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Tom McCormick Memorial Park brings Bristol's Hope residents together

The Tom McCormick Memorial Park has been in the works for approximately three years. This past August, it had its grand opening.
The Tom McCormick Memorial Park has been in the works for approximately three years. This past August, it had its grand opening. - Chris Lewis
“Trapper Tom” McCormick was a prolific woodsman who lived in Bristol’s Hope. It’s his legacy that the park is named after.
“Trapper Tom” McCormick was a prolific woodsman who lived in Bristol’s Hope. It’s his legacy that the park is named after.

BRISTOL’S HOPE, NL

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

After three years in the making, Bristol’s Hope recently held the grand opening for a local park that offers the community many opportunities it never had before.

The Tom McCormick Memorial Park is conveniently located just off the main stretch of road going through Bristol’s Hope, making it difficult to miss for anyone travelling through the small community nestled between Carbonear and Harbour Grace.

The park is named after “Trapper Tom” McCormick – a prolific resident of Bristol’s Hope who spent his years as a woodsman and trapper. The McCormick family name has been a mainstay in Bristol’s Hope for a number of generations, and although McCormick died in 1963, his relatives and the generations that followed him have kept the McCormick name alive and well over the years.

However, now, the McCormick name will live on through something a lot more permanent – a park, which sits on land donated by McCormick’s ancestors, appropriately named the Tom McCormick Memorial Park.

Richard Johnson sits at the head of the Bristol’s Hope Community Development Association. He, alongside the rest of the committee, saw a desperate need for a park and worked hard over the past three years to see that vision become a reality.

Richard Johnson
Richard Johnson

“I grew up in Whitbourne, myself. When I was a young boy, I remember there was a man there who did so much for the community, and brought so many great things there. I always knew I wanted to make a change like that in my life as well, and saw that opportunity here in Bristol’s Hope, where I live now,” Johnson explained. “Bristol’s Hope needed something like this park for many years, and to see it finally opened officially means a lot for this town.”

Now, Bristol’s Hope’s children have somewhere to play, residents have a safe space to relax or take a walk, and perhaps most importantly, the town’s residents have somewhere to gather for special occasions, such as Canada Day. Before the park’s development, residents had nowhere to go for such festivities, and found themselves relying on the celebrations in other nearby communities such as Harbour Grace and Carbonear.

“Bristol’s Hope feels like more of a community now than it ever did,” Johnson said, noting that the area had been particularly busy during the summer season. “Residents now have somewhere to gather and enjoy themselves in their own community. I can tell you myself that Bristol’s Hope has come together as something of a family to see this project get finished, and that’s pretty much what the park was meant to do.”

The park seems to offer something to everyone, whether that be young children taking advantage of the slides and swings, or adults enjoying the walking trail that goes through the park, or the small basketball court found alongside the park’s entrance.

“It’s so nice to see people actually making use of the park. People volunteer to keep the place looking clean and tidy, and those same people are the ones joining their friends, family, grandchildren, at the park to just enjoy themselves and have fun in their own community,” said Johnson. “I think that’s so important, and that’s why we as a committee wanted to see this park come together. It’s been a very successful endeavour, to say the least. Very rewarding, and very worthwhile.”

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chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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