A Badge Of Honour For The Taking

By
Real Estate Agent with Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd.

Have you ever thought of going to the Far East?  I am not talking about the Far East from whence the wise men came with a caravan of gifts for Jesus.  I'm talking about the far east of North America where you can acquire the badge that says "I Have Seen the East and Really Lived!"  OK, perhaps there is no real badge, but there should be!  If there were, it would be awarded to those who had gone to the most easterly point in North America. 

I have heard some in the media refer to the east coast of Canada as, wait for it....Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Perhaps they were unaware that in 1949 Newfoundland joined confederation and bSt. John's Welcome signecame part of the dominion of Canada.  I guess history is not a strong subject for some.  I have to admit, it was not my favorite either.

The notion that Canada ends at Nova Scotia though is inadequate at best and mistaken geography at the least.  Regardless of the oversights of a few, and in spite of those who argue the honour belongs to Greenland, (not part of the continent of North America) there can be no mistaking that the most easterly point in Canada and North America is found in Newfoundland.

St. John's, the Capital of Newfoundland, is the oldest city in North America.  Its history is filled with legends of trouble and toil on both land and sea.  It was inhabited in the early 1500's by fishermen from Europe.  The St. John's harbor became known as a safe haven for fishermen.  The surrounding hills provide a natural shelter from the Atlantic's fury, which on not a few occasions has flared. 

The origin of the name St. John's, (note the apostrophe- something that Active Rain is having trouble with) is uncertain.  Nor is this name to be confused with Saint John, New Brunswick, no apostrophe or ‘s'.  Unwitting travelers have on occasion found themselves arriving in the wrong city and province.  It is in one of those moments that one must conclude that failure to pay close attention to a possessive apostrophe is more expensive than one imagined.   

The earliest reference to the old city is known from an ancient Portuguese map from 1519 wherein it is called Rio de San Johem.  It is believed however that the Italian explorer, Giovanni Caboto who landed in Bonavista, Newfoundland in 1497, was to have given the name to the harbour town.

It may interest you that St. John's is the place where the first trans Atlantic wireless signal was sent by Guglielmo Marconi on December 12, 1901 a mere 108 years ago.  From a lofty perch atop of Cabot Tower, it can be said that the Blackberry received its early debut.  Millions around the world may send St. John's a thank you for aiding in its development.  An e-card from a remote devise would seem to be most fitting.

If you want to wear your "I Have Seen the East and Really Lived" badge, you should know that the point of land that will so designate you as a legitimate claimant is on the rocky cliffs monitored since 1836 by a lighthouse just a few km from St. John's.  Cape Spear, now designated as a National Historic Site, and noted for its rugged cliffs and hardened gaze into the Atlantic, stands as the place closer to Europe than any other landmass in North America.                                   

And if you wonder why it seems so bleak, so forlorn, so alone, perhaps it is due to its lot in life.  It has endured the furry of every Atlantic storm for a millennium and it has watched in anguish every disaster the Atlantic has wrought upon many who by necessity traversed its waterways. 

The place that will award you your imaginary badge is just beyond where the ships seeking refuge in the St. John's harbour.  It is a place that I have stood many times, gazing toward the Atlantic, watching whales breach, icebergs float breathlessly by, and over-sized waves being tossed with ease against vertical shores as though by the breath of God they danced a reckless dance.  It is a place that in those moments I have heard a voice within reassuring me that our Creator is alive and does His work well.  In those moments too, He has heard me reply, "Today, I am alive and am immensely glad to be so!"

R. Greg Osmond is a Platinum Award winning Realtor serving St. John's and surrounding areas, Newfoundland and Labrador for over 20 years and can be reached at 709-895-2500. Visit http://www.rgregosmond.com/for further information. Find him on facebook at R. Greg Osmond.

 

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By R. Greg Osmond, MBA

About the Author: R. Greg Osmond, MBA is a Platinum Award winning Realtor dedicated to serving the people of St. John's, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Kilbride, Goulds, Conception Bay South (CBS), Portugal Cove-St. Philips, Torbay- Flatrock- Pouch Cove, and Logy Bay - Middle Cove - Outer Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador. For over 24 years Greg has been practicing in Real Estate. He is also president of Red Maple Development Inc., a firm focused on new home construction and existing home renovations, for Greg's clients and the market.  Greg can be reached at 709-682-9670.  Greg's Associate Realtor, Andrew Macdonald BBA, may be reached at 709-749-8879.

