© — Photo by Frank Gale/The Western Star
Joan and Willie Barry of Stephenville reflect on some memories of past Christmas seasons at their cabin while looking through photos taken over the years.
Point au Mal - Both come from large families, so Willie Barry and his wife Joan (nee Herritt) value togetherness at Christmas and love to spend much of their holiday season in Point au Mal.
That's why the Stephenville couple spends most of their time, from Boxing Day until after celebrations on New Year's Day, at their cabin.
And they're certainly not alone, as their son Keith has a cabin next door, as does Willie's sister Theresa and her husband Garry Tucker.
Together with friends the Barrys have in the small community, they have a big New Year's bash, along with what they call a "jolly vacation" during the week leading up to New Year's Eve.
But their cabin is a second home to them as they spend almost every weekend there, with the exception of the fishing season. Barry is a fish harvester who works out of Little Port Harmon, closer to their home in Stephenville.
The lights and decorations inside and outside their home away from home have been up for some time , so the couple is all ready to go.
The Barrys have had a cabin at the location for 30 years. It is on land that was formerly owned by Willie's dad Leo (Red) Barry.
Four years ago Willie built a new and larger cabin there, alongside the ones owned by other family members.
As part of their New Year's celebrations they have fireworks and finger foods, along with some great local music.
Last year Charlie Chaisson, originally from nearby Fox Island River, dropped by and played the accordion. Willie said he's hoping Chaisson comes by again this year.
"On our menu this year is turkey and ham and we will likely have moose sausages, too," he said. "And there is always a boiler of soup."
Big guest list
The Barrys don't mind feeding about 20 people on New Year's Day. The couple said they love the fact that their grandchildren, Sheldon Porter, 10, and Brooklyn Barry, 3, spend lots of time at the cabin.
"They were down this past weekend and our grandchildren will be there for the 'Jolly Vacation,'" he said. "It's really great fun."
Two of the Barrys' longtime friends, Jerome and Brenda Lafitte of Fox Island River, drop in every weekend and most often they have a game of cards. Willie said he expects they'll be two of the guests over the holiday season.
"It's going to be another great time," Willie said.
He comes from a family of 14, eight of whom are still living, while Joan comes from a family of 22, including 11 from her family and 11 stepsisters and stepbrothers from her father's first marriage.
"But to me they are all brothers and sisters,' she said.
— The Western Star