It has allowed people who have lived here for all or most of their lives, who love it here and wish to remain, to keep those connections in place, even if they’ve had to travel great distances every few weeks to do so.
But as lucky as we may be, there is a downside. Reminders of the negative aspects pop up all the time and sometimes in the least obvious of places.
Take, for instance, the present success of minor softball in Marystown this summer. For nearly a decade, the sport was not available to youth in the town.
Was that because young people weren’t interested or because the necessary support system – committee members, volunteers, etc. – weren’t available?
As minor softball president Terry Walsh told The Southern Gazette this week, working on a turnaround for the last six years, he simply couldn’t commit to getting involved in outside activities when he had so little precious time home.
Now he’s working on the Hebron project, like hundreds of others, at Peter Kiewit and has the time and the initiative to get involved in youth sports.
We’ve discovered it isn’t lack of interest – nearly 200 kids have registered to play.
Not only has the re-introduction of youth softball been successful, but the men’s and women’s leagues have grown as well, thanks in part to an influx of people from outside the region working at Kiewit.
It offers a tantalizing taste of how things should be on the peninsula, doesn’t it?
This is about more than softball. So much is lost or, at the very least, not gained, when so many people are away from the region for weeks at a time.
Yes, the turnarounds in Alberta and at other major project locations across the province and country have been a big boost to the Burin Peninsula, but it can’t continue as a way of life forever if the region is to grow and prosper.
At some point, more jobs, and higher paying ones, need to be created and sustained permanently in the local economy if the social fabric of the community is to flourish.