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Month: April 2021

Arnold’s Cove — Through Time

Arnold’s Cove — Through Time

Early Life in Arnold’s Cove

By the latter eighteenth century or early nineteenth, someone by the name of Arnold had built a home in the cove with its requisite stages and boats tied to the wharf. In fact, some say it was a Captain Arnold who settled in the area in the late eighteenth century. No one knows for sure. In any case, fishermen sailing by would come to know it simply as Arnold’s Cove. That was enough. By 1835, the name had stuck and Arnold’s Cove appeared in the official census records of the day.

It was one of three neighbouring communities, Come By Chance and Bordeaux being the other two, which combined, listed a population of 40. And with the second census of 1845, certain names appeared including John Boutcher, Ambrose Guy, Philip Hollett, William Hollett, and Richard Hollett. Each would go on to leave a substantial mark on Arnold’s Cove.

Like many other fishermen around Placentia Bay, those of Arnold’s Cove travelled to take advantage of the bounty in the waters of Cape St. Mary’s. In time, the fishermen began to add lobster and salmon to their catches. Things were clearly looking up.

A Growing Community

Although the census records for 1845 showed a decline in the population to 32 residents, forty or so years later in 1891, the population was resting comfortably at 96. They belonged to 21 families with 23 of 38 children attending the one room school that had been built by the Church of England previously in 1863.

With the arrival of 1900, the Newfoundland Railway made a substantial change to Arnold’s Cove. Very quickly, it became one of the major stops that people coming from islands such as Long Island and Merasheen Island would take en route to the railway. Consequently, the population grew, alongside the activity of Arnold Cove’s port.

The next few decades came with various ups and downs. After a bout of overfishing, the year 1930 brought with it the collapse if the lobster fishery. Being in the depths of depression, it wasn’t a good time for anyone. Although, ten years later. The lobster fishery bounced back and life again followed its usual routines and rituals. The lobster fishery was joined by cod and herring and these also helped to form a foundation for a growing population. And by the 1940s and 1950s, that population had grown to 155 by 1945.

Coming of Resettlement

By 1965, Arnold’s Cove was a small inshore fishing community of 33 households who were served by a small Anglican church and a two-room school. Many of the fishers had held onto their fishing berths for generations and they were essentially regarded as private property. Things changed considerably when the late 1960s arrived and the era of resettlement radically transformed Newfoundland.

Although some must have trickled in during the first round of resettlements in the 1950s, by 1965, with the development of the Fisheries Household Resettlement Programme, as many as 140 families and 620 people moved to Arnolds Cove. The region was filled with the now iconic images of houses being floated to their new home in Arnold’s Cove. New residents made the sometimes sought after, at other times less welcome, move from Haystack, Little Paradise, Brookside, Isle Valen, Harbour Buffett, Gaulton’s Island, Tack’s Beach and Woody Island.

Arnold’s Cove was chosen as a “growth centre,” a scheme based on the growth pole theory which held that when people move to a particular chosen area, this will in turn generate further spin-off industries. Many would come to question this concept, as it wasn’t so cut-and-dried. While it may have been a successful venture for the provincial and federal governments, for the people, it was less so. In many instances, the growth centres such as Arnold’s Cove lacked both the infrastructure and employment opportunities that were necessary for re-settlement to be a successful one.

For the people, there was simply not enough room and the only land and marine space was largely marginal. The school was also deemed to be insufficient for the larger student body. Some re-settlers reported to the government their complaints and concerns about the entire process (the Department of Community and Social Development had sent in investigators to explore the complaints and dis-ease amongst those resettling). Some felt cheated as the amount of money they received for their homes on the islands was far less than what they were having to pay for a new home in Arnold’s Cove.

Ups and Downs

Still, in 1969, things were looking up when the National Sea Productions opened a small factory that processed and sold smoked herring, lobsters, fresh and salt cod. The establishment employed 50 full time and part time workers.

With the arrival of the 1970s came the opening of the refinery in neighbouring Come By Chance. It offered an alternative of wages rather than the often hard-won takings to be had from fishing. After all, it was steady work, absent of the uncertainties that defined the fishery.

Unfortunately, bankruptcy was snapping at the heels of the refinery and in 1976, it succumbed, leaving a real estate market that was laid to waste. Ultimately, it resulted in some having to abandon their new homes and try to start a new life elsewhere. Although, things started to look up in 1989, when the refinery re-opened under new owners, a reality that would go on to define its future.

