Showing posts with label Portugal Cove. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portugal Cove. Show all posts

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Memorial Day Service in Portugal Cove 1962

028.03.160 Memorial Day Service Portugal Cove NFLD Sunday July 1 1962.
Photo courtesy of The Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives
In April, I digitized a set of 35mm slides for the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's. The slides are included in the Allen and Pearl Squires fonds, which contains photographs, WW2 correspondence, and other material that accompanied a monetary donation which funded the community library. The photographs where taken on two separate summer trips, in 1954 and 1962, to visit Allen Squires hometown of St. Philip's and surrounding communities. With Allen's background in the 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment Royal Artillery, they took photographs of multiple war memorials around the Avalon Peninsula, including a Memorial Day service in Portugal Cove. The photographs show the large crowd in attendance, the Portugal Cove War Memorial, St. Lawrence Anglican Church, and the surrounding homes and landscape.  

028.03.158 Memorial Day Service Portugal Cove, NFLD Sunday July 1 1962.
Photo courtesy of the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives.  
One of the images shows the parade heading towards the memorial, and the photographer. Pearl Squires labeled the slide as "Mr. Churchill World War I Veteran in Front,” however the man in the center has been identified by relatives as Archibald Greeley. Two men carry flags at the head of the parade. To the left is the Civil or Pilot Jack and to the right is a Royal British Legion flag. 

028.03.162 Memorial Day Service Parade Portugal Cove. Sunday July 1 1962.
Photo courtesy of the Portugal Cove-St.Philip's Archives.
The Portugal Cove War memorial can be seen in the pictures with many wreaths and the Union Jack flying. Members of the community can be seen sitting on the rocks behind the memorial, and talking to one another. Can you identify anyone in the photographs?

028.03.163 Memorial Sunday Service Monument Portugal Cove. Sunday July 1 1962.
Photograph courtesy of the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives. 
For more information on the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives, contact the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Heritage Programs and Services Coordinator Julie Pomeroy.

~ Kelly

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Do you remember being sent to the store as a child? #Folklorephoto

028.03.193 Four unidentified children in front of  Broad Cove with a jar of mustard pickles.
Photo courtesy of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives.
The above photo shows four unidentified children in front of Broad Cove in St. Philip's, who look like they may have just come from a stop at a local store. One little girl holds a jar of mustard pickles, another has something in her hand, maybe a chocolate bar? Do you have memories of your parents sending you to the store as a child? How far did you walk? What did you have to pick up?

~ Kelly

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"We never did go hungry on Saturdays" - Interview with Clarence "Mac" Miller

Clarence (Mac) Miller Interviewed by Nataliya Bezborodova

Clarence (Mac) Miller is a lifelong resident of Portugal Cove – St. Philips, NL. He was born September 19, 1943. Mac Miller is the only son in a family of five children. As a child, he often accompanied his father who worked as a truck driver supplying goods to boats for Bell Island. He married in 1968, having growing up in the same community as his wife. He has two daughters and is “waiting for grandchildren, still waiting.” Mac Miller worked in public utilities for 35 years, and is now retired. His interest in history and geography started as a schoolchild, and he began his own research in his family genealogy which led him to become a local Heritage Committee member.

“Saturdays when there would be no school, myself and another friend of mine, we used to go with my father to Bell Island to help deliver the produce. We would be in the back of the truck. Now of course, at that time everything was sort of in, not cardboard boxes but in small wooden crates. I can remember, we would be in the back of the truck, we would be passing the stuff out to my father and he would be bringing it in but from going to one place to another if we were hungry we would open a box and have a banana, an orange, or an apple or anything. Flick the peels out of the truck so my father wouldn’t see as he was driving. We were in the back of the truck with a big tarpaulin over the truck. So, we never did go hungry on Saturdays. All the rest of the week we were hungry, waiting for Saturdays, and get paid a dollar for doing that too.”

