Factory 5! Five Fellers from Fortune

Factory Five!I was recently listening to Kim Stockwood’s album Back to the Water which, for the record, I like.

It’s a nice collection of re-interpreted Newfoundland classics, Ron Hynes songs and even the Ode. It is, by turns, reflective and energetic.

It’s nice listening.

Stockwood has included a version of Feller From Fortune in the collection.  It’s only upon hearing Stockwood’s take on the classic that I bothered to really think about the song which seems, in her production at least, far more sexual than I’d ever considered.

I’d always seen the chorus:

Catch a-hold this one, catch a-hold that one,

swing around this one, swing around she,

dance around this one, dance around that one
diddle dum this one, diddle dum dee.

as a reference to dancing but when the its paired with the verses, especially those related to the oh-so-desirable gentleman from Fortune and the reference to ‘sally’s bouncing new baby,’ it takes on an air of promiscuity I hadn’t previously considered.  Diddle dum this one, diddle dum dee, indeed.

Treatise on the sex life of Fortune fishermen aside, it’s a great song - and staggeringly versatile. People all over the world have recorded it and, happily for us, shared it on the web.

The following are a five noteworthy ones that walk the line from rock to choral to a near Brady experience.

1. The King’s Singers
Is this the treatment this folk song was crying for? Is it?

2. Hastings College Choir
The Hastings College Choir from Nebraska calls this their “rather raucous interpretation of a Newfoundland maritime folk song.”

Apparently raucous is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder ‘cause they wouldn’t stand a chance on George Street!

3. The Fables
Probably familiar to lots of Newfoundlanders, The Fables’ version is a little more modern and a lot more rocky.

4. The Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants
This one is another interesting choral version with female vocals taking a more central role. One of the first faces you’ll see in this video actually belongs to Florence Henderson who hosted the evening… so, I guess, Mrs. Brady knows at least one Newfoundland folk song.

5. The Fisheries Broadcast
Listeners to the CBC will know Feller from Fortune is the basis of the Fisheries Broadcast theme.

For The Broadcast’s 60th anniversary, they solicited interpretations of their theme so the net is garnered even more Fellers.

You can check out some of the Fisheries Broadcasts entries right here.

More: Feller From Fortune (PDF)

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Factory 5! Five Newfoundland UFO Reports

imageThe truth is out there… and it may be in Argentia, Harbour Mille or Corner Brook.

Every so often someone in Newfoundland sees something in the sky that seems to defy explanation. Sometimes it captures the imagination of the whole province, like the unusual image captured in Harbour Mille a few years ago, but the Harbour Mille incident doesn’t stand alone. In fact, we’ve had our fair share of close encounters — a quick Google search turns up dozens.

Having sifted through these reports, for this edition of Factory 5!, I thought I’d play Mulder to your Scully and present, for your consideration, a few of Newfoundland’s more unusual tourists — those who came by UFO.

1. The BOAC Incident, 1954
In 1954 a British Overseas Airways Corporation flight helmed by respected pilot James Howard was passing near Newfoundland, en route from New York to London. Howard, his crew and passengers reported seven unidentifiable objects outside their aircraft. Howard described them as a large metallic object surrounded by six smaller objects. The largest object appeared to change shape from pear to boomerang. They watched the objects for 20 minutes before the smaller objects melted into the the larger one and the entire mass disappeared.

The crew radioed ground control at Goose Bay but was told there were no other known aircraft in their region. The video features Howard explaining what he saw. The clip below, is of an older Howard and flight attendant reflecting on that day.

2. The Clarenville Encounter, 1978
On a quiet evening in November 1978 phones at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Clarenville, NL began to ring. People were seeing something unusual in the sky over Random Island and, not knowing where else to turn, called the RCMP.

According to the Unofficial Clarenville Site RCMP Constable James Blackwood, went to nearby Lethbridge to investigate. When he arrived he saw a motionless cigar-shaped object hovering about 500ft above sea level. It had lights — flashing blue, red and yellow — and a curved tail. After a period of observation, Blackwood turned on the red and blue lights on his patrol car. The object imitated the pattern.

Very Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which incidentally — I’m sure — was released the previous November.

Read the full story at: The Unofficial Clarenville Site

3. The Bethune Incident, 1951

In 1951 US Navy Commander Graham Bethune was flying from Iceland to Argentia, Newfoundland. On the night of February 10th Bethune’s aircraft was about 300 miles from Argentia when he and the crew saw a large object glowing on the water. The unknown light shot into the air. The plane had to take evasive maneuvers. There were numerous cockpit equipment failures as the object flew with them.