Meanwhile, as of 1991, the fish processing plant owned by Nationals Sea Products Ltd was functioning at its full capacity. Workers had also begun preliminary work on a large concrete base intended for an offshore production platform nearby to Arnold’s Cove. The future seemed to be welcoming the community with open arms. But things were to change.

The world shuddered as the fishing community sustained sometimes life threatening wounds. As with countless other communities dotted along the coast of Newfoundland, Arnold’s Cove was dealt a significant blow with the moratorium in 1993 for Placentia Bay (NAFO 3Ps).

As with the entire Placentia Bay, the fishers had to contend with a substantial loss, one that would usher in considerable change. Some fishers in Arnold’s Cove would be among the 30,000 people who were bereft of not only work, but a centuries-old way-of-life. Countless reasons abound for the tragedy. They include changes in technology, insufficient and inaccurate regulations yielding overestimates and errors in stock assessments, as well as illegal fishing and overexploitation of the fishery zones. It was a steep hill to climb after 1993.

For the Future

Since this time, Arnold’s Cove has managed to grow and thrive. The town eventually arrived at a point when they could benefit from the proximity to several large industrial sites. These included the Bull Arm construction site, the North Atlantic Refining Ltd. Oil refinery, as previously mentioned, in Come By Chance and the Newfoundland Transshipment terminal, Arnold’s Cove.

Each have provided a valuable workplace for those residing in Arnold’s Cove. The Bull Arm Fabrication Site has been functioning since the early 1990s. Of late, it has run into hard times with the arrival of Covid-19 and the cutting changes the virus has wrought world-wide. However hopes remain alive for the Terra Nova Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) that now sits dockside at the Bull Arm fabrication facility

Located in Come By Chance, the North Atlantic Refining Ltd. Oil refinery has also been a choice work location for a good number of residents of Arnold’s Cove over the years. Due to the recent decline in the call for petroleum products, it has had to ramp down its production. The refinery has been placed in a “warm idle” which means that at least some of the jobs would remain open. However, things are not looking good and there have already been lawsuits levelled against the owner (NARL Refining LP) for improper notice being given for the lay-off of several employees.

Finally, situated in Whiffen Head, the Newfoundland Transshipment terminal is another important employment centre for the people of Arnold’s Cove. It employs 12 people while another 20 Canship Ugland employees work on two purpose-built escort and firefighting tugs.

Arnold’s Cove is regarded as the “Gateway to Placentia Bay” and unquestionably takes this moniker seriously. It will always be proud of its heritage. At the same time, despite the challenges it may encounter, Arnold’s Cove will strive to take a prominent role in the future.

Sources:, (Decks Awash)

Reconstituting Rural Communities and Economies: The Newfoundland Fisheries Household Resettlement Program, 1965 – 1970, Withers, George, 2016,,

Sharing is Caring

Sharing is Caring

How about cooking and delivering a meal to a friend who needs it? They may be elderly and can’t always make a good and healthy meal every day. Sometimes, they might be very busy, at the moment, with a new baby or a sick family member. They just need a break … Whether you already do this or it’s a new idea, always know that this act of kindness will be a welcomed relief and allows you to give a gift of joy.

Gooseberry Cove

Gooseberry Cove

Nowadays, anyone visiting Gooseberry Cove Provincial Park would never believe that it was once a settlement. In the nineteenth century, Gooseberry Cove was home to several families with roots in Ireland. The Doyle family arrived around the year 1840 and almost 35 years later, there were farmers working the land and fishermen harvesting the riches of the sea. Most were no doubt related to the original Doyle family.

Gooseberry Cove was never a major settlement and its population peaked during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The McAlpine’s Directory from 1894 to 1897 listed four Doyle families and one Dalton family. By 1921, McAlpine’s Directory noted the presence of five families who still resided in Gooseberry Cove. With the arrival of 1935, only ten people remained and by 1958, the last remaining inhabitant, Richard Dalton, left Gooseberry Cove, moving to Patrick’s Cove a little to the north.

Time marches on and Gooseberry Cove is now a welcoming provincial park. The wide sandy beach with the waves crashing on shore beckon anyone visiting the beach to simply delight in the pleasure of the moment. There are picnic tables in case anyone is in the mood to enjoy a meal to the serenade of the waves. Otherwise, Gooseberry Cove Provincial Park offers an unrivalled view of Placentia Bay which on a clear day is a breathtaking sight to behold.

