Tidy Towns

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Tidy Towns' judges visited Long Island again this year on July 21. After several hours of trying to figure out when a ferry would actually be available to take them across the Tickle, they got here at 12:30 p.m.Edwena Kavanaugh, Holyrood and Gerry White of Manuels, volunteers with Tidy Towns, made the trek to Long Island. After a complimentary lunch the judges visited The Long Island Co-Op Heritage Centre, the Beothuk Hiking Trail, the Beaumont United Cemetery and the old Anglican Cemetery. They then took a drive all around the island enjoying the beautiful scenery that our town has to offer. Edwena and Gerry loved our little corner of the world and expressed that our government should become more active in a concrete (funding) way to preserve and present everything that places like ours have to offer to tourists.

Screech In

A Newfoundland and Labrador screech in took place at "Da Shed in The Garden" Long Island on Wednesday, July 28.

Every Newfoundlander knows what a "Screech In" ceremony is all about. It is the only way that those not lucky enough to be born a Newfoundlander can become as close as possible to being a Newfoundlander, without having to die and be reincarnated as a Newfoundlander.

Those who survive the ceremony will be forever known as honourary Newfoundlanders. Some of the requirements for the ceremony: The "Screech In" ceremony can only be preformed by a natural-born Newfoundlander, a real fish (traditionally a cod), a Sou'Wester and a bottle of Screech.

Jenna Foster, formally a 'Flatlander' from Saskatchewan, now residing in Lloydminister, fell in love with NL, especially Long Island, in her recent visit and bravely consented to be screeched in.

The ceremony hosts (the natural-born Newfoundlanders), Sheila Colbourne, Christine Heath and Andy Colbourne had their victim (oops I mean friend), Jenna Foster, stand in front of the group of witnesses. She had to repeat several Newfoundland sayings and be educated on what they meant, such as "a great day on clothes,' which means it's a good day to dry clothes on the outdoor clothes line.

Jenna was then given traditional Newfoundland fare and was ordered to eat a piece of hard tack, a piece of Newfie steak (bologna) a medicine cup full of molasses and washed down by a shot of NL screech. She mastered that and repeated three times with great difficulty, "Long May Your Big Gib Draw." After donning a suit of rubber clothes and her Sou'Wester, Andy presented the cod for the kiss.

The host and witnesses have final say on whether the kiss is sufficient to continue. In rare cases, two or more kisses have to be performed. Jenna did it on the first try. Amidst much hilarity, the final test was to place both feet in a bucket of iceberg ice to wash off the mainland dirt.

Having proven herself to be tough, brave, resilient and possessing the ability to laugh at herself she was presented with her "Screech In" certificate and welcomed into the Royal Order of Screechers.

After a visit from the Mummers, Jenna is now a Honourary Newfoundlander. All the best to you Jenna and come back very soon.

Transportation

A meeting of all provincially run ferry users on the island portion of the province was held at the Gander Town Hall on Wednesday, July 28. Arranged by The Little Bay Islands Transportation Committee, chair Jim Forward, representatives from Long Island, Little Bay Islands, St. Brendan's, Fogo, Change Islands and Ed Kent (by teleconference), Bell Island attended.

The main goal of this gathering is to re-establish the former provincially funded Provincial Ferry Users Committee, which was disbanded by the former Minister of Transportation, Trevor Taylor.

Once established, the committee's goal is to work with government to move toward a more user-friendly ferry service; to move towards a more service oriented system in much the same way as the province is looking to Marine Atlantic.

There are common problems being experienced by all ferry users in the province and it is hoped that by the various committees having input and dialogue with the Department of Transportation many of the daily operation problems can be sorted out.

In addition to the common operational problems being experienced by ferry users in the province, Long Island is in the unique position of moving from the best ferry transportation service in the province to a skeleton of its former service. In keeping with its mission and vision statements government's Department of Transportation has announced and is actively working on improving ferry service to 13 of its 14 communities served by a ferry on the island portion of the province. Only one community of the 14, Long Island, has had the announcement from government that its ferry service will experience extreme downgrades.

Government has announced that Long Island will no longer have a dedicated ferry in Long Tickle and that Long Island's five-minute access to emergency ambulance service will now be extended to 45-90 minutes from a combined ferry service with Little Bay Islands.

Historically, a ferry from across the bay has not been able to get to us for periods of time - up to 14 days due to geography and climate. And government has announced that there will be no ferry at the Long Island dock in the nighttime leaving its citizens needlessly vulnerable. Out of the 14 communities served by a ferry, Long Island ranks third, behind Bell Island and Fogo Island, in the number of passengers and vehicles transported.

Hopefully, as this provincial committee becomes established we will work together to not only solve the common operational problems being experienced but will be able to impress upon government the need and the right for improvements not downgrades for any community to transportation services, Long Island included.

Organizations: Department of Transportation, Royal Order of Screechers.After, The Little Bay Islands Transportation Committee Provincial Ferry Users Committee

Geographic location: Long Island, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan Bell Island Little Bay Change Islands Long Tickle Fogo Island

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