A tidy haul of awards

Three lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties hon­oured for beau­ti­fi­ca­tion ef­forts


A trio of com­mu­ni­ties — Heart’s Con­tent, Bay Roberts and White­way — in this re­gion were hon­oured last week by Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador for en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to keep their prop­er­ties look­ing spiffy as part of the Tidy Towns com­pe­ti­tion.

Heart’s Con­tent beat out seven other com­mu­ni­ties in its pop­u­la­tion cat­e­gory — 401 to 600 — to claim an hon­our, Bay Roberts re­ceived an award of ex­cel­lence in the over-5,000 cat­e­gory, and the Town of White­way won the com­mu­nity in­volve­ment cri­te­ria award . The win­ners were an­nounced on Thurs­day, Oct. 7 dur­ing the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador con­ven­tion in St. John’s.

Tidy Towns, which came to be in 1996, aims to en­cour­age mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to en­gage in ac­tiv­i­ties that high­light a com­mu­nity’s beauty and sense of civic pride. Forty-six com­mu­ni­ties par­tic­i­pated in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties New­found­land and Labrador.

Heart’s Con­tent mayor Don Blun­don said the towns­peo­ple in his com­mu­nity put a lot of ef­fort into spruc­ing-up the town for the com­pe­ti­tion, which was judged over the sum­mer. He noted this is the com­mu­nity’s fourth Tidy Town award.

“I think that the ded­i­ca­tion that the towns­peo­ple put into it, the in­ter­est they had in keep­ing the town neat and tidy, and the flo­ral ar­range­ments around town all added to en­sur­ing the town would win,” said Blun­don, who is grate­ful to have res­i­dents com­mit­ted to keep­ing the com­mu­nity look­ing good.

Win­ning an award has its perks, added the mayor, in­clud­ing an in­creased vis­i­bil­ity with tourists.

Mayor Glenn Lit­tle­john of Bay Roberts said the award of ex­cel­lence is a “sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment” for his com­mu­nity, as it fol­lows a pop­u­la­tion cat­e­gory win in 2009 the town shared with Clarenville. Ac­cord­ing to Lit­tle­john, towns can­not win a pop­u­la­tion cat­e­gory two years in a row. Bay Roberts re­ceived the most votes in its pop­u­la­tion cat­e­gory this year, and was in­stead hon­oured with the award of ex­cel­lence.

“It’s a trib­ute not only to (the Town of Bay Roberts), but it’s a trib­ute to our vol­un­teer com­mit­tees, our recre­ation com­mit­tee, our her­itage com­mit­tee, and it’s truly some­thing the whole town can be a part of,” Lit­tle­john said. “It’s an award we truly cher­ish. It’s an award for the com­mu­nity, and it’s a com­mu­nity ef­fort.”

In the Town of White­way, Mayor Craig Whe­lan said the com­mu­nity had not been in­volved with the Tidy Towns com­pe­ti­tion for the pre­vi­ous two years, but elected to reen­ter for 2010.

“Most peo­ple in the town try to keep their prop­erty as tidy as pos­si­ble, and they’re not try­ing to outdo the other feller, but they like to have their prop­erty look­ing as nice as the one next to them,” he said.

The judges had a lot of good things to say about White­way, said the mayor, and win­ning this year rep­re­sents one step for­ward in ef­forts to make con­tin­ued im­prove­ments to the town.

“It’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be rec­og­nized up and down the shore — for a small lit­tle town, it’s got quite a lot of things go­ing for it.”

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