Celebrating Earth Day

Celebrating Earth Day

The 22nd April, Earth Day, is today. So, it’s one of the best times of the year for a Random Act of Kindness that involves being kind to yourself, your neighbours and the environment, as a whole. How about taking some time — from five to fifty minutes — to pick up some garbage that’s littering the sides of the road or on the beach? Throw it into the bin to be discarded or recycled and smile knowing that your act of kindness has made a difference!

It’s Worth Your While

It’s Worth Your While

The Idea of Self-Worth

How many of us put ourselves down, sometimes without thinking? It’s just habit. We’re either not smart enough, slim enough, pretty enough, or accomplished enough. We’re generally not enough of something.

Well, self-worth turns that on its head. It’s a feeling that, as the dictionary explains, “you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect.” So, if you have a feeling of self-worth, you very much are enough of everything. But you see, that’s just it. Having self worth can be a surprisingly difficult quality to possess.

Self-worth isn’t quite like self esteem, even though the two are often used interchangeably. If you are held in great esteem you are judged to be of high regard, great respect or prized for your value. Thus, your self esteem is the esteem you place in yourself for doing something — some trade or profession, for instance. In contrast, self worth can be simply understood as the importance we place in ourselves. It’s more of a fundamental and core quality. And it’s very important.

What It’s Not

Many people understand their self worth as hinging on several qualities. For some, it’s all about their status in life or the material things they have accumulated such as a flashy car or the latest, fully-equipped SUV. Maybe it’s about having a top quality entertainment system in a big house done up with all the furnishings. But it’s not about that at all. What you drive, where you live, or what you do in the evening is not who you are.

For others, we tie our self worth to our career. That’s why some people would prefer a “white collar” job to a “blue collar” one. And if you happen to be a trades-person, some would automatically regard such a job below, say that of a lawyer or a doctor. Not so. What you do has no effect on your self-worth. For instance, we may have been trained as an engineer, but having moved to another country, the only job we can find is as a taxi driver. If so, this has no effect on your self worth. We are the same person we’ve always been.

What about everything we’ve accomplished? How many certificates, degrees or diplomas to you have on the walls in your home? It’s wonderful to be able say what we’ve accomplished. But in no way does it measure our self-worth as a person. Maybe we don’t have a single slip of paper to say we’ve completed any degree or diploma. Regardless, we may know a lot and so, in the end, it doesn’t matter. Because what you know is part of who you are. Not what you have decorating your walls.

How about our age? Too many of us attribute our self-worth to not only our age, but more specifically to our youth. Some of us choose clothing that hopefully won’t “date” us. And far too many of us find countless ways to change our appearance in order to look younger. But the reality is our self worth has nothing to do with our age. What matters is our commitment and dedication to whatever we choose to do regardless of our age. Because when you have a passion for something you’re doing, your age will soon disappear. A great violinist is a great violinist. We don’t care how old he or she happens to be.

Finally, a lot of us are lost if we don’t happen to be in a relationship. We feel that if we are with another person, it will make us feel valuable and worthy. And it may be so. Certainly it feels so invigorating to be showered with gifts or told how wonderful we are as a person. However, it is a mistake to tie our self-worth to what another person is doing or saying. What if it were to stop? The relationship may not last or the other person may pass away. Our feelings of self worth need to be born of how we feel about ourselves.

What It is

There are countless other qualities we use to define our self-worth—our finances, our health status, our relatives. The key to our self-worth is often in our self-awareness, our understanding traits, feelings, behaviours and our character. There was always an old saying you may know, “To thine own self be true.” What are our strengths and weaknesses? What are our favourite passions? Is it a hobby or perhaps it’s playing a musical instrument? And there’s no need to actually be the best at your favourite hobby of choice or playing that instrument. Maybe you love playing trivia games. You’re certainly not the greatest and most of the time you’re just laughing with everyone else. Again, it doesn’t matter. If you love doing it, that’s enough. It’s part of who you are.

The fact of the matter is our self-worth is ironically the simplest and easiest quality to uphold and hone. It is who we are when we strip away all of the stuff we build up around ourselves. It’s just us.




