Dear Editor: While home on vacation from Fort McMurray in 2012, former resident Brian Kelly had a desire to organize a Come Home Year celebration this year.
With less then a year to plan, a committee of three made that wish a reality. From July 26 to Aug. 3, Howley celebrated Come Home Year 2013 — the first since 1993. With something for everyone, young and old, it was a great success.
Festivities began on July 26 with a meet and greet. The Pentecostal Women’s Association provided snacks and finger foods for everyone in attendance. Former resident Darryl Kelly was guest speaker, welcoming everyone from far and near.
Uncle Jarge (Darryl Kelly) and Uncle Eli (Derek Murphy) preformed Screech-ins on wanna-be Newfoundlanders. This was a great laugh and success.
Even a few kids got in on the event with Purity syrup.
Pat Brake and Derek Murphy sang a newly composed Come Home Year song by resident Mary Anne Woolridge Broughton. It was to the tune of “When The Plane Touches Down in Deer Lake” and her rendition says that people had to get home for the celebrations ... no obstacle being too great to stop them.
Saturday was Howley’s annual Howley Day celebrations organized by the volunteer fire department, with strawberry shortcake served by the United Church Women. There were games for young and old alike and, of course, the dunk tank. Then there was the moose fry supper.
To end the evening, a dance was held by the fire department with the band Steel Dog playing to a packed hall.
An excellent time was had by all.
On Sunday, there was a rededication of our war memorial and a tribute to the Korean War veterans. Members from the Deer Lake Legion joined in the commemoration along with Donald Kelly from Howley, a veteran of the Korean War.
Next there was an open air service by the Deer Lake Salvation Army Church which was well attended.
That was followed by a cold plate supper, sponsored by the fire department.
To finish off the evening, a local gathering with music by anyone who wanted to bring an instrument.
Monday, July 29 was Game Day at the community centre, where the kids enjoyed the bouncy castle and a variety of games, including trying to dunk willing participants in the dunk tank.
At 5 p.m., the United Church Women served soup, while the Catholic Women’s Association sold sandwiches. A prize bingo followed.
Tuesday was movie day for the kids, with refreshments provided by the Come Home Year committee. At 5 p.m., the Anglican Church had a baked bean and bologna supper. At 7 p.m. a variety show and karaoke was held and again everyone had an excellent time.
Wednesday was Christmas in July, with Santa arriving in the afternoon with gifts for all the children.
At 5 p.m., Trapper’s Lounge had a hot turkey supper, followed by the mummers at the community hall. A couple of the mummers were more than 80 years of age.
Thursday was Beach Day, again provided free of charge to the kids with sand-castle building contest, games and ice cream, followed by a community beach fire and fireworks.
Friday, was Railroad Day at Ron Kelly’s cabin at Kelly’s Point. Everyone, young and old, enjoyed their ride on the speeder. This also marked the 25th year of the railway closing in Newfoundland.
At 5 p.m. a fish and brewis supper was provided. Some shockin’ good.
The Over 50s Square Dancers from Pollard's Point-Sop’s Arm-Jackson’s Arm performed at the community centre followed by a kitchen party.
Saturday there was a community breakfast provided by the Come Home Year committee.
Then the kids were given decorations to decorate themselves or their bikes for a parade. A dance was held at Trapper’s Lounge with Country Partners playing, and to finish of the week’s festivities, there was a fantastic display of fireworks arranged by the Come Home Year committee.
Residents and visitors alike pulled together and helped to make it a week to remember, whether by volunteering, providing food or through a monetary donation.
It was a great and our committee of Brian Kelly, Eileen Saunders and Wayne Bennett are to be commended for their excellent job of planning the event
They should take pride in knowing that they helped to create many wonderful memories. Thank you to anyone who helped out in any way.
There are too many to be thanked individually.
Judy Ann Kelly Murphy, Howley