East Coast Night a fun celebration of maritime music and culture

Madeleine Jordan giving a brief lesson on dancing the jig.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

McLennan Parks and Recreation Society held its second annual East Coast Night, at the Elks Hall in McLennan on April 27.

The “East Coast Night” fundraiser is a celebration of Canadian maritime culture, music and food and approximately 130 people attended the event sponsored by Hicks Honey, McLennan Home Hardware, McLennan Liquor Store and McLennan Royal Purple Elks.

Flags representing the three Maritime Provinces and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador hung from the ceiling with nets and other bric-a-brac evocative of the Maritimes decorated the stage with the tables named for cities and towns in the four Atlantic Provinces.

The excellent buffet supper included seafood soup, a variety of salads and fish and chips, along with a number of other seafood creations. Cheese, salami and other snacks were served later in the evening.

The event, MC’d by Krista Veitch, began with a brief outline of the Parks and Recreation Society’s mission statement, the kinds of projects the society is pursuing and the existing services and facilities the society has already put in place.

Some of those services include the McLennan Fitness Centre, running club, Family Day Ceelbration, pond hockey and Kicks for Kids, to ensure that affordable programs are available to children and youth in the community.

An exciting new initiative for the Recreation Society is the building of a multi-sports outdoor facility on the site of the former tennis courts at the west side of H.W. Fish Arena with work scheduled to begin on the project sometime this spring.

East Coast Night fun began in earnest with seven volunteer trying their hand repeating idiomatic Newfoundland phrases with a Newfoundland inflection and then attempting to decipher what those phrases mean.

Following some comical attempts at Newfoundland colloquialisms, Madeleine Jordan offered a brief lesson in dancing a jig, which the seven volunteers, in no less comical fashion, attempted to perform.

While many in this year’s audience were “screeched in” at the 2018 “East Coast Night,” the demand for initiation was not as overwhelming.

The ‘screech in’ involves kissing a fish, (cod preferably) and drinking at least one shot of dark rum. As the ritual involves a shot of rum, some people saw no harm in being initiated a second time, even if they had to kiss a fish first.

Only genuine Newfoundlanders can officiate at the screech-in so Amanda Moyles from Lewisporte NL and Krista Veitch from Mount Pearl NL did the honours, bringing a cart with a fish and shots of dark rum from table to table to perform the honorary Newfoundlander initiation ceremony.

A number of door prizes were available along with the premium draw for a $1,500 travel voucher from Marvel Travel.

For those who had a little too much wine, beer or rum, Victory Life Church provided a Keys Please Service, which works by one volunteer driving people home in their car followed by another Keys Please volunteer to pick up the driver and take them back to the venue.

The Keys Please Service is free but tips were welcomed with the funds raised going towards works in the community.


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