Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Events this week: Christmas Memories, Carols, and Mummers



It is a busy week for intangible cultural heritage in St. John's!

This week:

Mummer Memories Mug Up at Marjorie Mews!
THU, 12 DEC AT 10:00
Marjorie Mews Public Library · St. John's, NL
Cost: Free Event!

Christmas is right around the corner, and that means lots of holiday memories. But is Christmas today exactly what it was years ago? Some of the older traditions are changing, perhaps, and there is always the danger that the stories of yesteryear could vanish.  Don't be a Grinch, and help us save the traditions of Yuletide! We want your memories of mummers, jannies, hobby horses, year-end customs, and how you celebrated the full 12 Days of Christmas. You bring a memory, we'll bring the syrup and jam jams! A free event, sponsored by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, as part of its Memory Mug Up program.

Facebook event listing

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The Heart's Delight - Islington Christmas Carols
THU, 12 DEC AT 2:30 pm
The Rooms
Where: Level 3 Atrium
Cost: Free Event!

If you grew up in Heart's Delight - Islington, your Christmas memories might include waking up late at night to the sound of community men reverently singing two ancient carols, passed down for over a century, in the darkened porch of your home. Other communities in the area, such as Cavendish and Green's Harbour, also once practiced a version of this house-to-house caroling, but today the tradition remains strongest in Heart's Delight-Islington. Join folklorist Dale Jarvis in conversation with the local tradition bearers who are working, and singing, to keep this old Christmas custom shining bright.

The Rooms event listing


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Mummers Parade!
SAT, 15 DEC AT 2PM
The Lantern
35 Barnes Road
Cost: Free Event!

Haul on Mudder's sized 42 bra and get your pillow-stuffed arse down to the Mummers Parade! Let's celebrate our culture and keep our traditions alive. All mummers 'llowed in!

Full details on the Mummers Festival website


Monday, December 9, 2019

Heart’s Delight - Islington Christmas Carols, live at The Rooms this Thursday!



“The Moon Shines Bright, And The Stars Give Light”
The Heart’s Delight - Islington Christmas Carols
The Rooms, St. John's
2:30pm, Thursday, Dec 12th

If you grew up in Heart’s Delight - Islington, your Christmas memories might include waking up late at night to the sound of community men reverently singing two ancient carols, passed down for over a century, in the darkened porch of your home. Other communities in the area, such as Cavendish and Green's Harbour, also once practiced a version of this house-to-house caroling, but today the tradition remains strongest in Heart’s Delight-Islington. Join folklorist Dale Jarvis (and a busload of carolers) in conversation with the local tradition bearers who are working, and singing, to keep this old Christmas custom shining bright.

Cost is free, In partnership with the Mummers Festival

photo courtesy Geraldine Legge.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Heritage Update Newsletter: Good Design, Ruins, Skills, and Christmas Memories



In this edition of the Heritage Update Newsletter: Executive Director Jerry Dick on good design, and the heritage of ruins; Michael Philpott on bringing heritage trades education to NL; our Memory Mug Up returns to Marjorie Mews Library for Christmas; and the Heart's Delight-Islington Christmas carolers will visit The Rooms in St. John's.

Download the newsletter as a pdf here

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Living Heritage Podcast Ep163 - Clarence Snook, Hant's Harbour Telegrapher and Postmaster

Mr. Clarence Snook was born in Hant’s Harbour on Hallowe'en Day, October 31, 1926.  He was an only child, the son of Alfred and Hazel Snook. As a boy, he was interested in Morse telegraphy, and studied under an ex-school teacher over one winter to learn the skill. The following spring, when postmistress Miss Melina Critch took ill, he was asked if he could fill in. “Well I’ll try to get along with it,” he said, and he did, for 11 years.

In this episode, we talk about his memories of the Hant's Harbour Post Office, his work as a telegrapher, and his time as an RCAF aircraft spotter during the Second World War.



This past summer, intern Patrick Handrigan worked on some drawings and a report for some possible adaptive reuses for the old Hant's Harbour Post Office (see mockup photo below). You can look at Patrick's report here.


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The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HeritageNL and CHMR Radio. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Mummers Festival 2019 is on the way!




The 2019 Mummers Festival runs November 30th to December 18th with events leading up to the Mummers Parade on Saturday, December 14th! Don’t just watch the Parade, be in it! Get yourself dressed up or come to our Rig Up an hour before the Parade to fashion yourself the perfect disguise.

The Parade ends at our Scuff ‘n’ Scoff party with live music, Purity syrup and sweets. The event will feature live music, so expect lots of hard stompin’.

If you really want to spice up your disguise this year, the Festival is hosting several different workshops: make an ugly stick, build a hobby horse, fashion yourself a box, bucket, or pillowcase mask.

There’s 13 events for you to choose from! Get your mummer on!

The Mummers Festival is still looking for volunteers for Parade Day, December 14th, 2019. We’re in need of parade marshals, set up and clean up squads, and more! Volunteers receive a fancy schmancy Festival t-shirt as a thank you. Sign up online by visiting mummersfestival.ca and click on the “Get Involved” link.

