This is a big year for Arnold’s Cove.
The excitement has been building for several years in the community over the prospect of celebrating the 50th anniversary of resettlement, and last night’s opening ceremonies gave residents a taste of what is to come over the next year.
Over 300 people were in attendance at Tricentia Academy to hear songs, recitations, and readings about resettlement in Placentia Bay.
Fay Matthews, co-chair of the 2016 resettlement committee, said the night was a success and all feedback has been positive.
“We had a broad selection and we involved young people as well as people from the islands and I think that brought people together,” Matthews told The Packet.
The goal of the opening ceremonies was to let people know what signature events are planned for the year and to give a preview of what they will entail.
“It was to give a taste of what type of music will occur at a certain event or even the type of storytelling and to show we have an older generation that plays music and tells stories but we also have a young generation,” she said.
The Tricentia Academy choir and the traditional group of Leeland and Baxter Wareham and Linda Byrne, performed music throughout the night including Out From St. Leonard’s and a song written by Leeland Wareham’s mother called Many Years Later.
High school student Katelyn Snook performed a monologue with dialogue taken from one of the books of Ray Guy, a noted humourist born in Placentia Bay.
Snook has been working with Agnes Walsh, who will serve as artistic director for the year.
“Katelyn learned the piece from one of Ray’s books and put her interpretation on it; I think she did a fine job,” says Matthews.
Walsh also performed a monologue, a Jack Tale from Placentia Bay. A Jack Tale is a series of stories similar to a fairy tale or Grimm’s tale in that they had adventure and humour and usually ended with a moral, says Matthews.
“They’ve become very popular because they’ve been passed down by word of mouth,” says Matthews.
The night also had a 15-minute excerpt from a feature length documentary made by local resident John Tolson.
Tolson is a former British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) employee who created the documentary based on the stories of resettlement in the area.
This was the audience’s first look at the film and those in attendance were clearly amazed to see themselves on the big screen as the auditorium frequently broke out into laughter.
The Stories of Resettlement year will have at least one event per month and Matthews says the opening ceremonies were a great indicator of what’s to come.