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Monday, 31 March 2014


The first year that Rick and I worked as teachers, he was in Grand Bruit, an isolated community on the southwest coast of  Newfoundland, while I was in Buchans. It was 1975, long before personal computers, cell phones and everything they imply. We had phone and mail as our only way to communicate.

However, the phone in Rick's boarding house wasn't much help. While phones in Buchans were fine, the same wasn't true for the phones in Grand Bruit. A mobile radio operator answered when Rick picked up the phone. The operator dialed the number you wanted and you spoke to your party. However, any radio on the south coast of Newfoundland or any ship at sea which had that public service band frequency could pick up the conversation. We were always guarded as to what we said on the phone.

 In addition, when you finished your part of the conversation, you had to say, "Over," so the other would know when to speak, otherwise the conversation could be cut off.

Our main method of communication became cassette tapes which we mailed back and forth to each other. The cassettes had a trip to/from Port aux Basques, then by coastal boat to/from the isolated little community. The length of the trip depended on the weather on the south coast and if the boat could make the trip. We lived through interesting communication challenges.

Today our granddaughter, Sylvie, and her Dad, Ben, speak almost daily to family in England or any place her Grandpa Noall is currently working. Sylvie sees them almost every day! Big changes in forty years! 

What will communication be like in Sylvie's lifetime if it's starting with Skype?

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