Brady Talbot would like to stay in Newfoundland for good, but his plans make staying in Conche unlikely.
Even to finish high school, he’s had to drive 35 minutes every day to get to Sacred Heart All-Grade School in Roddickton this year. Cloud River Academy in Conche was closed last year.
The student council co-treasurer will move to St. John’s in a couple of months to pursue a bachelor of science at Memorial University. He’ll see where that takes him — maybe he’ll teach at a university level one day.
“I’d like to stay in Newfoundland, but if I needed to for a specific opportunity, I’d move,” he says.
Talbot figures about half his graduating class of 21 people in Roddickton will stay in the province and the rest will leave.
“There’s a few who are really into the whole rural community, like fishing and hunting, all the stuff like that, hanging around. Then most of us are looking to move away,” he says.
He says the folks who are leaving are looking for different opportunities, like one classmate who wants to become a physiotherapist and open a business. The local job market isn’t for everyone.
“I think it’s part of why people want to leave, because most work you’ll find is part-time jobs like the convenience store, the Foodland, Home Hardware,” he says.
He says the fish plant in Conche is starting to pick up, with people from nearby communities such as Picadilly coming in for work.
“But if you’re not into working at a fish plant or becoming a fisherman, that’s probably a good reason people want to leave.”
Talbot has visited MUN a couple of times, and looks forward to moving to St. John’s.
“It’s a nice change from what I’m used to, and I have a lot of family that live there, too,” he says. “If the work were there, I could see myself staying in St. John’s long term.”