It’s largely free of charge and doesn’t take much effort. Just look up, after all. The stars that nightly decorate our skies may be often overlooked. And unless there is some attention-getting eclipse or an oddly-coloured moon, we rarely give it much of our thought. But the sky has more to offer than many of us realise.

Many of us labour under the stresses caused at work or in our home-life. Anxiety is our best friend as we agonise over potential job-loss or a disagreement with a spouse or friend. But did you realise that merely looking through a window or stepping out on a warm summer’s night, we can find relief by simply looking to the stars.

The stars have played a role in our lives for many thousands of years. In particular, astrology has been dated to the 2nd millennium BCE. Since that time, astrologers from numerous origins—including Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, and China—have read the stars. As they do now, they have then been able to give insight and meaning to our lives.

While this search for meaning in the skies above is a clear source of solace for many, the stars offer a far simpler comfort and relief simply by virtue of their presence. For when we gaze up at the stars, we are undeniably in the presence of greatness.

And that’s just it. When we take time to look up into the stars, we can only sigh knowing that we are a part of something far greater than ourselves. Doing so changes our perspective. Suddenly, we feel so insignificant and likewise the problems we may have just spent the day agonising over all similarly seem so small and unimportant in the great scheme of things. Because that “great scheme” is now the universe that’s laid out before us. After all, how can you even just look at the craters of the moon, a planetary body that is, on average, about 384,400 km away, and not be overwhelmed. It’s inconceivable.

Looking upwards brings other benefits. Just simply the act of pausing to gaze means we are being forced to slow our pace. Ever so gently, we may place our eye against the lens of a binoculars or telescope. Then, very still, we turn the mechanism to ensure the best resolution and afterwards, the universe unfolds before us.

The stars have yet other benefits to grant to our mental well-being. Think about when you’re falling asleep or when we step into the shower. It’s at this time when our subconscious mind stretches and awakens. Our creative minds and our rich and eager-to-be-fulfilled imaginations have been locked away. But now they are released. In much the same way, when we look to the stars, the doors open wide for our creativity to emerge. At these times, the troubles that have been dogging our heels incessantly throughout the week are quietened and our imagination is given centre stage.

So, the next time it’s a clear night, take a moment to explore the sky with its abundant scattering of stars. Drink it in, knowing that you are one small part, no less significant, of something immense. Most importantly, be at peace with this knowledge.

Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks Municipal Heritage Site

Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks Municipal Heritage Site

Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks hearken to the world that existed during the Cambrian Period, nearly 500 millions years ago. At that time, Newfoundland and Labrador was a very different place. These rocks developed by the layering of sand, silt and mud deposits where the skeletons of the primitive animals that lived on the sea bed and swam in the water have been frozen in time.

The Branch Cove Fossiliferous Rocks can be found, frozen in time, embedded in the cliffs and shore exposures beginning at the high-water mark at Branch Head at the south entrance of Branch Cove to Easter Cove. The area between contains the geological layers and locations of the fossiliferous rocks including those at the Green Gulch, Wester Cove.

Already in the latter part of the nineteenth century, James Howley and Alexander Murray, two geologists of Newfoundland and Labrador who visited Branch during a survey noted the fossils that have been richly preserved in the rock. However, it was in 1959 when the site was first studied.

This geological gift has been accordingly noted by Canada’s Historic Places for its value to the heritage of the community, province and country as a whole. The significance of these fossiliferous rocks is unquestionable as they are regarded to be the only such rocks in Newfoundland and Labrador. Moreover, the sequence of rocks is also considered to be of international importance. They are an undeniable treasure.

Pathway to Wholeheartedness

Pathway to Wholeheartedness

Brené Brown is a researcher who tells stories about people’s lives. She possesses a deep understanding of how we relate to ourselves and one another and has spoken on TED Talks twice, here and here. It’s worth your while to take a look. And here are a few of her words on spirituality and wholeheartedness. Enjoy!

“Spirituality emerged as a fundamental guidepost in Wholeheartedness. Not religiosity but the deeply held belief that we are inextricably connected to one another by a force greater than ourselves–a force grounded in love and compassion. For some of us that’s God, for others it’s nature, art, or even human soulfulness. I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.”

The Placentia Area Development Association — A Goal in Mind

The Placentia Area Development Association — A Goal in Mind

As it so often does, life presented the Placentia Area Development Association (PADA) with a simple problem. Either you change or you go down. It’s your choice. Well, PADA made their decision and the result has been close to a re-birth.

