The Town of Burin marked its 60th anniversary of incorporation as a town July 16-18.
The Town of Burin was officially incorporated by order of Newfoundland Lieutenant-Governor Leonard Outerbridge July 18, 1950.
A banquet to mark the 60th anniversary of the occasion was held in the community at St. Patrick’s Social Centre. It was part of weekend of celebrations July 16-18.
Present Mayor Kevin Lundrigan reflected on the town’s long history for government officials and invited guests.
Since incorporation, Burin has had a dozen mayors and 75 other members of council.
The mayor noted “The Town of Burin is a town with proud heritage and a deep appreciation for the people, the places and events that shaped its rich history as a community and can boast as having great historical importance to our province.”
Mr. Lundrigan indicated the District of Burin was among eight jurisdictions represented in Newfoundland’s first House of Assembly, the first member being English-born merchant William Hooper, who served in the position from 1832 to 1836.
In 1845, Burin had a courthouse, jail, police magistrate, justice of the peace, customs officer, with the circuit court sitting yearly.
Mr. Lundrigan acknowledged citizens of the town formed a community council to improve roads, sanitary conditions, streetlights and fire protection by soliciting funds in an annual door-to-door canvass in 1945. However, the council was not sanctioned by government, thus received no financial support and was discontinued after four or five years.
Upon incorporation, the Town consisted of Burin Bay, Ship Cove Path End, Ship Cove Proper and Burin North. The town has since grown to include Collins Cove, Kirby’s Cove, Path End, Bull’s Cove, Long Cove, Black Duck Cove, Little Salmonier, Burin Bay Arm, Salt Pond and recently, Port au Bras.
“Over the years, the town has grown and expanded. Progress has been steady and our residents have benefitted from it.”
Burin native Kathy Dunderdale, the province’s present deputy premier, was the evening’s guest speaker.
She reflected fondly on life growing up in Burin North with a big family that included 10 siblings.
“Burin, for me, was a wonderful place growing up. We felt that we had a wonderful family. It was an interesting place to grow up. There was always a debate going on at our kitchen table. It could be any subject under the sun.
“My earliest memories are going up over the hill to the football field and I loved that National Film Board film ‘High Tides of Newfoundland’, which we catch the glimpses of a soccer game being played at the field, and old Mr. Billy Penney, whom we all knew as a fixture in our lives, shouting for the home team. Remembering our boys getting caught in that bog on the far side of the field.”
Mrs. Dunderdale noted no one in the community had so little that there wasn’t enough to share with someone else and there was always something to do.
“ We swam in the swimming pond, skated on the dam or up in Ship Cove behind the Anglican Church. There were dances at the Parish Hall or at the Star Hall. It was just a great place. There was always an adventure on the go.
“People told you off, disciplined you, got on your nerves, were kind, were supportive and kept you safe. It was a community of values.”
Mrs. Dunderdale credited the town with playing a major role in leading her towards a life in politics.
After university, she met her husband Peter, a master mariner from England, and settled in Burin, where they raised two children.
During those years, she said she became involved with the school board. Then Mayor Lou Bailey called upon her in the early 1980s to get involved in an effort to stop FPI from closing the fish plant in the community, which was a result of a government and industry effort to restructure the fishery, she joined the committee that was formed.
Calling it “a defining moment for the community”, she noted it was her first real political activity.
“Communities came together and there was so much leadership demonstrated at so many levels by all of the people in the region around that time. It really is, I think, a defining moment in our history.”
As a result of her participation, when the next council elections rolled around, she put her name forward and was successful.
“I never thought I was going to get through my first year. I found it really difficult I have to tell you. When you start something new, there’s always turmoil at the beginning and there certainly was on that council for us, but after the first year I found my feet and I loved what I did.”
Mrs. Dunderdale, who recognized her political life has taken her around the globe, from London to Berlin to Moscow and Washington, suggested the lessons she learned at the town council in Burin proved invaluable.
“The point that I want to make is that the work that gets done here is extremely important, and what you do here is just the same work that’s being done all over the world. It just looks bigger, but it’s always the same thing.
“It’s extremely important that you take that work on. It’s not easy being a politician. Being a politician, a lot of days, feels like being a football, but it’s extremely important work.”
LOOKING TO FUTURE
Mayor Lundrigan indicated the current council is committed to providing strong leadership and good municipal government to the people the town.
“ We have come through some challenging times in many parts of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, as we have in Burin, but have survived the many challenges in recent years due to our frugal spending. Now, more than ever before, we have to plan carefully for our future if we want to achieve prosperity for our town.
“ We need a future that includes young families, who will be proud to call Burin their home. While the future of Newfoundland and Labrador seems to be brighter than it has ever been, we must still plan well to ensure that the Town of Burin is fully prepared for what the future brings. Success only comes through careful planning and ever more so careful execution.”
“The Town of Burin is a town with proud heritage and a deep appreciation for the people, the places and events that shaped its rich history as a community and can boast
as having great historical importance to our province.”
- Burin Mayor Kevin Lundrigan
He thanked the many people who have given their time and talents to serve the town over the last 60 years, including past mayors, councillors, fire chiefs, firefighters, other volunteer organization members and employees.
“Residents of this great town, celebrating its 60th anniversary of incorporation today, can be very proud of their past, happy with their present and hopeful for the future.”
The Town of Burin recognized four residents for their contributions to the community during the 60th anniversary of incorporation celebration.
Town Clerk/Manager Beth Hanrahan, who has held many titles since beginning her working career in the early 1980s and began her stint in her current position in 1999, was presented a longtime service award for her dedication to the Town over the last 30 years.
Wayne Hollett, who spent 42 years with Fishery Products International, is a member of the Burin Peninsula Soccer Hall of Fame and has over the years become recognized as the town’s historian, was honoured as such.
Tom Hollett, who moved away from the Town of Burin with his mother at age 10 after his father’s death from cancer, never forgot the kindness shown to them during that difficult time. He successfully started his own business in St. John’s.
He was recognized for the work he has done for the town in recent years, playing a role in increasing arts and culture in the area, restoring several homes and opening the first art gallery on the Burin Peninsula, to name a few.
Finally, Dr. Ed Mayo, who was born in St. Anthony, moving as an infant to Burin with his parents, later returning to work in his chosen profession, was honoured for his 35 years of dedication to the community.
Mayor Lundrigan revealed the town has created a new $500 scholarship, in Dr. Mayo’s name, to be awarded on an annual basis to a student who has completed their first year of university medical studies.
Four residents of the Town of Burin, including Beth Hanrahan, Tom Hollett, Wayne Hollett and Dr. Ed Mayo, were recognized for contributions to the community during the 60th anniversary celebrations. Participating were (seated, from left) MP Judy Foote, Special Events Committee chair Coun. April Pitcher and Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale. Standing: Coun. Howard Lundrigan, Tom Hollett (with daughter Cheyenne), Dr. Ed Mayo, Wayne Hollett, Coun. Shane Foote, Town Clerk/Manager Beth Hanrahan and Mayor Kevin Lundrigan.
Paul Herridge Photos
Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador president Harry Hallett presented Burin Mayor Kevin Lundrigan with a certificate recognizing the Town of Burin’s 60th anniversary of incorporation during the event.
Bouquet in arms, presented as a thank you for being guest speaker during the Town of Burin’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of incorporation July 17, Deputy Premier Kathy Dunderdale, a Burin native, was greeted by many familiar faces including Vic Lundrigan, after the event wrapped up.