For more information and a full listing of events visit mummersfestival.ca

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Do you have a memory of Muddy Hole, Shearstown?



Starting in the early 1800s, men from Mercer’s Cove and French's Coves visited the area bordering Bay Roberts and Spaniard’s Bay “chasing the wood” -- collecting winter firewood. As the area was more sheltered than the coast, some families started to overwinter there, returning to Bay Roberts in the spring. Eventually, they settled there permanently.

Some of the earliest family names of the Shearstown pioneers were Holmes, Earle, Hedderson, Badcock, Sparkes, Franey, French, Saunders, and Mercer.  Some settlers like Augustus Mercer worked in the fishery, while John and George Tetford set up a cooperage. The area was originally known as Ryan's Brook or The Gut, but in 1905, the name was changed to Shearstown in honour of the Reverend W.C. Shears.

During its early years, the most prosperous part of Shearstown was the section of the community known as Muddy Hole, which lies near the mouth of the Shearstown River. This was once a bustling trading place where people from Shearstown and its surrounding communities would go to buy supplies.

Do you have a memory of the section of Shearstown known as Muddy Hole? Heritage NL and the Town of Bay Roberts are working on a Virtual Museum Project, and any of your stories, photos, or memories of Muddy Hole are welcome!  You can email Dale Jarvis at dale@heritagenl.ca or call 1-888-739-1892 x2.


Monday, November 25, 2019

Rehearsing the Heart's Delight-Islington Christmas Carols (and some archival audio).


We've been doing some work to document and share the two traditional Christmas carols that were traditionally sung by men door-to-door on Christmas Eve in the community of Heart's Delight-Islington. The group above will be performing at The Rooms as part of the the afternoon Coffee and Culture session on December 12th.

We have a couple archival recordings of the carols, none of which are of exceptional audio quality, but they will give you an idea of the tune.

First up are two recordings from an audio tape entitled "Ht's. Delight-Is. Carolers 1970-1971" from the collection of Edwin Bishop.   Edwin writes,

"As far as I can recall I recorded it myself at my sister's house (Harry and Elva Morgan) on Northeast Side. I can’t recall most of the names but pretty sure Lewis Legge or Clayton Reid was the leader. My brother James and Jim Reid, Hedley Fost and Gilbert were most likely there."

Download version one as MP3
Download version two as MP3





Next up, in this recording, Joe Crocker, Jim Reid, Fred Fost of Heart's Delight-Islington sing the carols. Recorded early 1980s. Thanks to Shirley Crocker Rockwood for the copy of the recording.
Download the MP3 here







Thursday, November 21, 2019

Living Heritage Podcast Ep162 - Revitalizing the Heart's Delight-Islington Christmas Carols



In days past, Christmas Eve in Heart’s Delight-Islington would ring with the singing of  their own special Christmas carols. The tradition involved the door-to-door singing of two specific carols which had been passed down over the past century. Originally, they were sung by men, who would travel to every house in the community. Other communities in the area, such as Cavendish and Green's Harbour, also once sang a version of the carols, but the tradition remains strongest in Heart’s Delight-Islington.

The custom continues with some changes over time, but more work is needed to safeguard this very special local tradition.  In this podcast, we chat with Stan Reid and Howard Sooley, two long-time carolers who are working to ensure this tradition is carried on to the next generation.  We talk about the past and present of the tradition, and where they would like to see it in the future.

Note: On Dec 12th, as part of this year's Mummers Festival, The Rooms will be hosting an afternoon Coffee and Culture with participants from Heart's Delight-Islington. Facebook event here. Photo courtesy Geraldine Legge.





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The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HeritageNL and CHMR Radio. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Living Heritage Podcast Ep161 We ❤ Craft Skill Sharing Series



With funding from New Horizons, the Anna Templeton Centre is proud to present the We ❤ Craft Skill Sharing Series - 10 tours, presentations, and workshops that showcase craft in and around St. John's. The events will facilitate the sharing of craft skills between seniors and their community, including other seniors, youth, and the general population.

The focus is not just on traditional Newfoundland and Labrador craft, but also adaptive and international craft and skills. There has been one event, a tour of the embroidery and silver of the Anglican Cathedral, where Joyce King gave a tour of the history and architecture of the Cathedral, Don Beaubier discussed the history and workmanship of some of the silver housed there, and Susan Furneaux discussed the embroidery on display, some of which was made locally by Bunty Severs.

Over November they will host a panel at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation where three generations of knitters will demonstrate some methods for tricky and difficult techniques, and will take audience questions. At the end of November they will have three workshop on Iris folding, a Dutch technique of using scraps of paper, and because it is hosted by Sheila Ford, a quilter, scraps of fabric, to create beautiful images on cards.

Dr. Lisa Daly is the project organizer for We ❤ Craft, working with a board of women who are passionate about crafting. Lisa is also a member of the Heritage NL board, and has been working in heritage and tourism for almost two decades.




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The Living Heritage Podcast is about people who are engaged in the heritage and culture sector, from museum professionals and archivists, to tradition bearers and craftspeople - all those who keep history alive at the community level. The show is a partnership between HeritageNL and CHMR Radio. Theme music is Rythme Gitan by Latché Swing.