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A final resting place for Gerald Squires

Esther Squires reflects as she holds back tears, recalling the dream when she said Gerald appeared to her after his death.
Esther Squires reflects as she holds back tears, recalling the dream when she said Gerald appeared to her after his death.

BOYD’S COVE, NL – It is a path Gail Squires is familiar with as she makes her way along the 1.5-kilometre groomed walking trail.

A small band of close friends, as well as staff from the Boyd’s Cove Beothuk Interpretation Centre, follow behind.

“Each walk is different and it is sad today,” Gail says.

They reach the location of the “The Spirit of the Beothuk,” a bronze statue created by renowned Newfoundland artist, Gerald Squires.

Esther Squires, daughter of Gerald and Gail, places the urn containing the ashes of Gerald at the foot of the sculpture. 

Esther Squires, with Gail Squires and a small group of close friends, walks the trail towards the bronze statue of Shanawdithit created by Gerald Squires.

The urn was something Gerald and Gail created together, according to Esther.
“They were always doing that. Gail made the pots on the wheel, and Gerry would decorate them with his sculptures.”

The group forms a circle around the sculpture. Desmond Canning, chair of the Beothuk Institute, begins the smudging ceremony, a cleansing smoke bath used to purify the body, aura, and ceremonial and ritual space.

After the ceremony, each person in the group spoke about Gerald and scattered his ashes.

Karen LeDrew-Day, site supervisor of the Beothuk Interpretation Centre, spoke of Gerald's passion, humanity and connection to the Beothuk.  

Barely containing her tears, Esther said she saw her father in a dream.
“He had a long black wool coat on, and he wasn't sick, and he looked beautiful. I said, ‘Wow, you look amazing – are you going to stay?’” He said, ‘My feet have been walking on this earth to and fro for a long time now.  It's time for me to go.’

“So, I'm letting him go, not from my heart, but to free his soul.”

As dappled sunlight poked through the trees around the statue, Gail closed the ceremony with, “all this is just a sad, meaningful real moment.”

Recalling their life of travels and adventure, she added with a chuckle, “anyway Gerry, happy trails.”

Gail Squires scatters Gerald's ashes around the sculpture. The sculpture took four years to complete.

His remaining ashes, according to Esther, will be scattered “in areas where Gerry really made an impact and lived our lives and felt connected to.”

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