Sta­tion move raises ob­jec­tions

Clarke’s Beach mayor says vin­tage rail­way train sta­tion move off-track


Clarke’s Beach Mayor Betty Moore is ex­press­ing sur­prise at her coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate the town’s vin­tage rail­way train sta­tion.

The mo­tion passed with a vote of 32 at the reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on Sept. 10. Moore and Kevin Hussey, deputy mayor, op­posed the mo­tion, while coun­cil­lors Garry Ben­dell, Win­ston Vokey and El­don Snow sup­ported it. Two coun­cil­lors were ab­sent.

The build­ing is to be moved from its present lo­ca­tion, at the in­ter­sec­tion of Main Street and the old rail­way bed, to the site of the mu­nic­i­pal build­ing on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way.

“I don’t want it to move,” Moore told The Com­pass last week. The build­ing has a long and dis­tin­guished his­tory in the town, she said.

“ To me, it’s the last piece of his­tory that’s left in re­gard to the train com­ing through Clarke’s Beach,” she added. “I’d like to ... keep (the sta­tion) there as a re­minder of the way life was.”

Councillor Win­ston Vokey also re­gards the build­ing as of his­toric sig­nif­i­cance. How­ever, he sup­ports the de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate it be­cause of what he calls “a num­ber of prob­lems around the train sta­tion over the past num­ber of years.” Van­dal­ism and graf­fiti are but two ex­am­ples.

“ We’ve had quite a bit of feed­back from the res­i­dents in that area,” he said. “ When we were run­ning for elec­tion, if you went in that area, the can­di­dates were asked, ‘ What are you go­ing to do about the train sta­tion?’ I think most peo­ple are in favour of mov­ing it.”

Lo­cal cadets used the build­ing for stor­age and as an of­fice for some years. How­ever, once they merged with the Bay Roberts con­tin­gent, they no longer needed the space. The coun­cil then granted the recre­ation com­mis­sion per­mis­sion to use it.

Af­ter coun­cil sold its prop­erty in 2007, main­te­nance work­ers moved their tools to the base­ment of the sta­tion. There was even talk at that time of a mu­nic­i­pal garage be­ing built.

There was also talk about mov­ing the sta­tion it­self.

“I’m not say­ing I didn’t know it was in the con­ver­sa­tion be­fore,” Moore ad­mit­ted, “ but I think a lit­tle more thought and con­sid­er­a­tion needed to go into it.”

Vokey ad­mits the is­sue has “ been on­go­ing for quite some time. Those peo­ple who are against (mov­ing the sta­tion) have cer­tainly had am­ple time over the last num­ber of years to voice their opin­ions on it or do some­thing with it. Now that an ac­tual de­ci­sion has been taken, all of a sud­den it has be­come a no-no.”

In the Sept. 10 coun­cil meet­ing, the pub­lic works com­mit­tee, made up of coun­cil­lors Ben­dell, Snow and David Moore, gave an es­ti­mate of be­tween $18,000 and $20,000 to re­lo­cate the sta­tion.

Moore claims to be sur­prised by the cost.

She doubts the town or most coun­cil­lors would want to spend that kind of money to “move a build­ing that we aren’t even sure would hold up in the move,” she said. “Mov­ing it now is no small feat.”

Vokey looks at the fig­ures in a dif­fer­ent light.

“It sounds like a lit­tle bit of money,” he ad­mit­ted, “ but on the other side it in­cludes putting down a con­crete base the size of the build­ing.” The es­ti­mate doesn’t in­clude trans­porta­tion.

Vokey also pointed out that the sta­tion was moved once be­fore. “ It’s a pretty strong build­ing,” he of­fered.

He added that, even if the build­ing is al­lowed to re­main in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion, re­pairs and ren­o­va­tions will also be costly.

for it and it ended well.”

In the year ahead, Dawe said, “I look for­ward to meet­ing a lot of new peo­ple and get­ting a com­pletely new take on the prov­ince. She has done a lit­tle trav­el­ling around the is­land, but has never been to Labrador, a part of the prov­ince she said she would re­ally like to see.

Rec­om­mend­ing pageants as, “a great op­por­tu­nity for young women to help them dis­cover who they are,” she de­scribed the Miss NL Pageant as “a great con­fi­dence booster.”

While ap­pear­ance is still im­por­tant, it is no longer a dom­i­nant fac­tor in the judges’ fi­nal de­ci­sion. The scor­ing sys­tem is bro­ken down into an in­ter­view worth 40 points; fit­ness test, 15 points, five points each for ca­sual wear, evening wear and introductions, 10 points for im­promptu ques­tions and 20 points for a speech.

Pageant co-or­di­na­tor Suzanne Wil­liams said ac­cord­ing to the judges, the scores among the top con­tes­tants were

Kyla Mercer, also of Up­per Is­land Cove, was cho­sen Miss Friend­ship. Mercer is a 19-yearold third-year stu­dent at Me­mo­rial Uni­ver­sity, where she is study­ing pre-pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion to be­come a kinder­garten teacher. Melanie McDon­ald of Mount Pearl was named Miss Pho­to­genic, while the Miss Fit­ness ti­tle went to MacKen­zie Lee of St. John’s.

Re­becca Dawe said she first be­came in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved in the pageant af­ter at­tend­ing the Miss Teen New­found­land and Labrador Pageant in St. John’s in March.

She said, “ it seemed like some­thing I would like to have got­ten in­volved with in high school.” When it came to her at­ten­tion she could com­pete in the Miss New­found­land and Labrador Pageant in Har­bour Grace, she said, “I de­cided to go “ex­tremely close.”

Re­call­ing five years ago when she first took over co­or­di­nat­ing the pageant, there were only si x con­tes­tants in­volved that year, Wil­liams was pleased to note the num­bers have been up to 16 for the past two years.

The other con­tes­tants in this year’s event were: Mary Crickard, Con­cep­tion Bay South ; Sa­man­tha Clarke, Chance Cove, Trin­ity Bay; Brid­gette Abbott, Mus­grave Har­bour; Dayna McDonough, Gan­der; Alexan­dria Miller, Por­tu­gal Cove-St. Philips; Jac­inta Pittman, Wit­less Bay; Ashley Barton, Goulds; Laura Gushue, Gan­der; Court­ney Youden, Mount Pearl; and Ledon Byrne, Grand Falls-Windsor.

Photo by Bur­ton K. Janes/The Com­pass

A pe­ti­tion has been cir­cu­lated in Clarke’s Beach to keep this build­ing — the for­mer train sta­tion — in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion.

Sara Green of Win­ter­ton wound up her year-long reign as Miss New­found­land and Labrador 200910 by plac­ing the crown on her suc­ces­sor, Re­becca Dawe of St. John’s.

Re­becca Dawe of St. John’s gets a hug from her mother, Jan­ice.

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