Mac described the work associated with growing up in a family of girls:
“Otherwise there wasn’t much time for entertainment so to speak, because when my father worked on Bell Island, I had to come home from school and get all the supplies for the night, I had to get splits, small pieces of kindling for lighting the fire in the morning. I never had too much time for sports. When I did, that was mostly at school, playing baseball, soccer. Some Saturdays when my father wouldn’t be at home, when he would go to Bell Island on a Monday and wouldn’t be back until Friday night, and I being the only boy, I had to do all the work. Sometimes coming home from school I used to have to go in the woods, which was about a mile hike cut a few sticks of wood, haul them back, physically haul them back to the house about another mile, and cut them up for a day. Some Saturdays we had to cut up enough wood for the fire for the whole week, which didn’t leave much time for anything else: stealing vegetables out of the gardens or anything else like that, right? That’s about it for me.”

Mac: “I didn’t like my siblings, they were all girls. They didn’t like me either!
Nataliya : You had a hard time!
Mac: I did have hard time! [laughter] They got away from everything. That is why I had to do all this hard work, go to get firewood,and so on. Girls didn’t do that stuff. They would be stuck inside the house, while I was outside in the cold at everything else. Well, my five sisters, we all went to school here in Portugal Cove. Finished high school there. I was the only one who did, as they say, post-education. I had one year at the University, but I didn’t like that. And at about nineteen years old I went to work, and I stayed at that job for 35 years until I retired.”

Although there was a lot of hard work Mac also recalled some of the games and activities he would play as a child:
“In summer when we had holidays, we used to play soccer. we played baseball a lot. We used to grow our own vegetables too, fish every now and then. We weren’t a fishing family but every now and then you would get out with someone in a boat, jig a few codfish for the week. We used to play some games. One game we used to play is tiddly. Different places you go in Newfoundland, they call it by a different name, right. We called it tiddly; we played with a couple of sticks. I actually had a real ball to play soccer with. Can you believe that? A real ball. We went swimming. We would walk over hills from Portugal Cove about a mile hike to go swimming in the ponds. […] So, we used to hike over hills almost every day in summer or on our holidays. Go for a swim, then come back home again. We used to spend a lot of time around the rocks, we used to call them rocks, or a shoreline. Jigging connors, sometimes you would get a small codfish that used to be in around the rocks, fry that on the rocks. One thing I remember that we used to do. Do you know what conk is? Seashell that grows on a rock. We call them conk, right. They are males and females. We used to go down on the shoreline and pick those off the rocks. Pick the male ones off the rocks, because the male ones are bigger and fatter. We put them in an old tin can, and make a little fire. We boiled them and ate them. They were lovely! They were actually really lovely!”

“My friend had a horse. Of course late in spring of the year and late in fall of the year you had to cut a grass, let it dry, put it to a barn for the horse in the winter. That used to be good because once we got the barn full of hay we started jumping in the hay. If you were warm at all, if you were sweating at all, you itch like anything. It was fun, but at the end of it you almost wanted to walk another ¾ of a mile to the pond to go for a swim. We used to swim in the salt water too. Saltwater is a lot better to swim in because saltwater is heavy and fresh water is not. We used to get in saltwater, and just float. We get on our backs and float. Saltwater will keep you up. In fresh water you have to move your hands and feet just to keep in that same position. I remember one place called Claire’s beach. It used to be a beach of a family Claire's that lived there. I remember myself and this other guy were swimming once and we were out twenty feet in the water, and we saw this tail come up in the air, out of the water. It was a shark about thirty feet from us. That was closer than I’ve ever been in all the time I spent swimming in saltwater to something chasing us so to speak. Here was this shark. We got out of water pretty fast.”

“I live more in the past than in the future or the present. I always did. When I was going to school, history and geography were my two passions. Especially history. For some reason, I don’t know why you get hooked on something […] I think it was just about how the things were back that then, what they did and so on. […] I don’t know, just an interest I had… why someone becomes a hockey player, what made you become a soccer player. It was just something I was interested in, it was just in me for some reason. Then I just kept at it, and at it, and at it, it just got more and more challenging. Then I got into family history, and it was fine, doing genealogy. Not even one thing in particular, but the overall thing, history, how did this come about.”

