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Keppel Island provides a unique opportunity

Keppel Island off of Port Saunders on the Northern Peninsula is prime for buying.
Keppel Island off of Port Saunders on the Northern Peninsula is prime for buying.

English poet John Donne coined the phrase "no man is an island" in 1624 as a way to explain how no man can thrive in isolation.

Nicholas Mercer

English poet John Donne coined the phrase "no man is an island" in 1624 as a way to explain how no man can thrive in isolation.

While that may be true, Donne didn’t say anything about man thriving once he’s purchased his very own island.

Surely men or women can excel if they own an island of their very own. Luckily for us in this province, such an opportunity exists just a medium-length drive (about three hours) from Corner Brook in the Port Saunders area.

In the harbour mouth, lies Keppel Island. Just 500 metres off shore, it’s an ideal spot for someone looking to grab their own piece of Newfoundland and have themselves a prime experience.

While the lighthouse falls on a swath of land owned by the Canadian government via the Coast Guard and is not for sale, there’s still plenty to love about Keppel Island.

You could say there are four owners of the island. There’s the aforementioned Coast Guard, along with 25 acres belonging to Crown lands.

Then, there are two of Higgins’ clients. Their land is divided into 68 acres and five acres, respectively.

The first 68 lead towards a part of the island known locally as the "cod’s tail" and is typical Newfoundland landscape primed for some development.

The other five is perfect for living with a pair of lighthouse keeper residences and a trio of sheds.

Divided into a pair of listings, Corner Brook realtor Pat Higgins has been fielding calls on the property since 2009.

These calls usually fall into a pair of categories. First there are those who are genuinely curious and excited about the prospects of owning their own island. Really, could you blame them?

As long as I can remember, when I dreamed of winning the lottery an island was always on the top of the list. Along with owning the Dallas Cowboys (in that dream, I always end up with the Denver Broncos).

Simpsons’ reference aside, buying an island is probably first on the list and just above the Aston Martin.

It’s a place where you can do whatever you want.

You can be the mayor of your own island community. Installing a monorail – there’s The Simpsons again – is not outside the realm of possibility if you have the money.

I doubt you’d need approval from some council. It’s your island.

Others see it as a prime business opportunity.

Higgins figures every 60 days or so he’ll receive a call from someone interested in the island.

He’s had calls from people who see the island as an ideal place to do some farming or perhaps set up tourist camps and develop hotels.

Mostly, those looking at it from a business angle have eyes on federal or provincial funding to help with some of the cost. It usually doesn’t come through and these ideas don’t really get off the ground.

“I’d love to sell these for my clients,” said Higgins. “I’ve prided myself on handling very difficult exchanges over the years … and this would be great just to say we done it and we met the challenge.”

Keppel Island is for sure a unique opportunity for anyone.

Remember, if you’re goal in life is to be a James Bond villain, a world-class smuggler or Captain Jack Sparrow, owning an island is an integral first step to realizing your dreams.

WEBLINK: www.westernnlhouses.com.

Nicholas Mercer is the online editor with the Western Star. Keppel Island is at the top of his list for island getaways and he can be reached at nicholas.mercer@tc.tc

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