Thursday, 8 September 2016

Working At The Museum From the Perspective of a Studen

Working At The Museum
From The Perspective Of Student
By Andrew Young, Museum Assistant

    The museum at the back of the Town Hall of Logy Bay - Middle Cove - Outer Cove is generally thought of, by many, to be a small one. Most people think that they can walk through it in five or ten minutes; this is true, to an extent. However, the museum houses over 600 objects and any individual object can carry a variety of particular meanings to a person. We have a sports section, and sections for the fishery, agriculture, religions, lifestyles, military and school.

    When you come to the museum, you are essentially coming as close as you can to putting yourself in the shoes of someone from the past. By reading the old newspapers you can get an idea of the sort of culture that they had had back then. There was a lot less deception in advertising for example. Character meant much more back then; if you didn't have it, you also didn't have their business.

    A newspaper ad from the Newfoundland Light and Power Company for example, reads as follows:

    "Protect your future first, either by a safe investment, a life insurance policy or a savings account. Then - get all you possibly can out of life. Money invested in electric appliances will give you more opportunities to enjoy life. Make yours an electric house. Be modern."


    If you think about it, that is pretty good advice even for today. In a culture consumed by debt - and as a student, student debt is a concern - it is very wise to tackle that quickly and then save. The next most practical type of investment would be a dishwasher or washing machine. We take washing machines for granted, but many people in the world spend several hours a day washing and hanging up their clothes and do this every couple of days.


    If we don't appreciate that modern innovation then it's relative value in our mind depreciates. We ultimately end up in a losing battle, man versus the machine, wherein man takes the machines for granted, and yet is completely dependent upon them, and develops appetites beyond ones capacities to sustain.


    It is therefore useful and wise to look into how the people of the past lived 100 years ago, and how people in less developed nations live today at this very moment, in order to have those points of comparison in our mind to appreciate the various advantages that we do have currently. We have to constantly combat this phenomenon wherein our happiness is adjusting to the new norm.


    That is the great value in visiting a museum or traveling, you gain a more realistic perception of where you are today. A simple life is a happy life - people then lived simply and were more carefree. If you went and asked a fisherman in Logy Bay how he was doing, he wouldn't know how to answer you. It's because there was only one way of life, and how well someone was doing in life depended upon their character, hard work and sacrifice. Little has changed since then in this regard, for the most part.

Note: Images are all from inside the museum, to help set the tone of Andrew's article. Lisa

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Sikh Society of Newfoundland Exhibit Launch

It's been a busy couple of weeks here at the museum. If you haven't seen our changes, this is your last day, and September 10 for Doors Open, then we'll be open again next summer!

We've made quite a few changes in the museum this summer, from installing UV filters to the windows to allow us to open the curtains and brighten up the museum, to moving things around to hopefully give you, the visitors, more space to explore more comfortably.

We've also updated our Ocean Ranger exhibit with a beautiful picture donated by Gerry Boland and have a couple of softballs signed by local teams donated by Tom Hickey.

Our Archaeologist for A Day program was a big hit this summer, and was run both for small groups and for summer camps. The program was a little different from last year with a focus on objects that could be found within the museum. This allowed kids to not only act as archaeologists as they dug up and recorded "artifacts", but then they could find those "artifacts" in the museum and talk about how they are used.

We also added scavenger hunt sheets which the summer camp kids loved to use as they explored the museum.

Our big even of the season was the launch of the Sikh Society of Newfoundland exhibit. Wednesday night the museum filled up with community members who were interested in learning more about Sikhism in Newfoundland. The Sikh Society came out to help open the exhibit, to answer questions about Sikhism and brought some amazing snacks. I believe everyone who attended came out of the exhibit knowing more about the role the Sikh community plays in the Northeast Avalon, and across the island. It was great to see a few museum regulars and some new visitors come out to see the launch of this new exhibit.

