Tuesday, July 20, 2010

‘Newfoundland today is like a fisherman with a boat to sell’

Blasts from NL’s past

July 1911

“Dear Mr. Editor — I say that the sealing trip is a very hard and rough place for a poor man to spend a month and a half. I myself have been going to the seal fishery many years, but I think this spring was the worse one I ever spent. We had not much grub to cook this spring. Our tea and pork ran out. I was speaking to a man the other day and I asked him what he made. He said not much, we had a lot of damaged skins. It’s a strange thing about those damaged skins. I wonder what merchants does with the damaged skins? The say they don’t get anything for them. I can’t see how that is. If they don’t get anything for them it’s a wonder they don’t give a poor man his part of them. They might do to make a boot, or a cuff, or something that is needful for himself. Fishermen, never mind; the day of freedom is drawing near. We have been the chicken long enough, but we will be the hen then; and the chickens will come around us.” Signed, A SEALER.

The fisherman’s Advocate, Port Union.

July 1922

“The people thought it was kettles boiling over.”

— Resident of Cartwright, when the first airplane flew over the community. Free Press, St. John’s.

July 1948

“Newfoundland today is like a fisherman with a boat to sell. He knows he can get $50.00 for the boat from the man across the road. But further down the road there is a man who, from all reports, is willing to pay twice as much for the boat. Does the fisherman sell the boat for $50.00 without first seeing what the man down the road is prepared to offer? He does not. He uses his bargaining power, he talks to the man who can offer him twice as much. That’s why Newfoundlanders will return Responsible Government on July 22 so that we can send a delegation to Washington to get Economic Union with the U.S., which offers the greatest advantages to Newfoundland and Newfoundlanders.”

The Independent, St. John’s.


July 2005

“When I die, I’m going to be 110 years old and shot by a jealous husband.”

— Dick Nolan, Newfoundland’s first Juno nominee who’s best known for Aunt Martha’s Sheep. He passed away five months later in December 2005, The Independent.

“Lots of people are homeless … it’s interesting to me that people don’t think it’s here because it’s so persuasive.”

— Jim Crockwell, Choices for Youth shelter co-ordinator, The Independent.

July 2006

“The fact that Canada was party to such an inglorious act is something of which Canadians everywhere have little reason to be proud.”

— The late Walter Carter, on Confederation, The Independent.

“Ten years ago hot tubs were not common items; now they’re like backyard couches.”

— Greg Butler, owner of Bubba’s Tubs, The Independent.

July 2007

“It’s not that the potential is not right here, because it is. But again, as we have seen in the past, we, for some reason, have an innate ability to be able to screw things up.”

— Memorial University economist Wade Locke on the future of oil production, The Independent.

“Sadly, the annual Royal St. John’s Regatta is becoming North America’s oldest continuing social event.”

Independent columnist Don Power.

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