EDITORIAL: What can we do to see a Canada that's better at 151 than 150?
Anniversaries are a strange thing.
©The Western Star
By grace, love, faith, hope and charity, just three days into the new year on my Tuesday deadline, McIvers looks pretty much like it has always been, a fine place to live and to grow family, friendship and fellowship.
Wild and windy at times, 2017 yet promises to be a time when bells ring out and banners fly. Weather, or not, there is indeed a plan, or three, afoot.
Otherwise, the small north Bay of Islands community is still pretty much a place where centuries onward the give and take of indigenous folk, “Old World” settlers and “New World” adventurers have later come to make better of the tidings rendered and shared amongst and between them.
And, like other places through the valleys, up the harbours, down the shores and out the bays of Newfoundland and Labrador this new year, McIvers is gearing up memorial measures, too, as well as a few other things nicely nostalgic and newly minted, in time for summer.
Albeit the 21st century, grandparents and great-grandparents still live in the same field, so to speak. Indeed, many family and friends moved away long ago to work and make a life for themselves elsewhere. Yet, already and belated, some are making their way back home to play, and to stay in their retirement.
The same field these days may just likely be an old-time potato garden which now stands in McIvers as the community playground; or, a field vicariously taking form as modern videophone connections from just across the bay or to family, friends and loved ones living Upalong (in Canada), across the Pond (Atlantic Ocean) or just about anywhere else nomadically inclined Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have come to find themselves over the decades and centuries.
In McIvers, the community of some 600 resident souls yet looks to grow latent legacy at the town’s first ever homecoming celebrations this year. Present and forthcoming, action planning for McIvers Come Home Year 2017 shifts into high gear this month as community volunteers enact final preparations for 10 days of homemade mid-summer revelry.
From family fun and musical tradition to natural history and nautical themes, preliminary directions have the local organizing committee, townsfolk and expatriate-McIverites expressing, both at home and online, a shared excitement and eager anticipation for the late July extravaganza.
Bay of Islands remains a regional community with a collective heartbeat, if you will.
Come Home Year shares its significant place in history this year with cross-pond 250th anniversary celebrations marking celebrated explorer Capt. James Cook’s first charting of the Bay of Islands’ landscapes and seascapes in 1767.
July 2017 will also be the pinnacle of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the nation’s founding in 1867.
A trio of celebrations worthy of the peoples who yet contribute heartily in making life in an otherwise troubled world a sound, safe and salient proposition.
Celebrate! Let it be.
Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.