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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Quidi Vidi, St. John's Newfoundland"

Quidi Vidi Village was an old fishing village, pronounced [ki dee vi dee], [kwi dee vi dee] or [kwy da vy da]. The reason for the dispute in pronuniciation is unknown because the origin of the name Quidi Vidi is unknown. Some say it comes from the French name Quidville. Some say it is Latin: que de vide or Italian: qui divide, meaning that which divides. There is also a legend that a woman by the name of Kitty Vitty lived in these parts, and she had a house of ill-repute, so it was named after her!

The neighbourhood is named for both Quidi Vidi Lake (where the Royal St. John's Regatta is held the first Wednesday in August, weather permitting) and Quidi Vidi Harbour - known locally as "The Gut". Located in Quidi Vidi is the Quidi Vidi Battery Provincial Historic Site, which had significance as a battery during the War of 1812.

Whatever the meaning it certainly means something to everyone who lives or visits there. To us kayakers it is the place where every Jan.1st we have our first paddle of the New Years, a tradition started by and attended every year by Jim Price. It is a launch place for many starter paddles in the area, especially the one from The Gut to Cape Spear. Malcolm, Linda and Des use this for just that purpose. Tony and I have used it this winter for paddling "in conditions" and on a paddle to St. John's Harbour. I've done it for the same reason when I first moved here. Greg Stamer used it for his departure and return from his fastest circumnavigation of the Island of Newfoundland. I drive by it and hike near it almost every week it is just a scenic quaint little spot away from yet in the middle of everything.

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