Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’
My wife, Nicki, and I were lucky enough to spend two weeks in Newfoundland this summer. We had heard stories from all who had visited of the enormity of the space, the beauty of the land and the warmth of the people. This I can confirm from first hand experience now. It’s a magical part of our wonderful country and I would highly recommend it as a destination.
As well as the above memories, I have two very distinct experiences that I’d like to share. The first was of a visit to the Insectarium (shown above) in the miniscule town of Deer Lake. It’s located near Gross Morne National Park and it’s truly in the middle of nowhere. The founder, Lloyd Hollett, used to be a forestry technician and he had a passion for insects and for public education and he decided to build this museum on a bit of a whim and with a passion that I can only describe as all-consuming. He raised the money for this museum himself and has shared his passion with more than 200,000 visitors since it was founded in 1998.
I can just imagine the conversation with his wife when he broached the idea of mortgaging their lives to build an Insectarium in the middle of nowhere. Nothing could stop him from his dream.
The other image that sticks with me is the picture above of a house being relocated by boat. In the 1950′s and early 60′s many remote Newfoundland out port communities were forced to move to more accessible locations under a government program called ‘Resettlement’.
Hundreds of Newfoundlanders, who had built their homes alongside their grandfathers and fathers, refused to abandon them and rebuild. So, by barge, boat, blood and sweat they moved. Across bays and around capes family homes were floated to their new foundations and new beginnings.
The Newfoundlanders are a remarkably resilient people. They weather storms, literally and metaphorically, and find ways to move on with their lives. The Newfie spirit is alive and kicking.
We can learn from it.