PADA is a not for profit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that is comprised of a democratically elected volunteer Board of Directors whose mandate is to drive social and economic development of the area and region.

Dealing With the Challenges

Like the rest of the world, Covid presented PADA with numerous additional challenges. However, even before Covid, the writing was on the wall. Already Tiffany Hepditch, the Executive Director and only full-time employee of PADA, along with the board, were fighting a losing game. The days of core funding for rural development groups like PADA had been discontinued and many Rural Development Agency’s didn’t survive. But PADA has.

PADA is well known in the region for their sponsorship and facilitation of federally and provincially funded programs. These are largely focused on skills development and employment strategies for those actively seeking employment, but are struggling to do so.

Likewise these projects also generate economic spin-offs for local businesses. All the funding is reinvested back into the business community through local spending. Still, while these initiatives are considerably extremely beneficial to the community, the financial kickback to PADA is minimal.

Finding A Way Forward

Since its inception in the early 1970s, PADA had always been largely focussed on programmes that stimulated the economy. PADA has been involved in a vast amount of development activities. But following a Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW) programme, where they took seniors and re-immersed them into the labour-market, things began to change. The approach of PADA became more concentrated on the social-cultural needs of the people who participated. And having done the TIOW, they were left wondering “what else can we do?” Tiffany explained how initiatives such as TIOW were “based on a need from the community. And once we did it, it was like people were knocking on our door.”

PADA responded and placed more attention toward providing projects that served the community. Tiffany explained how “that’s where we are and so it’s more a response to the community as a whole. People come in still and say, ‘when are you doing another computer training course?’ or ‘when are you doing another paint class?’

Always with their eye on the community they serve, PADA realised the community was craving programmes that were more focused on the social aspect and inclusiveness. However, at the same time, PADA is hyper aware of the importance of its role to the economic grindstone of the community. They will continue to inject money into their community through programs and projects. Through these initiatives, PADA are able to, on average, employ 50 people annually. PADA Board and staff have always felt that PADA is a group built upon the heart of the community. They like to say they don’t provide a hand-out, but rather a hand up.

PADA’s efforts and evolution since the early seventies have clearly been no small achievement. In addition to their sponsorship of projects focused on social and economic development, they work in partnership to facilitate a children’s summer recreation program. They operate the Argentia Sunset RV Park in partnership with the Port of Argentia. PADA is also involved with salmon enumeration activities at Northeast River.

Determined to Survive

The challenge that lies ahead is survival, especially after the economic impacts of Covid. It is the only alternative if PADA is to continue serving their community. Luckily, they are up for the challenge, much as they have always been.

The organization is shifting to meet the evolving needs of their community and region and are actively seeking opportunities to improve the economic and social well-being of the community. In the end, that’s what it is really all about. As Tiffany explains, we are really lucky in Placentia. There’s a lot happening in the area and PADA has an exceptional partnership among stakeholders who are always striving to do more and to do better to accomplish the common vision.

Perhaps the only downfall is that more often than not, it is short-term. So, when a particular project has run its course, everything is packed up until another project is found. Tiffany explains that such an outcome doesn’t take away from the unquestionable benefits of short-term projects. However, the ultimate goal would be sustainability of these types of initiatives year round. Many would note how to be ongoing is a great idea, but show them the money.

Surviving and Thriving

Tiffany’s response is a feeling there has actually been almost a “co-dependency on funding.” In response, she explains how PADA is shifting away from the need for funding and the idea that if there is no funding, the project can’t go ahead. Her response would be, ‘well, why not?’

She notes it can be easy to find “the ten reasons why we think we’ll have a problem instead of talking about the one reason we can get past it to get to the solution. I find that’s where we can all get caught up sometimes. I think that’s normal.” Still, in order to accomplish their goal towards serving their community, PADA needs to side-step the invariable obstacles. And they’ve learned they can. Tiffany explains, “it’s just about being willing to take a leap and being super creative in how we do it.”

There’s a line from a song “Fallen Man’s Daughter” that encapsulates the plight of PADA since inception: “Balance your goals, turn your back to the cold and move forward.” According to Tiffany, that’s exactly what she and her board have been doing. And it’s very much what they will continue to do.

Source: Tiffany Hepditch

The Present Moment

The Present Moment

Do yourself a favour and take a moment to heed the words of Eckhart Tolle. He tells us to “Realise deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life. Now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”