Serv­ing up tra­di­tional fare

Win­ter­land Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion Jiggs din­ner a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - WIN­TER­LAND, NL Al­lan Stoodley Down Mem­ory Lane Al­lan Stoodley is a long­time res­i­dent of Grand Bank. He can be reached at am­stood­ley@hot­mail.com and he wel­comes com­ments on this or any other ar­ti­cle he has writ­ten.

For the past 15 years, mem­bers of the Win­ter­land Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion have been serv­ing up a tra­di­tional Jiggs din­ner at the Her­itage House in that com­mu­nity.

The weekly event, which goes ahead each Wed­nes­day from mid-Au­gust to mid-Oc­to­ber, has proven to be so pop­u­lar, it never has to be ad­ver­tised — there is al­ways a wait­ing list of peo­ple who want to at­tend.

Once the veg­eta­bles are ready for har­vest­ing, it’s time to make plans and get or­ga­nized to raise funds to keep the Win­ter­land Her­itage House in good re­pair and carry out needed up­grades to the eco-mu­seum trail and board­walk.

Win­ter­land is a rel­a­tively young com­mu­nity, which only came into be­ing in 1939 when the Com­mis­sion of Gov­ern­ment brought in a re­set­tle­ment pro­gram aimed at di­ver­si­fy­ing the econ­omy by get­ting some peo­ple away from their fish­ing boats and into farm­ing.

A to­tal of 23 fam­i­lies from Port El­iz­a­beth, Gar­nish, Burin and Baine Har­bour took ad­van­tage of the fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives of­fered by the gov­ern­ment of the day to make the move to Win­ter­land in 1940. That first year the pop­u­la­tion to­taled 92, but in­creased in 1941 when four new ba­bies were born.

Eloise New­port (nee Collins) and Grace Ken­way (nee Se­nior), now age 76, were two of th­ese ba­bies. Both women are ded­i­cated vol­un­teers and can be found at the Win­ter­land Her­itage House on Wed­nes­days help­ing pre­pare and serve their de­li­cious Jiggs din­ners.

“Our com­mu­nity is very im­por­tant to us,” says Eloise. “All eight of us each week know our jobs we have to do, and be­ing in­volved with the Jiggs din­ner is one way we can con­trib­ute.”

All of the orig­i­nal homes built in Win­ter­land were alike, says Eloise, hav­ing three be­d­rooms, a par­lor, a kitchen and a pantry. The Her­itage House where the Jiggs din­ner is served is an ex­act replica of those early houses, con­tain­ing many ar­ti­facts and photos de­pict­ing the early days of the farm­ing com­mu­nity. Lo­cal crafts are on dis­play and can be pur­chased at an ad­ja­cent build­ing.

Up to 40 peo­ple can be ac­com­mo­dated at the Her­itage House each week for the Jiggs din­ner. Prior to the din­ner, folks are treated to tra­di­tional mu­sic and songs cour­tesy of well-known Marys­town mu­si­cian/singer Con Fitz­patrick.

Jim Farewell is pres­i­dent of the Win­ter­land Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion.

Note: The other two Win­ter­land ba­bies born in 1941 were Ad­die Grandy (nee Mas­ters) and Jean Cle­ments (nee Dicks). Both mar­ried men from Grand Bank and raised their fam­i­lies in that com­mu­nity.

In a fu­ture Down Mem­ory Lane col­umn, we will delve fur­ther into the early his­tory of Win­ter­land, in­clud­ing its first set­tler, Frank “Farmer” Simms, who ac­tu­ally moved into the area with his fam­ily nearly three decades be­fore the town of­fi­cially came into be­ing.

AL­LAN STOODLEY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

The eight ded­i­cated vol­un­teers of the Win­ter­land Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion, along with Marys­town mu­si­cian Con Fitz­patrick, pose for a photo in front of the Her­itage House af­ter cook­ing up and serv­ing a tra­di­tional Jiggs din­ner to 40 sat­is­fied pa­trons. Front: Con Fitz­patrick, John Gover, Phoebe Gover and Jim Farewell. Back: Randy Bren­ton, He­ber Ken­way, Grace Ken­way, Eloise New­port and Ida Dev­ereaux.

AL­LAN STOODLEY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

Marys­town mu­si­cian/singer Con Fitz­patrick lit­er­ally sings for his din­ner at the very pop­u­lar Win­ter­land Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion Jiggs din­ner each Wed­nes­day from mid-Au­gust to mid-Oc­to­ber. He of­fers his mu­si­cal and singing tal­ents free of charge, which adds to the great ex­pe­ri­ence en­joyed by the 40 peo­ple who at­tend. Fitz­patrick is re­warded with a de­li­cious tra­di­tional New­found­land meal.

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