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Buchans welcomes them home

Mining memories as former Buchaneers return    


Published on August 7, 2017

What parade would be complete without a ship of Buchaneers. This family float featured several swashbuckling adventurers.

©Pauline Dean/Special to the Advertiser

BUCHANS, NL — After two years of planning, Buchans was ready to welcome people home.    

This much-anticipated Buchans Come Home Year, an 18-day party that wraps up Aug. 7, saw hundreds of people return to the central Newfoundland mining town, under the theme “Mining Our Memories.”

The event began July 21 with opening ceremonies at the T. A. Soper Memorial Stadium.

 Rob Lane of the committee welcomed everyone on that opening night and introduced fellow Buchaneer, Liam O’Brien who had indeed been ‘mining memories’ as he had been going through the papers and photos of the last mine manager, the late George Neary. 

Among the treasures he discovered in Neary’s papers was a shift report and brief history of the MacLeans mine. He framed it so all could take a look.

“MacLeans of course was a mine; the last that really operated and the deepest mine,” explained O’Brien. “There were others — Oriental, Lucky Strike, Old Buchans, and Rothermere — but (MacLeans) is about the last one, because this was the one that was operating just before we shut down in ’84.”

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Published on 07 August 2017

“Mining for pennies” under the boardwalk, which went the length of Main Street, was once a very popular pastime for children. Ella Perrier (who lives in Calgary) and Evan Lyver (who lives in Halifax) show everyone along the parade route just how to do it – with a stick and bubble gum.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

Sporting the Buchans Miners hockey jersey, Jessica Squires and Michelle Pendergast take their dogs Dolly and Penny for a walk in the Buchans CHY parade.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

A combined family effort brought Snow White and the Hard Rock Miners together for a float in the Buchans CHY Parade.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

St. Theresa's Academy school held a reunion for former graduates during the Buchans CHY. Some of those from the Lane family put together a float to show off their school uniforms and depict a scene in a classroom in years gone by.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

Standing to the sides of the road during the Buchans CHY parade, many people renewed acquaintances and enjoyed the wonderful parade that passed by.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

The Girl Guides of Canada had units in the town since the national organization came into being. The 1st Buchans Guiding Unit showed their pride in their group with this colourful float in the Buchans CHY parade.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

Cole Bursey (who lives in Corner Brook) had a very modern piece of equipment to haul one of the iconic Buchans Mining Co and ASARCo ore cars for the 2017 Come Home Year parade in the former mining town.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

Liam O’Brien found the “last shift report” document for MacLeans Mine while going through file boxes of documents for the late George Neary, last mine manager for ASARCo Buchans Unit. He decided it would be a very appropriate document to have framed along with a brief history of the MacLeans Mine that ceased production Aug. 31, 1984. He presented it at the opening ceremony for the Buchans Come Home Year event July 21.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

Chef Lauren Wilcox came all the way from Yellowknife to bake this CHY 2017 celebration cake.

Photos by Pauline Dean

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Published on 07 August 2017

Liam Fellows was visiting Buchans with his parents from Denver, Colorado, and loved the Buchans Mining Company train that was part of the Come Home Year parade.

Photos by Pauline Dean

The document is dated Aug. 31, 1984 and work was being carried out at 20 and 21 Level.  Twenty-one Level was almost 4,000 feet underground.

In addition to these documents, the committee also had reprints of a book written by Neary, detailing some of the history of the mines.

It was available for sale through the week.

Among the special guests for the opening was MHA Al Hawkins.

“It’s certainly a pleasure for me to be here in Buchans tonight for the beginning of your CHY,” he said. “I know that this community has a strong spirit and has a strong sense of pride in your community, and I just want to encourage you to always hold on to that because it is so very important.  Community spirit is the key to the survival of communities.   Today more than ever we have to depend on volunteers…”

Hawkins thanked the volunteers who worked to organize the Come Home Year event.

O’Brien echoed those comments.

“I’ve got to say that all this is volunteers, they are all volunteers doing this work,” he said.  “This is their own time and me there is nothing more valuable than your time.”

Mayor Derm Corbett welcomed local residents, as well as guests from across Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and the United States.

“You’re certainly welcome and whatever you were before today, after today you will be a Buchaneer,” he said.

The mayor added, “(This event) was two years in the making . . . because what we’ve tried to do is put together a two-week program that will rival anything you will see in this province.  We’ve worked to have a variety of activities whether you are 91 or one, there will be plenty of things for you to take part in.”

Mayor Corbett wished everybody a great come home year holiday adding “I want you to party hard as true Buchaneers and Newfoundlanders, party safe, and as our logo says, mine the old memories and make enough brand new memories to last you a lifetime.”