Lo­cal mu­si­cians to per­form in ben­e­fit for Earl B. Pil­grim

Well-known au­thor/his­to­rian lost ev­ery­thing in house fire on Easter Sun­day

Northern Pen - - Front page - BY ROSIE MULLALEY THE TELEGRAM rosie.mu­lal­ley@thetele­gram.com

A group of well-known New­found­land and Labrador mu­si­cians are band­ing to­gether next month to help a well-known lo­cal au­thor who lost his home in a fire.

A ben­e­fit con­cert for Earl B. Pil­grim is sched­uled to be held Sun­day, June 10, at Wes­ley United Church on Pa­trick Street.

Pil­grim’s home in Rod­dick­ton was de­stroyed by fire on Easter Sun­day. The dev­as­tat­ing loss in­cluded years of his work as an au­thor, along with nu­mer­ous awards.

“The loss Un­cle Earl has en­dured in the last few years has been over­whelm­ing — his two broth­ers, his wife (Beatrice in 2016) and now his home to a dev­as­tat­ing fire,” said lo­cal singer/ song­writer Karla Pil­grim, Earl Pil­grim’s niece, who is or­ga­niz­ing the event. “Most of what Un­cle Earl has lost is im­pos­si­ble to re­place, but we’re hop­ing we can help just a lit­tle bit with the things he’ll need to re­build in which­ever way he chooses.”

Born in St. Anthony in 1939, Earl B. Pil­grim re­ceived his early ed­u­ca­tion in Rod­dick­ton, later study­ing Forestry at the Col­lege of Trades and Tech­nol­ogy in St. John’s. He be­gan his adult ca­reer in 1960 as an in­fantry­man in the Cana­dian army, serv­ing with the Princess Pa­tri­cia’s Cana­dian Light In­fantry. While there, he be­came in­volved in the sport of box­ing, even­tu­ally be­com­ing the Cana­dian light heavy­weight box­ing cham­pion.

Fol­low­ing a stint in the forces, he took a job as a for­est ranger with the New­found­land and Labrador Forestry De­part­ment. Dur­ing this time, he came to rec­og­nize the plight of the big game pop­u­la­tion on New­found­land’s Great North­ern Penin­sula. Af­ter nine years as a for­est war­den, he be­came a wildlife pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer with the New­found­land Wildlife Ser­vice. Af­ter the fire, Karla Pil­grim said she re­ceived many ask­ing whether there would be a ben­e­fit con­cert.

“I’m usu­ally the one per­form­ing, so to be on this end of it is dif­fer­ent. I knew that if it was done right, it could re­ally be some­thing spe­cial,” said Pil­grim, who called on her cousin Janet Cull, also a suc­cess­ful lo­cal singer, to help or­ga­nize the event.

“My favourite part of all of this is that it’s hap­pen­ing in a church. Un­cle Earl is a re­li­gious man and my­self and Janet grew up singing in church. It’s what makes sense.

“And we’re so grate­ful to the per­form­ers who agreed to do the show with­out a sec­ond thought.”

Be­sides Pil­grim, her group The Se­crets and Cull, other lo­cal mu­si­cians sched­uled to per­form in­clude Chris An­drews, Peter Hal­ley, Dar­rin Martin, Evan Smith, Rachel Cousins, Doug and Todd Ran­dell and Jackie Sullivan.

Tick­ets go on sale Fri­day at Wes­ley United Church and Fred’s Records. Tick­ets are $20 and are avail­able at the door or in ad­vance at Wes­ley United and Fred’s Records.

NORTH­ERN PEN FILE PHOTO

Au­thor Earl Pil­grim.

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