The Packet’s news of 2018
A look back at the headlines of the past year for the Clarenville-Bonavista Peninsula region
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.
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.
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.
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.