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.