Andrée Levie-Warrilow's beautiful spoken word piece  - originally written for SOUNDS at the Market - that reminds us why so many came - and still come.


Many people will visit the Grey Roots Museum for Pratie Oaten, eat potatoes cooked over an open fire, enter the settlers' buildings, look at the way they lived, and listen to the haunting tunes of fiddle and flute.

Descendants of immigrants and refugees, all.
Thee years ago I stood at Cape Spear in Newfoundland, peering out onto the heaving grey Atlantic, picturing Ireland straight ahead: 3,217 km.
And I remembered a story my grandfather told me....
One evening, long ago, so the story has it, my great, great grandmother Mary pounded her kitchen table with a fist, and cried, "No more will my flesh and blood be cannon fodder!"
And eventually, with that singular focus, the paralyzing inertia of despair under a brutal sovereignty was broken.
The family gathered their possessions, found the fare for the crossing to Canada, and set off one auspicious sunny day for a mythic place of peaceful diversity.
They knew they would miss the land, their friends and family.
But they also knew the truth of what lay behind them: dispossession, poverty, despair - and worse.
They had no other option: they had to go, or perish.
And as they watched, that green land receded behind them, and the sun faded, and the fog crept all around them.
Try to imagine how they dealt with the dirt, disease and rodents once the weeks rolled by on board.
And try to imagine what it might have felt to be them, as they perceived what was a large ship in dock, after a few hours, then days, then weeks, become a much smaller boat surrounded by the grey heaving waves of a very large sea.
I can see and hear them, that first day at sea, as they turn craning necks away at last, to sit on bags and parcels and boxes with the rest of their kith and kin,
to listen to the haunting tunes of fiddle and flute.
Immigrants and refugees, all.


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