The strug­gle to in­cor­po­rate

It didn’t come easy for Old Per­li­can

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

in­dus­try re­mains Old Per­li­can.

“ The break­wa­ter was key to this town’s evo­lu­tion,” said Mayor Harry Strong, whose fa­ther, Eric, was a mem­ber of the first town coun­cil.

the

eco­nomic

Big changes

back­bone

of

The Old Per­li­can of to­day is vastly dif­fer­ent. The town’s an­nual op­er­at­ing bud­get has now sur­passed $1.5 mil­lion, with more than $600,000 of this col­lected from the roughly 300 home­own­ers and about 20 busi­nesses.

The town has a skilled vol­un­teer fire depart­ment, op­er­ates a re­gional am­bu­lance ser­vice that re­sponds to some 250 calls an­nu­ally, and owns a com­mu­nity cen­tre that has be­come the so­cial epi­cen­tre of the com­mu­nity. The cen­tre is op­er­ated by the vol­un­teer re­cre­ation com­mis­sion.

There’s a hos­pi­tal, a per­sonal care home, a re­gional high school, and other gov­ern­ment ser­vices such as a pub­lic li­brary.

The town em­ploys three full-time and two part­time em­ploy­ees, and up to six peo­ple — a pri­mary care para­medic and five emer­gency med­i­cal re­spon­ders — op­er­ate the am­bu­lance ser­vice.

Vol­un­teerism is alive and well, with sev­eral ser­vice and re­li­gious groups con­tribut­ing greatly to the town’s neatly wo­ven fab­ric.

Some notable at­trac­tions in­clude the Beck­ett Her­itage Prop­erty, his­tor­i­cal gravesites, and the area’s nat­u­ral and rugged beauty.

Pros­per­ity comes

If you ask a com­mu­nity leader, they’ll tell you Old Per­li­can is one of the most pros­per­ous fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties in the prov­ince. It’s a badge of hon­our they carry with pride.

In fact, the town kept chug­ging straight on through the cod mora­to­rium, while oth­ers lost their heart and soul.

“ Things have pros­pered here, and the last 40 years have found that even with the slump in the econ­omy and the cod mora­to­rium … Old Per­li­can didn’t smirk,” Fred Cram, a mem­ber of the first town coun­cil and a noted au­thor, said re­cently.

A new Har­bour Au­thor­ity build­ing is un­der con­struc­tion in the town.

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