The Packet’s news of 2018

A look back at the head­lines of the past year for the Clarenville-Bon­av­ista Penin­sula re­gion

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial -

Jan. 23 Ge­orge’s Brook-Mil­ton be­comes a mu­nic­i­pal­ity

Early in 2018, af­ter many ef­forts by the lo­cal ser­vice district, Ge­orge’s Brook-Mil­ton of­fi­cially in­cor­po­rated as the province’s new­est mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The com­mu­nity made the an­nounce­ment at the lo­cal recre­ation cen­tre on Jan. 23,

2018 that they would be the

272nd town in New­found­land and Labrador.

“It feels great. We’ve ar­rived,” said Craig Pardy, chair of the lo­cal ser­vice district at the meet­ing.

While the com­mu­nity voted in a ref­er­en­dum in favour of in­cor­po­ra­tion back in May 2017, with 66.1 per cent of vot­ers con­firm­ing the de­ci­sion, the of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment didn’t come un­til Jan­uary.

The newly minted town went on to hold their first ever mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion in May, with Pardy named mayor, Deputy Mayor Mor­gan El­lis, and Coun­cil­lors Blanche Wise­man, Sarah Whalen, Brian Fo­ley, Darren El­lis and David Adams.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity also be­gan work on a town hall fa­cil­ity— tak­ing res­i­dency in the com­mu­nity cul­tural house which was a for­mer church in Ge­orge’s Brook-Mil­ton. Work on that build­ing is on­go­ing.

Feb. 22

Port Bland­ford be­gins fight with province to pre­vent clearcut­ting

In Fe­bru­ary 2018, when the pro­vin­cial govern­ment made clear their plans to in­sti­tute clearcut­ting in the Port Bland­ford and Thor­burn Lake ar­eas, res­i­dents in the town say they felt blind­sided.

What tran­spired was a months-long strug­gle be­tween an ad­vo­cacy group against the clearcut­ting and the province.

The group ar­gued that cut­ting a large por­tion of the trees sur­round­ing their com­mu­nity would have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on the tourism in­dus­try in the area, as well as en­vi­ron­men­tal and qual­ity of life con­cerns.

The govern­ment were look­ing to cre­ate work for com­pa­nies in the area and ar­gued that much of the tim­ber was old growth and needed to be ad­dressed.

Af­ter a se­ries of pub­lic meet­ings and con­sul­ta­tions with the govern­ment, the Town of Port Bland­ford — in an ef­fort to com­ply with the wishes of their res­i­dents — re­sponded with a so­lu­tion to block the ac­cess to clearcut­ting in a large ma­jor­ity of the nearby woods by re­zon­ing ar­eas within their mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

March 28

The Packet news­pa­per cel­e­brates 50 years

March 28, 1968 the very first of edi­tion of The Packet news­pa­per hit the news­stands in the area.

For over 50 years, The Packet has been in cir­cu­la­tion cov­er­ing the news and com­mu­nity events in the 99 com­mu­ni­ties in the Clarenville-Bon­av­ista Penin­sula re­gion, in­clud­ing the three bays — Bon­av­ista, Trin­ity and Pla­cen­tia.

As the pa­per of record, the reporters of The Packet have seen it all over 50 years, and on March 26, re­leased a spe­cial ret­ro­spec­tive is­sue for pub­li­ca­tion which in­cluded old pho­tos, head­lines and editorials from the decades of pub­li­ca­tion.

In ad­di­tion, The Packet de­buted a new weekly col­umn called “A Packet of Past” which fea­tures snip­pets of the old edi­tions which per­tain to the week’s date from 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years ago.

April 9

White Hills Ski Re­sort hits low­est rev­enue in a decade

The 2018 win­ter sea­son marked a noted down­turn for the White Hills Ski Re­sort near Clarenville, with the fa­cil­ity record­ing the low­est rev­enue since 2009.

The ski re­sort, pur­chased by the Town of Clarenville in 2000, brought in just $423,065 in rev­enue in 2018 (com­pare to 2017’s $668,303)

While the hill seemed to thrive with events and sales re­volv­ing around food and drink, day passes saw a drop of over 4,000 and sea­son passes fell by over 1,000.

This equated to one of the very worst sea­sons for the re­sort in re­cent mem­ory.

April 19 Clarenville Cari­bous win fourth Herder ti­tle

Fol­low­ing a 2017 Herder fi­nal loss in heart­break­ing fash­ion to the Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars when the win­ning goal saw the puck ac­tu­ally pass un­der the side of the net, the Clarenville Ford Cari­bous had a 2018 of ret­ri­bu­tion.

The Cen­tral West Se­nior Hockey League’s Cari­bous stormed back to the Herder fi­nals on a mis­sion, sweep­ing the St. John’s Caps of the East Coast Se­nior Hockey League in four games and claiming their fourth Herder ti­tle in their his­tory.

In ad­di­tion, ‘Bous head coach Re­becca Rus­sell be­came the very first fe­male coach to hoist the cov­eted pro­vin­cial tro­phy in his­tory.

“There’s a wide range of emo­tions right now. I’m ob­vi­ously elated and happy for the guys on the team that’s their first time win­ning a Herder,” Cari­bou cap­tain Dustin Rus­sell told The Packet af­ter the clinch­ing vic­tory in Tor­bay.

Clarenville de­fence­man Justin Pen­der re­ceived the Cliff Gor­man Me­mo­rial Award as the se­ries MVP.


The Clarenville Ford Cari­bous cel­e­brat­ing their 2018 Herder win.


The of­fi­cial in­cor­po­ra­tion of Ge­orge’s Brook-Mil­ton. From left to right, then Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs min­is­ter Ed­die Joyce, Bon­av­ista MHA Neil King, ser­vice district chair­man Craig Pardy and com­mit­tee mem­ber Mor­gan El­lis.


The front page of The Packet’s 50th an­niver­sary edi­tion from Thurs­day, March 26, 2018.


An im­age of White Hills from late last win­ter.


The map of pro­posed clearcut­ting in Port Bland­ford at a meet­ing in March of 2018.

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