In February, 1945, following the sudden death of their beloved mother, Helen Best, aged 9, and her sister Laura, 7, were uprooted from their
happy family home on Merasheen Island, Placentia Bay, and brought to St. John’s where they were placed in Belvedere Orphanage. Within two weeks of the girls’ arrival, Laura tried to run away and the result was a vicious beating administered by one of the nuns… “that was the beginning of a long and lonely life where silence took the place of laughter, austerity took the place of freedom and punishment took the place of love. The happy memories of our close family and relatives were gradually taken over by
dreams of happier endings that never became finalized.”
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