Thank you to everyone involved in the development of this exhibit. First, the Sikh Society of Newfoundland who supplied the museum with information and objects to tell their story. We hope the exhibit reflects your society and your place within the community. You do so much great work, and we're happy to highlight it. Next, Andrew, the museum assistant, who took care of visitors so that I, the museum coordinator, could run around getting all of the supplies, drop off and pick up signs, and research. My volunteers, Shannon and Jane, for helping with the last minute set up. The Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove for their support and power tools. And of course, the Heritage Committee for starting this project (in particular Katherine Harvey, the former coordinator for making initial contact and starting the research) and for their support and suggestions throughout. To be honest, with so many wonderful people backing me, there was little for me to do!

And this is it for this season, but please, visit on September 10th for Doors Open, and keep watching facebook and twitter for when we open again next year and start #CapelinRoll2017!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Exhibit Launch: The Sikh Society of Newfoundland

You are all invited to the opening of our new exhibit, The Sikh Society of Newfoundland.

Please join us at 7pm on August 31, 2016 to look at the history of Sikhism in Newfoundland.

For more information, please email, call 726-5272, or find the event on facebook.

All are welcome!
Hope to see you there!

A Stroke In Time by Gerard Doran

Have you read A Stroke in Time by Gerard Doran?

Published by Flanker Press in 2015, this historical fiction looks at the 1901 Outer Cove Fishermen's Crew who rowed 9:13 4/5 in the championship race in that year's Regatta.

It is a wonderful reimagining of that historic race, looking at the work in getting a crew together, the struggles to fit rowing into a busy fishing schedule, and the hard work and dedication that rowers continue to commit when striving for those new records on Quidi Vidi Lake.

Perhaps one of the best parts of the book is just the day-to-day life in Outer Cove. The story starts, end, and every now and then touches on the price of fish and the ability to get a good price from the merchants. It discusses the difficulty in getting a berth on a sealing ship, and the poverty that used to be common in St. John's. It also looks at Dan McCathy's struggle, wondering if he should follow his fiancée to Boston where he could also work without worrying about the merchants and their prices for fish, or stay home because leaving his mother and brother is hard.
Picture of the 1901 crew taken in 1922. Source
And perhaps my interest leans that way, as I have never rowed. Working at the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum this year I have learned a great deal about the passion that goes hand-in-hand with rowing. Some crews would leave their vehicles at the museum before going to the lake, and after a good row, would run back from Quidi Vidi to the museum to visit and have some iced tea (I always made sure there was some ready on Saturday mornings). The excitement from a good practice was amazing to be around, and I would feel energized just being around the rowers. I doubt I'll ever row, but I have learned a great deal about rowing this past summer, and I will never look at the Royal St. John's Regatta the same way again. Even if I'm a townie, I'll be cheering for Outer Cove!

Back to the book, my only big complaints would be that the dialects seem to slip in and out of use. Perhaps that was on purpose. I certainly know who I'm around influences my dialect. As well, and I put this up to historical fiction liberties, there is a lot of focus on the Blue Peter, but the Outer Cove Crew rowed in the Myrtle for the Fishermen's Race and didn't row in the Blue Peter until that historic championship race.
Regatta program from 1927. Source

I recommend anyone with an interest in Newfoundland, and especially an interest in rowing, to read this book. And remember, we have lots of Regatta history here at the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum, so come visit and explore more of this part of our history.

Museum Co-ordinator 2016

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

St. Francis of Assisi Grotto and O'Brien Park

In June, a visitor to the museum asked about the historical significance of the Grotto located at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Outer Cove. 

A picture of the Grotto located in the museum taken by Garland Studio [011.6.1]
The Grotto is located a little to the side of the church, and contain a statue of the Virgin Mary with a little girl and the pedestal reads:
The Grotto at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Photo by Lisa M. Daly.
According to Mrs. Mary Boland in an April 200 interview, Aunt Marg O'Brien lost four sons in World War II. Mike O'Brien was in the Merchant Marines; David was the youngest and was torpedoed while in the army; Jim was serving with the United States and Maurice also died. Aunt Marg was given the title of The Most Bereaved Mother.

More information can be found in downtown St. John's. At the base of Signal Hill is a monument dedicated to Margaret O'Brien nee Hickey and her sons.

