Anderson's Time

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.



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Curling 100 Years Ago

In recognition of the Brier taking place in St. John's March 4-12, 2017, here are a few articles about curling that appeared in various magazines about 100 years ago. In 1907, J. Syme wrote about "The Roarin' Game" in Parsons Xmas Annual. The game is described as one where "...all things mundane are forgotten in the pleasure that it produces." Syme describes Jimmie Murphy, caretaker of the curling rinks and also, the group from Newfoundland who participated in the Montreal Curling Club's centennial invitational. The article "Drawing the Port" that was written in July 1914 in the Newfoundland Quarterly gives great detail concerning a bonspiel in Halifax in which teams from Newfoundland participated. The 1916 issue of the Distaff describes the formation of the Ladies Curling Club in 1905. In December 1917, A. H. Salter gave an account in the Newfoundland Quarterly of the previous season's activities and claimed that "...the Old Guard who introduced the manly or "Roarin" game in Newfoundland have bequeathed to us younger brethren a heritage "To guard well."" I am sure the Old Guard would be quite pleased with the Brier being held in St. John's this week. For more on the history of curling in our province, contact the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.


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World Thinking Day

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.



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Census 2016 - Spotlight on Witless Bay

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.



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Launch of Sweat Equity

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.



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Labrador and the Census

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.



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Opening of QEII Library

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).



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Christmas Issues

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!



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Dr. Shannon Ryan

Dr. Shannon Ryan, who passed away on December 12th, will always be fondly remembered by staff here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Dr. Ryan was a renowned scholar of the history of Newfoundland and Labrador and taught for 35 years in the Department of History at Memorial University. Some of our staff were fortunate to have taken courses from him and speak highly of his knowledge and kindness. He spent countless hours in the Centre, conducting research in the areas of the seal fishery and the 19th century cod fishery. A few of his important works include: Fish out of water : the Newfoundland saltfish trade 1814-1914 ; The ice hunters : a history of Newfoundland sealing to 1914 and A history of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic to 1818. His Ph.D thesis Newfoundland's saltfish markets : 1814-1914, which he completed in 1981 at Queen Mary College, University of London is available on the Digital Archives Initiative. So is a much smaller work that is perhaps more widely recognized called Fish Stages. It is a brief history of the Newfoundland fishery to the early 20th century that was published in 1985 by the Newfoundland Historic Parks Association. Dr. Ryan was a past president of the Newfoundland Historical Society and made himself available to community heritage groups around the province. His contributions to preserving our heritage are many and thankfully, many of his students are following in his footsteps. We extend our condolences to Dr. Ryan's family, friends and colleagues.


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Passing of Graham Howcroft

The Centre for Newfoundland Studies was sorry to hear of the passing this week of Graham Howcroft, the artist who created our beautiful stained glass window in 1994. The window was commissioned by Fabian and John O'Dea in honour of their sister Agnes O'Dea, the founder and first Head of the Centre. The dedication of "The Voyage" took place Dec. 2, 1994. Our condolences to Mr. Howcroft's family and friends.

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Mummers on Parade

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!



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Latest ISER Book

ISER Books is the publishing division of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Memorial University. It publishes books about the society, economy, and culture of the North Atlantic region. Its latest release concerns the lack of decent urban housing in Newfoundland during the early 20thcentury and how a government program dealt with the shortage by enabling people to build homes cooperatively, and, upon completion, become owners. Archival material and interviews with surviving members of the cooperatives are incorporated by authors Chris Sharpe and Jo Shawyer in their book Sweat Equity: Cooperative House-Building in Newfoundland, 1920–1974.This latest release joins the many other ISER Books that sit on our shelves here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.


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St. Bon's 160th Anniversary

St. Bonaventure’s College is celebrating its 160th anniversary today – it was officially founded and formally opened by Bishop Mullock on December 1st, 1856. We have so much material here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies on the College but perhaps the most valuable resource would be our holdings of The Adelphian which was the school magazine of St. Bonaventure’s College published from 1904 to 1982. This magazine is available through the Digital Archives Initiative. The photo below was taken from the first issue of The Adelphian in 1904. The 1982 issue celebrated the 125th anniversary and includes several articles giving a comprehensive history of the school. Happy Anniversary!



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A Link to the Smithsonian

A recent blog entry from the Smithsonian Museum dealt with the trans-atlantic telegraph cable, highlighting the 150thanniversary of its landing in Heart’s Content. Bernard Finn curated the Smithsonian exhibit that features correspondence of Cyrus Field and in his blog, gives his thoughts on developing the collection and display. Mr. Finn was curator of electrical collections in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History from 1962 to 2005 and submarine telegraphy was one of his principle areas of study. He mentions his visit this past summer to attend the anniversary celebrations in Heart’s Content. Joan Ritcey, head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, was chair of the 2016 Cable Conference which included Mr. Finn as a presenter – making an interesting connection between CNS and the Smithsonian Museum.



