Stag­ing the past

Gar­nish Bakeap­ple Fes­ti­val play pays trib­ute to dory builder Stephen Leonard Grandy

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY AL­LAN STOODLEY Al­lan Stoodley is a long-time res­i­dent of Grand Bank. He can be reached at am­stood­[email protected]­, and he wel­comes any com­ments on this or any other ar­ti­cle he has writ­ten.

Con­trib­u­tor Al­lan Stoodley took in the Gar­nish Bakeap­ple Fes­ti­val’s play cel­e­brat­ing Stephen Leonard Grandy.

The 25th an­nual Gar­nish Bakeap­ple Fes­ti­val was spe­cial for a num­ber of rea­sons.

As usual, all groups and or­ga­ni­za­tions in the town were in­volved in this year’s event.

In ad­di­tion to a break­fast on the wharf ev­ery morn­ing, sev­eral new events were added in 2017, in­clud­ing a mum­mers dance, a fire­works dis­play and card­board boat rac­ing in French­man’s Cove barasway.

One evening was dubbed “Cel­e­brat­ing Our Peo­ple,” with em­pha­sis be­ing put on the sea­far­ing tra­di­tion of Gar­nish.

Ship­build­ing was the ma­jor em­ployer in the com­mu­nity from the late 1800s right up to the 1940s. To high­light this as­pect of the town’s his­tory a play en­ti­tled “Stephen Leonard Grandy – Dory Builder” was pre­miered.

Stephen Leonard Grandy was born at Gar­nish in 1884 and moved to Grand Bank as a young man for em­ploy­ment with G. & A. Buf­fett Ltd., a com­pany sell­ing dories lo­cally and along the south coast of the is­land.

It wasn’t long be­fore he de­signed a boat that he felt bet­ter suited the New­found­land fish­ery, weather and ocean con­di­tions. This new ver­sion of the tra­di­tional dory quickly be­came so pop­u­lar that it led him to branch out on his own along with his three sons – Max, Roy and Leonard.

Dur­ing the 1940s and 1950s, the Grandy work­shop in Grand Bank op­er­ated at ca­pac­ity, build­ing more than 3,000 dories.

The Grandy Dory gained na­tional promi­nence and recog­ni­tion in 1992 when it was cho­sen to ap­pear on one of the Cana­dian quar­ters, in­deed a fit­ting trib­ute to one of Gar­nish’s most fa­mous sons.

Some 160 en­thu­si­as­tic and ap­pre­cia­tive peo­ple were on hand Aug. 11 to see the play, which was writ­ten and di­rected by Gar­nish’s own Ho­ra­tio Cluett.

In­cluded in the au­di­ence were 13 of Stephen Leonard Grandy’s de­scen­dants, in­clud­ing grand­daugh­ter Mar­ion Bon­nell.

Af­ter the play she spoke on be­half of her fam­ily, thank­ing the Gar­nish Bakeap­ple Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee and Cluett in par­tic­u­lar, who was also one of the ac­tors, for bring­ing to the stage the story of her grand­fa­ther and the Grandy Dory.

This year’s fes­ti­val, which con­cluded on Aug. 13, was a big suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to chair­per­son Bruch Grandy.

“We are ec­static with the way it went,” he said. “The crowds were un­real from start to fin­ish. Ev­ery event we had over the nine days sold out.”


The 12 peo­ple who acted in the play “Stephen Leonard Grandy – Dory Builder” dur­ing the Gar­nish Bakeap­ple Fes­ti­val on Aug. 11 re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion and praise all around for their per­for­mance. They were (from left) Ho­ra­tio Cluett, Holly...


Thir­teen of Stephen Leonard Grandy’s de­scen­dents were in the au­di­ence in Gar­nish for the pre­sen­ta­tion of the play “Stephen Leonard Grandy – Dory Builder.” They were (from left) Maud Brooks, Ethel Pardy, Stephen Bon­nell, Eleanor Piercey, Ben­jamin...

ar, along with the other mem­bers of the cast, for bring­ing to the stage the story of her grand­fa­ther and the Grandy Dory with the play “Stephen Leonard Grandy – Dory Builder.” She spoke on be­half of the 13 de­scen­dants of Stephen Leonard Grandy who were...

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