Christmas isn’t always easy
Many people from Newfoundland and Labrador will miss on Christmas festivities back home with their families.
Whether it’s because of work offshore on an oil platform or a job based in another province, there are families forced to celebrate this holiday season one person short. This is not an ideal situation, but it’s a common reality.
There are two items in this week’s Compass reflecting on much harsher realities. The Second World War was a lengthy affair, and Donald Blundon of Bay de Verde was one of the first 200 people to sign up from Newfoundland. He worked on a boat that was torpedoed at sea and ultimately spent six-and-a-half years aiding the Allied Forces (see pages A1 and B6).
During that time, Blundon spent every Christmas at sea with the Royal Navy. He recalled missing his parents that first Christmas when he was only 19. But he had a job to do, so there was little time to dwell on those feelings.
Columnist Marina Gambin chose this week to share a Christmas memory involving her late uncle Cyril Power of Branch (see page B5).
Serving on a ship much like Blundon did, Power spent one Christmas in Russia, where he came across a nice shawl at a store that made him think of his mother back home in Newfoundland.
Such scenes illuminate how fortunate we are today to not have to worry about the well-being of loved ones fighting foreign battles (Canada’s involvement in the ongoing Iraq mission is limited as of now, but who knows where that might stand in a few months).
A kid missing their mom or dad at Christmas is a tough one. But at least the child knows that parent will be home soon enough, once the two-to-threeweek shift ends. In wartime Newfoundland, families waiting for young men to come home had a lot more to worry about.
From all of us here at The Compass — Shelleen Emberley, Jim Harris, Daphne Hearn, Melissa Jenkins, Nicholas Mercer, Amanda Pike and Andrew Robinson — have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.