When Georgina Smith (Atilde Courtney), 75, saw a posting on Facebook about a recently published children's book set in the resettled outport of Petites on the south west coat, her curiosity was piqued and she ordered two copies. Georgina, who now lives in Stephenville, was born and raised in Petites.
When the books arrived in the mail, she was astonished to see a photograph of the very house where she was born, as well as a photo of a headstone in the Petites' cemetery inscribed with the names of her three uncles who drowned in a fishing accident on Jan 22, 1935: Norman Courtney aged 27 years, Clayton Courtney aged 25 years and Frederick Courtney aged 21 years. Photos of Petites' Bethany Church also brought back a flood of memories, as Georgina was married in front of its altar and later had her four children baptized there. Bethany Church is believed to be one of the oldest surviving wooden churches in Newfoundland.
The Little Locket of Petites, Newfoundland was written by Lynne Sawford, a 76-year-old woman who operates a bed and breakfast and artist studio in Rose Blanche. She was inspired to write the book after her 10-year-old grand niece, Anne, came for a visit last July. On a glorious summer day, they packed a picnic and went by boat to Petites, three miles along the coast from Rose Blanche.
Anne was delighted to run free and explore every nook and cranny of Petites, which was closed down in 2003 when the community was relocated. Anne made pretend houses in the tall grasses, searched for china figurines and bits of coloured sea glass by the brook, and decorated a driftwood tuckamore tree on the beach with strands of sea kelp and bird feathers.
Beautifully illustrated with photographs that were taken during Anne's exploration of Petites, the book tells the story of a young girl, Wistful Wavey, who discovers her grandmother's long-lost locket in an old chest that washes up on the beach one morning after a terrible storm. The chest had gone to the bottom of the sea 40 years previously when the schooner that her grandfather had been on, foundered on the rocks nears Petites.
The Little Locket of Petites is a tribute to the beauty of this abandoned Newfoundland outport and to the importance of exploration and discovery during childhood.
Copies of the book can be ordered by contacting Lynne Sawford through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lsawford or through her web site for the RoseSea Bed and Breakfast at www.roseblanche.ca From mid May to mid October: (709) 956-2872 and from mid October to mid May: (613) 687-6182. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will send the photo of the book cover under photo submission. Cathy
Submitted By: Catherine Allison