Wil­liam’s Har­bour re­lo­ca­tion mov­ing ahead

Res­i­dents say move nec­es­sary given age of pop­u­la­tion, lack of ser­vices

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - NEWS - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS

WIL­LIAM’S HAR­BOUR, NL – Bill Larkham has lived in Wil­liam’s Har­bour for most of his 76 years.

At the age of 25, he moved there from Rexon’s Cove, lo­cated on the same is­land, and has lived there ever since. But to­day, Bill, along with ev­ery other res­i­dent of the town, has agreed its time to re­lo­cate.

A news re­lease is­sued by the provin­cial gov­ern­ment last Tues­day in­di­cated 100 per cent of com­mu­nity res­i­dents who are el­i­gi­ble to re­lo­cate have taken the for­mal steps to do so, sur­pass­ing the 90 per cent thresh­old re­quired.

The prov­ince can now take ti­tle to permanent res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties and ad­vance pay­ments to res­i­dents.

Bill and Nelly Larkham are one of just six fam­i­lies per­ma­nently set­tled in Wil­liam’s Har­bour. Other fam­i­lies stay in the sum­mer and move back to nearby Port Hope Simpson, which is reach­able from the is­land by ferry in the win­ter.

Bill says he’ll miss Wil­liam’s Har­bour, but nonethe­less be­lieves it’s time to move on.

“There’s no clinic or noth­ing here like that and we’re get­ting old,” he said. “We all wants to get out now. I’m look­ing for­ward to it, we’re all look­ing for­ward to it.”

He and his wife Nelly will move to Port Hope Simpson, where they’ll have a new home. The town also has a clinic.

Lo­cal ser­vice district chair­man Ge­orge Rus­sell, who has lived in Wil­liam’s Har­bour his en­tire life, also stresses it’s im­por­tant for the town’s aging pop­u­la­tion to be lo­cated some­where with health ser­vices.

They have been pre­par­ing for the move for a few years.

Both Rus­sell and Larkham say res­i­dents will prob­a­bly be com­ing back in the sum­mer­time to do some fish­ing, pick bakeap­ples, or take care of their gar­dens. In essence, their for­mer homes will be used as cab­ins or cot­tages in the sum­mer sea­son.

Rus­sell is un­der the im­pres­sion the move will be­gin in the fall, but says he would like to have a spe­cific date from the provin­cial gov­ern­ment.

“I’d like to have the real date so that the peo­ple can get ready and get on the move,” he said. “If it comes, it’s go­ing to come pretty quick maybe. We don’t know. (You got to move) all the old gear you got built up over the year and your whole life­time. Not ev­ery­thing, but most of it got to go with you.”

The re­lo­ca­tion will cost the provin­cial gov­ern­ment ap­prox­i­mately $4 mil­lion, but will re­sult in a sav­ings of roughly $7.9 mil­lion over 20 years, the re­lease stated.

“Leav­ing home is never an easy thing to do, es­pe­cially when it’s some­where you’ve lived your en­tire life,” Chil­dren, Se­niors and So­cial De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Lisa Demp­ster, MHA for Cartwright-L’Anse au Clair, stated in the news re­lease.

The re­lo­ca­tion is be­ing un­der­taken un­der gov­ern­ment’s pre­vi­ous pol­icy as the process be­gan be­fore the pro­ce­dure was up­dated last Novem­ber.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Res­i­dents of the Town of Wil­liam’s Har­bour, seen here in the fall, will be re­lo­cat­ing, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent provin­cial gov­ern­ment news re­lease.

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