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Column: Historic deja vu, live, up close and personal online

Dave White
Dave White - The Western Star

Citizens reporting with socially mobile tele capability are sharing views of a beached dead whale in Frenchman’s Cove as I hit my deadline this week.

That may stir up a stink in more ways than one. Dead whales are not altogether new in the outer bay, but usually not more than once every couple of decades in my time here. Yet, another story untold.

Happily retired, Gordon Payne posts silent 8 mm video clips in digital format on the internet. Showing some of work and play sociable folk in hometown Cox’s Cove were having about town in the early 1960s, stirring connections with the colourful past in real time.

None too camera shy, the children and teens seen ramping in Gord’s video are now senior citizens. Indeed, an interesting look back, and more, for sure. The silence is golden.

The Bay of Islands artifact museums of the Gillams Historical Society on the north shore and the larger Wood Island Resettlement House in Humber Arm South add to the magnificent collection of art, history and culture grown among families, participant peoples and parties through generations of stories, told and untold.

Just as Maxine Park’s McIvers Then and Now Facebook page, a personal Facebook project she’d started scanning in some old paper photographs a few years back, and which yet warrants its fair share of hits and discussion from curious onlookers.

Meanwhile, the quality of local talent never having been in doubt, just lacking grand stages to showcase it, hitting the road remains a good way to extend one’s musical reach. Go west, young man, and woman!

Live works. Just ask Cox’s Cove native Jacob Payne who is getting noticed for his bluesy western Newfoundland renditions and making it his own way covering old-time rock ’n’ country classics onstage in far west Calgary. Wearing a hat like old Hank Williams said they would, the 23-year-old former fisherman’s boy who didn’t take up guitar until his mid-teens is already garnering some star power. Primed and personable, he just recently won judges’ approval as a fan favourite at Country 105 radio’s Rising Star competition there, performing an original song, “Freight Train,” that took first prize.

Significant cash prizes and studio time stand in the mix for another local boy doing well.

Just this week, Eddie Welshman of Curling is back in the “news” as a lucky participant to another icy adventure he and a loyal friend, Scott Stone, went on in 2010 to the mountainous reaches of Western Brook Gorge.

Deja vu was found in the original newspaper article reappearing and gaining traction online throughout the day.

On their way back home the evening prior, Ed and Scott became misplaced and, running short on fuel, conceded having to spend the night outside on the cold mountaintop, even as complications from an untreated diabetes episode en route would nearly cost impromptu videographer Ed his life before the men were rescued by helicopter the next morning. Now, that wasn’t funny a second time, either.

The rebroadcast stirred up quite a few new readers’ comments.

It’s coming back, the game of the century, ever offering new hope for good causes, renewed yet again and taking off on the north shore this weekend.

It’s Chase the Ace 2018!

The Gillams Volunteer Fire Department has announced it will host a Chase the Ace lottery, beginning this Sunday, April 8, at the local community centre. Game time is 7 p.m.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at

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