Showing posts with label heritage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heritage. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bauline Memory Mug Up

Bauline Memory Mug Up. 2018.
 On Sunday, October 21, 2018 Dale and I headed to Bauline to host a Memory Mug Up at their History and Heritage Fair. The event was organized by the town's heritage committee and including several themed displays, an ugly stick demonstration, photo identification, and the screening of several videos focused on the community and filmed in the 1950s and 1960s.
Model of the United Church in Bauline by Alton King.
30 residents came together to share stories and memories of growing up in the community. One of the first things we were told was the difference between under the hill and on top of the hill, and who was a gully rat. There were several stories about the dangerous fun people had as children including scaling cliffs, and sliding on dogsleds, canvas, and car bonnets. There were stories about a pair of mischievous boys who would often play tricks and were known for stuffing the chimney of the schoolhouse so they could have the day off school.

I also learned a new Newfoundland word when some of the women discussed keeping their quoit from year to year. I learned that a quoit is flat rock used for playing hopscotch. If you found a great rock you would keep it and use it for each game you played.

There were memories of jannying during the holidays, attending the watchnight service on New Year's Eve, and shooting off guns to ring in the New Year. Several people were able to sing the songs that local singer Edgar would sing to start and end the dance that followed the Orangemen's parade.

At the end of the day we were take to two of the local cemeteries including one where the stones are no longer visible above the ground. It was a great heritage event and we look forward to working with the heritage committee on some of their future heritage projects.

United Church Cemetery.

Did you grow up in Bauline? Do you have any memories to add? Let us know in the comments!

~Terra Barrett

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Have folklore, will travel: Notes from Glenwood!

I'm on the heritage trail this week, holding some heritage planning and oral history meetings in central Newfoundland. Last night I had a very positive meeting with the newly-formed Glenwood Heritage Society (above), whose mandate is "To protect and promote the heritage of Glenwood and surrounding area" (yes, Appleton, that means you are invited). 

We had a good discussion about how community heritage groups can get involved to help safeguard living heritage in their areas, and the kinds of programs and activities other heritage groups across the province are running. 

The group is on facebook, and their first event is the Glenwood Heritage Society Annual Trout Derby -- coming soon! Below, a photo of the Glenwood railway station in its heyday, and a very very sweet Ford Thibault vintage fire engine the town currently has on display. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Heritage Week - Pasadena Collection #nlheritage

Collecting memories at a People, Places, and Culture workshop in Pasadena, 2016. Photo by Terra Barrett.

Today is the final say of Heritage Week 2017!

As part of the Collective Memories project the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is helping community organizations, municipalities, and church groups digitize their oral history collections to make them accessible for future generations. Collected stories are made available through Memorial University’s Digital Archives Initiative, which is a free, public website where the HFNL stores the photos, videos, and interviews it collects. If you have something to be digitized - get in touch!

One of the collections we have digitized is the Pasadena collection which consists of thirty eight audio interviews with full transcripts.  These interviews were completed by the Pasadena Heritage Society from July 2014 to August 2016 and they focus on the growth  and changes of the community. They discuss the development of groups such as Girl Guides, Lion's and Leo Club, Glee Club, and Army Cadets, the local library and fire department, how the holidays were celebrated and community events such as the strawberry festival and winter carnival.

Click here to learn more about the community of Pasadena!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wooden Boat Heritage 2016 is Looking for Youth Ambassadors!

Are you a youth? Do you enjoy heritage? Education? Working within your community?

We have the perfect opportunity for you!

The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador is hosting Wooden Boat Heritage 2016 from October 4th-6th in St. John's and Petty Harbour, and we're looking for volunteers! You'll be Team Leaders during the Heritage Skills Challenge, moderators during brainstorming sessions and, of course, active participants throughout the whole conference. We want your voices to be part of the conversation!

We are looking for people who can commit to both Wednesday, October 5th, and Thursday, October 6th, and who are available for the full day. Volunteers will have free registration to the conference.

If you're interested, please click here to learn more and register!

