For crying out loud

Everything was looking good for New Glasgow Town Crier Jim Stewart until he woke up for his third day of an international town crier competition in Bermuda.

On the final day of the competition, Stewart woke up with a tickle in his throat — bad news for someone whose job is to be as loud and clear as possible. Despite his cold, Stewart still managed to place.

This year was Stewart’s third trip to the competition in Bermuda. With criers from all over the world competing and local criers helping host the event, there was some tough competition. Each of the crier competitions is usually held in conjunction with a big event, Stewart noted. This year, the celebration was the 20th anniversary of Lyme Regis and Bermuda being twinned.

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“When I was travelling down I felt something in my throat,” he said. “I cried my best but I didn’t have the volume.”

On the first day of the competition, each day of which a different cry is featured, he placed in the top five. On day two Stewart was in the top three of the competition.

“My voice was pretty well toast,” he said about the third day of the event, still a little hoarse even a week later. “I gargled, used cough drops, I was able to get through my proclamations without my voice breaking but I didn’t have the sustained volume.”

Although he had come down with a cold on the third day, after his performance on the second day, Stewart brought home a third-place win for the Hamilton Cry, which was completed on the second day but did not manage to place overall for the competition.

“It’s great because I get to promote my community,” Stewart said about being a town crier. “I get to meet people from all over the world.”

Although he may have been a bit hoarse for his final cry in Bermuda, Stewart is hoping to be in tip top shape for the International Town Crier competition in the Annapolis Valley this September and the Canadian Championship in June.

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Heather Brimicombe
Heather Brimicombe is a Pictou County native and graduate from the University of King's College in Halifax with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree as well as a combined major in Sustainability. She has previously won a Canadian Communities Newspapers award for a multimedia feature and was part of a team nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalism data award in the investigative category. Photography, art, sports and outdoor activities are all hobbies of hers as well as crafting, and baking.