LITTLE CURRENT—An Aundeck Omni Kaning couple were overjoyed to welcome a Haweater Weekend baby this past Sunday.
Ashley Toulouse and Devin McGraw explained to The Expositor that they weren’t due until August 6, but they were thrilled for their little girl to be a true Haweater.
“We were very excited for her to be born on Haweater Weekend,” said Ms. Toulouse.
“We suspected this week that she might come early,” added Mr. McGraw. “We just had a feeling.”
That feeling was right, and Ms. Toulouse gave birth to an eight pound baby girl on Sunday, August 2 at 10:56 am who they named Alana.
This is the couple’s third child, but their first Haweater (child born on the Island) and the first in their immediate family as neither were born on Manitoulin.
Manitoulin legend tells that in the early days of European settlement on Manitoulin, hawthorn trees grew in abundance on the Island. One winter a famine hit the Island and supplies reached a low with the threat of scurvy. Apparently the settlers survived on hawberries (the fruit of the hawthorn tree) which provided them with not only nourishment, but vitamin C which saved many from scurvy.
The berries have since become a symbol of survival and people born on Manitoulin are called Haweaters.