A monument at the intersection of Signal Hill and Battery Road. Photo by Lisa M. Daly.
This monument is an anchor against a rock and a plaque that identifies it as O'Brien Park. Mrs. Boland said that Margaret O'Brien used to live in Outer Cove, but according to the park, her home with Mr. Maurice O'Brien was at the corner of Signal Hill and Battery Road. Four of Margaret O'Brien's sons were lost during the Second World War, and her husband passed away in 1942. This major loss resulted in her being given the title of "Most Bereaved Mother" for Newfoundland for the Second World War.

The plaque for O'Brien Park.
Research into this family was done by Gary Green of the Crow's Nest Officer's Club for a 2015 CBC article. According to his research, Maurice O'Brien Jr. died in December 1940 when the HMS Forfar sank while in convoy. Michael O'Brien also died in October 1942 when the S.S. Eastlea was torpedoed. David O'Brien died in October 1942 while working aboard the tug boat HMS Frisky, which worked in St. John's Harbour. The fourth brother, James O'Brien, remains a mystery. Mrs. Boland said he served with the United States, but could not remember if it was the army or the navy. No record of him could be found on their online database.
The monument at the base of Signal Hill. Photo by Lisa M. Daly.

According to the comments on the CBC article, Margaret O'Brien did have other children. In fact, she had three sons and three daughters besides the four that were lost. Two of those three sons served, and were honourably discharged.
O'Brien Park overlooking the harbour. Photo by Lisa M. Daly
Margaret herself lived well into her 80s. While alive, she was presented with a wreath at Remembrance Day ceremonies as fitting for her Most Bereaved title.


Boland, Martin
2016 Residents of the Town of Logy Bay Middle Cove Outer Cove who saw military service. On File at the LBMCOC Museum.

Boland, Mary
2000 Interview. Senior Interviews Transcript, on File at the LBMCOC Museum.

CBC News
2015 The Story Behind 'Newfoundland's Most Bereaved Mother of WWII'., 11 November 2015 [last accessed 9 August 2016].

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Museum Highlights: 1993 Regatta Ribbon

As it's Regatta Day tomorrow, another Royal St. John's Regatta post is in order. There are so many amazing Outer Cove teams to profile that we could not just pick one. Although it's very tempting to focus only on the 1901 and 1982 crew, we also have those who went to the Canada Games, the 1989 juvenile team, the 1991 Smith Stockley-Outer Cove team, or the current Outer Cove team who will be competing tomorrow (weather permitting). Instead, we decided to look at another museum artifact that is always part of the Regatta: a Regatta Ribbon donated by Michelle Hickey.
1993 Regatta Ribbon in the museum collection [997.15.4]

This particular ribbon is from 1993 and would have been worn by a member of the Regatta committee. The ribbon is traditionally done in the colours of the old Newfoundland flag. This one is a little faded, but the colours are pink, white and green. The style of the ribbon changes year after year, but the colours are typically represented.
If you look closely, you can see that the ribbons worn by the committee in 2003 were very similar to this one. Source

The second part of the ribbon contains the necessary race information. In this case, it is the 167th rowing, the Lieutenant Governor is Frederick W. Russell, and weather permitting, the Regatta was to take place on Wednesday, August 4th (it went ahead on that day). The program for the races is listed, including the race and time. The names of the boats and corresponding flag colours are also listed. It explains that the House Flags of winning boats will be hoisted, and the coxswains will wear jackets of corresponding colours. This allows for the committee members to easily identify each team throughout the day. The coxswains are also listed.
Necessary information for committee members is printed on this part of the ribbon. [997.15.4]

And for easy reference, the current records up to that year are printed on the ribbon. In this case it reads:
Record for the Full Course - 8:59:42 made by Smith Stockley-Outer Cove in 1991 rowing in the Good Luck
Record for the Women's Course - 5:08:34 made by OZ FM in 1990 rowing in the Blue Peter VI.

Finally, the remainder of the ribbon lists the Regatta president, honourary presidents, the St. John's Regatta committee and the list of officials for that Regatta (such as the judges, timekeepers, gunners, etc.).

1907 Regatta Committee members wearing their ribbons. From The Rooms [1.502.057]

These ribbons would typically be worn upside down. Looking closely at this one, there are faint holes at the bottom of the ribbon but none at the top, indicating that it was indeed worn upside down. This allows the wearer to turn the ribbon upward so that they can read the information, instead of having to take it off every time they wanted to  read it.