This interview was conducted as part of a Collective Memories Mug Up project conducted by Memorial University students enrolled in FOLK 6740: Public Folklore, Winter 2017. If you would like to listen to the full interview click here

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

What Do You Remember About the Community Post Office? #Folklorephoto

028.03.126 "Mrs. Dine Haynes." August 17th 1962. From the Allen and Pearl Squires fonds. Courtesy of the Portugal Cove St. Philip's Archives.  
Do you recognize the above post office? or Mrs, Dine Haynes?

The image is part of a collection of slides taken by Allen and Pearl Squires in 1962. Allen Squires grew up in St. Philip's and while home for a visit for the summer of 1962, Allen and Pearl traveled around the Avalon Peninsula taking photographs in various communities including Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, Pouch Cove, Torbay, St. John's, Holyrood, Brigus and others. This slide was labeled "Mrs. Dine Haynes" August 17th 1962, though there are no other photographs from that day to give other clues to where this might be.

The left side of the photograph shows a cemetery, which appears to only be next to the Post Office because of a partial double exposure, and not part of the actual location. In the window is a Players cigarette advertisement and a Brookfield dairy ad "For a treat try a Polar [Bar]", indicating that the Post Office also served as a store. Do you know which community this Post Office was in?

What do you remember about your local post office? Was it part of a store? Was it in someone's house? Who worked there?


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Torbay Airport 1954. Do You Remember Your First Trip on an Airplane? #Folklorephoto

028.03.059 Torbay Airport.
Photograph courtesy of the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives.

The above image taken in 1954, shows the first terminal building for the Torbay Airport, now the St. John's International Airport. The Royal Canadian Air Force opened the location as a military airport in 1941, constructing the first terminal building in 1943. It would become a civilian operation in 1946 and was run by the Canadian Department of Transportation.   

028.03.055 Pearl Squires in front of Trans Canada Air Lines plane. 1954.
Photograph courtesy of the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives.
These two photographs are part of the Allen and Pearl Squires fonds at the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives. Allen Squires was from St. Philip's and the fonds includes two sets of 35mm slides taken while visiting the area in 1954 and 1962.

For more information on the Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Archives, contact the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Heritage Programs and Services Coordinator Julie Pomeroy.

~ Kelly

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

“My dad actually saw missiles go through the water" - Interview with Kathy Miller

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Memory Mug Up
Katherine Miller, interviewed by Marissa Farahbod

Although she was born in Toronto and travelled to different parts of Canada after she got married, Katherine Miller grew up in Portugal Cove. She explains that her father, her grandfather and her great-grandfather were all born and raised in Portugal Cove. She knows the place well and remembers many stories her parents and grandparents have told her about the Cove.

Katherine, who is known as Kathy to local people, is now doing a genealogy of people in Portugal Cove, and has therefore a wealth of knowledge about the names and markers in the area. Her stories about the life of residents in the past in Portugal Cove are fascinating, and the personal story she shared with me, tragic.

Kathy tells several interesting stories about her father’s childhood in the Cove. As a child, her father, Archibald Miller Jr., had witnessed the sinking of two German U-boats and had seen the Hindenburg pass over during the Second World War:
My dad actually saw missiles go through the water and strike the boats. He was a small boy. He lived down on what was known as North Point and he was actually either on his way to the wharf or down on the wharf when he saw the torpedoes, I guess however he saw them, maybe he was just leaving his home to go down because it’s a little further up, but he actually saw the explosions and saw the boats go down. Another story that he told me was that he was, I guess, fortunate enough to be outside the day that the Hindenburg went overhead. So he was a small boy again, ‘cause in the night time they used to keep their windows closed afraid of the light, afraid of the, you know, ships and what not, seeing them and would strike, that he actually did see the Hindenburg go over Portugal Cove.
Kathy also knows the story behind the names of some places and markers in the Cove. She relays the story that her father told her about Cross Pond, as follows:
He also told me of a story about ponds known as Blast Hole Ponds. One of them he had thought was renamed Cross Pond because of the drowning death of a man who had gone up there to cut wood. I don’t know if he had a horse and sleigh or a dog and sleigh to pull his wood out. He got down to get a drink of water from the little brook or trickle of water that was coming out of the pond and the dog or the horse moved and the sleigh pinned him underneath and was like a, according to my dad they said that the water was only an inch and a half, two inches deep, but because of the position of sleigh he couldn’t get up and drowned in this small trickle of water. And to my knowledge, he is the first person to be buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, up on Cemetery Road. He would be the oldest grave up there. And that’s how. But like I say, he always thought one of the ponds had been referred to then, from then on as Cross Pond. To mark the death of him they had put a cross or something up there, I guess over the years now it has decayed because it was only a wooden cross.
According to Kathy, her grandfather, Archibald Miller Snr., is the reason why there are rainbow trout in Blast Hole Ponds:
My grandfather walked from North Point, where he lived, into Murray’s Pond with two buckets and he took two buckets of rainbow trout and deposited them in Blast Hole Ponds. So, anybody today who catches a trout, a rainbow trout, out of Blast Hole Ponds is because my grandfather was responsible for putting them in those ponds.
Remembering her childhood in Portugal Cove, Kathy describes going to school in St. Lawrence and being a quiet individual. She recalls being a member of GA (Girls’ Auxiliary) and JA (Junior Auxiliary) and taking part in community or religious activities such as making palm crosses for parish members on Palm Sundays.