Looking forward to seeing you at this unique conference. It promises to be an exciting time!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lassy Wall, Crackie Road, and the Unmarked Graves – Stories from Spaniard’s Bay

Workshop participants.
On Wednesday August 24, 2016 Dale and I drove out to Spaniard’s Bay for a short #NLHeritage roadtrip for a People Places and Traditions workshop. The local heritage society invited us out to do a workshop with the community and engage local people with their heritage.
Discussing what to put on the cards for people, places, and traditions.
The People, Places, and Traditions is the first step for communities who want to map out what heritage means to local people. It is a way to get people thinking about the resources in the area. All the people who make the best toutons, build boats, farm strawberries, tell great stories, or have knowledge particular to the area. It makes people think about the places where they swim, berry pick, trout, and about the old names for neighbourhoods and trails, community gathering places, and historic buildings. People remember traditions around bonfire night, Santa Claus parades, hauling wood, mummering, fairies, and local festivals and events.
Brandon and Dale discussing the location of a local sliding hill.
Several great stories came out of last night’s discussion of community heritage including the story of the Lassy Wall. The Lassy Wall below the Holy Redeemer Church was built in 1830 as a retaining wall to shore up the hill from the main road. The people who built the wall were paid in molasses so the wall became known as the Lassy Wall.
The Lassy Wall in Spaniard's Bay.  Photo by Cathy Kleinwort, 2005.  Courtesy of the Town of Spaniard's Bay.
Another story about a place name was about Anthony’s Road which is locally known as Crackie Road. There were two stories about where the name came from. Several of the older community members said the road was called Crackie Road because the people that lived there were “saucy as crackies” while a younger summer student with the heritage society who lived on the street was told it was just because there were a lot of crackies or small saucy dogs on the street.
Plotting the cards on the map.
One story which was not well known in the community was about the unmarked graves on a marshy island in Shearstown Pond. The story that was told was of a family who died of a contagious disease and the people of the community were so worried about catching the disease that they buried the family on the island rather than in the community’s cemetery.
People, places. and traditions.
There were a number of important local characters mentioned such E.H. Vokey who was a teacher, local historian, writer, and photographer. Another woman put down her grandfather who would always bake molasses raisin bread just for her (without the raisins) and would be sure to heat up rocks to send her to bed with at night!
Reviewing the story about the Spaniard's Bay Riot in 1932.
Did you grown up in Spaniard’s Bay? If you have memories of other people, places, and traditions in the area let us know in the comments!
Traditions practiced at the Loyal Orange Lodge.
~Terra Barrett

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

#NLHeritage Road Trip

Heart's Content Graveyard
My name is Terra Barrett and I have worked with the Heritage Foundation for the last two summers. I am back again working with the Intangible Cultural Heritage Office on a new project called Collective Memories. Stay tuned for more information about this project in the coming weeks as I will be updated the blog with updates about the work of the ICH Office over the summer.
Dale, Andrea, and Michael in the graveyard
This past weekend Dale Jarvis, Andrea O’Brien, Michael Philpott, and I headed out of St. John’s for a heritage road trip with stops in Heart’s Content and New Perlican. Our first stop on Friday afternoon was the Heart’s Content graveyard where the community is looking to do some work. We had a look at the graves and the state of the grounds and discussed the possibilities of a clean up or workshop in the graveyard. After reviewing the graveyard we had a supper of hot turkey sandwiches, fish, chips, and milkshakes at Legge’s and headed on to New Perlican.
Community members at the People, Places, and Traditions workshop.
Important places in the community.
Mapping their heritage.
New Perlican’s heritage committee asked the Heritage Foundation to come out and help the committee prioritize their community heritage to do list. On Friday evening we hosted a People, Places, and Traditions workshop in order to get the people of the community thinking about the assets in their community. We had three tables set up with large maps of New Perlican and had each table focus on either the people, places, or tradition in the community.
People in the community.
Important traditions.
Reviewing the maps.
Everyone contributed ideas and wrote out their descriptions on recipe card which were then placed on the large maps. In the end we ended up with three community maps one with the important people in the community such as past lighthouse keepers and bread bakers, one with places like the sitting rock and local swimming holes, and one with traditional nicknames in the community and the tradition of using goats to haul wood from the woods. We placed these maps around the room and had a discussion of what had been identified.
Saturday we were back in New Perlican for a prioritizing session with the community's heritage committee. We whittled their wish list from twenty odd items to three major project to focus on over the next few years. After lunch we walked through the harbour in order to see where most of their work was focused. It was a productive weekend and I am looking forward to seeing where the committee takes their projects over the next few years.
Walk to the New Perlican Harbour.

