Lawrence: We met Lawrence in a tiny fishing village in Labrador called St.Lewis. We were told to go to St.Lewis to see icebergs which we desperately wanted to see so we changed our course from Cartwright to St. Lewis. When we finally arrived in St.Lewis, after driving for three days on the Labrador Highway, we parked at the Municipal Office and went looking for some local knowledge. We met a couple who told us where we could fill up our water tanks and even hooked us up with Lawrence a local who was willing to take us out on his little fishing boat to see the icebergs.
Lawrence has lived in St.Lewis his whole life and introduced us to his granddaughter and great-grandson; a five year old who rarely watches TV, gets bored with his Gameboy and would rather play outside! Lawrence was a delight, very kind and entertaining and a wealth of knowledge and local history. His life is not easy, all subsistence living but his knowledge about the land and wildlife upon which he survives is astounding and vital to his community. Lawrence had some great stories, like the time he encountered a rather friendly polar bear that liked swatting at snowballs, really? Playing “ball” with a polar bear?! How many people have a story like that?
I used to think that it would be dreadful to live most of my life in one place but Mabel and Lawrence showed me that people that have lived in the same place most of their lives and love their home and take pride in where they live are a valuable and important part of society. It is through these people that history stays alive, local pride grows, stories get passed down and communities are built. I have come to realize that the Mabel’s and Lawrence’s of the world are very special and add something wonderful to our experience of the world.