Kathy remembers having a quiet and “uneventful” life up until 9th August, 1985. On this tragic day remembered by community members at the Cove, Kathy’s children, who were in her car, drove off the cliff. She describes the heart-breaking events of this day in detail: Her shock, the one ambulance, the rushing paramedics, the complications and so on. She explains how her life changed after that day because of her daughter’s condition, and how she later lost her in 1998. Kathy finds it difficult to talk about the day, nevertheless she does not want the day to be forgotten as she believes it is a part of the history of Portugal Cove.

Kathy is interested in gathering the stories in Portugal Cove and working on its genealogy. She wants to find more relations and roots. She wants to discover and put to the test some myths and legends about the Cove. For instance, she wants to discover if rumours about the existence of bats in Portugal Cove are true. She also wants to know the origin of local legends about a plane crash, which were in existence before the plane crash that occurred in 1978.
There was supposed to have been a plane that crashed up there but not the one… apparently there was the one that crashed in 1978. Not that one. This one would have been older. But they could never find it, because the trees never really, they were so dense down there that they could never find this plane went down. So it might be interesting once, now that the track has been made, the trail from the Geys down to Bauline. If people start going off into the woods and search on whatever, maybe the rumour or the myth of this plane will be always there. It may come to, you know, an end. I don’t know. I have to do a little research.
Kathy does not live in Portugal Cove anymore. But she is eager to reconnect to a place she grew up in and is attached to. She describes how happy she is that her other family members, like her nephew, are becoming more and more interested in the stories of the Cove. She believes that by gathering and sharing these stories, Portugal Cove’s fascinating rich community history can be better preserved.

This interview was conducted as part of a Collective Memories Mug Up project conducted by Memorial University students enrolled in FOLK 6740: Public Folklore, Winter 2017. If you would like to listen to the full interview click here

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Memory Mug Up - Friday, February 10th

Share Your Stories at the Memory Mug Up!
Do you have knowledge of the Picco's Ridge plane crash of 1978? Can you describe the place names in the community? How about the names of the gullies and pond? What can you tell us about the Bell Island Connection? If you have answers to these questions or have memories of growing up in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, you are invited to attend the Memory Mug Up!

The Memory Mug Up is an informal story sharing session for seniors, where people gather, have a cup of tea, and share memories. The Heritage Foundation of NL will be hosting three Memory Mug Up events for seniors this February.

The goal of the program is to help participants share and preserve their stories. The town is particularly interested in information about place names, cemeteries, names of local ponds, fishing history and families, the 1978 plane crash, Bell Island connections, and ghost stories. We would love to have a chat with you about your memories of the community!

The event is free! You bring a memory of growing up, we’ll supply the tea and biscuits, and we will all have a chat. Following the sessions, those who are interested can set up a time to have their stories recorded and archived by one of our story collectors.

