For those of you who would like to read about the Royal St. John’s Regatta, the options are many here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. We have it covered with newspaper accounts, programs, poetry, histories (by Jack Fitzgerald), a novel (Stroke in Time by Gerard Doran), a children’s book (Freddy’s Day at the Races) and in particular, journal articles. The August 1954 Special Regatta Edition of the Newfoundland Quarterly has reminiscences from writers such as Leo E.F. English (vol. 53 (2A), pp. 38-39) and the Atlantic Guardian offers an article by Bill Davies in July 1947 (vol. 3 (7), pp. 9-12) and one by Michael Harrington in August 1951 (vol. 8 (8), pp. 30-34). Come visit us if you ever need to research the history of the regatta.
May 20th marked the 85th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s departure from Harbour Grace to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Grenville Manton describes the historic event in “The flights of Amelia Earhart” published in War in the Air, 1935, pp. 700-704. But it is Earhart’s own words that make for an interesting read in the August 1932 issue of American Magazine, v. 114(2), pp. 15-17, 72. In her article “Flying the Atlantic”, she addresses the obvious question of why she would undertake such an adventure. Her answer was quite simply “I flew the Atlantic because I wanted to.” For more on Amelia Earhart, contact the Centre. For a video of Amelia Earhart leaving Harbour Grace in 1932, check out the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s video on YouTube. And visit the Conception Bay Museum’s Facebook page for photos.
As April draws near to an end, so does Daffodil Month. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual fundraising campaign of selling fresh cut daffodils. This year, Margot Reid was recognized as the longest serving volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society. She has volunteered for 66 years and was responsible for bringing the Daffodil campaign to Newfoundland and Labrador. We recently came across a publication in our collection called Crusader that was published by the Canadian Cancer Society, Newfoundland and Labrador Division in 1955. The back of the publication has a photo of nine women making gauze dressings to be distributed freely to cancer patients. One of the women in the photograph is Mrs. Ian Reid (Margot), daughter-in-law of W. Angus Reid, the first president of the Society. This was just one initiative started by Mrs. Reid, a nurse who eventually became president of the Society from 1982-1984. Her lifetime of volunteering with the Cancer Society and numerous other organizations has been widely celebrated, including the bestowing of an honorary degree by Memorial University in 2013.
Now this is a harbour jammed with ice! This 1904 work by John William Hayward depicts St. John’s harbour on March 1, 1854 as sealing crews cut channels in the ice for the sealing fleet. This image appears in volume 2 of The Book of Newfoundland (p. 13). In 1983, Memorial University’s Art Gallery organized an exhibit called “The Haywards of St. John’s”. It was curated by Chris O’Dea and according to the exhibition catalogue held here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, this watercolour was one of the works on display. More information on the art of J. H. Hayward can be found in this November 1983 Trident article by Chris O'Dea.
The staff of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of eminent archaeologist and historian Dr. Peter Pope. Dr. Pope was a long time researcher in CNS dating back to his M.A. (1986) and Ph.D (1992) work on seventeenth century Ferryland. He began teaching in the Dept. of History at Memorial University but later joined the Archaeology Unit, eventually becoming Head of the Dept. of Anthropology and Archaeology and an Honorary Research Professor. He was also director of the Newfoundland Archaeological Heritage Outreach Program. In 2001, he was awarded the President’s Award for Outstanding Research in recognition of his achievements in uncovering the past and preserving it for future generations. To him the award meant that “…the university appreciates the kind of inter-disciplinary work historical archaeologists do and that it continues to support research in the social and historical sciences.” He was an award winning author as well, earning praise for works such as Fish into Wine and The Many Landfalls of John Cabot. Fish into Wine is such a meticulous work of scholarship that in CNS, we consider it a reference tool. He will be remembered for his impeccable research covering a wide array of topics including Breton ceramics, John Cabot, waterfront archaeology, the early cod fishery, French material history and so much more. Candace Cochrane told us that "More than anyone he brought the history and meaning of the French Shore to the people who lived there by helping them discover it through what was lying under their feet, on their beaches, in their sheds, and their stories. A pretty big accomplishment". Joan Ritcey, Head of CNS, described how Dr. Pope gave lectures on the same topic twice in one day at a symposium but made them completely different, equally fascinating and enlightening. Dr. Pope will be sorely missed. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Did you know that Newfoundland was the first area in North America to adopt daylight saving time? The Daylight Saving Act (8 Geo V, c. 9) became law in 1917 through the efforts of John Anderson, a St. John’s businessman and member of the Legislative Council. It was his third attempt to pass the bill - he was unsuccessful in 1909 and 1910. He was a strong proponent of workers having an extra hour of sunlight at the end of a work day, a view welcomed by those in urban areas but not so much by fishermen or farmers in rural areas. His views are outlined in “What fools we are to spend 180 hours in darkness when we might spend them in light: Daylight and sunlight benefit the workers” (Cadet, March 1918, v. 5(1), pp. 31-32). Despite opposition (Evening Telegram, June 6, 1917, p. 8), the practice of moving clocks ahead one hour in the spring was adopted and for years, daylight saving time in Newfoundland was known as 'Anderson’s time'. Mark Ronayne offers his view of “John Anderson Time” in the Atlantic Guardian, May 1952, v. 9(5), pp. 41-42.
