Anita Best was born in a small fishing village with the fairytale name of Merasheen, in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, just before circumstances contrived to bring her native country into union with Canada. Her people came to Merasheen from Somerset in the late 1700s and were engaged in the inshore and bank fishery until Merasheen was depopulated by government in 1968. On both sides of the family there were wonderful singers of old ballads, tragic sea songs and comical ditties, and the occasional storyteller who gathered everyone around on the long winter nights. Anita married Young Pius Power in 1977 and went back to a small fishing village, not too far away from where she was born--this one was called Southeast Bight. The residents of The Bight resisted the resettlement program and welcomed the few families from small resettled communities who wished to remain in Placentia Bay. Pius's father, Old Pius, was a great singer and storyteller. So she added his songs and stories to her family repertoire whilst fishing with the Power family from a small schooner in Placentia Bay. In that repertoire were also a number of songs from Bonavista Bay and the French west coast of Newfoundland which she came upon while teaching school around the island. Influenced as a teenager by the folk revivals in England and Ireland, she was one of the founding members of what was likely the first trad-rock band in Canada, Figgy Duff. She left the band after a short time to continue teaching and other...
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