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Hard work and love of home


In his one-man show "Show Me the Button and I'll Push It, or Charles Lynch Must Die," Rick Mercer spoke at length about why Newfoundlanders stayed in the communities where they were born. In his words, simply put, it was because the rocky cliffs and windswept harbours were "their homes." He did not mention lush, green forests, but certainly he meant to include central Newfoundland in that part of his monologue in the early 1990s. For Boyd Cohen, he stayed in Grand Falls-Windsor because it is his home. He certainly didn't have to.

In his one-man show "Show Me the Button and I'll Push It, or Charles Lynch Must Die," Rick Mercer spoke at length about why Newfoundlanders stayed in the communities where they were born.

In his words, simply put, it was because the rocky cliffs and windswept harbours were "their homes."

He did not mention lush, green forests, but certainly he meant to include central Newfoundland in that part of his monologue in the early 1990s.

For Boyd Cohen, he stayed in Grand Falls-Windsor because it is his home.

He certainly didn't have to.

After establishing himself as one of the preeminent businessmen of the province, he might have been better off moving east to St. John's. But he did not.

He told a reporter from the Advertiser this week he stayed because he "loved Grand Falls."

And he obviously loves the people here as well.

Nearing the venerable title of octogenarian, Mr. Cohen is still in his office every day - perhaps not as early as he once was - but every day nonetheless.

He is still quite active in the community and in business, but has worked hard enough and is successful enough that he probably does not have to.

One can only surmise that it is his love of his community and the people in it that keeps him going into the office on a daily basis.

This area has many people throughout its history it can call pillars or foundations upon which the economy has been built. Some that come to mind might bear the names of Goodyear, Dominix, Riff, Edwards, Moore and Bartle. The Cohen name, though, has persevered through recessions and economic hardships.

While Boyd Cohen may credit his family for having established businesses in central Newfoundland, he has carried their torch high and has lit the path for other businesspeople with its light.

He has been a mentor to many business owners who employ our citizens today, and there is no doubt he is deserving of the honour of the first lifetime member of the Exploits Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Many people in Grand Falls-Windsor might not have ever met or heard Mr. Cohen speak until last summer's Salmon Dinner. As the patron to the annual Exploits Valley Salmon Festival, he was given the task of delivering a speech at the event, which was a time in the history of the town that no one really felt like attending a party.

The mill had just closed. There were more than 700 people out of work. We had little in the way of hope for the future.

In his short address to the hundreds of people present, Mr. Cohen eloquently and masterfully gave the community a collective kick in the pants. He reminded us of the positives we had - our skilled workforce, our abundance of natural resources and, above all, our will to prosper.

It was a speech that was given from the heart, not political, not preaching, but as a bit of friendly advice from someone who knows how to succeed.

As he has so often in his career, he shared his knowledge, wisdom and experience to those in attendance, many of whom would be the leaders of the community in the future.

For this and for many other reasons, Boyd Cohen is well deserving of any accolade he has received in the past or will be bestowed in the future.

As a region and a community, the Exploits Valley is very lucky he calls our area "home."

David Newell

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