Do you want a People, Places, and Traditions Workshop in your community? Or want some advice on where to go next?  We’d love to help! Contact the Intangible Culture Heritage office of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador for more ideas or assistance.

~Terra Barrett

Monday, April 18, 2016

Drinking About Heritage: The Bad, Better and Brilliant open mic! #nlheritage

This Thursday, 21 April 2016, whet your whistle and chat with heritage folks! Come to the historic Crow's Nest (which has been designed a Registered Heritage Structure by HFNL) for an open mic story night about heritage work in the province! We are limited to the first 40 people who want to participate (it is free!), so register now!

Image: Lay of St. Dunstan by George Cruikshank

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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep009 Archival Tips and Tricks with Mary Ellen Wright

Mary Ellen Wright has been the Professional Development and Outreach Officer (aka archives advisor) for the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives (ANLA) for the last fifteen years. She has a BA in history from Dalhousie University, a master’s from St. Mary’s University and has also studied history at Memorial. Prior to coming to Newfoundland she worked at the provincial archives in Halifax, N.S.: she was a contract archivist in various institutions around St. John’s before starting with ANLA in December of 2000. Mary Ellen’s job with ANLA has taken her to archives and museums from Nain to Grand Bank. We talk all things archives, from the donation of garbage bags filled with papers to the need for accessibility, as Mary Ellen gives advice to anyone hoping to start an archives.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pouch Cove Heritage & Cod Liver Oil

Left to right: Gail Everson, Terra Barrett, Margot Duley.
This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Gail Everson and Margot Duley of the Pouch Cove Heritage Society for the Living Heritage Podcast. Although this episode won’t air for a couple of months, I wanted to share a little information about today’s interview and a couple of pictures taken this morning.

Gail Everson, formally a Hudson, is a lifetime resident of Pouch Cove. Her family owned and operated 3 Cod Liver Oil factories in Pouch Cove, Bauline and Cape St. Francis from the late 1800s until the mid 1960s. Dr. Margot Duley is a graduate of MUN and the University of London where she received a PhD in history. She currently lives in Pouch Cove, a community that she loves and where she finds inspiration for her ongoing writing in Newfoundland history. Founded in 2009 the Pouch Cove Heritage Society is a non-profit community association which assists the residents of Pouch Cove in identifying and protecting their local heritage.
Gail Everson showing one of her grandfather's diaries.
Our discussion mainly focused on the Heritage Society’s work including the Pouch Cove Heritage Days, storytelling circles, kitchen parties, and a commemoration of the Waterwitch shipwreck and rescue. We discussed how the society created “Our Home by the Sea” which is an extremely popular book about the community of Pouch Cove.

One thing in particular we discussed was the importance of cod liver oil to the community. The importance of this industry led the Heritage Society to create a short video and app with the help of Chris Brookes and a grant from the HFNL. This app can be downloaded on iPhones and android. The listener can choose the armchair option if they are unable to walk through the community itself or the listener can choose to listen by location as they walk through the community of Pouch Cove. Make sure to check out the Pouch Cove Memories app here!
Paid stamp in an account book.
After the interview Gail brought out some of her grandfather’s diaries which included account books with the names of men who purchased supplies such as leather, calico, or overalls and a small book with a list of how much cod liver oil was processed each year. There was note on one page where a man traded cod liver oil for supplies at the Hudson Store. I hope you enjoy the photos and let us know if you have any memories about cod liver oil. Did you enjoy the taste? Have you ever helped process cod liver oil? Let us know in the comments or shoot us an email at

Account book.
Gail Everson and Margot Duley.
Directions for putting preservative with cod livers.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What, and where, is our heritage? Help map Champney’s West heritage.

