James Pitts replica headstone and dedication ceremony
in old pioneer cemetery, Lance Cove, Bell Island, Newfoundland


On July 8th 2005, a replica of the headstone to James Pitts was placed in the old pioneer cemetery and dedicated in a special interfaith ceremony, July 27th.


Prayer for the dedication of the James Pitts replica headstone

Let Us Pray!

It is because we stand on this holy ground that we remember those who have gone before us, and whom we acknowledge as our ancestors of faith.  We recognize that as they lived of past, so too, their memory lives today,  for we have inherited a tradition of rich faith.

We truly have inherited an example of dedicated men and women of fine working class, and we have indeed inherited a land that offers much fruit  for us to continue to share generously. This is what they shared, and therefore we continue to live it today. As this monument is placed before us, we rededicate it to the memory and the life of our ancestor James Pitts. And likewise we pray for all who lie to rest in this sacred ground. We treasure our faith, we respect our religious affiliation, and therefore we pray that this tombstone may be a marker to remind us of the invaluable faith we inherited, and for the fine tradition of the past. Bless this monument, O God; may all who visit this sacred ground remember those who toiled the earth, provided for us, and passed on to us faith and dedication of hard work, and indeed a land that we ought to respect. In thanksgiving, let us pray that our brother, our sisters, and other brothers - who lay to rest here - may find that continued peace, in the eternal love of God our Creator. Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them, and may their souls and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Bless this monument and may it be a marker of reverence for us to cherish and value for ever and ever. Amen

                                                                                   ~ Father Wayne Dohey, July 27, 2005


Address delivered by Ms. Eleanor Hiscock Muise
click here to read

The cemetery service was followed by an afternoon tea and social gathering provided by the ladies of the community at St. Mary's Anglican church.



To view full size photos please click on thumbnails.

James Pitts replica headstone (front)

James Pitts replica headstone (back)

1 - July 6, 05. Reuben Bickford and Jim Rees preparing the site.

2 - July 8, 05. The stone is delivered.

3 - July 8, 05. Jim and Reuben setting the stone, with Gerald Adams lending a helping hand.

4 - Woodrow Janes, manager of Family Memorials, who took a personal interest in this project.

5 - The stone in place.

6 - July 27, 05. The assembling of Islanders and visitors in the old pioneer cemetery for the James Pitts replica headstone dedication ceremony.

7 - Mr. Peter Kent, MC and chairman of the ceremony organizing committee, welcoming the gathering. Peter is a direct descendent of Lance Cove pioneer, James Kent.

8 - Officiating clergy, Rev'd Russell Osmond and Fr. Wayne Dohey, and members of St. Cyprian's church choir.

9 - Ms. Eleanor Hiscock Muise speaking to the gathering about the rich heritage of Lance Cove and its indebtedness to the exemplary lives of the early pioneers; particularly that of James Pitts who was a remarkable role model. Eleanor is great-great-great granddaughter of pioneers James and Mary Clarke Hiscock, and great-great-great-great granddaughter of Ann Peyton Hiscock, widowed wife of James Pitts.

10 - Eleanor's presentation was followed by a moment of silent prayer, after which there was a Scripture reading by Ian Scott from Deuteronomy V111,
v. 7-14,17,18.

11 - Following the scripture reading, in beautiful words of praise and thanksgiving, Father Wayne Dohey offered up a prayer for the blessing of the monument, that "it be a marker of reverence for us to cherish and value forever and ever".

12 - The ceremony included placing ceremonial roses at the grave site of ancestors. Here Reuben Bickford is proceeding to place a rose at the tombstone of his great-great maternal grandfather, Edward Cooper.

13 - Led by a group of St. Cyprian's church choir, and with Mrs. June Hiscock Whitten providing accompaniment at the key-board, everyone joined in the singing of the hymn: Faith of Our Fathers. After the closing prayer and Benediction by Rev'd Osmond, the singing of the Ode to Newfoundland brought the ceremony to a most fitting conclusion.

Most lingered for a while in the cemetery to chat and take photos, and then assembled at St. Mary's church where the ladies of the community had prepared a most delicious afternoon tea, and further
opportunity for social interchange.

It was, altogether, a beautiful and inspirational event that will
be long remembered by those who were there.

14 - Ian Scott, Wife Daphne and daughter Suzanne, from PEI. Ian is one of the many descendents of James and Ann Pitts. His keen interest and direct involvement contributed greatly to the successful conclusion of this project.


15 - Tony Francis, and wife , Margo, along with children Karen, Gavin and Paul, came all the way from Dublin , Ireland, to be present for this special event. Accompanying them was Tony's sister, Maydie Ann Besant from Poole in Dorset. They are amongst the many of the descendents of James Pitts. It was Tony's very generous contribution that insured that the replica stone was ready in time for the 200th anniversary of the old pioneer's passing.

16 - Susan Gentleman is one of the many visitors to came from far and near to attend this special Lance Cove ceremony. Susan, who resides in Kingston, Ont., is another who traces her lineage back to the old pioneer who established this community. Her extensive research into the James/Ann Pitts family genealogy, now encompassing many other names, is the source of much of this information on this subject we presently have available to us.

17 - Peter Kent, David Rees, and Eleanor Hiscock Muise are the three committee members who planned, organized and presented a ceremony that was in every respect a worthy tribute to the lives of our pioneer ancestors whom we had assembled to honour. Special acknowledgement should also be made to Paul Connors who designed, printed and made available to the gathering, free of charge, the lovely program.

18 - The author accepting a gift of appreciation, presented by Ian Scott on behalf of his fellow Pitts descendents who had come to Lance Cove for this special occasion. To one and all of the many helping hands who made this dream of restitution become a reality, a big Thank You.

19 - Last but not least, a special Thank You to Martha Collier who, because of her interest, friendship and technical expertise, has made it possible, through the magic of the internet, to share with others who happen to surf or search their way by here, this particular moment in space and time.






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