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(January 24, 2002, Gazette)

He came in with his guitar, and I said, ‘What do you sing?’ He told me what he sang. I told him what I sang. I said, ‘What key do you do that in?’ And up she went. We’ve been doing it ever since.

— Fergus O’Byrne (B.Ed. ‘87), looking back on the chance meeting with Dermot O’Reilly in Toronto in the 1960s that ultimately led to the well-known trio Ryan’s Fancy. Mr. O’Byrne, Mr. O’Reilly and Dennis Ryan, along with contemporaries such as the Sons of Erin, are widely credited for putting Newfoundland’s Irish sound on the map during the 1970s and early 1980s.

I foresee myself continuing to volunteer. I want to contribute my time for as long as there are organizations of interest to me that need my skills. There are a great many causes in need of assistance, and everyone has something to offer.

— Rick Penney (BA ‘83) whose volunteer resume includes marketing work for the World Cup Triathlon in Corner Brook and for the Stephenville Theatre Festival, fundraising for the St. John’s Red Cross, civic work for the St. John’s Jaycees and Rotary Club, and chairing Junior Achievement (JA) of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I felt comfortable with the role. It was nice to be that familiar. If I had been in Thailand shooting, it might have been a different story.

— Gordon Pinsent (D.Lit. ‘88) on his role as Billy Pretty in the Shipping News, the big-budget motion picture shot last spring among the tiny outports of Newfoundland’s Trinity Bay.

Chris Facey (BA ‘71) was recently named the recipient of the 2001 Jack Hopwood Memorial Award, an award presented by Great-West Life Assurance Company to one of its financial security advisors who has made an outstanding contribution to his/her community and profession. A $7,500 donation has been made on his behalf to establish the Hugh Gerald Facey Memorial Scholarship (named in honour of his late father) through the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The endowed fund will provide a $1,500 scholarship annually to a young person attending his/her first year of post-secondary education.

What makes or what defines a solid relationship? I’ve interviewed many couples who are in long-distance relationships who feel that they have a very satisfying, solid relationship. Often, being in a long-distance relationship allows them to have good careers, but also a solid relationship. I think it’s a sign of the times.

—Independent filmmaker, Deanne Foley (BA ‘95) who is in the development stage of a CTV documentary on long-distance relationships titled Hearts Apart. (If you have a long-distance relationship to tell her about, she can be reached at

In line with National Non-Smoking Week, the Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT) encourages all smokers to consider the health implications of smoking and to make this a week to quite smoking.

—Todd Benson (BA ‘91), executive director, Alliance for the Control of Tobacco (ACT)