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Editorial: Cheers & Jeers

James McLeod gets a parting gift on his last day at The Telegram.
James McLeod gets a parting gift on his last day at The Telegram.


Jeers: to outmigration. This province lost another fresh-faced youngster to the mainland last week, with the departure from St. John’s of Telegram reporter James McLeod. Another bright mind lost to Upper Canada, another bright light extinguished in this, our windswept land. Another mother’s son setting out for foreign soil and an uncertain future… OK, so James is not from Newfoundland and Labrador, he’s from Toronto and he’s moving back home. Still, we’ll miss him and his dapper hats, his trademark bow ties and ready wit, his love of absurdity and politics (sometimes one and the same). His last day was a sad one, and we’re pretty sure we heard him sing a bit of a Fables song as he disappeared out of sight: “Come get your duds in order ’cuz we’re bound to leave tomorrow, heave away me jolly boys, we’re all bound away.”


Jeers: to gloomy forecasts. Here’s another Newfoundland song to add to your playlist in these economically dark days — “Hard, Hard Times,” attributed to William James Emberley of Bay de Verde and inspired by the Great Depression. When your province’s fall fiscal update starts its Outlook section with these words: “Economic growth is expected to continue to be challenged for several years beyond 2017…” it seems like a long, long time ago that we were branding ourselves as “Canada’s youngest, coolest province.” And yet it was only a decade or so ago.


Cheers: to where there’s a will… When a hockey-loving teenager from Fogo recently realized the ferry service was temporarily halted by a protest, with a stretch of ocean between him and a pair of games he was supposed to be playing in Lewisporte, he was determined to hit the ice. “Damian dearly loves his hockey,” said his mom, Denise Freake. “Whatever it takes.” In this case it meant him and his parents taking a ride in a fishing boat belonging to Rod Rowe for the hour-long run between Seldom on Fogo Island. Thanks to Damian’s persistence — and the support of his parents and community — he was soon back in the game.

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