‘Ex­cel­lent mem­oirist’


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.

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