Portugal Cove- St. Philip’s Memory Mug Up
Friday, February 10th, 10:00am
Recreation Center (next to the Town Hall)
1119 Thorburn Road, Portugal Cove- St. Philip’s

The Memory Mug Ups are part of the Collective Memories Project, an oral history initiative which invites seniors to record their stories and memories for archiving and sharing. It is a project of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL), the Provincial Advisory Council on Aging and Seniors, the Interdepartmental Working Group on Aging and Seniors, and is funded through the Department of Seniors Wellness and Social Development.

For more information on how you or your community organization can get involved, email Dale Jarvis at or call (709) 739-1892 x2.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Can you help identify this mystery artefact? We're stumped! #nlheritage

Do you have any idea what this is? Earlier this week, a public works employee with the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philips found this round silver piece while putting in a stop sign. It was turned over to Julie Pomeroy, the town's heritage officer, to identify, but there are no markings.

Thoughts? Theories? Leave a comment below, or email Julie at

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep010 Community Heritage Programs with Julie Pomeroy

Julie Pomeroy has been the Heritage Programs and Services Coordinator for Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s since the fall of 2012 and has also been a member of the Heritage Committee in Logy Bay- Middle Cove- Outer Cove for the past 5 years. Julie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from MUN and has completed a number of workshops with MANL (Museum Association Newfoundland and Labrador) and ANLA (Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives). We discuss Julie’s introduction to heritage work, her work as a Heritage Programs and Services Coordinator, the settlement of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, family history, and community museums and archives.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Gosine's Grocery Store, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

This week's folklore photo is of the former Gosine's Store, in Portugal Cove- St. Philip's. Katie Harvey, one of our youth speakers at our upcoming Youth Heritage Forum, collected the photo during her work as heritage researcher for the town.

Katie writes,

"This is a photograph of Gosine's Grocery Store which was located at 25 Hardings Hill in the 1950s. It was a two storey grocery store. The house that is in its location now is brand new, so unfortunately there is no trace of this store left."

The photo will be part of a collection of photographs and interviews from Portugal Cove- St. Philips, soon to be added to Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fine Day for a Cemetery Clean-up!

The Make Midterm Matter cemetery crew.

On Tuesday, June 24th the HFNL teamed up with students from Memorial University’s Anthropology 1031 to help clean up the RC cemetery in Portugal Cove. This event was a partnership between the Heritage Foundation, Memorial University, the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Phillips and the Roman Catholic Church--it was the first collaboration of its kind. 

Jeremy, a heritage/folklore regular, clears brush on his last day of class.

The University’s “Make Midterm Matter” program inspired the collaboration, and the day-long session became part of the students’ curriculum. It was an interesting example of learning outside of the classroom.
The students worked hard to clear sections of brush and small trees to uncover overgrown graves. While taking breaks from this labour, they also had interesting discussions about the different things a cemetery can reveal about a community. Reading the symbols or “motifs” on the graves themselves can show a shift from religious, community symbols such as the hand of God to more personalized inscriptions such as a fishing pole or a truck. Another discussion lead by their professor Sebastien Despres touched on the issues surrounding the maintenance of graveyards and the shift of responsibility from the family when there are issues such as resettlement and population declines. What I found it particularly interesting, as an observer, was how Dr. Despres was able to connect classroom material in such a meaningful way to the students and to a tangible place in their community.

Both Dale and Lisa from the Heritage Foundation then offered their own knowledge and work experiences connected to Newfoundland cemeteries. Lisa discussed a restoration project she facilitated in Port Royal--a resettled community in Placentia Bay--and the challenges and rewards which went along with the project. Dale shared some ghost and fairy stories about graves, graveyards, and coffins and discussed how these tales relate to notions of respecting the dead. He also provided information about his research on Moravian dead houses and burial practices. 

Students hard at work in the RC cemetery.
More hard work, uncovering a hidden grave.
Visiting West Point burial site, which the town has protected from development.
It was a great day of experiential learning under a bright blue sky....and the cemetery is now in great shape, ready to accept summer visitors. Thank you to the Jeff Lawlor from the Town of PC-SP, Richard from the Parish Hall, the RC Church, Sebastien Despres, the “Make Midterm Matter” group, and all the students for helping make this project happen.

-Terra and Lisa