Tales and Yarns

Ice Bound in Little Bay Islands

Author:  Garry Tizzard

My father was Rev. Aubrey M. Tizzard from Hillgrade, Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. He was married to Rowena Watkins of nearby Indian Cove. At the time of this story, May and June, 1950, they were living in La Scie, White Bay, on the northeast coast. There were only two of us children then _ Roger, two years old and myself, three months old. What follows are my father’s actual journal entries detailing the trip he made from La Scie to Little Bay Islands. He and several other United Church ministers were attending a weeklong sitting of Presbytery meetings. When the meetings were over, however, the men found themselves stranded, icebound on Little Bay Islands and far from home. Little Bay Islands is a small island/community just off Newfoundland’s northeast coast in Green Bay, and northeast of Springdale. It is a 45 minute ferry ride from St. Patrick’s.

Here then is my father’s account of his journey, echoing once again from that long ago time, to here and now.

Monday, May 23rd 1950 …..Got up at 6:30 a.m., got some things ready and after breakfast, I left La Scie at 9:00 o’clock that morning. Walked to Shoe Cove where I engaged a boat to take me to Nippers Harbour. Arrived there at 1:45 p.m. and had dinner at Rev. Newbury’s. He and I out and around this evening and out for a ride in his boat after tea.

This has been a beautiful day, calm, warm and clear. A bit of ice some distance offshore.

Tuesday, May 23rd…..Got up at 8:00 a.m. and after breakfast Mr.. Newbury and I left Nippers Harbour in his boat. Arrived Little Bay Islands about noon. Had dinner at F. W. Bradbury’s. After dinner Mr. Bradbury took me to Mr. Jim Forward’s. Had a wash and shave and then Mr. Newbury (staying a few houses away) and I went to the Post Office. Came home again at 5:00 o’clock. Mrs. Forward and I went to play tonight entitled “Three Bright Girls.” Came home at 11:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 24th…..Attended Session of Presbytery in United church from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Went to the field where the community held a Sports Day Programme, which included a football match, races for the children, target shooting, etc. At 6:30 p.m. all Presbytery members were tendered a free tea in the United Church Hall. Members present included Rev. Roy Rodgers, Chairman - Rev. N. B. Hodder, Secretary - Rev. P. M. NacAskill, Treasurer - Reverends Bradbury, Tizzard, Abbott and Coles.

Thursday, May 25th…..Attended another Session of Presbytery in the vestry of the united Church from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attended a funeral service this afternoon. Later, I was examined by the Committee for Students and Lay Supply from 2:40 p.m. until nearly 3:00 p.m. Presbytery Session opened again at 4:00 p.m. and continued until 6:00 p.m. Reassembled again at 7:30 p.m. and continued until 10:30 p.m.

Ice still a little ways offshore today.

Friday, May 26th…..Presbytery opened again at 9:00 a.m. and continued until 12:30 p.m. Resumed business again at 2:00 p.m., continuing until 6:00 p.m. Divine Service at 8:00 p.m. conducted by members of Presbytery. Also, all members of Presbytery in the choir. Business of Presbytery resumed at 9:30 p.m., concluded at 11:00 p.m. It was quite foggy when I came home then. Feeling tired so went right to bed. Mr. And Mrs. Forward came home around 11:15 p.m. so I got up, went downstairs and had a lunch with them. I retired again at 12:30 a.m.

Ice moving closer to shore today.

Saturday, May 27th …..Ice tight in to the land this morning. Reading most of the morning. To the Post Office this afternoon and then to the store. After tea went to choir practice at the church.

Foggy today and tonight, icebound.

Sunday, May 28th…..All Presbytery members still here, still icebound. Attended Divine Service 11:00 a.m. Rev. R. L. Feltham preached from St. John 21:15, “Lovest thou me.” Attended Sunday School 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. which was addressed by Miss Nancy Edwards of the W.M.S. workers. Attended Divine Service at 6:30 p.m. I read the Scripture. Myself and other ministers walked around the community for a while tonight. Still Ice bound.

Monday, May 29th…..Got up about 9:00 a.m. and took some pictures of the other ministers trying to get out through the ice (heading southeast) in the passenger boat. The attempt was unsuccessful. Another attempt was made at 4:00 p.m. and this time they made it all right. The S. S. Springdale came at 4:30 p.m. I was out around for a walk this evening, and again after tea.

Still a lot of ice all up along the northeast coast of Green Bay.

Tuesday, May 30th…..Reading this morning. Had a bit of a nap this afternoon. I continue to be icebound.

Wednesday, May 31st…..Still icebound. S.S. Springdale went to Little Bay and came back again...a solid jam of ice outside. Out for a short ride in boat this morning, to the edge of the ice. Out for a walk around the village this afternoon. The weather has been fine and warm all day.

Thursday, June 1st…..Reading most of the day. Mr. Newbury came to visit after tea and we made plans to leave tomorrow. Still fine and warm, and still icebound but ice moving off a little this evening.

Friday, June 2nd…..Got up, had breakfast and Mr. Newbury and I left Little Bay Islands at 8:00 a.m. Arrived Nippers Harbour 11:00 a.m. after encountering only a little bit of difficulty in the ice. Got on board Mr. May’s passenger boat and arrived Indian Burying Place at 12:45 p.m. Had dinner at Mr. Sid Stoodley’s and after being put on the right road by an 82 year old gentleman, I walked to Snook’s Arm, arriving there at 3:20 p.m. Had lunch at Mr. Ches Fooke’s. After lunch, Mr. Fooke landed me to Round Harbour. After having tea at Mr. Adam’s I got landed to Tilt cove, arriving there at 8:00 p.m. Spending the night here.

Fine and warm all day. Ice just a little distance offshore.

Saturday, June 3rd…..Visiting around Tilt Cove this morning for a while and then after dinner a boat took me to Shoe Cove. Baptized a baby for Mr. and Mrs. Claude May of Snook’s Arm. Arrived La Scie at 4:00 p.m. Quite a trip. Spent some time this evening and tonight doing a bit of clerical work and preparing for Sunday.

With the exception of La Scie, where I was born, I have never been to any of the other communities mentioned here - Nippers Harbour, Snook’s Arm, Round Harbour, Tilt Cove and Shoe Cove. I would dearly love to go back there though and retrace my father’s steps (by boat) from La Scie to Little Bay Islands and back, if not for nostalgic reasons than just to compare a trip like that by today’s standards.

Perhaps there is someone out there who remembers that Presbytery meeting from long ago and could drop me a line. I am still gathering information for a book I am writing about my father’s life in the United Church Ministry of Newfoundland and Labrador. Perhaps I’ll even go there myself this fall and take along some of my father’s diaries to show to some of the older generation. Maybe then they’ll remember.

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