Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

December 31st, on the Magdalen Islands is normally a place where party's happen. Tonight may be different. It has been snowing, storming all day and here at &21 pm the storm has not abates at all. The weather forecast for the day has been correct and tonight it says the

Temperature is -2C and there is light snow.

In truth it must be heavier than light snow because the horses are covered with about six inches on their backs and the plow is on the road full time. Still the parties will go on and everyone will have a good time. Red Nose Operation (Operation Nez Rouge) will once again be busy making certain that everyone gets home safely after the partying. Islanders are so lucky to have this non-profit organization in our midst. Island volunteer participants drive inebriated party goers and their vehicles home safely after the party is over.

An Explanation: Opération Nez rouge (literally, "Operation Red Nose"), founded in 1984, is an escorting service offered in Quebec and several francophone countries under several names as well as in the English-speaking parts of Canada under the name Operation Red Nose during the Christmas holiday season, although the name sounds somewhat odd to English-speakers' ears.

Operation Nez Rouge was started in Quebec City by Jean-Marie De Koninck, who had two goals. He wanted to finance the Laval University's swim team and he wanted to do something to fight driving under the influence. He knew that drivers leaving bars refused taxis to bring them home when intoxicated, not because of the cost, but because they wanted to have their own cars the next day. Thus came the idea to simply offer an escorting service.

The service was used millions of times between 1984 and 2007.


On this day in Our Islands History

In 1762, the war between England and France had come to an end. Canada and Acadia were passed into authority of the English. An English Colonel, Richard Gridley requested the concession of the Magdalen Islands from the Lords of Trade. He was granted a temporary exploitation permit and in 1763, he organized the hunt and fisheries of the islands.

- From the chronicle's of historian Father Frédéric Landry
Événements Historiques Agenda (Septembre 1993 à Septembre 1994)

Richard Gridley was born January 3, 1710, in Boston, Massachusetts, Richard Gridley was the outstanding American military engineer during the French and Indian wars from the Siege of Louisburg in 1745 to the fall of Quebec. For his services he was awarded a commission in the British Army, a grant of the Magdalen Islands, 3,000 acres of land in New Hampshire, and a life annuity. When the break with the mother country came, he stood with the colonies and was made Chief Engineer in the New England Provincial Army. He laid out the defenses on Breed's Hill and was wounded at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He was appointed Chief Engineer of the Continental Army after Washington took command in July 1775. He directed the construction of the fortifications which forced the British to evacuate Boston in March 1776. When Washington moved his Army south, Gridley remained as Chief Engineer of the New England Department. He retired in 1781 at age 70. He died June 21, 1796, in Stoughton, Massachusetts.

If anyone has any ideas on the subject, please feel free to make suggestions in the comment section of this posting!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Islands Preparing For Christmas 2007

Old Man Winter Arrives on the Islands

On December 4th, winter hit the Islands with a vengeance. The snow, even after the storm passed, didn’t stop. It continued until the next week when a winter storm coming in from the west where it had dumped three feet of the white fluffy flakes, hit the islands a second time. The hydro power, flickered off many times during the day and night, only to come back on in surges, destroying many pieces of electrical equipment in the homes of many islanders.

Despite the difficult twenty-four hours with gale winds, all remained calm and serene. The roads were treacherous and many vehicles went out of control but there were no accidents on the east end of the islands. Ephriam Chevarie, the federal plow driver, kept the snow at bay by continuously driving from one end of his route to other and back. However, even for all his work, the snow still hugged the pavement in a thin, icy glaze, that made motorists drive with extreme caution.

Soon the children were out with their toboggans and sleds and adults had their ski-doos and all terrain vehicles on the hills and roads, having fun, searching for that perfect Christmas tree. In the days to follow it wasn’t unexpected to see, trees tied to the tops of cars while hauling a trailer loaded down with an ATV.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Welk Souvenir

A cousin of mine, Tim Clark for TLC Creations, who owns a house here in Old Harry, makes these charms that are anywhere from one to three inches in size. He strings them on chains for pendants, hooks for Christmas tree ornaments and loops for pierced earrings. They are so beautiful and unique gifts to give at Christmas.

It takes many hours to make one, I would imagine. I've never tried making any but I understand it is difficult because the welk (conque, sucker,) shell is very hard and if cut with a band saw it will break into a million pieces. No, the only way to make these is by painstakingly and lovingly working the shell away until all that is left is a cross cut of the center of the shell. They have the most amazing pastel colours to them also.