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 
7pm – 9 pm
Recreation Hall, Jack’s Hill
Champney’s West

This June, residents of Champney’s West will start to map out what their heritage means to them, with a little help from folklorist Dale Jarvis.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, our living heritage is rich and diverse. It includes ballad singing, snowshoe-making, accordion playing, knitting, Christmas mummering, berry picking, boat building, and much more. We tell stories, make clothes, shear sheep, and spin yarn. We have a complex knowledge of place, the seasons, and the movements and patterns of animals from moose to cod fish. If we lose these important parts of our living heritage (what we call Intangible Cultural Heritage or ICH), we will also lose important resources that can keep our communities going culturally, economically and socially. But where do we start?

Communities decide which traditions are important to document. Sometimes these traditions are threatened; sometimes particular elders or tradition-bearers will be highlighted. Other communities may record important traditions of everyday life. One first step is "asset mapping" - the process of collecting, recording, and analyzing local information in order to describe the cultural resources, networks, links and patterns of the community. Cultural asset mapping provides an inventory of key cultural resources that can be utilized for future development in the community.

Dale Jarvis, the ICH Development Officer with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be leading a community conversation about historic places, trails, old stories, place names, traditions, and local knowledge. Come for a cup of tea, and tell us what matters to you in Champney’s West. It will be a free and fun community workshop, sponsored by the Champney's West Heritage Group Inc.

For more info, contact: 

Shelly Blackmore, Heritage Coordinator
Champney's West Heritage Group
Ph (709)464-2173 Email -
Website -

Monday, March 30, 2015

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 - A Review

If you plan it, they will come... and so they did! Sixty enthusiastic youth participants joined us on March 7th, 2015 for the first ever Youth Heritage Forum, a fun and exciting day was had by all! Our mission was to give young people engaged in heritage a voice and our participants took that opportunity and ran with it. This is the first time youth from across the province have been provided the opportunity to come together and discuss their role in the heritage sector and they were not about to let that opportunity pass them by. Throughout the day participants discussed why young people are integral to the future of heritage what heritage organizations should do to become youth inclusive.

Participants were treated to an amazing drum and dance ceremony from First Nations Eastern Owl Women's Drum Group to get the day started on an inspiring and energetic note! We then had the pleasure of hearing from our guest panel consisting of six talented and inspiring young women who spoke about their work in the heritage sector, and then took questions from the crowd. You can read about about our guest panelists and listen to their discussion here!

The second part of the day consisted of a breakout session where our participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss the questions at hand when it comes to youth involvement in heritage. One topic we focused on was recommendations for heritage organizations in becoming youth inclusive, it was an engaging conversation and some great ideas were brought to the table.
6 Ways to Make Your Heritage Organization Youth Inclusive:
  • Create Meaningful Opportunities for Youth
  • Focus on Funding for Youth Employment
  • Use 'Youth Friendly' Channels of Communication
  • Be Accessible
  • Be Open to New Ideas and Practices
  • Be Social
To download the full Youth Heritage Forum report, including a full list of recommendations click here!

As the forum wrapped up our participants were still full of energy and curious as to what the group could do next. They decided the first step was to create an outlet to stay connected, share advice, and discuss future opportunities. Interested youth can now join Youth Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador on Facebook to connect with like minded youth from across the province.

And just like that my time as Youth Heritage Forum Coordinator has come and gone! It was a pleasure to be part of the Heritage Foundation of NL team and I had a fantastic time putting together the forum, and an even better time meeting all of the participants! As a young person working in the heritage sector myself, I am incredibly inspired by the enthusiasm and dedication of my peers. I can wait to see what's next for Youth Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Young Heritage Professionals Panel - audio podcast #YHF2015

We are still abuzz here at the Intangible Cultural Heritage office after the wonderfully successful Youth Heritage Forum 2015 held this past Saturday at The Lantern here in St. John’s.

One of the highlights was the young heritage professionals panel. Six talented and inspiring young women spoke about their work in the heritage sector, and then took questions from moderator Alanna Wicks and the assembled crowd.

You can download the full, unedited audio of the panel as an MP3 here or visit for other audio formats.

