Author Topic: July 29, 2018 - Alpaca Farm, Monastery, Beaubears Island, Middle Island  (Read 339 times)

psdunn

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When the alarms went off this morning for an 8:00 am departure, it was raining over most of Moncton and everyone waited for an email cancelling our event for the day but the email never came.  Instead, the rain stopped around 7:00 and so 12 of us gathered at our departure point and set off north on Rte 126 headed for the Pettimor Alpaca Farm in Harcourt, our first stop of the day.  As we drove in, alpacas in enclosures on each side of the driveway rushed to the fence to watch the Corvettes arrive.  I suspect that, rather than enjoying watching the cars drive past, they were sensing that treats might be coming their way, which they were in the form of sliced apples.  We had a great time feeding the animals and learning all about alpaca farming from our hosts Jan and Bart Petley.  We also had time to check out their gift shop and explore their beautiful property.

We left the farm and continued north through some light rain to Rogersville and the Chez Freda Restaurant for lunch where the food was good and the servings large.  Following lunch, we drove a short distance to the Trappistes de l'Abbaye Notre-Dame du Calvaire monastery for a tour of the grounds, the chapel, a library used by the monks as well as a dining room and another small chapel.  Our guide, an outside monk (meaning he does not live at the monastery), gave us an insight into the lives and routines of the resident monks, as well as the history of the order.  It is hard to believe how disciplined and difficult the lives of the monks must be, their day starting at 3:00 am and ending at 7:15 pm, filled with prayer and meditation.

Our next stop was at the Beaubears Island Interpretive Centre in Miramichi.  Here, our guide led us through the history of this island in the Miramichi River as it passed from the Mi'Kmaq settlements to the French settlers and then the British arrived and expelled the French and the island became known for its shipbuilding industry.  Today it is owned by the government and preserved as parkland for all to visit and enjoy.

Our final stop of the day was further downriver at Middle Island and the Irish Historical Park which was the site of a quarantine station for people arriving by ship from Europe.  The ship Looshtauk in particular carrying 462 passengers escaping the Irish potato famine, was stricken with typhus and scarlet fever during the crossing and landed at Middle Island where the quarantined passengers were treated.  Of the 462 people who embarked at Liverpool, 146 died on board and 316 landed at Middle Island.  Of those who landed, 96 died on the island, 53 went on to Quebec and 167 were discharged at Chatham.  Today the island is parkland with a small museum, restaurant, walking trails and a beach area.

Thanks to Don MacAulay for organizing and leading our alpaca farm tour and lunch.  It was a terrific and informative day.

psdunn

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And here are pictures of the monastery and Beaubears Island Interpretive Centre.