cod, porpoises and whales deeper into the bay’s inlets.

Capelin, considered a delicacy in Asian countries which send buyers to Newfoundland and Labrador for the commercial harvest, help keep Bay of Islands plants busy through late June and into July.

The bay fishing fleet attached to Barry Seafoods, which operates processing plants at Curling and Cox’s Cove, has been changing its nets from herring seines to smaller-meshed capelin gear in making ready for that harvest after a successful run on spring herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In recent weeks, workers at Allen’s Fisheries in Benoit’s Cove have been kept busy processing the last of the spring snow crab harvest, as well as ocean-farmed mussels and wild turbot.

Rutted roads to the isles

Commuters who travel it regularly are alert to the danger posed by rutted and pock-marked roads on both sides of the Bay of Islands, but signage should be posted to make prospective tourists aware of potentially troublesome areas.

The passage on the north shore, Admiral Palliser’s Trail, Newfoundland and Labrador Highway Route 440, is made precarious on long stretches of hilly terrain through the Wild Cove-Hughes Brook area, as well as at the overhanging section of road in the ascent near McIvers Brook where puggy subgrade shows annual slippage high above the river bank, a 100-foot drop.

Seniors fun’raiser

The first day of summer sees Cox’s Cove senior citizens’ group plays host this Saturday to a prize card game being held in support of the YMCA’s Community Youth Network and exchange program. Play gets under way at 2 p.m. at the seniors hall.

 

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at  688-2003, or email at: davidjwhite@columnist.com

Organizations: McIvers Community Improvement Club, McIvers Volunteer Fire Department, YMCA

Geographic location: Bay of Islands, Uncle Billy Park, Corner Brook Neil Park Humber Arm South Bay of Islands.Behind Newfoundland and Labrador July.The bay Wild Cove-Hughes Brook McIvers Brook

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