Tomorrow (weather permitting) see if you can spot the officials and take note of their Regatta Ribbons.
1906 Regatta Committee members wearing their ribbons. From The Rooms [1.502.064]

And because we are the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum, here are the highlights on how the Outer Cove Coldwell Banker team did on Wednesday, August 4, 1993. From the Royal St. John's Regatta website.

Men’s Amateur Race: Outer Cove Coldwell Banker – Dictator – 9:30.69
Cox: Gerard Doran Stroke: Jim Hibbs
David Kelly, Ray Cadigan, Steve Finney, Tony Cadigan, Darrin Hyde, Pat Power

Men’s Commercial Race: Outer Cove Coldwell Banker – Dictator – 10:08.08
Cox: Gerard Doran Stroke: Jim Hibbs
David Kelly, Ray Cadigan, Steve Finney, Tony Cadigan, Darrin Hyde, Pat Power

Men’s Championship Race: Outer Cove/Coldwell Banker – Dictator – 9:20.23
Cox: Gerard Doran Stroke: Jim Hibbs
David Kelly, Ray Cadigan, Steve Finney, Tony Cadigan, Darrin Hyde, Pat Power

Canada's Digital Collection: The Royal St. John's Regatta website
Royal St. John's Regatta website

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Stories From Red Cliff: Aloha

Red Cliff photo by the Conservation Corps Green Team 2007
Construction at the American Air Force Radar Station at Red Cliff started in 1951, and the base was operational from 1954 until 1962. The facility was one of a number of radar stations throughout North America and Greenland which were called the Pine Tree Line. The purpose of the Pine Tree Line was to act as a defence system against enemy aircraft. Gander, Goose Bay and Argentia were all part of this defence system. Their goal was to protect North America from potential invasion, and day-to-day operations at Red Cliff involved contacting and identifying all incoming aircraft to Newfoundland airspace, directing said aircraft to Gander or Torbay, facilitating distress calls and aiding the Coast Guard search and rescue efforts, and being at the ready in case of unidentified aircraft needing to be escorted or intercepted.
Red Cliff photo by the Conservation Corps Green Team 2007

Red Cliff was a semi-remote, self-sufficient base constructed on an exposed area of the coast in what is now Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer cove. When it was fully operational, Red Cliff had a contingent of between 120 and 160 military personnel and over one hundred civilian workers. Many of the military personnel came from much favourable climates, and found the harsh weather of Newfoundland to be a shock.
Red Cliff photo by the Conservation Corps Green Team 2007

This letter was found in our archives. It is from Jeremiah “Jerry” Alapai Pahukula who served at Red Cliff for 1 year and 8 months as a radar operator. During his time at Red Cliff, he met and married Ellen Margaret Roche. They were married on April 24, 1961. Since leaving Red Cliff in 1961, Jerry returned three times, and noted that “All of the buildings are gone now; site is now overgrown with bushes”.

My name is Jeremiah PAHUKULA. I am of Hawaiian-Japanese ancestry, and I live in the state of Hawaii, USA.
My wife is Ellen Margaret PAHUKULA, nee ROCHE, born and raised in Logy Bay and now living in Hawaii.
I was a member of the U.S. Air Force and my tour of duty at Red Cliff Air Force Station began on December 13, 1959. the date sticks in my mind because it was my 20th birthday.
Prior to coming to NFLD, I was stationed in California. When I got my orders to transfer to Newfoundland, I wondered, “where in the world is NFLD?” I had not heard of this New Found Land before that order to transfer there. When I did find out where it was, I thought, “wow that’s snow country.” I was not disappointed. There was snow on the ground the day that I got here. Later, throughout my first night on Red Cliff, a snow storm came. There was 6-7’ snow drifts blocking the front door of my barracks. Being the newest member of my work crew, I was assigned to shovel all the snow and clear the sidewalk to the barracks. What a cultural shock it was. From Hawaii’s sun, sand and sea to 6-7’ snowdrifts. And this was only my first full day in NFLD. I spend 20 months here.