Wish­ing upon a star

Bri­gus boy ap­pears on­stage with mu­sic artist

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

When five-year-old Nick Wall of Bri­gus placed his pre-Christ­mas or­der for a gui­tar, lit­tle did he know that be­fore Au­gust was out he would have his very own in­stru­ment, given to him not by his par­ents, but by the well­known coun­try mu­sic artist Johnny Reid.

Ear­lier, Nick’s mother Rae­lene forked over $199 for tick­ets to their first con­cert, Reid’s per­for­mance at Mile One Cen­tre in St. John’s on Aug. 12.

She also rented a white jacket for her son for $50, “ just like Johnny Reid wears when he comes on stage,” she says.

En route to the con­cert, Nick asked to have his photo taken with the per­former. How­ever, his mother as­sured him he would “never get that close.”

Nick was dis­ap­pointed he couldn’t see his family’s idol up close, so Rae­lene asked se­cu­rity to let him edge closer to the stage.

The of­fi­cer told her that if Reid saw her son dressed in the jacket he would “come and take him.” “I got right sick,” Rae­lene ad­mits. By the time Reid launched into his sec­ond song, Nick was wav­ing fu­ri­ously.

Spy­ing the boy, Reid left the stage and made a bee­line for him.

Pre­tend­ing to play

“ He took him right out of my arms and took him up on stage,” Rae­lene says.

Reid slung his gui­tar over Nick’s head, so he “could pre­tend he was play­ing with the band,” his mother adds.

The singer asked the young tyke if he wanted a gui­tar. Who wouldn’t an­swer yes to such a rhetor­i­cal ques­tion?

Reid then passed his gui­tar over to Nick ... for keeps.

Nick took to the adu­la­tion like a duck to wa­ter.

“I was so ex­cited to be on stage,” he says.

Con­crete and steel

Asked when the pub­lic could ex­pect to see an ac­tual start on con­struc­tion, Peach ad­mit­ted that’s dif­fi­cult to nail down, con­sid­er­ing how busy con­trac­tors are and how many other large projects they may have on their draw­ing boards.

“ That’s hard to say — most con­trac­tors are up to their ears (in work),” he sug­gested.

How­ever, the board chair­man added, “I can’t see it (con­struc­tion) not start­ing some­time over the next cou­ple of months, or cer­tainly be­fore the end of this year, be­fore win­ter sets in.”

As for when the new school would be ready to en­rol its first stu­dents, Peach said that’s also dif­fi­cult to pin point. His best es­ti­mate would be some­time be­fore the end of the 2013 cal­en­dar year.

Wel­come news

Ac­knowl­edg­ing the new school has been “a long while in coming to Car­bon­ear,” the chair­man said, “ this project should be pleas­antly ac­cepted by the Davis school com­mu­nity.

“ Within the next cou­ple of years, area par­ents will see a Kindergarten to Grade 8 sys­tem reestab­lished in the towns of Car­bon­ear, Har­bour Grace and Vic­to­ria.”

The move will also see Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate be­come a Grade 9 to Level III school, serv­ing stu­dents from Har­bour Grace to Western Bay, on the North Shore of Con­cep­tion Bay, as well as parts of the Trin­ity South shore.

The new school has been de­signed to ac­com­mo­date over 400 stu­dents in Grades K-8. Last year, Davis Ele­men­tary had 337 stu­dents in Grades K-5. Car­bon­ear’s Grade 6-9 stu­dents have been at­tend­ing classes at St. Fran­cis in Har­bour Grace for the past seven years.

The sign on the Val­ley Road school site ten­ta­tively iden­ti­fies the new school as Davis Ele­men­tary. How­ever, the school coun­cil and stu­dent body will have an op­por­tu­nity later to help find a new name for their new school.

Mean­while, for this year, stu­dents at Davis Ele­men­tary will re­turn to classes at their old school on Church Street on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 7.

While rou­tine re­pairs and main­te­nance have been on­go­ing at schools through­out the district this sum­mer, Mary Tucker, man­ager of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for East­ern School District, said she was not aware of any de­layed open­ings this Septem­ber.

Shown here is an artist’s ren­der­ing of a new school to be built in Car­bon­ear.

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