Shar­ing lime­light


If Gover­nor John Guy was Cupids’ most renowned res­i­dent, in neigh­bour­ing Bri­gus that dis­tinc­tion be­longs to Capt. Bob Bartlett, who had his time in the lime­light last year (2009). The renowned nav­i­ga­tor is now re­mem­bered in a new ex­hibit at Hawthorne Cot­tage.

To the vet­eran moose hunter, the mis­take is bla­tantly ob­vi­ous and re­gret­table. How­ever, to peo­ple with lit­tle if any knowl­edge of the an­i­mal, the er­ror may be more dif­fi­cult to spot.

Nugget the Moose, who stands be­side the sign, Klondyke Ho­tel, on Wa­ter Street in Bay Roberts, may ap­pear to be in mint con­di­tion. But looks can be deceiving. “Most peo­ple look at the moose as if he’s the way he’s sup­posed to be,” said Ray Butt, owner of the busi­ness. “But when we went to put the antlers on him, (we dis­cov­ered) they were back­wards.” Butt and his friends knew the dif­fer­ence. “ We were say­ing, ‘No, no. That’s not the way they go,’” Butt added.

To his cha­grin, there was no easy way to rec­tify the er­ror.

“ You can’t change the antlers. They came with dow­els in them, and they had to be in­serted that way,” Butt ex­plained.

If Nugget were a live moose be­ing chased in the woods, he wouldn’t fare so well, Butt sug­gested.

“Moose use their antlers for go­ing through the woods. They throw back their head and plow their way through the woods, in the event some­one is af­ter them with a 303. If this poor lit­tle thing had to go through the woods, he’d be caught up,” Butt said with a laugh.

Built anatom­i­cally in­cor­rect or not, Nugget is a big draw­ing card for the ho­tel.

“I wanted to make a land­mark for peo­ple, to give them di­rec­tions to the ho­tel,” Butt said.

When tourists ask di­rec­tions to his ho­tel, he tells them to turn down Wa­ter Street and drive un­til they see a moose on the right hand side of the road.

In­quir­ing minds then chuckle, as if to say, “a moose isn’t go­ing to be there by the time we get there.”

The stately Nugget has faith­fully ad­ver­tised the Klondyke Ho­tel for al­most three years.

Ini­tially, Butt wanted to place a horse out­side his es­tab­lish­ment. But he set­tled on a moose in­stead.

“A moose is more of a New­found­land at­trac­tion,” he ex­plained. “ When it comes to tourism, the moose is what peo­ple come to see.”

Butt went on­line and placed an or­der with a builder of life-sized an­i­mals in Chicago.

The re­sult is a hol­low, fi­bre­glass moose, at­tached to steel plates in the ground by alu­minium shoes pulled over his hoofs.

Not sur­pris­ingly, pedes­tri­ans and mo­torists do a dou­ble-take when they first spot Nugget, es­pe­cially around dawn or dusk.

One woman, out for an early morn­ing walk, caught the moose in the corner of her eye, Butt said.

“ She went up through the lane like you wouldn’t be­lieve,” Butt added.

Her hus­band was about to shoot the an­i­mal with his cam­era when he ex­claimed, “ that’s not mov­ing!”

Nugget got his name late in 2009, in a name-the-moose con­test at Holy Redeemer Ele­men­tary school, Spa­niard’s Bay. An­thony Yet­man, a Grade 5 stu­dent, was the win­ner. Butt, who spon­sored the con­test, do­nated $ 950 to the school’s break­fast pro­gram, while An­thony picked up $ 50 for his ef­forts.

The Klondyke Ho­tel re­ceived its name from its prox­im­ity to the cause­way con­nect­ing Bay Roberts with Co­ley’s Point.

Klondyke can also re­fer to the Gold Rush, said Yet­man. “A nugget is a lump of gold,” he added.

Hence, the moniker, Nugget the Moose.

Photo by Bur­ton K. Janes/The Com­pass

Nugget the Moose stand­ing as a mute advertisement for the Klondyke Ho­tel, Bay Roberts. Take par­tic­u­lar note of his antlers, which are in­stalled in re­verse.

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