Inside King's-Edgehill School

Volume: 5 Issue: 14

Posted by Joe Seagram, Headmaster on Dec 5, 2014 4:00:00 PM

Dear KES Family,

This week Darcy Walsh and I were in Newfoundland. When it came time to go and say our goodbyes, one of our Newfoundlander parents, a true gentleman by the name of Peter O’Flaherty (proud father of Sarah ’13, and Jack ’15), said “We have a Newfie expression for times like this: You don’t have to go home, but it is time for you to leave.”
I love it.

Having just spent a little time on “The Rock” I can happily attest to Newfoundlanders’ uniquely rich, joyful, and musical culture. Unabashedly friendly, one is never lonely in an elevator, a shop, or a pub. Awkward silences just don’t seem to exist in Newfoundland. From coast to coast, Canadians have many things in common, but there is a unique pride and identity to the locals that is immediately apparent from the moment one arrives at the airport or ferry terminal.

We often remark upon the cultural diversity of our School and point to the international student body and how it enriches our lives. It is fabulous having students from all over the globe living and learning on campus. However, it is equally important to celebrate what students from across Canada bring too. We have many proud students from across our great nation, and whether they are from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec or Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia or British Columbia, King’s-Edgehill School is influenced and enriched by all of them. Sometimes, when I see Karl-Eric Demers (Class of 2015) from Quebec walking and talking in French with his young buddy Brisnel Etou Bosseba (Class of 2020), I am enthralled with the cross-cultural connections we are continually making.

As a boy growing up in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, I heard many Newfie jokes but never actually met anyone from Newfoundland until my adult years. I suspect this is the case with many Canadians. I am continually delighted by the people. Newfie humour is wonderfully humble but often points to an inner strength and generosity of spirit. This spirit was on full display when on September 11th, 2001, the people of Gander welcomed over 6,600 passengers and crew from 44 grounded aircraft into their homes for six days until the skies were cleared for air travel. Despite having an international airport, Gander is quite remote and only had a population of about 8,700 at the time.

A few years back, the rugby team travelled to Newfoundland. Along with three students, I was graciously hosted by the O’Flaherty family. One evening Peter’s wife Heidi was off to visit friends. As she prepared to leave she remarked, “It would not be right to arrive with arms the same length. Do we have anything I can take?”

I love that too.

Joe Seagram

P.S. Two shipwrecked Newfies met in the open ocean. Each clinging to his own log.
"Ahoy," exclaimed the first, "Your ship has sunk?"
"Yes, a year ago."
"You don't say so? And you've been at the sea all this time?"
"Aye, and what about it?"
"How could you endure it for so long?"
"Wondering myself. It was so boring, on Sundays in particular... ."

This week in pictures.

Week 14

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Topics: Joe's Journal -- Weekly Headmaster's Newsletter

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