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LETTER: Late physicist would be happy Carbonear honours his spirit

Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor

A Sept. 25 letter to the editor published in The Compass (‘Questioning the purpose of a Carbonear walking trail’) criticizes the Town of Carbonear for creating the trail. Among the complaints is one in particular on naming the pathway The Davis Earle Walking Trail.

The article infers that Davis Earle lived his life and was buried elsewhere from Carbonear, did nothing for, nor contributed anything to the town and that his life’s work was about personal achievement. Not only are these remarks false, nothing could be further from the truth.

Davis grew up in Carbonear and spent part of his childhood on his father’s schooner. There his Newfoundland character was forged by the same forces of nature that made the character of the great seafarers of Carbonear’s past. It is significant that Davis never forgot this spirit of Carbonear and carried it into his professional life as a scientist. There he applied that spirit to the frontiers of knowledge, where it eventually led him into becoming an essential member of the team that won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics.

At his Memorial University honourary doctorate presentation, the orator said, “Davis has been fishing in different waters than his forebears. Dr. Earle — using the same ingenuity, determination, energy and vision — has enlightened and enriched our world! A native son whose intellect is focused on the stars, but who’s feet are firmly grounded in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Indeed, what Davis has given Carbonear is not just something local, rather he gave himself to something larger, to the community of the world to which Carbonear belongs. His life was not one of personal achievement, but one given to everything he had in his compassion for the betterment of his fellow man. His wish was to have his ashes spread over Carbonear Island, but they were interred in the grave with his mother and brother in the Carbonear Anglican Cemetery.

Davis’ life was a shining example, especially to the young, of how to apply your God-given ability to something you believe in. His example was one of perseverance and motivation, where you never know what you can do until you try. This is the reason Carbonear chose his name for the trail. Davis always helped people, and would be happy knowing that since he is gone the Town of Carbonear has honoured his spirit by using his name in a way that may inspire others.

Old man river (aka Phil Earle)


'LETTER: Questioning the purpose of a Carbonear Walking Trail'

'LETTER: Carbonear trail doing more harm than good'

'Carbonear resident says walking trail work encroached on property'

'Town of Carbonear to name walking trail after physicist Davis Earle'

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