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.
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.