As in past years, the attendees were mainly of an older generation with people from less than one year on up to over 90 years of age taking part.
The level of chatter during the evening was a clear indication that everyone was keeping up with the theme “Mining Our Memories.”
CHY committee president Rob Lane welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers, including MHA Al Hawkins, MP Scott Simms and Mayor Derm Corbett. Each of them congratulated the committee and Town for hosting a successful event.
“I know that a lot of people have come back to Buchans and for old acquaintances some of you probably haven’t seen each other for over 20 or 30 years, so it’s a great opportunity,” said Hawkins. “Come Home Years are a great thing.”
Corbett noted, “The number one priority for that (CHY) committee was putting on 14 days of good entertainment, especially for children, but they worked very hard and I have to say I think that whether you’re one year or a 101 years, there was a very, very good program offered to you.”
The Mayor continued by extending thanks to visitors and guess.
“When you put something like this on and you invest thousands of dollars, which you have to,” he said. “You cross your fingers, you pray that they come and I want to congratulate all of you who travelled from far and wide.
“As far as I know we have touched every Canadian province, Yukon, NWT, the United States …there are people here from the different continents.”
Simms recognized the Junior Canadian Rangers who were helping to serve the dinner.
“One of the greatest assets we’ve ever had in Newfoundland and definitely one of the greatest assets here are the people who go away and do so well but always come back home to celebrate where they come from,” Simms said, “Congratulations to you all.
“There’s an Allan Doyle song that says it so well for every town but it certainly applies here. In the song it says, ‘I may not know where I’m going but I certainly know where I come from.’”
Liam O’Brien presented a framed document of the last production shift report to the Town of Buchans. Lane thanked O’Brien for his work in preserving the history of Buchans.
Lane also told the story of his grandparents, the Polletts, having been the first family to stay in Buchans.
The guest speaker for the evening was Buchaneer Elywin Burke, who worked as a correctional officer for 30 years. He was also the recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He now resides in Clarenville but will always consider himself a Buchaneer.
“Like most of you here tonight I swam in the Mudhole, I hiked to the dam to fish, I know what a khaki dodger is, I saw the Miners win the Herder in 1963, stole rhubarb from Mr. Hart’s yard, been chased by the Company watchman, played road hockey, played cards in the wintertime and know all the words to Sonny’s Dream,” he said. “I also have respect for the pick and shovel, for the hard rock miners of Buchans who toiled daily to provide for their loved ones in this awesome place we all call home.”