Forty-year-old Jason Bailey has fond memories of his late grandmother, Edith May Burrage.
“ She was a lot of fun to be with,” he toldThe Compasslast week. “She remembered everything, even stuff I had forgotten in my lifetime.”
As part of the fourth annual Heritage Day ceremony in New Perlican on July 9, Burrage was honoured with a family display. Bailey read a document detailing his grandmother’s life.
Edith May was born to Issac and Caroline Smith of New Perlican on Nov. 25, 1911. She married Albert Burrage on Jan. 14, 1935 and, together, they raised two sons and four daughters. She lived her entire life on Jennie’s Rock. She died at 94 in 2006.
According to family lore, Burrage “was often quoted as saying she had a happy life, content in all she did, and all that God gave her.”
Bailey remembered an incident from when his grandmother was about 93.
When somebody else was complaining about aches and pains and age, she said, “ You’re only as old as you feel, and today I feel like I’m 70.”
Philip Hiscock of Memorial University’s folklore department spoke with Burrage when she was in her mid-70s. He later remembered her as an “excellent memoirist,” who was “articulate, intelligent, curious and beautifully communicative. She was filled both with information and the desire to preserve it,” he said.
In 2003, Bailey and his mother, Rhoda, surprised Burrage by turning a selection of her poetry and prose into“Edie’s Book.”
That book — a collection of photos, thoughts, memories and folklore — is part of her lasting legacy.
Philip Warren was present at the heritage day celebration and said, “If Mrs. Burrage were here today, she would argue that we have many more stories to tell, and many more lessons to learn.”
Edith May Burrage’s grandson, Jason Bailey, read a tribute to his late grandmother.