Heart-felt memories honour Gordon Pinsent

Town, arts community to determine a ‘suitable’ monument




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Tributes to the talents and good nature of Gordon Pinsent continue to spread far and wide. Grand Falls-Windsor’s favourite son passed away on Feb. 25 and he certainly won’t be forgotten. Pinsent left the paper mill town at a young age and eventually rose to the top of the Canadian dramatic scene, writing, singing and acting his way through a large, and impressive resume. Community members, family and those involved in the local arts community embraced an opportunity to swap stories about the man, his accomplishments and impact during a recent memorial event at the Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts. The accolades shared were more about Gordon Pinsent, the man, and his character as a person. “It was a real pleasure to know Gordon Pinsent. He is a Newfoundland treasure and when he was with you, he was with you,” said Maxine Stanley, one of several who took to the microphone at the event to share memories about a man who influenced them. “We always think about how fortunate we are that Gordon Pinsent was born right here and put our town on the map,” said Grand FallsWindsor Deputy Mayor Mike Browne. “I know he’s gone, but he’ll continue to put our town on the map. When you think of Gordon, you think of Grand Falls-Windsor and his early life here before he left. One thing for sure is if you ever had an opportunity to have a chat with Gordon Pinsent you left better for it,” Browne said. “He was a very gracious and humble individual and he treated everybody the same. We’ve been inundated with requests to get a bronze statue of Gordon erected somewhere in the town and we look forward to working with Shirley Morrow of the arts community to come up with something we’re all comfortable with and the people of Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Canada can be proud of,” the deputy mayor continued. “We look forward to future events to celebrate the life of Gordon and I’m sure there’ll be many,” he added. Sean Cooper, manager of the centre, informed attendees that while details haven’t been determined, there will be a performance at the centre on July 12, Pinsent’s birthday. “The Centre for the Arts will be continuing to celebrate Gordon all the time because one of the goals I put in place when I came here was to put something by Gordon on stage, if we can, every year,” Cooper said. Family members also reminisced about Gordon’s lasting connection to his many relatives. “He was the best uncle … he made every one of us feel special,” niece Judy Kelly said of his treatment of the many family members at home. “And we had a wonderful time when we’d gather,” she added. Pinsent, the youngest of six children and a long line of relatives, shunned the limelight when it came to family matters. “He didn’t want to go to too many weddings and that kind of stuff because he didn’t want to take away the attention,” Kelly added. She also recalled the funfilled nature her uncle exuded. “One memory I have is one time he was here to be an adjudicator or something and he was staying (in) Grand Falls House,” she explained. “We went in, and Mom was looking at the flowers in the boxes. When we were leaving, we looked back and here was Gord running down the driveway with a batch of flowers he picked out of the boxes saying to mom, ‘for you, for you.’ “He was just like a child when he got going, I tell you. He was so excited,” she added. The joyful memories have outweighed the loss, she said. “It’s been a bit heavy, you know,” she said of his passing. “But all we can do is smile.”