Last ferry to Big Noise
- Grand Bruit, Newfoundland Transcontinental Medial file photo
This sign has welcomed visitors to Grand Bruit for years.
— Photo by Liam Dougherty/Special to The Telegram
- Doug Billard looks through an old photo album with pictures of friends and family from Grand Bruit. Billard still spends six months of the year in the community and he plans to return next summer. Photo by Brodie Thomas/Transcontinental Media
“I lived here for 28 years and really loved living here,” said Cynthia Billard, the last woman in Grand Bruit. “But the time has come.”
- Top of the page
- jack brideau
- - June 22, 2012 at 00:25:39
I visited with my family a few years back.Looking for some info on a woman named Nancy Edwards,a summer resident.Would like to contact her.Would like an email address .Thanks Ps fond memories of cram alot
- Jodie Billard
- - October 13, 2010 at 00:01:19
I just found this article on Grand Bruit,and I must say it was very well written.Grand Bruit has had many many visitors over the years,from far away places,further than many of us will ever see,and all of them were amazed at the beauty of the little town,the friendliness of the people who always welcomed you with opened arms and warm smiles.I know this because I grew up in my beautiful little town of Grand Bruit.And for those of you that are tourist,it is sad when you hear about the resettlement,and for those of us that have left behind beautiful memmories,it is devastating. I know for myself I could not visit my home town this summer,the first in the many years I have been gone, and it was very sad for me to be in NFLD and knowing I couldn't go,but I cherise all the memmories of growing up there,the closeness of family being around,thanksgiving dinners,and lively Christmas holidays,when mummering was a wonderful thing all of us got to do,and the all year around visiting and Friday nights at Mon's shop playing games.There are so many wonderful memmories wrapped up in that little town I could go on for hours,but those of us that are from there,all have memmories of our beautiful quiet little piece of heaven,that now needs to be left to rest in peace,undisturbed by anyone,letting nature take its course,and for those that will rest peacefully there forever,you are forever in our hearts as wonderful memmories of Grand Bruit.
- Barry Gardner
- - August 21, 2010 at 06:48:31
Although I'm about as upalong (Hobart, Australia) as it's possible to be, I have spent some little time among you and developed a great affection for Newfoundland and its culture and traditions. I was very moved by this article. Thank you.
- - August 16, 2010 at 00:34:57
Wow Marsha, you are too kind. While we're at it, why not put a McDonald's on every corner and have everyone live in a metropolis where you can't even look a stranger in the eye, let alone ask him for help? These outport communities were created by hard-working Newfoundland fisherman who saw their resources abused and depleted. You're right - shame on them for not wanting to pick up and start over immediately. Shame on all of us for even considering their feelings regarding relocation. You sit there eager to dish out your judgements. Have you ever visited an outport community? Spoken with its people? Experienced the rich culture, language, and pure kindness of their people? Obviously, the people of Grand Bruit agree that from an economic standpoint, relocation is the best option. However, there are more important things in life than money my dear Marsha, and this is a great loss to the preservation of outport traditions and Newfoundland culture. If you have no sense of compassion for these elements, I suggest you keep your comments to yourself. Furthermore, Newfoundland is now a HAVE province, while more populous provinces (Quebec and Ontario) continually look to Ottawa for handouts. While Newfoundland taxpayers (including RURAL taxpayers) are sending money to Toronto and Montreal to support their 'larger-centre' populations, perhaps they could spare a few dollars to ensure the preservation of the very culture that makes us distinct from the masses? Because let's face it, when outsiders speak the praises of Newfoundlanders and our province, they're speaking of the very aspects of Newfoundland that you find in little places like Grand Bruit, the very aspects that you would have us erase without a second thought. Perhaps once Newfoundland has become just another stop - without charm, without traditions, without the rich dialect found only in rural areas, you'll see the real impact of what has been lost. When Newfoundlanders have lost their compassion for their fellow man, and the province is filled with Marshas...perhaps then we'll recognize the true value of outport communities.
- - August 5, 2010 at 03:41:23
It's sad what has happened. Moving it self, from a different home to another home is difficult by it self, moving from a place you've lived in after 20 + years and moving by force not with one's own decision is even harder. Only thing to do is pick up the pieces and continue on. I defitintly afree with Geroge E's words. He nailed it right on the money. And by the way it's towns like these that, where the personalities of Prime Ministers, Doctors and Teachers come from. Not back washed dirty cities.
- George E.
- - July 29, 2010 at 22:12:32
There's lots of good sound argument why small isolated towns, like Grand Bruit, should cease to exist from a purely economic standpoint. Their reason for being, the fishery, no longer exixsts. However, that being said, I don't think there is any other type of community on this earth that produces people of finer character, people with a tenacity to make it on their own, people who can and will 'find a way or make it' when an inventive solution to a problem is called for. Their resourcefulness, to survive and make do under what may seem like impossible conditions, knows no bounds. I am always saddened when I think of the poor souls who struggled to the end and who will now lie unheralded for eternity on a desolate, fog-bound coast. Their interred remains oblivious to the lonesome calls of soaring, successive generations of seagulls as they scavenge the shores for paltry scraps. For the next few years there will exist two or three of the oldest generations from Grand Bruit whose lives will be enriched by the memories and the stories of life in that South Coast gem of a community, picturesque beyond description. I just hope that some individuals will feel motivated strongly enough by a passion for our past history to capture and secure their stories. All will be lost, piece by piece, as time will surely take its toll to wipe the slate clean. We need that history, those stories of and from our past. Let's get them now and preserve them for posterity.
- Politically Incorrect
- - July 29, 2010 at 09:28:23
Nice sentiment, Marsha. It's this kind of loving and caring attitude that really marks many Newfoundlanders apart. We see a community in need or just someone struggling and we boldly leap into action by climbing onto our high horses and loudly proclaim that they are not worth our time or resources. I would say this is the same attitude I experienced living in Toronto towards Newfoundland during the cod moratorium and while NL was a have-not province... oh, except that it wasn't. But thanks for taking the time to share your compassion with these people who are going through a very difficult time. These words are what they really needed to hear.
- - July 28, 2010 at 15:25:28
Great news. One less community draining resources from the government. I'm not sure why people would complain about the 'injustice' of forced settlement. How about the injustice of those who live in larger centers having to pay extra taxes for those who choose to live in the middle of nowhere. We should be charging people for utilities and the like based on the cost of providing them. That would cause mass resettlement very quickly and let the government lower taxes on people in this province. There's no reason that so many should pay so much extra for the benefit of so few.
- - July 27, 2010 at 14:22:00
Phenominal article, eloquently written. Sad to see the days of Grand bruit behind us. I have always been fascinated with the life and dynamics of isolated communities. A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat touches on these communities,
- ART BILLARD
- - July 27, 2010 at 11:36:26
if someone offered me 90,000 bucks i would think i won the lottery. best wishes art billard london ontario.
- Elena Blanco
- - July 24, 2010 at 18:23:44
What a tragic tale. I had no idea small towns sometimes have to arrange for their own destruction. I figured it was always an injustice forced upon them, but not everything is so black and white, I guess. This is a great article. The topic was handled with sensitivity. And I bet there isn't a lot of writing on Grand Bruit, so it's nice to see the town preserved at least in a first-hand-account description. It was easy to picture this beautiful town even without the gallery.
- Sarah MacD.
- - July 24, 2010 at 15:41:27
Good job, Liam! I love the colour and personality you've shown!