Dear friends of Elliston:
What a better time to sit and begin writing this annual newsletter than on a stormy day, during a power outage in November. Old man winter is certainly showing up with a bang! I’ll say it’s going to be a long winter, do you?
Let me begin by saying that we have had another exciting year. There are many things happening within the organization that some people are not aware of. I’ll try to fill you in, as best as I can.
Tourism Elliston has employed a total of 33 people during 2018. Isn’t that awesome for a community this size? I think so!
Each day brings its own challenges for me, and I still love my job as much as I did this time last year. I have an awesome team of bosses. They’re not only my bosses, but my friends, as well. That goes a long way in a working relationship.
Our maintenance person, Sid, worked tirelessly for us again this past summer. He is so devoted to his work. We sincerely hope that he will return to work in 2019. Thanks, Sid, for going above and beyond your call of duty! We appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.
Nanny’s Root Cellar Kitchen employed a total of seven workers, including both full-time and part-time positions. Thank you, so much, to everyone who made “Nanny’s” a great place to eat and relax. Geraldine, our restaurant manager, has done another awesome job to make sure everything ran as smoothly as possible (as do all the other employees as well!) I can’t wait until next season to get another delicious Nanny Burger! Yum!
We were approved for a Wage Subsidy Program and were very fortunate to be able to hire Jessica Dyke as manager of the Elliston Adventure Craft Store/Visitor Information Centre. Through her strong work ethic and love for her job, Jessica has become a great asset to our organization. She will be returning in the spring of 2019, to take on her same role, again. Thank you, Jessica, for your hard work and dedication.
Seventeen employees were hired under three different Job Creation Partnership Programs:
• We were approved for five interpreters/tour guides, to work at both the Adventure Craft Store and the Puffin Site. The store had a great season! Many thanks to all of the consignees who brought us their beautiful products to sell at our store! The profits made from our sales and from the Puffin Site will be used to pay Jessica’s salary in 2019, as well as other operational costs. The Puffin Site is becoming one of the most-visited sites in all of NL! A record number of people (approximately 25,000+) visited the site this past summer. I’m confident to say that if someone was on site 24 hours a day to record all visitors, that this number would be doubled, at least.
The Puffin Site is a unique part of the Discovery Aspiring Geopark. I’m sure we will be seeing more and more visitors with each coming year. The soaring numbers of people who visit Elliston are so valuable for the small businesses in our town. Jobs that have been created wouldn’t have been, otherwise. Here’s to another wonderful season to everyone in 2019!
• A group of seven men took on the difficult task of restoring the old Salvation Army Citadel. The foundation needed a lot more attention than was originally anticipated, but we can rest assured, it will now last for a long, long time to come, due to the awesome work of Bill Reid and his group. As the old saying goes, “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Under the same project, Rich Tucker’s old shop on the “North Side” had some interior work done it, as well.
• Five employees were hired to do repairs on the old “Tilley Barn”. The roof was stabilized and felted, a new loft was built inside, and parts of the exterior walls were replaced with newly painted clapboard. The foundation was replaced with a more secure base. Thanks guys!
Young Canada Works Program – Daniel Tucker was the lucky student who was chosen for the position of Heritage Educational Program Assistant. Thank you Daniel for all of your help and fine work! (P.S. I hope that my reference report landed you the job you were after!)
Canada Summer Jobs – The students chosen to fill these positions were: Brianna Randell and Brady Stringer (Nanny’s Root Cellar Kithcen); Devon Abbott, Evan Collins, Jenna-Lee Templeman, (park attendant/festival assistants) and Spencer Oldford (Media Promotional Assistant). School Program – Kaylee Goodland was also hired
as a park attendant. Thank you for doing an excellent job with your duties! It’s always a pleasure to get to know and work with new students.
The Bird Island Puffin Festival has seen 21 good years; however, right now we are at a time when changes are needed. A public meeting was held to give the residents of Elliston an opportunity to tell us of what they would like to see in the future. Unfortunately, not much interest was shown at that time. A dozen or so people attended and we came up with these few new ideas. The band, ‘Bic and the Ballpoints’, was brought in to play at the park on Saturday night. They were awesome! The managers of Montanas came out from St. John’s and deliciously prepared 1,000 racks of ribs for us. They were so yummy! I’m confident that whoever purchased them would definitely agree. Thank you so much to Scott and his wife for doing that! We added a picnic with the princess event, and some cartoon characters as well. Strongman challenges were introduced, but I think most people were too timid to take part. In the new year, we will, again, begin discussions re how to make our festival exciting again.
The Roots, Rants and Roars Culinary Festival, once again, brought sell-out crowds to Elliston and the area. This festival is huge, but extremely costly. An application has been submitted to expand it in 2019, to try and include other events in which the general public can take part. This will be huge for our economy, because businesses will benefit in the shoulder season, where otherwise things are pretty dormant.
Tenders have been sent out for the construction of four permanent chef stations along Sandy Cove Road – Maberly, where the Hike usually takes place. Once completed, these structures can be used by anyone who would like to have a cook up, etc. (Except during the RRR Festival). Nice hey?
Bill Raymond set up “Liam’s Pottery” in the adjoining room of the Craft Store. This was a great addition to our store; he will be setting up there again next summer.
Members of Tourism Elliston have attended various meetings over the past year. Every three months, a partnership meeting is held either at the Recreation Centre or the Town Hall. This is a great time to find out what is happening within the small businesses of Elliston. If any business owner is interested in attending, please feel free to contact me and I will make sure that you are notified in the future.
The parking lot, across the road from the Puffin Site, should be underway for the 2019 season. We’ve run into a few snags along the way, but the wrinkles are almost ironed out now. That should free up the traffic congestion in that area in the future.
We have many partners with whom we work. A sincere thank-you to our major funders, ACOA; and the Dept. of Tourism Innovation Industry Development, for all of your support! Thank-you, also, to the Dept. of Advanced Education and Skills for allowing us to keep hiring locals to restore and keep our heritage alive; to Canadian Heritage; the Town of Elliston; the Elliston Recreation Committee; Home from the Sea Foundation; Trinity Historical Society; Hike Discovery; Sir William F. Coaker Foundation; BTRCC; the Discovery Shooting Club and Great War Committee; and to all of our volunteers who tirelessly give up their valuable time to help us in any way! I deeply apologize if I have omitted anyone.
The Christmas season is almost upon us again and the tree lighting and senior’s party have already taken place. Both events saw huge turnouts! The community spirit is alive!
In closing, I would like to take this time to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Please stay safe and “Be nice to someone, it may mean more to them than you’ll ever know”. A small gesture can go a long way.
On behalf of the Tourism Elliston Committee,