George to be featured on Nature of Things

Andrew Wagstaff
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When you spend your life collecting rocks, people take notice.

For almost seven decades Eldon George has been gathering fossils and minerals on this shore, and has come across some notable finds, including the worlds smallest dinosaur footprints. Visitors to his Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop have been fascinated by his discoveries and that audience is about to grow much larger.

George will be featured on an upcoming episode of renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzukis The Nature of Things on CBC.

They approached me last year and said they were doing research and that they had a lot of information on me, and they were planning on doing a program here in the Parrsboro area on the tracks and things I found, and what Dr. (Paul) Olsen found, recalled the well-known rockhound. They asked me if I would consent to it, and I said certainly.

On Aug. 25, 2006, the eight-person production team led by director Michelle Metivier arrived in Parrsboro and spent a week here, including three days from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Georges shop and museum, interviewing him and taking video footage. Suzuki himself did not make the trip.

They also visited local sites such as Five Islands Provincial Park and Wassons Bluff, where paleontologist Tim Fedak was leading an archeological dig at the time.

The work is all part of a five-part series on The Nature of Things called Geologic Journey, which traces the history of North America through its ancient geology, proving the new world is, in fact, very old. The Parrsboro-area footage will be included on the fifth and final installment of the series, titled The Atlantic Coast.

During the show visits are also made the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park and the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, where startling discoveries were made in the 1960s to solidify the theory of tectonic shifts. A visit to the Parrsboro cliffs looks at the major fossil discovery in 1986, and compares it with the startlingly similar cliffs in Morocco, linking a mass extinction of dinosaurs with the violent break-up of the super continent of Pangea.

George, still recovering from recent heart surgery, looks on with child-like fascination at an advance copy of the show sent to him, marvelling at the high quality of the presentation and the information it holds.

Its just perfect, he said.

The five-part series began on Sunday, Sept. 9, and the episode featuring George is scheduled to air on Oct. 7, although George said he was led to believe it would air on Sept. 30. Check your local listings.

Organizations: Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop, CBC

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Georges, North America Atlantic Coast Gros Morne National Park Newfoundland Morocco

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