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The group visiting Duntara, along with some of their Newfoundland relatives on Saturday, Aug. 4.
The group visiting Duntara, along with some of their Newfoundland relatives on Saturday, Aug. 4. - Jonathan Parsons

Visit to Duntara, home of their lineage, emotional highlight

Sandy and Fiona Brodie.  Fiona first contacted The Packet about her desire to explore her family's Newfoundland heritage in March of 2017.  Since then, she, along with the rest of her family, has been able to meet with dozens of Newfoundland relatives.
Sandy and Fiona Brodie. Fiona first contacted The Packet about her desire to explore her family's Newfoundland heritage in March of 2017. Since then, she, along with the rest of her family, has been able to meet with dozens of Newfoundland relatives.

DUNTARA N.L.— When Patricia Brough landed in Newfoundland from Dundee, Scotland on Monday, July 30, it was her first time ever visiting the province.

But in some ways, it was like returning home.

“When I first got here, looking out the window for me was pretty emotional for me, because when I looked out, I thought ‘that did look like Scotland’, and I could see how he liked Scotland,” said Brough.

The ‘he’ she was referring to was her father, James Power, who was originally from Duntara. He was stationed in Scotland in 1939, during the Second World War, where he married and raised a family.

Brough was making the trip to trace her family heritage, and see the place where he father was born and raised

But she wasn’t alone on this trip.

She was one of a 21-member family expedition, all the way from Scotland to Newfoundland to vacation for 10 days and meet with as many relatives as possible.

The story begins back in March of 2017 when Fiona Bett, now Brodie, began a quest to find her long-lost relatives.

She had been vacationing in Newfoundland with her soon to be husband Sandy Brodie, and contacted The Packet to share her story.

After that story was published, emails began to pour in from across the province from people saying they believed themselves to be Fiona’s relative, or at least know of some possible family connections.

Fiona and her husband where able to connect with several relatives but they felt their time in Newfoundland was much too short.

“When we booked our holiday here last time we didn’t know that we had family here, so we only booked two days here. And we saw Duntara and we met everyone but it felt like a flying visit, so to spend 10 days, is just brilliant.”

This time, Fiona and Sandy are returning with 19 other family members, young and young at heart — none of whom have visited the province before.

From left to right, James Power’s children, James Power, Mary McKay, Patricia Brough, and Margaret Craig, in Duntara.
From left to right, James Power’s children, James Power, Mary McKay, Patricia Brough, and Margaret Craig, in Duntara.

There are James’s four children: James Power, Mary McKay, Patricia Brough, and Margaret Craig, along with their spouses Donna Power, William McKay, and Derek Brough respectively, along with a whole host of their children and grandchildren.

For this family, Newfoundland has always held a special place in their hearts, and now they seeing the land of their ancestor for the first time.

“My dad would have been absolutely delighted to have been here today,” said Margaret Craig.

“Even our kids, they’ve always know that their grandfather was from Newfoundland,” explained Patricia.

“They were always told that. They used to claim to be quarter Newfoundlanders.

It was always a highlight in school when someone would mention, ‘Where are your parents from?’, and they would always be the first to say, “Actually, my grandad wasn’t from here, he was from Newfoundland.

“It’s been a major thing for us to come over here and actually see it.”

"The best for me, is for my mum and her brother and sisters to see where their dad came from,”- Fiona Brodie.

Waiting to meet the rest of the family in Newfoundland where Dwayne Power, Anita Walsh and Elaine Wells, along with a host of other cousins and aunts and uncles.

“We were in the same boat,” explained Dwayne Power. “We knew we had something on the other side (Scotland) . . . we never knew to what extent.

“Some of our older generations would carry on the letter writing tradition and of course, through negligence of our own we let it go. Then when they passed we had no addresses, no nothing, so, of course with the Internet we searched it out and my sister[Anita] and myself we could always find certain traces but never to any extent.

“Little did we know that on the other side we had a mirror image of us. But I never had the wherewithal that Sandy had to reach out to a local newspaper.”

The group was screeched in.  Kids, of course, were screeched in with Purity syrup.
The group was screeched in. Kids, of course, were screeched in with Purity syrup.

The visit to Dunatara was arguably the emotional highlight for the group.

“But the best for me, is for my mum and her brother and sisters to see where their dad came from,” said Fiona, her voice breaking with emotion.

Fiona and Sandy organized the trip, keeping the rest of the family updated with newsletters as the vacation began to take form, and the entire group agreed that the organization and planning was beyond reproach.

“They had it nailed down to who was riding in what van and who was driving,” said Dwayne Power.

“I said to ‘em, I’m having a BBQ and I’m hoping somebody brings buns.”

The group of first-time Newfoundlanders flew out Wednesday evening, Aug. 8, after 10 days of many tears, laughs, reminiscing, drinks and parties.

A trip to Scotland for the Newfoundland side of the family is already in the works.

Mark.Squibb@thepacket.ca

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