The first person to fight for an official Mother's Day celebration in the United States was Julia Ward Howe You may be more familiar with her name as the writer who wrote the words to the Civil War song, The Battle Hymn of the Republic She was active in the peace movement and the women's suffrage movement. In 1870 she penned the Mother's Day Proclamation. In 1872 the Mothers' Peace Day Observance on the second Sunday in June was held and the meetings continued for several years. Her idea was widely accepted, but she was never able to get the day recognized as an official holiday. The Mothers' Peace Day was the beginning of what we know today as Mother's Day. Bet-cha didn't know that did you? What about the term "gone a-mothering" Look it up.
Well today, Mother's Day, The BCCCB celebrated in it's own special way. Our Mother's Day tradition was to drive to Iona and partake in a Mother's Day feast at the Iona Legion that was put on by Rankin Memorial High School Safe Grad Program. This year, after making all the plans, I phoned the School just to make sure all was well. To my surprise, this years dinner was cancelled due to a low number of students graduating. I guess it's a sign of the times where school enrolment has been declining steadily over the years, to bad, this was a great idea and a great meal, everyone wins.
What shall we do? I purchased a Cape Breton Post and looked through the adds hoping to find something suitable as a replacement venue for 15 hungry Members. Wouldn't you know, a add popped out at me. A Mother's Day Buffett at the Highland Heights Inn in Iona. Perfect! A phone call to Susan Stubbert-Samways, the owner, and all was set.
A little change of plans from our normal gathering spot. It was decided that some of us would take the Eskasoni route, gathering at the Value village Parking lot and the rest of us would gather at the Bras D'or View Restaurant and head towards Baddeck to hook up with Sandy and Peter. Now to tell the truth, I had no idea who was coming and what starting point people were going to choose. This is one of those "what happens happens" kind of start to this run. Paula and I arrived at the Bras D'or View and saw Lee and Sheila's freshly painted MGB out for it's first BCCCB run. They were inside having Breakfast with family. It wasn't to long when one after the other, cars started to arrive.
After I arrived, the next car to arrive was Mary and Mike MacIssac for their first time with us on a run in their white 1979 MGB. First impressions do count and I have to say, that car looked great coming down the highway towards us. Bill and Moragh were next followed by Norm and Joan and then, on cue, Ricky and Sharon with their very popular and rare, Austin Cambridge arrived. A quick phone call to Don at Value Village, where there were four more cars, Joe and Jean Renzi, Bonnie and Francis Boudreau and Bobby Fuller, who flew in from the Dominican to spend the day with us. Anita stayed behind in the Dominican because it just wasn't warm enough to come back to Cape Breton just yet. Now it's time to go. It's not a race but which group will arrive at the Highland Heights Inn first.
First stop for our group, The Ultramar just outside of Baddeck to hook up with Sandy and Peter. What's this? No Morgan! Crap. That's fine, their beautiful Jag is always an eye pleaser and we'll hear more about that later. Here at the Ultramar, Lee took the time to put a few litres of fuel in his tank. Seems there is a leak in the tank at the sending unit. Keep the fuel level low and you won't have a problem, If you don't mind putting in a little fuel every few miles.
Shortly after we met up with Peter and Sandy we were at the Little Narrows Ferry. Personally, I love this area,, Someone should build a Bed and Breakfast here, a perfect spot to unwind. In the second Photo you get a better look at Lee and Sheila's 1979 MGB. This car looks great. Lee purchased this late in 2011 and with a little elbow grease, this car looks really good. The new paint really sets it off.
Speaking of paint, Bill and Moragh's 1969 MGB just came out of the paint shop after getting a buffing. There was a very small amount of orange peel in the paint but now, after the buffing, Oh My God! the paint on this car is amazing. Behind them, Mike and Mary's white B, looks good, looks real good. Lets see what the future holds for this car. A little time and a few dollars and this car will look great. As I said before, "the first run with the BCCCB" and this car worked flawlessly.
The shepherds for today, at the back of the pack, watching over the flock is Norm and Joan in their ORIGINAL 1979 MGB... looks great. The ferry is here, lets go! LOL Lets go. Oh no! My B was a little hesitant to start. Phew, after a few turns of the key the power finally made it to the starter. I'll have to get that looked at.
What a handsome group of cars. I have never had to wait for the next boat at Little Narrows, when the boat came in you just drove on. Now when travelling with the BCCCB on a run, the ferry tickets are paid for by the club, so today I purchased $63 worth for future ferry crossings this summer and I have a feeling this is going to be a great summer for drives. We'll be back this way again.
Just coming off the ferry my cell phone rang. Paula answered it (with a little difficulty), it was Donnie Peters, he lead the second group out of Sydney. "Where yah at bud?" "Just getting off the ferry." was my reply. We're here. OK the Sydney group beat us but only by 10 minutes or so. Our reservation wasn't until 2 so we still had a half hour to get there. I have to say, for this time of year the road from the ferry to the Highland Heights Inn was in very good shape, add the good roads with some great scenery and you have a very nice run across this little inland peninsula that juts out into the Bras D'or Lakes. Above you see Peter, Lee and Bill. along with their trusty navigators Sandy, Sheila and Moragh, passing what looks like snow. Forget that, it's good old Cape Breton Gypsum. Now this gypsum has a very bothersome attribute, this causes many homes in the area to have no well water. The next time you pass through this area notice that the eve trough on the houses lead to a concrete tank that is partially buried into the ground next to the house. Surely not drinking water but this can be used for everything else.
