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COLUMN: Baytime 'Carnivale' hallowed end to winter

Dave White
Dave White - The Western Star

Yes, it's carnival time.

Beginning and ending down the shore in Cox's Cove for a number of years, sociably acceptable and competitive hockey, general skating and lively background music come to fill the air this weekend, thereafter capping winters in March with local and area performance artists warming the turn of the season for decades in showcasing area musicians and local entertainers at end-of-winterfest talent shows there and in neighbouring McIvers as spring looms.

In between now and the Ides of March, there's a whole lot more of it, an eclectic and electric mix of celebrations of all sorts. In Corner Brook, Gillams, Meadows, Summerside-Irishtown, Hughes Brook, Massey Drive, Mount Moriah, Humber Arm South, York Harbour and Lark Harbour, around the bay and back again, ready and not waiting for spring.

Hockey is a winter theme that works well anywhere in Canada, occasioning memorial tribute, moments of youthful nostalgia, inherent fandom and personal glory tied to a national identity. Local identity, too. It all works.

This past week offered a grand opportunity for the Meadows Sport and Recreation Complex to help raise the roof over its popular outdoor hockey rink, indeed about $700 as The Western Stars outdistanced the Hometown (Meadows) Heroes in a game worthy of note on the growing Bay of Islands recreation calendar.

Indeed, too, as family, friends and fraternity pay homage to Mark Baldwin and Tommy Buffett, two local hockey heroes died young, with an annual hometown memorial tournament in their name this weekend in Cox's Cove, word is out that another widely-respected Cox's Cove player will be lacing up to compete in the event this weekend.

Indeed, Captain Kirk White has affirmed 8 sons, grandsons and great grandsons returning home from Ontario and other places seeking redemption after losing to Tommy's (Buffett) Boys in last year's championship final.

Designated proceeds from the six-team homecoming tournament at Marshall Moores Arena in Cox's Cove, supports the provision of memorial scholarships presented annually by the Baldwin and Buffett families to deserving students at the north Bay of Islands regional all-grade school in Meadows.

A collaborative volunteer effort, participation also goes to support continuing operations at the naturally-iced arena and activity programs there directed by Cox's Cove Recreation, including boys and girls minor hockey, general and family skating, and open ice night rentals.

Indeed, the pace of snow and snow-goers quicken past the January thaw as western Newfoundlanders showcase their towns and join one another, together and separately, in a growingly world-class spate of February and March indoor-outdoor festivals that typically sees winter at an end. When, if fact, it is only the beginning.

Good sport and good causes share a meaningful place in many ways in our Bay of Islands.

A merchandise bingo will be held at the Summerside Lions Hall this Sunday, Feb. 4, beginning at 2 p.m., a medical support fundraiser for Cindy Wells of Cox's Cove.

Cindy Wells is the handicapped daughter of Lily and late Benny Wells of Cox's Cove, and the benefit will help the family offset direct costs assoicated with a trip and week-long accommodations required for an important surgery.

Persons caring to make a donate or give bingo prize for the cause can do so by contacting Cindy's mom Lillian (688-2884) in Cox's Cove, sister Donna Blanchard (688-2231) in McIvers, or Jocelyn Wheeler (783-2222) for the Summerside area.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at: bayofislands2008@gmail.com.

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