|Fanny Noel's funeral procession with "The Tolt" in the background. 1921. Courtesy of Barbara Noel Drover|
Fanny was part of a local Methodist girls group, and the young women seen dressed in white in both of these photographs would have been members of that group. Surrounded by those in attendance is Fanny Noel's coffin, drawn by a horse and white to symbolize her young age. The first photo also shows farmland, and the prominent natural feature of Freshwater known as "The Tolt."
|Fanny Noel's funeral procession leaving her home in Freshwater Carbonear. 1921. Courtesy of Barbara Noel Drover|
|Mildred Whiteway waking in home. Signal Hill. February 25th 1953. Courtesy of Bill Whiteway via Cindy Snow.|
Similar funeral photographs are also found throughout the various archives of Newfoundland and Labrador. The following scene is found at The Rooms Provincial Archives in the series "Views of Newfoundland" by Stanley Truman Brooks and Betty Watt Brooks for The Newfoundland Tourist Development Board.
|VA 6-59 Funeral Procession through Ferryland . Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.|
|B 22-6. Men Carrying Coffin, St. John's Wharf . Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives|
In addition to funeral processions, photographers also took post-mortem photos of the deceased. These often misunderstood images were a loving way to preserve the memory of a family member. A good example from the City of St. John's Archive is the mortuary portrait of Eng Wing Kit, also known as Charlie Wing Kit or Check Yen, who died on the night of 3 July 1938. He was found the next morning in the kitchen of his restaurant, the Regal Café, in St. John’s. He was hanging from a rope that had been tied to an iron bar, suspended between the stove and a counter. The police investigation resulted in a mass questioning of the entire Chinese community, but due to the belief that Eng Wing Kit had been killed by a Chinese secret society, or “tong”, many members of the community were uncooperative.
If you have funeral photographs from Newfoundland and Labrador, and would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.