No need to be alone on Christ­mas Day

Steel­work­ers Lo­cal #6185 have a spe­cial hol­i­day din­ner planned for those who are alone or have their fam­i­lies away

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Editorial - BY MIKE POWER

Mem­bers of Steel­work­ers Lo­cal #6185 like to do things for their com­mu­ni­ties.

The union rep­re­sents town em­ploy­ees in the com­mu­ni­ties of Labrador City and Wabush. There are 51 mem­bers in Labrador City and 17 in Wabush.

“We have been try­ing to do what we can for the peo­ple in our com­mu­ni­ties,” Union pres­i­dent Mar­cie Brown told The Aurora. “We do reg­u­lar col­lec­tions for the com­mu­nity food bank, and we’ve helped and vol­un­teered with Toys for Joys, the com­mu­nity toy drive at Christ­mas for young peo­ple.

“This year though I was think­ing of a few new ideas and at a meet­ing the ideas were quickly ap­proved by our mem­bers.”

She noted the union wanted to give back to the peo­ple who live in the com­mu­ni­ties and who have sup­ported the union over the many years.

The big project is din­ner on Christ­mas Day. It is for peo­ple who may be alone on Dec. 25, are there work­ing away from home or have fam­ily liv­ing away.

The Carol Curl­ing Club do­nated their fa­cil­ity. Nick McGrath has of­fered to cook the meal and union mem­bers and other vol­un­teers will help with the cook­ing, serv­ing and then clean­ing up. The Union is also buy­ing the food.

Brown says they are able to ac­com­mo­date 130 peo­ple for the Christ­mas din­ner. Tick­ets will be pro­vided on a first come, first served ba­sis. Tick­ets will be avail­able on Mon­day, Dec. 3 at the Steel­work­ers Union Hall on 105 Hud­son in Labrador City. Do­na­tions will be ac­cepted, and pro­ceeds will go to lo­cal char­i­ties.

Brown says there’s no need to be alone at Christ­mas this year and in­vites folks to come out and cel­e­brate to­gether.

“We feel small, kind ges­tures are of­ten the big­gest in our hearts, and not only is this bring­ing smiles to peo­ple’s faces, but it also brings our com­mu­ni­ties to­gether,” she said.

The union has also set up a chance for peo­ple 65 and older to win a free meal ev­ery Fri­day (four win­ners per week) .That started Nov. 16 and con­tinue through to Dec. 21. Peo­ple can en­ter on Face­book or by call­ing the union cen­tre at 944-5010.

Brown says the idea has caught on and they are get­ting do­na­tions from peo­ple and Pizza De­light has also do­nated some meals. She says they are hop­ing to pro­vide meals on Dec. 21 for all the peo­ple who en­ter their name.

She says they are grate­ful to peo­ple and busi­nesses who have come for­ward to sup­port th­ese projects and en­cour­ages as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to join in to help them cel­e­brate the season.

One of Labrador’s most se­cre­tive an­i­mals is the fly­ing squir­rel. A lot of folks among us, many who have spent a good deal of time in the woods, have never seen one of th­ese elu­sive crea­tures.

There are a cou­ple of good rea­sons for this. Th­ese an­i­mals pre­fer to live in the ar­eas of the big­gest tim­ber.

The most im­por­tant rea­son that we don’t see them of­ten is their be­hav­ior that sees them be al­most ex­clu­sively noc­tur­nal in their ac­tiv­ity. They sleep away the day and move about with most of their ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the night hours. They have big eyes and long whiskers that are both ben­e­fi­cial to them for their night ac­tiv­i­ties.

The north­ern fly­ing squir­rel is found in the big tim­ber of the conif­er­ous and mixed conif­er­ous forests across most of Canada, in­clud­ing Labrador. There has been no con­fir­ma­tion that they have ever been seen on the is­land of New­found­land.

Th­ese an­i­mals are light brown with pale col­ored un­der parts. They can grow up to 10 to 15 inches in length when they reach adult­hood. Th­ese an­i­mals do not fly in the same way as birds or bats. They do how­ever glide from tree to tree with the aid of a patag­ium, a furry, para­chute-like mem­brane that stretches from their wrist on the front legs to their an­kle on their back legs.

Their long tail pro­vides them with the nec­es­sary sta­bil­ity that they re­quire in flight. They use their mem­brane, and with the as­sis­tance that their tail and limbs pro­vide, this al­lows them to con­trol their glide and steer them­selves. Al­though they are ex­cel­lent glid­ers and move through the trees with skill and grace in mo­tion, they are very clumsy on all fours on the ground.

The young squir­rels are usu­ally born in March month, hair­less and help­less in a nest pre­pared by the mother. Their nests are gen­er­ally built in holes in the trees, pre­fer­ring large di­am­e­ter trunks and dead trees. Tree cav­i­ties cre­ated by wood­peck­ers are also sought af­ter and are usu­ally found in old growth, big tim­ber sce­nar­ios. Ex­cept when they are rear­ing their young, the squir­rels will shift from nest to nest fre­quently.

The males do not par­tic­i­pate in the day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties of rais­ing their young. They are cared for by the mother for about five weeks, at which time

GARY SHAW – SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

A fly­ing squir­rel

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