Our love and longing for Merasheen is hard to explain and possibly quite difficult for many to comprehend. The anthem, "Merasheen Sings to me" written by my brother Pat in 2001, will help you understand and appreciate why Merasheen is so near and dear to the hearts of all of us who call it home.
MERASHEEN SINGS TO ME
There is a place that I call home. It's a place I have come to know intimately and to love. Away from this place, away from the beauty and power that is Merasheen there is always something missing. Merasheen sings to me!
It sings soft lullabies. It sings historical ballads. It sings sea shanties. It sings rousing songs of revolution. It sings of joy, sorrow, regret and loss and belonging. It sings of gifts passed down. It sings of faith, hope and love. The voices om the wind are Basque, French, Mi'kmaq, English, Gaelic, and earlier still Beothuk.
It sings to me of the joys of arriving and the sadness of departing, of coastal steamers and a crowded government wharf, of leaving home too soon, of being away too long, of my twin brother Gerard ( who died an infant- but there's two of me in many of my dreams), of family and friends now scattered, of ancestors in the graveyards, of early rites of manhood, of the importance of memory, and of a fierce pride of place.
Merasheen sings to me of mad storms, of warm breezes, of sunsets, of soft twilight, of the dawn-breaking cry of a gull, of complaining crows, of the flash of a hawk, of high hills with black cliffs down to the sea, of sweet meadows, of traces and fragments of memory, of the evocative smells of wood smoke, oakum, old classrooms, fresh-mown hay, and the store loft.
It sings to me of the secret places of childhood, of childhood games, of playmates’ laughter, of days too short, of wonder and surprise, of sadness and disillusionment, of moonlit nights, muffled foggy mornings, of back coves spongy with capelin spawn, of the Big Rock, the Middle Rock, the Long Rock, the Net Rock, the Chain Rock and the Fish Rock.
Merasheen sings to me of hills and ponds and features named for and by people long since gone but remembered in Agnes's Hill, Gallivan's Hill, Murray's Pond, Larkin's Garden and Tommy Yeo's Point. It sings to me of sea and wharves and boats overflowing with cod, of bustling harbor, of talk of weather and the fish, of store loft stories, of the wisdom of old people, of soft-hard women and hard-soft men, of the quest for learning and understanding, of the silence of an empty church, of garden parties, of the wild 'round the house dance,' of concerts and skits, of journeys 'in over the hills,' of a co-operative spirit and action, of duty, responsibility and work, of Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Easter and Lady Day Celebrations of faith and community.
Merasheen sings to me of eagles, ospreys and loons, of sea otters and whales, of flatfish, conners, tomcods and jellyfish, of beautiful sculpins and darting terns, of the endless summers of childhood. It sings to me of trap berths and fishing grounds, of good bottom and clear marks, of dory, punt, skiff (Mary Maureena) and schooner (Catherine M. Hann), of the Wild Cove, the Virgin Cove, the Big Shoal, the Pond Head, the Dirty Rocks, of Breakheart Point and the Fox Point, of Iron Skull, the Friar, and the White Sail.
Merasheen sings to me of hidden shoals, of a welcoming light, of a secure harbor inside the frothing "narrows", of a forever restless sea, of the meeting of land, sea and sky, of peace and solitude, of being alone but not lonely, of knowing who I am, of being connected and rooted.
Merasheen sings to me of yesterday, today and tomorrow. A deep connection to place can’t always be understood or explained. It is a commitment, a deep and abiding attachment. It is a part of every aspect of my life, every belief and thought. It is a part of instinct, of primal memory.
Without my yearly journeys home, I'm not fulfilled.
I await my next journey home.
Merasheen sings to me!
Patrick J. Hann, March 15, 2001 Revised February 1, 2020
Some of the photographs in this presentation are old, I am unsure of the origin and cannot give credit. Many though are from the archives of Ernie Walsh, which he has shared with me over the years. Thank-you Ernie, for keeping the History of Merasheen alive. Some of the photos are from the public domain. The letters and documents are from records and documents belonging to my father, Patrick J. Hann. A few of the pieces of correspondence are from the archives of the archdiocese. There are many quotes from the Report Engineering Demographic Change, by George Withers in 2012. Thank you to my brother Paddy for his assistance. To comment please contact me at email@example.com
Copyright 2017 Ray Hann
Following are links to more stories I have published with Adobe Spark. Copy and paste the links in your browser if you would like to read them, they all have something in common with a place that is near and dear to my heart. Please feel free to share the links with anyone you feel may have an interest in the subject matter. Contact me by email at, firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to make a comment.
Grace Williams died from a gunshot wound on May 24, 1925 at Merasheen, less than three weeks shy of her sixteenth birthday. A subsequent Supreme Court Enquiry determined a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, inadvertently fell from a makeshift rack on a kitchen ceiling, discharged accidentally, thereby shooting her in the chest and hand simultaneously, killing her instantly. For tenable reasons Grace's family never accepted the court's finding. How and why, that happened, plus the way they were revictimized by the two token investigations conducted into her death, is the foundation for this narrative. Grace's Story provides riveting and graphic details of her death and the aftermath. Utilizing a copy of a report from the inquest into her death, along with a bit of family insight, I will relate a family's challenging search for justice against an inept and suspect justice system, that existed in the Dominion of Newfoundland at the time.
Grace's Story - A Story Chiseled In Stone
The Government Game - Centralization The Destruction Of Placentia Bay
The Last of The Western Boats - Catherine Mary Hann 1927
Merasheen Past and Present - A History Of Merasheen
Paddy's Ode To Home - Merasheen Sings to Me.
Still Coming Home
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