Former Massey Drive woman home after 50 years

Cory Hurley
Published on August 4, 2014

The more things change, the more it remains the same.

That is how Colleen Hoffing, nee Greening, feels about her hometown of Massey Drive.

It was basically one street when she left it 50 years ago to make a life for herself in Ontario at the age of 15.

She married, had five children, and until earlier this spring remained there the rest of her life. She now has 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She made the life she wanted.

However, there was always something missing. Home.

“I can cry just talking about it,” Hoffing said, while attending the Massey Drive Come Home Year celebrations Saturday.

Never after heading out alone to make her life did she return, but she always thought about it. Now, she and her husband have returned. She wanted and tried to find a place in Massey Drive, but they are living in Corner Brook.

Hoffing said she still distinctly remembers the May day she peaked over the hill overlooking Corner Brook. She said the return to Newfoundland didn’t seem real until she saw the smoke bellowing from the mill, where many of her family members earned their livings.

“I could have just cried,” she said. “I could still see as the way it used to look.”

As for Massey Drive, the town has boomed in recent years. Subdivisions have gone up around just about every corner. While its appearance is quite different, it still feels the same to Hoffing.

“It is still home,” she said. “It is so built up and it has changed so much.”

Hoffing attended the two-room St. Luke’s School and remembers having a great childhood. She fondly recalls swimming and skating at Tipping’s Pond, sledding down the hill and the dances at the hall.

“It was a good life,” she said. “I remember the freedom. We never had anything to be afraid of.”

She said she has had a great time at the come home year celebration, meeting old friends and reminiscing.