Christ­mas isn’t al­ways easy

The Compass - - OPINION - An­drew Robin­son is The Com­pass’ ed­i­tor and can be reached at ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

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.

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