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Peter Fenwick sets sights on family and travel following wife’s death

“Since (my wife’s) loss, I’ve been trying to spend more time with family,” said Peter Fenwick.
“Since (my wife’s) loss, I’ve been trying to spend more time with family,” said Peter Fenwick. - Contributed
CAPE ST. GEORGE-PETIT JARDIN-GRAND JARDIN-DE GRAU-MARCHES POINT-LORETTO, N.L. —

The loss of a spouse is never easy, especially when a couple has been together decades.

For the one that’s left, life goes on and decisions must be made.

For Cape St. George mayor and business owner Peter Fenwick, it was life changing when his wife of 49 years Jennifer (Jenny) died suddenly Oct. 20, 2017.

After being a volunteer in the community for so long, the problem for him was what to do next.

Fenwick has been mayor for 13 years and operated the Inn at the Cape for 15 years with his wife. He said her death made him think about things and how the two of them hadn’t got to travel much because they were running their inn most of the year.

That has now changed.

The Fenwick family during a gathering in Cape St. George in December 2017 includes, front, from left, Peter, Michael, Miranda; (back) Matt, Sam, Chris, Catherine and Mark.
The Fenwick family during a gathering in Cape St. George in December 2017 includes, front, from left, Peter, Michael, Miranda; (back) Matt, Sam, Chris, Catherine and Mark.

He said the first thing he did was leave the Western Regional Service Board’s board of directors, as he felt it was going in the wrong direction.

Fenwick was re-elected to the town council in the fall of 2017 for a four-year term, a mandate he plans to see through.

Then there was the Southwest Coast Joint Council, of which he was president. He said he felt he needed to pull away from because of the many hours it required.

Fenwick said he and Jenny had only taken vacations to visit their adult children around Christmas in Nova Scotia and Ottawa, and he had always encouraged her to go elsewhere.

“Since her loss, I’ve been trying to spend more time with family,” he said.

That included a recent trip to visit all his kids, his living brothers and sisters and Jenny’s sister in Calgary.

The trip had a stopover to see his and Jenny’s son Matt Weems, who they had given up for adoption in August 1967.

For years after, the couple tried to track him down without any success.

Success came after their son Mark in Nova Scotia had DNA testing conducted.

When Matt went for similar testing a match came up. Now armed with a last name, Matt’s girlfriend began online research and came across Peter’s name from a media interview he’d done.

She contacted Jenny and soon Jenny and Matt were talking online.

“The tragedy here is that two months after that, (Jenny) was dead, and Matt never got to meet her in person,” Fenwick said.

Matt, now 51 came to visit his father and all six of his brothers and sisters in Cape St. George.

On Fenwick’s recent trip, Matt’s home in in Alameda, Calif., was one of the stops.

He also got a chance to meet his two grandchildren and took them to a San Jose Sharks professional hockey game.

His travel also brought him to the Philippines to visit his brother Michael Fenwick, where he spends his winters.

“Family has certainly become a higher priority now,” said Fenwick, who is turning 75 years this summer.


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