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A Packet of past - May 31

The Packet is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018.
The Packet is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Looking back at the stories that made the headlines

As The Packet marks its 50th anniversary this year, we offer readers a look back at the local stories that made the news.


10 years ago

June 1, 2008, edition.

Coaker Foundation receives $1.6 million to draw new business

Bruce Sweetland, chair of the Sir Wiliam F. Coaker Foundation, and Loyola Hearn Minister responsible for Newfoundland and Labrador, at the Fishermen’s Protective Union factory in Port Union on Saturday, May 31. - Packet file photo

The waterfront in Port Union will be a busy construction zone over the next year or so as the Coaker Foundation prepares to welcome a new business to the area.

Canada’s Original Iceberg Water Corporation, based in Toronto, intends to set up shop in a building that was once part of the Fishermen’s Union Trading Company.

Situated alongside the restored Factory — the building from which Sir William Ford Coaker published a newspaper and ran a woodworking business — the building will be the site of a water bottling plant

David Sacks is the company president.

In an interview from Toronto he explained, “Basically we’re going to be opening up a state-of-the-art bottled water plant.”

It will produce bottled water for export and for supply to the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Board for its Iceberg Vodka product.

The Iceberg Water plan is coming to fruition thanks to funding to the Sir William Coaker Heritage Site.

That group has been working for years to restore the properties that were building when Coaker came to Port Union in 1910 to set up the Fishermen’s Union Trading Company.

Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, was in Port Union on Saturday to official announced $1.6 million for restoration of the old retail store/fish plant.


20 Years ago

June 1, 1998, edition

Education minister confused over anger from Southern Harbour

Parents, teachers and students protested a decision by the school board to maintain the status quo in the eastern region.

It’s not something education minister Roger Grimes is used to: parents protesting over a decision to remain status quo.

So when parents from Southern Harbour showed up at the House of assembly last Thursday, and staged a protest in front of Confederation Building, Grimes was confused.

“My comment to the group yesterday was that I am genuinely confused that I was faced with a protest from parents who were opposed to maintaining status quo in their community. Instead they demonstrated and lobbied insisting that they get an opportunity to bus their children from K-6 out of the community, which has never happened before.”

(The province had just announced that it would keep three schools open in the Sunnyside to Southern Harbour area, rather than going to two. The initial plan had been to close the school in Sunnyside, use St. Michael’s in Arnold’s Cove as a K-6 School and send high school students from the region to Southern Harbour. Then the school board decided to shelve that plan, because indications were that funding would be approved soon for a new school for that entire area).

Parents at Southern Harbour, however, supported the two-school system

Alphonsus Best of Southern Harbor said the plan for a two-school system made sense from a financial, infrastructure and education perspective.

And parents hoped it would lead to improved educational programs for children. At the time, high school students in Southern Harbour had to do programs by distance education.

Best argued that the decision to maintain the status quo of three schools would affect the education of local children.

“We don't have the programs in three small schools that you can have in two. Anyone knows that. It’s common sense,” he said.

Best said he was so “pissed off” by the decision that he would campaign for anyone who ran against the local MHA, Liberal Percy Barrett, in the next election.


30 Years Ago

May 30, 1988, edition

Cabot Collegiate Graduation

Nicole Walsh and Chris L. Abbott cut the graduation cake at Cabot Collegiate’s graduation celebrations for the Class of ’88.

40 Years ago

June 1, 1978, edition

Elias Pardy completes walk

Mayor Merlin Mills (left) of Shoal Harbour, Elias Pardy and Deputy Mayor Fred Best (right) of Clarenville.

Sixty-five-year-old Elias Pardy, walking under difficult circumstances, completed a walk last week from his home in Shoal Harbour, to Catalina and Back to the Clarenville Shopping Centre.

The walk involved 130 miles and was undertaken by Mr. Pardy to coincide with his 65th birthday and to raise funds for a special piece of equipment for the proposed regional hospital for the area.

Mr. Pardy’s walk was interrupted when his wife became involved in a traffic accident.

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