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On Tuesday, November 3rd, their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited our historic town of Cupids as part of the Newfoundland and Labrador leg of their Canadian tour.

The Royal Couple were greeted by Cupids Mayor Ron Laracy and waded into the enthusiastic crowds drawn by this rare opportunity to meet royalty. The town pulled out all the stops, their streets marked with colourful Cupids 400 banners and signs lining the roadways and one of the largest Union Jacks in the world flying nearby.

The Royals were in town to officially salute our upcoming Cupids 400 anniversary celebrations, Newfoundland and Labrador’s biggest tourism event in 2010. Celebrations are planned in Cupids and other communities along the northeast Avalon Peninsula throughout 2010.

The Royals’ tour featured a visit to the Cupers Cove Plantation archaeology site here in the heart of Cupids. Guided by Chief Archeologist William Gilbert, whose team discovered the site, the Prince and Duchess viewed the collection of excavated structures that formed the core of John Guy’s original settlement site in 1610. The Royal Couple listened as Gilbert explained the amount of hard work and determination over the past fifteen years to locate and carefully resurrect the site, as well as cataloguing the enormous cache of artifacts found. To learn more about the archaeology site, click here.

Their Royal Highnesses then proceeded to the construction site of the new Cupids Legacy Centre, a state of the art facility being constructed to house the cultural and archaeological heritage of Cupids slated to open in late Spring, 2010 as part of the Cupids 400 celebrations. They viewed the building site as well as displays highlighting renderings the new facility complete with an homage to the Cupids Ter-Centenary celebrations in 1910. To learn more about the new Cupids Legacy Centre, click here.

For more information on the 300th Anniversary celebration in 1910, click here.

The event also drew Prime Minister Stephen Harper back to our community, where he generously praised the efforts of the people of Cupids in commemorating their past. Our Newfoundland and Lanbrador Premier Danny Williams was also in attendance for the ceremony, adding his voice to the chorus of celebration for the Cupids 400 event, prior to HRH Prince Charles’ keynote address.

Entertainment was provided the Hot Earth Ensemble, Cantare Youth Choir with accompaniments from Gordon King and Heather Dawe. The emcee for the event was the Chair of the Cupids 400 planning committee, Roy Dawe. The ceremonies culminated in the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Their Royal Highnesses and Mr. Trevor Smallwood, Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers, the ancient British Society that sanctioned and underwrote John Guy’s voyage in 1610. To learn more about the Society of Merchant Venturers, click here.

The event marks the beginning of our yearlong celebrations, where the world will be welcomed to Cupids as well as many other participating communities along the Northeast Avalon. This small town is expected to attract thousands of people to the region to celebrate Cupids 400th anniversary in a very big way. For a complete Calendar of Events, click here.

Photography by Dennis Minty for the Cupids 400 Photo Bank.