When the plane arrived at Argentia there was an interrogation and an official US Navy report of the incident exists.

4. The Valleyfield Sighting, 2005
In January 2005 two men driving near Valleyfield, saw a diamond shaped object in the sky. They pulled their vehicle the roadside and reportedly watched the object for 2 minutes. It was silent and slow moving. The craft appeared blue and white on the sides and black on the bottom. They estimated it to be 15 feet in length and 8 feet across.

You can read the full details at The Vike Factor.

5. The Corner Brook Close Encounter, 2008
On July 20, 2008, as outlined in here, reports were made of a large object flying northeast over Corner Brook. The unknown object was silent and had too many lights to count. Witnesses say is changed direction numerous times and remained visible for several minutes before dipping behind the hills on the north shore of the Bay of Islands. What it was, remains a mystery.

Check out this article to see a sketch of the reported object.

Do you have a UFO story? Leave a comment!

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Factory 5! Five Facts About The Newfoundland Dog

imageThe Newfoundland dog is a living, breathing symbol of the province and, in terms of an ambassador, we couldn’t do much better — it’s a loyal friend, a hard worker and time-and-time again its proved its heroism.

In this edition of Five I invite you to spend a few minutes considering the Newfoundland dog.

1. In a remarkable display of truth in advertising, the Newfoundland dog actually did arise from the island of Newfoundland. There are many versions of its origin story including the idea that the breed originated from the early dogs of the Vikings… but don’t get your horned-hat out just yet. Most serious researchers think that’s just a tall tale. Their opinion runs more along the lines of the Newfoundland arising from the St. John’s Water Dog and Portuguese Mastiff.

Appropriately enough, this makes it the cousin of the Labrador Retriever whose roots may also be traced to the St. John’s Water Dog.

image2. When most people think of the Newfoundland they image a black shaggy beast. But black is only one breed-recognized colour. The Newfoundland may also be brown, grey, and white and black (also called Landseer).

Whatever the colour, the Newfoundland dog is built for the water. It has an oily outer coat and a fleecy undercoat that allows it to function in harsh, wet conditions. It has tight eyelids and drop ears that help to keep water out and, of course, it has its famed webbed feet making it a strong swimmer. It’s history as a rescue dog has earned it the nickname ‘lifeguard dog.’

3. Speaking of lifeguard, the Newfoundland has taken an active role in some famous rescues at sea. In 1828 the Newfoundland ‘Hairyman’ assisted Ann Harvey is saving over 160 people from the wrecked Dispatch off Isle aux Morts.

In 1919, when the SS Ethie ran aground in what is now Gros Morne National Park, a Newfoundland Dog named Tang1 is credited with saving the crew. Tang reportedly jumped into the ocean and swam to shore carrying the ship’s rope in his mouth. Bystanders on the beach tied the line and used it to bring all 92 crewmembers safely to safety. This rescue has been commemorated in the poem Carlo by E.J. Pratt2.

A little further afield Gander, a Newfoundland who spent his early days roaming Gander, Nfld, was adopted as mascot by the Royal Rifles of Canada. In October,1941 the Royal Rifles shipped out for Hong Kong and took Gander with them. While in Hong Kong Gander had the opportunity to prove his loyalty to his new owners. He twice halted the enemy’s advance and protected his wounded soldiers. Finally, in December 1941, Gander was killed in action. During an enemy assault a grenade was fired close to the troops. Gander picked-up the grenade in his teeth and ran away from his regiment. When the grenade exploded, Gander was killed. He was awarded the Dicken Medal — the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

4. Newfoundland dogs were bread to be working dogs. They are well-known for their work in the water hauling nets but they earned their keep on land as well. According to some accounts, they were hitched to carts and, apparently, hauled loads of 900 kg!?!

5. Despite their heroics and service to fisherman, by the early 20th century the number of Newfoundland dogs had drastically declined — so much so their future was in doubt. To protect them from extinction, the Hon. Harold Macpherson established a kennel in St. John’s to preserve the breed.

Today its legacy is safe. The Newfoundland is popular breed worldwide.

1, 2. There’s some debate about the dog’s name… but its name was not Carlo. That was an invention of Pratt.

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