All aboard

Lewis­porte Train Park wel­comes speeder ad­di­tion

The Pilot - - FRONT PAGE - TC MEDIA

The Lewis­porte Train Park is a pop­u­lar rest stop for vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike and now has a speeder added to its dis­play.

Flossie Pardy and her fam­ily were on hand last week to do­nate the piece of rail­way his­tory to the park.

The speeder was owned by Pardy’s late hus­band, Ray­mond. He ac­quired it from a friend who worked in Port-aux-Basques with the Cana­dian Na­tional Rail­way (CNR) about 15 years ago.

A speeder was used to move around the train tracks when work­ers would have to in­spect the tracks or per­form main­te­nance.

Lewis­porte is home for the Pardys and Flossie was the owner of Pardy’s Bak­ery in town for 20 years.

“The speeder was in our gar­den for many years and Ray would go out and sit on it and he loved it,” Pardy said.

Fol­low­ing Ray­mond’s pass­ing, the fam­ily de­cided the best thing to do with the speeder would be to put it on loan to the town for the Train Park for dis­play. They also do­nated the track the speeder sits on.

“I think he would be very proud to know that it was at the park,” she said. “That’s what he was like.”

Pardy’s daugh­ter, Betty Brett, re­called the days when her fa­ther would take the speeder to Trin­ity Loop.

“He would love that,” Brett said. “The kids would want to have a ride on it and first he gave his chil­dren rides and then he would give the other chil­dren rides around the track.”

Other uses for the speeder

Pardy noted that a speeder wasn’t just used for train­re­lated work, but was a valu­able re­source for mov­ing from town to town.

The speeder do­nated to the Train Park was a CNR speeder while the New­found­land Rail­way speed­ers were much big­ger.

“Dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, he (Ray­mond) used to take the speeder from the Notre Dame junc­tion, come to Lewis­porte and pick up Dr. Nap and take him to Gan­der to see pa­tients with the mil­i­tary,” Pardy said.

The pri­est from Nor­ris Arm would also use the ser­vice of the speeder to bring him to visit peo­ple in the area.

There was room on the speeder for a stretcher so if some­one got sick, Pardy said they would be picked up by the speeder and taken to the hos­pi­tal in Grand Falls.

One of Pardy’s brothers, who broke his arm at age 18, was taken by speeder to the hos­pi­tal.

The speeder is now on dis­play, but will be put into stor­age dur­ing the win­ter months. Look to The Pi­lot web­site at www. lportepi­lot.ca for a video of the un­veil­ing of the speeder

CHRISTY JANES/TC MEDIA

The Pardy fam­ily were on hand at the Lewis­porte Train Park last week to un­veil a speeder do­nated in mem­ory of the late Ray­mond Pardy of Lewis­porte. Pic­tured are (front) Flossie Pardy; (back) daugh­ters Betty Brett, Karen Brett and Lori Brett.

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