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 lbmcocmuseum@gmail.com, 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'. CBC.ca, 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.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Museum Highlights: St. John's Regatta 1926 Silver Cup

Looking through the Sports section of the museum, the dominant theme is of course the 1901 Outer Cove Crew. But Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove has a long history with the Royal St. John's Regatta that goes well beyond the championship races of 1901 and 1982.

1926 Regatta Silver Cup [999.1.1]
One item that catches the eye among the Regatta programs is a silver cup. This cup reads:


Sir William Lamond Allardyce was the governor of Newfoundland from 1922-1928. According to the program for the day, Allardyce was offering the Governor's Cup for the quickest time of the day, which came with a bonus of $20.
Lady Allardyce, Hon. W.J. Higgins and Governor Allardyce at the Regatta during Sir Douglas Haig's visit, 1942. Maritime History Archives [PF 315.318]

This cup was won by the Outer Cove crew in the Star of the Sea with a time in the championship race of 9:41:00. The crew was L. Rodgers, cox; W. Power, stroke; S. Power, D. Houston, J. Coady, N. power and M. Smart.
A hand-written note in the Souvenir Regatta Programme notes the time, the racer and the crew for the championship race.

The cup was found in the church, and Father St. John was going to throw it away when Katherine Lynch, the parish secretary at the time, asked if she could take it. Later, it was donated to the museum by her husband, Cyril Lynch.

The program for that Regatta features the caribou of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, it being only ten years since the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel. The introduction in the pamphlet reminds everyone that there are medals offered by Earl Brassey for the crew that beats the 1901 Outer Cove time, and mentions the recent retirement of the racer Blue Peter. Blue Peter II was present at this regatta.
Cover of the 1926 program. From the Digital Archives Initiative

Over the lunch hour, dory races between bank fishermen of Nova Scotia that were in port at the time were planned. An announcement for the Grand Regatta Dance for that night at Prince's Rink is hailed as "The Big Outstanding Event". At 70c for gents and 50c for ladies, the dance would feature two big brass and reed bands; The C.C.C. Band and the Mount Cashel Boys' Band, and would follow the "Old Time Regatta Proramme". As someone who loves a waltz or foxtrot, I believe this should start up again, complete with competition (and perhaps some lessons for those unfamiliar with the dances).
A Moonlight Dance sounds quite romantic. From the Souvenir Regatta Program.

As always, the Regatta is a lot of fun, and here at LBMCOC Museum, we are proud of the Outer Cove crews who have, and continue to, do great at the Royal St. John's Regatta.


The Newfoundland Tourist and Publicity Association
1926  Souvenier Regatta Programme. Available at the Digital Archives Initiative: http://collections.mun.ca/cdm/ref/collection/cns/id/145180

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Museum Highlights: Seed Sowers

A little while ago we posted an article on the museum facebook page from Decks Awash that talked about the dairying business in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. While we may all be focused on #CapelinRoll2016 and waiting for those little fish to roll on to the beach at Middle Cove, it is important to know that there is more to the area than just the fishery.
Capelin would often be caught in large quantities to be used as fertilizer for local farms and gardens. From This Way to The Grotto... 1984.

This week we turn to the agricultural history of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. A tour of Marine Drive and Outer Cove Road shows the farming history of the area, with many residents using fishing to supplement their livelihoods, and hoping every spring that they can get their small farms established before the fishing season started.

Seed sower [007.1.10]
One tool used in farming was the seed sower. There are two different styles of sower at the museum, a simple one and a more complex device.
Seeds would be inserted in the hole and would fall down through other, smaller holes along the wheel. [007.1.10]
The simple seed sower was used by filling the wheel with whatever seed was to be sown (as long as it was small enough to pass through the holes in the wheel) and pushed along the row. This style of sower had very little control, but certainly served its purpose.

This sower was donated by Jack and Fay Hickey and is showing its age and how much it was used to sow the fields.
Complex seed sower with the name Ed Thomas written on the handle. [000.6.4]

The second sower we have is a little more complex. It consists of two wheels and a small well for the seeds. Pulling a wire connected to the handle would open the bottom of the well, allowing the seeds to fall to the soil. This style of sower did not space the seeds as much as the simple one, but did allow for less wasted seed as the flow of seeds could be stopped by pushing the wire back down, closing the bottom of the seed well.
Closer view of the seed well and wheels. [000.6.4]
This sower was donated by Nicholas Roche.
Top view of the seed well [000.6.4]