….continued from sharnabrycki’s post
After we interviewed Bonnie on felting we shifted the topic to the heritage of Witless Bay. As a member of the Witless Bay heritage committee and an avid supporter of the arts and heritage in the area Bonnie had an interesting perspective on its place in the community. Bonnie described a game developed by the heritage committee and played during the puffin festival this past summer. The game involved several tools used in the community’s history however for many people the objects were hard to identify. Bonnie said this was a great way to engage with the community and the committee hopes to further develop this sort of game to keep this knowledge alive. One thing which stood out most during this conversation was the idea that our parents and grandparents may not always pass down their stories and traditions for a variety of reasons. Modern conveniences may replace many traditional practices and if those practices are not taught or discussed they could be lost. This is one of the many reasons heritage committees are so important across our rich province. These committees provide a voice for the past and help communities preserve and celebrate their past and present traditions and customs.
After our interview we trekked back through the woods to Bonnie’s home where she showed us several more examples of her work including felted boots, rugs, a wrap and a necklace. Then we got to meet the adorable source of Bonnie’s wool themselves. Boo, Sparrow and Bobby grazed in a large meadow set against the backdrop of the ocean and the North Side of Witless Bay. At first the sheep didn’t know what to make of us but once they were comfortable with our presence they came over and wanted to be nuzzled and have their chests scratched. We sat in the field with the sheep and chatted with Bonnie about their different breeds and different personalities. Bonnie even pointed out the architectural clues of an old walk in hearth all that remains of an old house on the property. Although the rain and winds set in it was a magical morning with many memories.