The Cross on the Mountain

IF YOU COME INTO HOLYROOD by boat and look straight ahead, the land forms into a kind of cross. It is like that, or very close, with a bit of imagination. To the first to arrive, years ago, it has been said, they made that association and named the place Holyrood, since rood (rod) was the old English name for cross. In the middle of the cross there is an impressive looking mountain. It is not an overly large one, but it is impressive enough when everything else is at sea level. The mountain always stood out. It was named George Cove Mountain. It is thought that the mountain was named after the second George Veitch, for it overlooked the small cove where George anchored his banking schooner in the spring.

During World War II, when the American forces were stationed at the Argentia Naval Base, many of the personnel often came to Holyrood when they were off duty. Many stayed at the Beach Cottage. The climb up the mountain became a popular pass time for them. Up at the top, they could enjoy a beautiful view of Holyrood and look far out to sea.

Some of the men thaught that this would be a great place for a cross. It would be symbolic of Holyrood - Holy Cross. They made a large wooden cross and mounted it securely to the top of the mountain. The Cross stood for a good many years but due to eventual deterioration, it gave one day in a norwesterly gale. It was blown over the mountain and shattered to pieces.

In 1966 the Government of Newfoundland sponsored a "Come Home Year Celebration." Relatives and friends and Newfoundlanders living all over the world were invited to come home that year to visit and celebrate. Every community was urged to do something for come home year. Holyrood had many projects and activities that year. One of them was the replacement of a cross on the mountain. This time they would have an illuminated cross.

Mr. Emile Gaudet, who was maintenance manager at the refinery at the time, Helped get things under way. Through the cooperation of the superiors and workers at the Holyrood refinery, a communications tower was dismantled and reconstructed. It was flown by helicopter to the mountain where it was put in place.

The cross has been on top of George Cove Mountain since 1966. The continues to maintain it as a welcoming light to all who approach Holyrood by land, sea or air.


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