A homecoming in Hopeall
Trinity Bay community to stage celebrations from July 30-Aug. 5
Wrapping itself around the harbour just off Route 80 on the Trinity South Shore, the tiny community of Hopeall is generally the epitome of peace and tranquillity.
But this summer its noisiest residents — gulls, loons, eagles, hawks — are occasionally being outdone by the sputter, bang and buzz of machinery.
And, come July 30, the decibel level will rise even higher when Hopeall welcomes visitors and former residents to its 2012 celebrations.
“It takes a whole community,” Christina Williams says of the number of people involved in the preparations.
Williams co-chairs the Hopeall Come Home Year Committee, a group of about 30 members, a significant number in a community with only 175 permanent residents. Florence Vincent chairs the group and Terri Beth Davis is secretary.
The committee has been meeting regularly since last September.
“One of the residents had come up with the idea for a come home year last year, but then said, ‘no, we’ll wait until this year because it’s the 400th anniversary of Crout’s Way,’” Williams says.
Crout’s Way follows the route that Henry Crout travelled from Cupids to Hopeall in the fall of 1612 in an effort to make contact with the Beothuk Indians in Trinity Bay. Crout was a settler at John Guy’s plantation in Cupids.
To help prepare for the celebrations, Hopeall received an $11,000 community anniversary grant from the federal government.
While the investment is appreciated, it doesn’t allow for all the work the committee would like to see done, particularly on the historic trail.
“I believe we got a quarter of what we asked for,” says Fred Pitcher, committee treasurer. “We were going to put in some bridges where there are wet spots on the trail.”
But with so many other expenses, that won’t happen.
Williams says the trail, when completed, will be rough, more suited to hiking than walking, and Cupids is working on the route from the Conception Bay side.
“As far as I know they’re cutting the trail right over as far as Hopeall Falls,” she says. “It’s a two-day hike if you want to take your time and camp overnight.”
In addition to providing some funding for the Crout’s Way project, the anniversary grant is covering, among other costs, transportation and distinctive clothing for volun- teer support, bands and DJ services, rental equipment, lighting, portable toilets, liquor licence, stage and rental costumes, promotional material, and administration fees like liability insurance and ticket printing.
• Monday, July 30 — celebrations begin with a 9 a.m. flag raising at the entrance to Hopeall. Residents are putting together banners with family names for the motorcade that follows, starting at 10 a.m.
Opening ceremonies take place at 11 a.m. at the sign that marks the beginning of Crout’s Way. Modern day versions of John Guy and Henry Crout have already indicated they will attend.
Committee member Margaret Crocker points out that although the dates don’t quite coincide, the community will commemorate Crout’s Way at the opening ceremony.
“The unveiling of the 400th anniversary plaque is in October because that’s the actual anniversary date, so really we’re a few months ahead,” she says.
After the opening ceremonies, everyone’s invited back to the Hopeall Community Centre for a meet-and-greet, tea and snacks.
So far, about 125 people have registered for the Old Fashioned Time that will take place at the Lions Club in Green’s Harbour Aug 3. Registrants are encouraged to pick up their tickets at a get-together at the community centre at 7 p.m. July 30.
• Tuesday, July 31 — the day begins with breakfast (9 to 11 a.m.) at the centre, sponsored by the Sports and Recreation Committee.
From 2 to 4 p.m. there’s a Walk Down Memory Lane (Old Hopeall Road), the road that was once the main thoroughfare between Hopeall and Green’s Harbour. Over the years portions of the road have eroded and grown in, but work to ensure the walk is a safe and pleasant one is just about completed.
At 8 p.m. there’ll be a flotilla and beach party sponsored by Sports and Recreation and the Hopeall Local Service District.
• Wednesday, Aug. 1 — the United Church Women will host their Rose Garden Tea Party and Bake Sale at the community centre starting at 2 p.m. The centre will be open daily during the week with displays of local art, paintings and poetry.
At 7 p.m. the Hopeall school reunion will take place at the community centre, which once served as the community’s only schoolhouse.
• Thursday, Aug. 2 — Pea soup and dumplings are on the menu at the public wharf at noon, with boat tours available at 2 p.m. Currently, there are several floating docks sitting on the wharf all ready to go into the water. However, Geoff Woodman of the New Harbour Harbour Authority, which also supervises the Hopeall harbour, says the project is on hold until regulatory approvals are received from federal agencies. “We are hoping to have them in the water before the Come Home Year celebrations,” he says.
At 8 o’clock in the evening, there’s a card tournament (120s) at the community centre.
• Friday, Aug. 3 — the Old Fashioned Time, Screech-in and dance at the Green’s Harbour Lions Club takes place at 6 p.m. with dinner entertainment by local musicians and dance music by DJ Jason Reid.
• Saturday, Aug. 4 — a motorcycle rally (route to be determined) starts from the community centre at 10 a.m.
“Motorcyclists pick a route and decide where they want to go for the day,” explains committee member Hilda Higdon. “The fee for the rally is $2 and the money raised will be donated to a non-profit organization.”
The Kids Bike Parade begins at 1 p.m., followed by more entertainment and activities for the children at the Hopeall baseball field.
The day caps off with a concert at the field with live entertainment featuring Rex Goudie, Greeley’s Reel and Redline.
• Sunday, Aug. 5 — the horseshoe tournament at the baseball field runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and a duck race at nearby Hopeall Brook gets underway at 3:30. A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the United and Catholic Cemeteries at 7 p.m. followed by an ecumenical service at Hopeall United Church, at 7:30.
The community will wrap up the celebrations with a bang — a fireworks display on the beach next to the Lookout at 10 p.m.
A few members of the Hopeall Come Home Year Committee take a wellearned rest at the Lookout. Several kids with the same idea hop off their bicycles to join them. From left – committee members Fred Pitcher, Margaret Crocker, Hilda Higdon, Christina Williams, and Dawson Williams. At the front are Megan and Keegan Reid.
Former Hopeall resident Shawn Williams has designed a flag for his hometown, once known as Mount Eagle Bay. The flags have all sold out, but Hopeall Come Home Year Committee members say they can obtain more if they get enough orders.
Hopeall will also celebrate the 400th anniversary of Crout’s Way during the July 30 – Aug. 5 Come Home Year.