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55 - The Church



from The Treasury of Newfoundland Stories published, by Maple Leaf Mills Limited, in 1961

There is a small cove or indraught on the Bonaventure side of Bonaventure Head in Trinity Bay, a cove that until one hundred and forty years ago wasn't important enough to be known by any name. It had perpendicular cliffs rising about one hundred and fifty feet on each side and it had an indraught of some twenty feet. To fishermen along the coast it was known as a good shelter for a small boat in a northeasterly gale and nothing more.

When Parson Bullock lived in Trinity and was clergyman, doctor, coroner, etc., etc., to people on both sides of Trinity Bay, two persons from Apsey Cove, Smiths Sound, decided to get married. They had to go to Trinity for parson to tie the knot. It was in early spring and as other folks in the place needed goods that could only be bought in Trinity at that time, a large open boat was fitted out and they took the bride and groom-elect as passengers to Trinity.

When they got there, Parson Bullock was visiting his flock in Bonaventure. They waited for awhile and since he did not return, the party from Apsey Cove decided to go back home. There was a strong north-easterly springing up at the time. Now at the same time the party left Trinity for Apsey Cove, Parson Bullock left Bonaventure to go to Trinity, but finding the wind too strong to go around the Head he sought shelter in this little cove. He had not been there long when the boat from Trinity came scudding along before the wind, keeping as near to shore as it was sage to do. When the bridal party came opposite the cove, they saw a boat there and were surprised to see Parson Bullock sitting alone in it.

The Skipper in charge of the Apsey Cove boat changed his course and went in alongside the other boat. He told the parson where they came from and asked him what they should do. Parson Bullock was equal to the requirements of any occasion and he replied, "Let us go ashore and I will marry them there." The parson and his vestments were quickly landed and the bride and groom were not far behind. There on the rocky pavement of the beach, with the perpendicular cliffs towering high on either side of them, and the sky as a roof above them, and the screaming gulls as a choir - there in the quietude of the calm that was a marked contrast with the howling north-easterly outside, and with the two crews as witnesses - there the happy couple were officially declared man and wife together and the blessing of God was pronounced.

The cove remains the same today, but since that memorable marriage ceremony it has been known as "The Church". It is no longer passed by as unworthy of notice. The fisherman sometimes lifts his cap as he passes it and the officers of the mail boats call the passengers' attention to it and its interesting story.



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This page transcribed by James Butler, 2000
REVISED: August 2002 (Terry Piercey)

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