Bios of the presenters in the order of speaking:

Crystal Braye - Crystal received her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2008 before completing her Masters of Arts in Folklore at MUN. During her time at MUN, Crystal’s work focused on documenting root cellars for the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, with additional research on Newfoundland’s “Screech-In” customs and mummering traditions. She is presently on the board of directors for the Mummers Festival and has been working as a folklorist for the Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador since 2012.
Follow The Wooden Boat Museum on Twitter @WoodenBoatNL

Nicole Penney BA, MA. - Nicole is a folklorist and archivist living and working in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has been working within the heritage community since 2004 and holds a BA in Folklore / English Literature and an MA in Public Folklore from MUN. Nicole currently works full time at the MUN Medical Founders' Archive, part-time on The Rooms reference desk and sits as vice president and education committee chair on the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives board of directors. She is a strong advocate of community-level projects and inter-generational activities and regularly assists with educational activities that combine art and archives.
Follow Nicole on Twitter @AuntTriffie

Katherine Harvey - Katie is a folklorist whose primary interest is Museology. Since beginning her career in the heritage sector in 2009, she has worked in a variety of capacities with the Cupids Legacy Centre,The Rooms Provincial Museum, The Museum of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove and The Railway Coastal Museum. She obtained her B.A. in Folklore from Memorial University in 2014, and has plans to return to complete her M.A. in Folklore.
Follow Katherine on Twitter @katieaharvey

Aimee Chaulk - Aimee is the editor of Them Days magazine, an oral history quarterly about Labrador, and the de-facto archivist at Them Days Archives. She received her Hon.B.A. from the University of Toronto, in English and Mediaeval Studies. She also attended Ryerson University’s Magazine Publishing program. Aimee is on the ANLA Executive, is a co-founder of the Tamarack Camera Club, and organizes community events in her spare time. You may have seen her breastfeeding and canoeing at the same time in Metrobus shelter ads.
Follow Aimee on Twitter @themdays

Dr. Lisa M. Daly - Lisa has been working in the heritage sector since 2001, first with the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador, then Parks Canada, and now as a tour guide, both independent and with Wildland Tours. She holds a B.A. in archaeology from MUN, a M.Sc. in forensic and biological anthropology from Bournemouth University, and has just completed a Ph.D. in archaeology at MUN. Her study focus is aviation in Newfoundland and Labrador. Up to now, most of her academic work has focused on World War II aviation in Gander, Goose Bay and Stephenville, but she has also done some work on pre- and post-war aviation history in the province. She is also collecting stories and images of the Hindenburg as it flew over Newfoundland.
Follow her work on Twitter @planecrashgirl or her blog,

Caitlyn Baikie - Caitlyn is from the province's most northern community of Nain, and has been living in the capital studying Geography and Aboriginal Studies at Memorial University for the past four years. With experience in both the Arctic and Antarctic, she has been participating in climate research for nearly a decade and has been attempting to communicate the effects it has on Inuit culture. An avid volunteer, lover of chocolate, political junkie, and a curious mind for the world we live in Caitlyn thoroughly enjoys exploring her own history as an Inuk and sharing it with those who are willing to share a bit about their own history.
Follow Caitlyn on Twitter @CaitlynBaikie

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 Guest Speaker - Lisa M. Daly

With the Youth Heritage Forum just weeks away it's time we get to know a bit about our guest speakers! We'll be profiling one of our youth speakers each week leading up to the forum, and to get the gears turning I asked each of them why are you passionate about heritage? 

Guest Speaker: Lisa M. Daly

Lisa M. Daly has been working in the heritage sector since 2001, first with the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador, then Parks Canada, and now as a tour guide, both independent and with Wildland Tours. She holds a B.A. in archaeology from MUN, a M.Sc. in forensic and biological anthropology from Bournemouth University, and is in the process of completing a Ph.D. in archaeology from MUN. Her study focus is aviation in Newfoundland and Labrador. Up to now, most of her academic work has focused on World War II aviation in Gander, Goose Bay and Stephenville, but she has also done some work on pre- and post-war aviation history in the province. She is also collecting stories and images of the Hindenburg as it flew over Newfoundland. In her free time, she loves to explore the beauty and culture of the province. Follow her work on Twitter, @planecrashgirl, or her blog,

Why are you passionate about heritage?
I am passionate about heritage because it is who we are. Our culture, history, landscape, etc. it all shapes us as individuals and as a people. Exploring heritage allows us to learn about ourselves and our neighbours, and gives us the opportunity to bring new people into that culture. Wherever I go, I  try to imerse myself in a community as best I can, and I try to give that experience to visitors as a tour guide. The challenge is to do that when exploring on a tour bus. As an archaeologist, I am fortunate to get to talk to people about the history and stories of an area. Sometimes what I find in the material culture doesn't agree with those stories, but it certainly leads to great discussion and doesn't take away from the importance of those stories to the community.

