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Letter to the Editor: Foster Pennell — A True Newfoundlander

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My wife and I have been coming to Newfoundland for over a decade. We explored Carbonear and Harbour Grace, where my paternal grandparents were born and emigrated to the Boston Shore. My wife suggested Newfoundland, she had roots in childhood where her father was a US Air Force officer at Pepperrell Air Force Base in St John’s.

My wife was interested in journeying to the west coast and we decided to camp at the Blow Me Down Provincial Park in Lark Harbour. We loved Lark Harbour and vowed to return. I had seen a sign for a rental house in Lark Harbour and made arrangements to rent next year.

Barbara Pennell was handling the rental for the owner and she made sure we would have the house for next year. When we returned next year and Barbara and her husband Foster became fast friends. Nothing compares to Newfoundland hospitality. 

So we returned another year with another rental. We had told Barbara and Foster we would love to own a place in Lark Harbour. We were back home in the States when we got a call from Barbara that a place was for sale next to her house in Lark Harbour. The house was a real fixer-upper but we scraped the money together.

When we arrived at a Lark Harbour home we greeted by a sign on a picture window “Welcome Terry and Robin.” Foster and Barbara unbeknownst to us had cobbled some furniture and turned on the water. We would regale ourselves in our kitchens to our lives’ stories and misadventure. Foster would tell us tales of his various jobs in the wilds of Newfoundland. Foster introduced me to Sunrise bologna which I always bring back to the States with me. Foster was a man of many talents. Foster and Barbara were an amazing couple.

We’ve enjoyed many years in Lark Harbour and the hospitality of Foster and Barbara and the people of Lark Harbour. We’d bring treats from the States for them to enjoy. Barbara would always have us over before we left for a Jigg’s dinner. We just assumed this joy of Lark Harbour living would never end.

Foster and Barbara, along with ourselves, had become long on the tooth. Advancing years had given us all a challenge. But despite their challenges, Foster and Barbara now tethered to oxygen, their spirits never were never broken. By their example neither was ours.

We reluctantly bid them adieu last Fall. But as always, we vowed to return. I would keep in touch with Barbara by Facebook. So when we heard that Foster had passed, we were crushed.

We will always remember and love Foster, the map of Newfoundland etched on his face, remember his devotion his family.

Foster, it was an honor and a privilege to have known you. God graced us when He put you and Barbara in our life.

So we all move forward despite our loss. God, family and friends are all that matter. Foster you touched my heart and soul, I keep you there forever. God thank you for letting me have a True Newfoundlander as a dear friend.

Until we meet again in the Sweet Bye and Bye Foster — Fair winds and a following sea.

Terry Harrington

Robin Geyser, wife

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