Passing the Highland Heights Inn we looked up and seen the rest of the group waving at us as we passed. Up the driveway we went and parked in front of the Inn, you have to stop for a moment and sink in the beautiful view. With the Inn just behind us and this view in front of us, one has to wonder what it must be like waking up in the morning here at the Highland Heights Inn. With the morning sun rising over the hills of Grand Narrows, shinning in your beautiful room, it must be gorgeous. What a way to start your relaxing day.
I booked for 15 people and 20 showed up. I love when we get more members, this tells me that the Mother's Day Run is a very popular event. Susan Stubbert-Samways has everything ready for us. Susan has us upstairs which felt like our own private dining room. PERFECT! Looking down into the main dining room you can see and hear that there is music playing. I think this venue change is perfect. From the dining room looking up you can see Francis looking down at the great food... Salivating are we Francis ..lol.
I can't praise Susan and her staff enough for making us feel at home. The service was great and the food .... well it was awesome. There was no trouble seating the extra 5 people here, the upstairs room was fantastic. Susan even mentioned if we wait a few moments the buffet will be restocked. Waiting a few more minutes is no problem for us at the BCCCB, heck do we love to chat. Paula and I sitting with Peter and Sandy as well as Sharon and Ricky, trust me there was no lull in the conversation here.
It looks like good ole Norm is entertaining the folks at the other table while we wait. In the meantime Bonnie Francis Sheila and Lee went downstairs to try out the soup and home made tea biscuits. Home made tea biscuits uummm. The young fellow serving us brought us up a basket full.
Lets get started shall we. Turkey with all the trimmings, Haddock that was delicious, pasta salad, coleslaw, and ceasar salad was here before us. Starting it off we have Lee, Joe and Peter followed closely by the rest. No waiting in line here, our timing was excellent, 2 o'clock is somewhere between the Lunch crowd and the Supper crowd and I am sure, when the supper crowd hits, this place will be packed.
Before we left the Highland Heights Inn, Susan had asked if a few cars would park in front of the main entrance for a picture or two. Heck us at the BCCCB love to get our picture taken. At the entrance we have Bonnie and Francis's B, Joe and Jean's Bugeye and Peter's Jag.... I am not sure if Sandy is part owner of this car or not, While eating, Susan came upstairs to make sure all was well and she said how much she like the cars. Who owns the Red Jaguar she asked, that's mine says Peter, Sharon was quick to point out that it was theirs pointing to both Peter and Sandy....LOL. While taking a few pics Susan stood beside the Red Jaguar that she liked for a photo. What a charming and fun lady.
Time to hit the highway for home but a quick stop at the Highland Heights Inn sign for a picture first. Peter and Sandy took the same route back to Baddeck over the Little Narrows Ferry while the rest of us headed toward Barrachois Mountain. Heading over the Grand Narrows Bridge, Joe snapped a photo of me snapping a photo of him.
Crossing the Barrachois bridge, where I caught many trout in my younger years and over Barrachois Mountain we went, what a nice drive. On the other side of the mountain I peeled off towards home as the other continued along towards Sydney. A perfect first run for 2012 and a perfect Mother's day. I sure hope fun was had by all, Paula and I sure did.
The new driving season has begun for the BCCCB. Our calendar is full for this summer and what a great way to kick it off, with a run to Iona and to be treated very well at the Highland Heights Inn. This place is truly a jewel in the heart of Cape Breton. If you don't believe me, go see Susan and check it out for yourself.
Now, this story isn't over yet. Below there is a few photos of a few of our cars with a some upgrades that were done this winter.
First. my green B with a new wood like dash kit. Next Paula's new LE Steering wheel.
Above we have Lee and Sheila's new B. A new paint job and a few new parts and it looks great, a true show car. Also Lee has the new BCCCB badge tucked neatly in the bumper.
Next Bill and Moragh's 69 B. Bill had the new paint buffed and it looks amazing. I swear it looks like you can reach into the clear coat and grab some metal fleck. Also some new bling under the hood and a header and new stainless steel exhaust and top that off with some new mud flaps and this is one sweet ride.
The last Pictures I have are of the new weber kit that Peter had installed on the elusive Morgan. Looks great and from what Peters tells us, "running great." I don't know for sure, as we have yet to have it out on a BCCCB Run. Soon I am sure we have it on a run.
This pretty much sums up Mother's Day 2012. The weather was great, the roads were good, the food at The Highland Heights Inn was amazing but most important of all was the people we shared the day with, they were perfect. You know how it goes... If you weren't there you missed it. Come along next time.
Photo Contribution ... Joe Renzi