Wake up Port Union

Kevin Curley
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Big Brother star fundraises for restoration of family home

A crowd of over 150 reality TV fans, eager teenagers and Trinity Bay North locals gathered at The Factory in Port Union on July 2.

Jon Pardy, William Pardy and Neda Kalanter.

The guests of honour were Neda Kalantar and Clarenville native Jon Pardy of Big Brother Canada season two who held a Q-and-A and meet and greet to raise funds to help the Sir William Coaker Foundations efforts to restore the childhood home of William Pardy, Jon’s grandfather.

Fans of the show were thrilled as the pair playfully answered questions about their relationship, favourite moments on the show, Pardy’s catchphrases and life inside the Big Brother house.

Pardy and Kalantar stayed around after the session to ensure every youngster got a photo and autograph.

Edith Samson of the Heritage Coaker Foundation says she was delighted to have Pardy volunteer his time to raise funds for the home, which she says has historical significance for the community.

“The house belonged to Jon Pardy’s grandfather and was his childhood home. Jon’s great grandfather, John Pardy, was an employee of the Fisherman’s Protection Union (FPU) Trading Company and he was killed in the freight elevator,” Samson told The Packet.

His wife was pregnant with her fifth child — William Pardy — Jon’s grandfather. Following the incident at The Factory Trading Company Building, Sir William Coaker signed the property over to Mrs. Pardy and it became known as the Pardy home.

“It was really unusual for the Fisherman’s Trading Union to turn over their properties to private individuals. It was kind of like worker’s compensation but, of course, there was no worker’s compensation back then. It was their way of taking care of the family,” says Samson.

The union brought John Pardy’s brother back from Boston and put him in charge of the Temperance soft drink factory to help look after the Pardy family and children.

The property remained in the Pardy family and they still own it to this day.

“They are in the process of signing a lease agreement to turn the property over to the Coaker Foundation and Jon came on board to do the fundraiser. We hope to raise enough funds to do the restoration of the foundation throughout the summer and try to get the rest of it done after,” says Samson.

Members of the Pardy family came out to cheer Jon on, including William who says he was proud of his grandson’s accomplishments and efforts to restore his old home.

“I lived there for years until I moved to Catalina in 1960. The house has been abandoned for 34 years,” says William Pardy.

He says they will be restoring the Pardy House to its original form when it was built years ago.

“We had an outdoor toilet and no indoor plumbing. We had a coal stove and coalhouse and we had a ton of coal we would bring in. They figure they are going to put it all together and make it like that again,” says William Pardy.

This was Kalantar’s first time in Newfoundland and she says she has been enjoying her time in the province.

“It gorgeous. It looks really similar to B.C. but everyone is a lot nicer. Like a lot nicer. I love it. I think I’ve lucked out with the weather it’s been gorgeous. Jon told me to bring my winter coat,” Kalantar told The Packet.

Pardy said in an interview it was great to raise some money for his grandfather’s childhood home.

“His father was big with William Coaker, so the fact that we can make some money to keep with his heritage is a blessing,” says Pardy.

Pardy says he was amazed with the turnout in Port Union and he has received nothing but great support since returning to Newfoundland.

Pardy and Kalantar are touring the province throughout this month, with a stop in Clarenville on July 25.

 

kevin.curley@thepacket.ca

Organizations: Coaker Foundation, The Packet, Big Brother house Protection Union FPU The Factory Trading Company Building Trading Union Pardy House

Geographic location: Port Union, Clarenville, Newfoundland Boston Catalina

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