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Minister helps church with successful row from North River to Port de Grave

NORTH RIVER, NL — Rev. William Strong's rowing journey from North River to Port de Grave didn't get off to a great start — he broke an oar before reaching open water.

Rev. William Strong, centre, rowed from North River to Port de Grave Saturday in aid of a local Anglican church. Harris Morgan, left, and Don Morgan, far right, kept an eye on Strong aboard their boat Zephyr.

"I was trying to paddle through the current coming in through the bridge," he told The Compass Tuesday afternoon.

But after receiving a tow under two bridges, everything went according to plan for Strong, Anglican Archdeacon for the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region. Saturday's event served as a fundraiser for St. George's Church in North River, which is in need of some repairs.

Covering a distance of approximately five miles, Strong finished the trip aboard the small rowboat he calls Chattie in just under two hours. The wind was behind him the whole time, which proved to be a big help for the Anglican minister, who regularly swims to help stay in shape.

The wind aided William Strong's journey Saturday.

"It was great," he said. "I had a lot of encouragement along the way — a lot of people stopping by, taking notice, waving and so on."

The little rowing adventure proved to be a hit with the public, as so far people have pledged $2,000. Strong is still accepting donations through e-transfer at


'Anglican minister rowing to raise funds for North River church'

"I'm very grateful for all the support, because all I did was basically told people, 'I'll do this. You support me.' I gave a few pledge sheets, and they've done all the rest … I'll probably do it again."

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