The Enterprise Foundry has always held a special place in Lorri Stokes’ heart. So when a fire destroyed a large section of the longtime Sackville landmark last January, Lorri knew she wanted to do something special to help keep those memories alive – for herself and for the community.
Now, one year later, Lorri has just released a song that pays tribute to the foundry, its workers, and all those who have benefited from the local industry over the past century.
“I just wanted to do something special for the town,” said Lorri, a Sackville native who now makes her home in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, NB. “I wanted to give back in some way.”
Entitled Be Warm Be Wise Choose Enterprise (the foundry’s slogan from years ago), the song is Lorri’s first-ever single and it has been playing for the past week on CJSE 89.5FM.
Lorri said the foundry was a large part of her childhood growing up in Sackville.
“My entire family worked there; my dad, my grandfather, my uncles. I remember sitting in that long line-up of cars at the end of a shift, and when that whistle blew, the men would all come running out. . . ”
Although she’s been away from Sackville for nearly 20 years now, Lorri has stayed connected to her hometown through friends and family. And when she started hearing news of the fire last year while she was on Facebook, she was devastated.
“I started seeing pictures of this building on fire . . . then people started coming on saying ‘the foundry’s burning.’ It really shook me, as it did the entire community. I just couldn’t believe it. It was the end of an era.”
The day following the Jan. 18 fire, Lorri traveled home to Sackville where she and a friend Edith Saulnier sat by the old train station and watched firefighters continue to douse hot spots. While there, they witnessed an older gentleman watching the smoldering rubble, with tears streaming down his face. The man had worked at the foundry for 40 years.
“That’s when I turned to Edith and said ‘I really want to do something, some kind of tribute.”
Her friend handed her a piece of paper and they wrote the song in about half an hour.
“It just came so easy, the words.”
Working as a sous chef in Riverview, Lorri says she has only recently turned to songwriting but has always had an affinity for writing poetry.
Singing professionally has also been a longtime dream of hers but she has never before had the confidence to take that step. Lorri only has about 30 per cent of her hearing, which presents challenges in becoming a musician. Her friends, however, have pushed her to pursue her music and, at the age of 50, she is ready to take that journey.
“It’s something I always wanted to do. And I never gave up on my dream.”
Lorri said Cam Bujold from Campbellton, N.B., helped her record and produce the Enterprise song and video, which can be viewed on Lorri’s Facebook page.
This first single will be the first track on a new CD, which will hopefully be released later this year.
She said she hopes the song will leave a lasting impression, just as the foundry left its mark on Sackville.
“Enterprise did a lot for the area for a lot of years. It’s been there so long and been through so much. The fire affected a lot of people. It tore a little piece of my heart to see it go,” she said.
“So I just want everyone to know, this is for them.”
To obtain a copy of the DVD with the song, video and pictures of the foundry, call Marolyn Van Geel-Stokes at 536-0819.