Each year, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world celebrate World Thinking Day on February 22nd because it was the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, and his wife Olave, who was World Chief Guide. In Newfoundland, the Girl Guide movement was officially launched in 1923 by Lady Elsie E. Allardyce, wife of the Governor. In 1923, she wrote the article “The Girl Guide Movement” for the Veteran Magazine and followed it in 1924 with “What guiding may mean to Newfoundland” in the Newfoundland Quarterly. We hold these issues in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies along with Annual Reports, newsletters, minutes, cookbooks and numerous newspaper clippings.
Statistics Canada released Population and Dwelling counts at the community level from the 2016 Census this week and one of the more interesting findings is that since the 2011 Census, Witless Bay is the fastest growing community in the province. Its population has jumped 38.7 per cent from 1,167 in 2011 to 1619 in 2016. Check the schedule of release dates to find out when more variables will be available. The Newfoundland Statistics Agency has a useful list of links to NL Census data as it becomes available. For example, this alphabetical list gives population counts for all NL communities. For comprehensive, current profiles of communities, check out the Community Accounts database. Here is the profile for Witless Bay. The Centre for Newfoundland Studies can guide you in your search for both current and historical data. Older census volumes such as this 1857 Newfoundland census are being digitized. We hold census material, community files of newspaper clippings, community histories, historic maps, directories and so much more. The photo of Witless Bay below comes from volume 5 of the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Join ISER Books and the Queen Elizabeth II Library, as part of the library’s ongoing Check it out! series, for a book launch and panel discussion of Sweat Equity: Cooperative House Building in Newfoundland 1920-1974. Authors Chris Sharpe and Jo Shawyer will be joined by panelists Kim Blanchard, Stephen Jewczyk, and Jeff Webb to discuss the book, cooperative housing in Newfoundland and current housing issues affecting the province. Admission is free, all are welcome, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Join us at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies on Wednesday, February 15th at 3:30pm.
Just arrived from the Labrador Institute - this important resource for anyone interested in the demographic history of Labrador. Labrador and the Census is the result of a project led by Morgan Mills, Program Coordinator at Memorial University’s Labrador Institute. For the first time, census data at the community level for Labrador has been brought together in one place, going back to 1857. The Centre for Newfoundland Studies which holds all census material in hard copy (some of which is now available through the Digital Archives initiative) was pleased to participate in this project. Recognizing that the census is the most basic and important data source that should be accessible to everyone, Mr. Mills has made the dataset freely available online.
Thirty-five years ago, on January 9, 1982, Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II Library opened its doors to visitors. An estimated 1800 people came that weekend to view the brand new facility. They walked through a building that was five times the size of the former Henrietta Harvey Library, had 200,000 square feet of floor space, contained over 36 miles of shelving that held 850,000 volumes and hosted the largest single Reading Room east of Montreal. A memorable event for those of us who were undergraduates at the time! The photo below shows the familiar pillars of the QEII Library during construction in 1979 (MUN Gazette June 15, 1979).
Christmas Issues of Newfoundland and Labrador periodicals and newspapers form a unique collection in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. A common practice at the end of the nineteenth century was to issue a Christmas number as a supplement to the regular edition. The issue would contain poetry, essays, anecdotes, photographs, stories and plenty of advertisements. The material would not necessarily be related to Christmas. CNS has a selection of these Christmas issues and a few have been digitized on the Digital Archives Initiative but we are always hoping to find missing issues. The image below is of the cover of the 1901 issue of Christmas Bells. A preliminary index guide to all the known Christmas Annuals was created in 1989 by Peter Churchill and Jeff Monk. More up-to-date versions of the guide (edited by William Kirwin) are available in the Centre. We have also indexed issues in our Periodical Article Bibliography. We hope you enjoy these Christmas Issues as time permits during the festive season. Merry Christmas from everyone here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies!
Saturday, Dec. 10th is the much anticipated Mummers Parade in St. John’s. To mark this colourful and spirited event, here is some reading material from our collection in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies that gives a fuller picture of the mummering (or mumming) tradition. It is mentioned as early as 1819 in Lewis Anspach’s A History of the Island of Newfoundland as a tradition that “prevails in some parts of Newfoundland, though not with general approbation”. The first substantial academic work was Christmas Mumming in Newfoundland edited by Herbert Halpert and G. M Story in 1969. The tradition has been a topic for numerous theses, including Margaret Robertson’s M.A. thesis The Newfoundland mummers' Christmas house-visit. A more recent academic study was done by Diane Tye. "At home and away: Newfoundland mummers and the transformation of difference" appeared in Material Culture Review in 2008. Reminiscences of the mummering tradition can be found in Don Ryan’s article "Rambling with Ryan: Old-Time Christmas customs recalled" in the December 1957 issue of The Atlantic Guardian. Enjoy the mummers on parade!