by Tony Hann
August 27, 1998

From July 26-30, 1995, a reunion was held on Merasheen Island Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. It was the fourth reunion for the Island since resettlement in the late 60s. It had a special meaning for me because, this time, relatives and friends I had not seen for 30 years, and some relatives I had never seen, would come to this reunion.

People came from all parts of Canada, the United States, and other places. But most came from all across Newfoundland, especially Placentia Bay. They came in all sizes of boats, from the small speed boat to the huge longliners. I, like many others, went out on the Placentia Bay Queen. We left Argentia at 7:20 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26, 1995. On the following pages are my memories as the Island came into view and my memories while on the Island as I roamed the roads and paths of my childhood  hometown.


The Point of Merasheen, the Dirty Rocks, Bald Head, and the Pool
Revived many memories as they came into view,
The Scrape Cove, Red Land, and the Long Point too,
Then across the Back Coves and the Narrows, we steamed through.

We moored up at the Plant Wharf
As most were wont to do.
For hundreds there had gathered,
And old friendships were renewed.

Hot soup was served to everyone
Tea and cookies too.
It was a trait of Merasheen,
And that kindness still shone through.

And then, of course, with greetings done
And stomachs well fed too,  
A boat and men to lend a hand,
There still was work to do.

In Ernie's boat, I went down home
It's forever home to me:
I soon had all the gear took off, it
And then I turned to see.

The Wharf was gone, the Stage was gone
And, of course, the Old Shed too;
Gone with time, eroded away
Washed into the sea.

With a heavy heart, up the path I walked,
When a sight to behold I saw:
For right on the spot where the Hann's had lived
The Flower Garden had blossomed again.

The roses they beckoned me over
To the gentle sway of the wind;
Each rose had a face and a meaning,
And a smile crossed my face once again.

As I stood there and gazed in great wonder,
Strong memories from childhood returned:
Is it really voices I'm hearing,
Or is it the whispering wind?

Now, the tents and the cabins are ready,
The hugs and the kisses are done:
My mother, my brothers, and sisters all home
Except Jeanie, she couldn't come.

Their wives, their husbands, my in-laws,
Nieces and nephews too;
Others I had never met,
Now, they are family too.

As I set out to walk the road,
My heart is filled with joy;
For I surely know I will recall
The things I once saw as a boy.

The Fishplant in Big Merasheen,
The Liver Factory too;
The ballfield was so near to these,
Now, memories spring anew.

I can't forget the times I spent
Upon that old ballfield,
The games I played all summer long
If work was done, you see.

The Jaw Bones and the Muddy Hole,
The Yellow Marsh and Hill,
The old Spout Bridge, the dances there
Would anyone else believe?

Down the road to Charlie's Height
Then on to the Big Hill,
The sledding places in wintertime
Where many hurt a limb.

Then to the Bog, where a Dam was made
To have a hockey rink;
I played all day and sometimes night,
They couldn't get me in.

As I stroll farther down the road,
A spring comes to my step;
For very soon, I will come onto
The place I loved the best.

It is the beach down by the sea  
That the Fender juts out through,
The Potato Point and Jigging Cove
Oh, what a scenic view!

Little Merasheen Beach, I smile,
The games of Kat, remember that?
Hoops and Larry too;
Hide and Seek, the games of Catch,
Experimenting too.

I won't forget Pitcher's Point
Not the Island Cove,
It was there sometimes on Sundays
I would go out for a row.

If there are places I have left out,
Don t think that I forgot;
A To mention Philly's Bottom
Or all the Corner Shops.

The Garden Parties around the Bay,  
I sure looked forward to;
From Port Royal on the eastern side,
And all the way up through.

The swimming and the trouting
At the beaches and the ponds;
Berry picking, rabbit catching,
The Bonfires on the Barrens.

The fishing in the summer,
And then onto the hay;
The picnics in the Virgin's Cove
On a sunny summer's day.

And then, there were the movies,
Delco, please don't stop;
The card games, soup suppers in the Hall,
And dances till three o'clock.

And now it's back, on up the road
Up to the Soldier's Point;
The memories now a little sad,
You see, the school was there.

The memories of that old schoolhouse,
And of the teachers too:
Are treasures to be cherished,
Too precious for to lose.

The Coastal Boat moored at the Point,
As it steamed around the Bay,
Mr. Casey took care of the wharf,
The shed, the freight, and mail.

Neither sleet, nor snow, nor hurricane
Deterred him from his role;
With creepers on his rubber boots
The mail went down the road.

He took the mail to the Post Office,
An important place those days.
Richie Ennis was there to sort, and key (the telegraph)
A vital link back then.

Who can forget Wareham's Store,
The Coal Boats and the Traders;
The Power House upon the hill,
Don Wilson and the Canadians.

The Co-op store was a landmark,
As I did know so well;
My father was the Manager
And served the people then.

The graveyards spoke of long ago,
The names I still could see;
Etched into fine marble slabs
For all eternity.

The church is gone, the priests are gone,
But I remember well;
They taught me special values,
They will be surely held.

The family names I did omit,
And I will tell you why;
The ink will fade, paper will wilt,
But my memories will not die.

And should you ask why I penned ‘this?
The reason, if is real simple:
It's because I love The Island,
And all The Island's people.

So good-bye for now, God keep you all,
I know you'll all return;
When Merasheen will live once more
In Century Twenty-one.