Want to get in touch? Email rgosmond1@gmail.com. For more information, please visit http://www.rgregosmond.com. Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for helping my clients with buying and selling real estate! If there is any way I can be of service to you today, please feel free to contact me!

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  1. Sylvie Conde 11/03/2009 07:38 AM
Topic:
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Rainer
205,223
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Yes, Greg, I have thought about going Far East, and I actually did ... but not as far East as I would have liked to (or time permitted, at the time).  I made it to Nova Scotia and it was probably one of the best, most beautiful trips I've taken. 

There is something special for me, though, about Newfoundland and Labrador, so when I go back, it will be to see only those two places and nothing else that will rob me of time there.

And here I thought St. John's was so named, because the Portuguese named it after St. John's River ... no?  You don't agree? :)  (we call it Rio San Joao - pronounced more or less as you wrote it on your blog). :)

 

 

November 03, 2009 07:34 AM #1
Rainmaker
124,372
R. Greg Osmond
Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd. - St Johns, NL
MBA, Red Maple Realty

Sylvie,  You have now broken the status of zero comments on this post, so others will have to pay attention to time signatures to understand my reference to it.  Part of the problem with this post is its length.  I know that now. 

As for the name St. John's coming form the Portuguese, I will concede there may be some truth in it.  The history of yesterday has varying versions depending on who you talk to.  It is not surprising that 500 year history has one or two of its own. 

The facts, so called, of this post are from Wikipedia, so who knows?  They might have been drafted by someone in Grade 6.  ;)

Cheers.

 

November 03, 2009 08:49 AM #2
Rainer
205,223
Sylvie Conde
Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Broker, Toronto Real Estate

Greg, I would go back to the post, and copy it to a new blog, and re-post it; and maybe add a link to a couple of your other posts about Newfoundland, so people can come back to this one.  It's weird what works and doesn't around here.  Sometimes it's just about the time it gets posted at.  The more people are online at that time, the more will 'catch it'.

I was watching the news at 6 this morning and heard a little bit about Cupids, Newfoundland.  I loved it.  You have to write about it. :) 

 

November 04, 2009 08:02 AM #3
Rainmaker
124,372
R. Greg Osmond
Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd. - St Johns, NL
MBA, Red Maple Realty

Good idea Sylvie,  I have never thought of using the content in a new post.  I might try that and see how it goes.  As for Cupids, I will look at that later.  I don't have any photos of that place yet.  There are almost a thousand places in Newfoundland that I could write about. All with their own unique stories and strange names.    

I am working on a MLS report for last quarter at the moment.  Not exciting but hopefully useful.

November 04, 2009 08:43 AM #4
Rainmaker
309,704
Larry Estabrooks
a Fully Independent Real Estate Agent - - Moncton, NB
REALTOR®, Moncton, NB

Great post Greg. I have to make one correction me old trout. Located in New Brunswick, Canada's Loyalist City is Saint John.

November 04, 2009 02:35 PM #5
Rainmaker
124,372
R. Greg Osmond
Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd. - St Johns, NL
MBA, Red Maple Realty

Thanks Larry,  However, I am not sure what your correction is.

November 04, 2009 04:13 PM #6
Rainmaker
309,704
Larry Estabrooks
a Fully Independent Real Estate Agent - - Moncton, NB
REALTOR®, Moncton, NB

Greg, you wrote - "Nor is this name to be confused with St. John, New Brunswick". The name of the city is Saint John - there is no abbreviation in the name.

November 04, 2009 08:53 PM #7
Rainmaker
124,372
R. Greg Osmond
Sutton Group-Capital Realty Ltd. - St Johns, NL
MBA, Red Maple Realty

Thanks Larry.  I didn't realize that St. which abbreviates Saint was not an appropriate abbreviation in the name for Saint John.  I appreciate you pointing out a local sensitivity.  St. John's is sensitive about the apostrophe (s) so we understand.  I will revise the post. Cheers. 

November 04, 2009 09:18 PM #8
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