November 3, 2009
To help launch a year of celebrations to mark Cupids 400, their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived in historic Cupids on Tuesday, November 3rd. The Royal Couple greeted enthusiastic crowds on the town's streets flowing in full colour with Cupids 400 commemorative banners and signs lining the roadways. Close by, they could not miss one of the largest Union Jacks in the world, a replica of the Union Jack flown at the 1910 Ter-Centenary celebrations.
Mayor Ron Laracy had the honor of presenting the town to Their Royal Highnesses. Their tour featured a visit to the Cupids Cove Plantation archaeology site guided by Chief Archeologist William Gilbert. The collection of structures featured in the tour mark the heart of John Guy's colony established in 1610, the first English speaking settlement in what was to become Canada. Through hard work and determination over the past fifteen years, Gilbert has led a team to uncover and catalogue a rich collection of artifacts from Newfoundland and Labrador’s earliest English settlers. The Royal Couple appeared to relish the brief tour.
The Royal Couple 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 both renderings the new facility and homage to the Cupids Ter-Centenary celebrations in 1910.
While visiting the town of 790, thousands were attracted in hopes of shaking hands with Royalty. The main event also brought Prime Minister Stephen Harper back to the community, where he again praised the efforts of Cupids to commemorate its past. Premier Danny Williams was also in attendance for the ceremony and added his voice to the chorus of celebration, prior to an inspiring keynote address from HRH Prince Charles, himself.
Entertainment was provided the Hot Earth Ensemble, Cantare Youth Choir with accompaniments from Gordon King and Heather Dawe. Emcee for the event, and Chair of the Cupids 400 planning committee, Roy Dawe hosted the ceremonies that included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Their Royal Highnesses and Mr. Trevor Smallwood, Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers, the Bristol, England based organization that supported both John Cabot’s Expedition that discovered the island of Newfoundland and John Guy’s settlement in Cupids.
Photography by Dennis Minty for the Cupids 400 Photo Bank.