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World Fisheries Day

Today is World Fisheries Day and many events are planned to celebrate the province’s fishing industry. There will also be reflection on past practices in preparation for the eventual return of the cod fishery. For those looking to the past, in particular the many fishery reports and documents that have been created by federal and provincial governments, associations, scientists and researchers in a wide variety of fields, be sure to consult the holdings of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. An online guide is available to help navigate our rich resources relating to the northern cod fishery: Management of the Northern Cod Fishery: A Guide to Information Sources. Hopefully someday, we may once again see a title similar to the 1980 DFO report Northern cod : a fisheries success story.



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On the Cover of The Newfoundland Herald

The October 16-22, 2016 issue of The Newfoundland Herald was a trip down memory lane for many of us who have grown up seeing this magazine on newsstands every week and reading it cover to cover. This particular issue commemorates yet another milestone for this iconic publication – its 70th year in publication. The front cover has a collage of many of its covers over the last 70 years. So many individuals have been featured and from all walks of life. Did you know that every single issue is held here in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies? We even have on microfilm (1946-1976) the earlier Sunday Herald issues and the former versions of The Herald. Our print issues date back to 1976 when it switched from a newspaper format to a journal format. If you ever need to look up someone or something in The Newfoundland Herald then come visit the Centre for Newfoundland Studies or ask us via email at cnsqeii@mun.ca.


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Flower of Remembrance

The annual Poppy Campaign dates back to 1921 here in Newfoundland and Labrador. The net profits from the sale of Flanders Poppies were given to the Great War Veterans' Association of Newfoundland Relief Fund for the purpose of assisting ex-Service men, widows and orphans. The image below appeared in the October 1923 issue of The Veteran which made the appeal "Wear a Flanders Poppy on Remembrance Day, November 11th". The Veteran was the magazine of the G.W.V.A that was published in St. John's during the years 1920 to 1949. Print copies are held in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies and they are also digitized on the Digital Archives Initiative. The poppy is poignantly described as the "Flower of Remembrance" in the December 1922 issue: "Remembrance Day is the shrine on the year's road, at which we humbly pause, and in the hurly burly of every day life, give thought to those who gave up all hope of happiness here, all their worldly future, and went into the shadow of the valley for us ; that our future might be better and the world new lighted. We call this observance "Remembrance Day" ; and indeed throughout the British Empire; and that wild bloom, blowing its myriad heads, as in nature's reverence over the graves of our dead, is the most fitting symbol to call their sacrifice to mind."


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Tales from the CNS Stacks

Here are a few ghost stories unearthed from our collection. The "Orange Lodge Ghost" is sure to tickle your funny bone. Written by Susannah Taylor for the Atlantic Guardian in January 1947, it recounts a story that takes place on Change Islands in the 1920s. "The Black Stag" written by James McGrath for The Newfoundland Quarterly in December 1910 will send shivers down your spine. The story is from the Cape Shore and dates back to 1804. And a hike up Signal Hill will never be the same after reading E. Furlong’s poem "Ghost of Deadman's Pond" from The Newfoundland Quarterly of December 1939. P.J. Wakeham tells several stories in "Newfoundland ghostly legends" that appeared in New- Land Magazine in the Spring - Summer 1979 issue. We learn about a headless ghost in St. John’s, the ghost of a young girl who drowned in a town in Conception Bay and the ghost of an Indian chief on Grand Lake. This is only a small sample from the dark recesses of our stacks. There is so much more to sink your teeth into here at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies!



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Dr. Cyril Poole

The passing of Dr. Cyril Poole on October 20, 2016 is yet another loss in the field of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. Dr. Poole wrote several humourous books in the 1980s that were observations about his boyhood in Pilley’s Island and his beloved Newfoundland: In search of the Newfoundland soul (1982), The time of my life (1983) and Saints and sleeveens (1986). These were written while he was principal of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. In a Decks Awash article written in 1989 before his retirement, he referred to the new School of Fine Arts at the College as the “leading edge as a liberal arts college”. In 1990 he was appointed editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, helping to complete the monumental five volume set started by Joseph R. Smallwood. Joan Ritcey, head of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, served on the Editorial Board during this time and remembers Dr. Poole’s wonderful sense of humour. Dr. Poole also contributed many times to issues of The Newfoundland Quarterly, serving as an associate editor since 1977. His literary work, academic service and contributions to public life were recognized in 1991 by his appointment to the Order of Canada. He went on to be awarded an honorary degree from Memorial University in 1995. We extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.


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Illuminating Events

Friday, October 14, 2016 was a momentous day for Newfoundland and Labrador's Fortis Inc. (parent company of Newfoundland Power) as it began trading its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Today, Fortis president Barry Perry was in New York for the ceremonial ringing of the bell to open the day’s trading. This international company has roots back to 1885 when the St. John’s Electric Light Company was formed. The early history is described in Brian Wadden’s essay “St. John's Electric Light Company, 1885- 1892” which appeared in the June 1957 issue of The Newfoundland Quarterly. The illustrated history of Newfoundland Light & Power written by Melvin Baker, Robert Pitt and Janet Pitt is a comprehensive history of the company and is available in the Centre. We also hold annual reports, newsletters, agreements and rate applications back through the years. The photo below appeared in the article “Our street railway system” by R. F. Morkill in the Parsons' Xmas Annual of 1900. The Petty Harbour Generating Station transmitted electricity to St. John's where it was used to run the street cars and to eventually light homes and businesses.



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