Want to hear more from Lisa? Join us for Youth Heritage Forum 2015!

Registration forms can be downloaded here
Keep up to date, join our Youth Heritage Forum Facebook Event!

For more information about Youth Heritage Forum 2015 contact Alanna at 1(888)739-1892 [Ext 5] or by email 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

PSA: Youth Heritage Forum, March 7th

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Intangible Cultural Heritage office is looking for youth representatives from local heritage organizations and community groups to attend our upcoming Youth Heritage Forum. We hope to bring together youth, ages 18-35, from various backgrounds to discuss heritage and what they would like to see happen in this field in the future.

Heritage organizations and community groups in the Avalon Region are invited to nominate 1-2 youth representatives to attend.

If you are a youth passionate about heritage and would like to become involved please contact Alanna Wicks at 1-888-739-1892 [Ex 5] or email to

Listen to Alanna speak with VOCM's Paddy Daly:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bringing Together Youth and Heritage

Hello out there!

My name is Alanna Wicks and I’ve just come on with the ICH Office as the Youth Heritage Forum Coordinator. My background is in Anthropology and Folklore and since finishing up my MA in Public Folklore in 2012 I have spent my time working and volunteering with archives and community groups in St. John’s, NL and Halifax, NS.

I’ll be hanging out around the ICH Office for the next couple of months organizing an exciting new forum for the youth of our community to come together and talk about heritage and what that word means to them. Being a youth in this community myself (30 is just around the corner!) I know that there are many more individuals like myself that have a great interest in what’s happening in and around our community and would love a place to talk to like minded folks about just that.

The Youth Heritage forum will bring together individuals, aged 18 to 35, from various backgrounds to hear from their peers who are working and involved in the field of heritage, and to engage in an informal discussion about heritage and their place in the community. We want to hear what young people think and feel about heritage and what they would like to see happen within this area in the future. Participants of the forum will also be invited to discuss the creation of a new youth heritage committee that would meet in the future to discuss what’s happening in the field of heritage and to stay informed about opportunities, projects, events, and so on.

The Youth Heritage Forum will take place March 7th, 2015 at The Lantern, 10am to 2pm.
Entertainment and lunch will be provided.

If you’re interested in join the forum or would like more information please contact me at 739-1892 or

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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Portugal Cove Cemetery Clean-Up Day

Just up the road from the Roman Catholic Church in Portugal Cove, on the side of a green hill, is the RC cemetery. It's a fairly large, sprawling cemetery, with headstones (many as old as the mid 19th century) standing in clusters through the trees. This is just one of the many interesting burial spaces that PCSP has, all of which are physical reminders of the community's long settlement history (which, no doubt, is closely connected to the fishery). Because of the historic significance of these spaces, cemeteries are worthy of attention so that they can be protected to the best of our abilities. This is a huge task in Newfoundland, as the climate is hard on the stone, and there are so many cemeteries that need attention, that it can feel overwhelming to try and protect them all. But even small measures can go a long way. The Roman Catholic Cemetery has been tended to some degree over the years, and this summer, it is schedule to have an intensive clean-up by a group of volunteer students from MUN.

The RC Church in Portugal Cove, close to the RC Cemetery.

Some of the organizers checking out the site. (I'm behind the camera!)
On June 24th, 2014, 30 to 40 students with the "Make Midterm Matter" program will be showing up to do their part. Not only will they work hard to clear brush, clean up garbage, and cut away growth from headstones, but it will also be a learning opportunity for them. They will be given a few tips for how to tend to headstones without doing any damage, as well as learn about what the symbols on the headstones mean. This day-long heritage volunteer excursion is a partnership between MUN, the HFNL, the Town of Portugal Cove and St. Phillips, and the RC Church. It's the first partnership of its kind, and we hope it continues into the future. It will be a great opportunity to raise awareness about heritage issues in our communities. Hope to see you there!

A small portion of the large cemetery space that the students will be working in. Endless growth and brush for them to tackle!