Monday, March 2, 2015

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 Guest Speaker - Aimee Chaulk

 Guest Speaker: Aimee Chaulk

Aimee Chaulk 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 Medieval Studies. She also attended Ryerson University’s Magazine Publishing program. Aimee is on the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives 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.  

Why are you passionate about heritage?
Looking back, my love of (obsession with) Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books was probably an indication that I would be editor of Them Days someday—they’re basically an extended Them Days story about the American Midwest. I’ve always been interested in people’s stories and the way things were done, in how those things have changed and how they’ve stayed the same. On a personal level, working in heritage has been a way to explore and deepen my appreciation for my roots. I love the way it has also widened my social circle—despite my youth, I’m practically an honorary member of the Friendship Centre’s 55+ club! Learning traditional skills is a great way to close the generation gap.
Want to hear more from Aimee? Join us for Youth Heritage Forum 2015!

Keep up to date, join our Youth Heritage Forum Facebook Event!  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Saving Our Stories - Oral History Workshop in Norris Point March 20th

The ICH office is hitting the road! I'll be running a community oral history workshop at the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital, 2-6 Hospital Lane, Norris Point, on March 20th, 2015. The workshop is being organized in Norris Point by the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation.

It is free to attend, but you need to register in advance.

Contact: Joan Cranston; Coordinator; 709-458-2875 (daytime); or 709-458-8032 (cell); or email

Facebook event listing here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jacks and Paper Dolls

This past Tuesday was our third and final session playing and talking about games at MacMorran Community Centre. While the folklore students peeled off to finish their interviews with tradition bearers, the rest of us took advantage of the pack of jacks, tiddlywinks and pick-up sticks that were brought in.

The knack of jacks came back to Martha Oliver pretty quickly. In fact, she schooled us with her opening moves. The trick in the video below was to determine who got to go first... whoever dropped the fewest jacks had the advantage.

Jacks, she said, was mostly played on the floor indoors, where the ground was flat and the ball wouldn't bounce off in unpredictable directions.

Also done indoors, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, was the making of paper dolls or paper angels. We found some paper, borrowed some scissors from the grown-ups in the office, and made a ton of them.

Student Sharna Brzycki displays her first paper angels. Not bad for a first try!
The students are now hard at work putting together for the content for Looking Back; Games We Played, the booklet that will come from these sessions and interviews. Keep an eye out for a launch coming up soon!

For more information about Hoist your Sails and Run, please phone me at 739-1892 ext 3 or email me here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

King William was King George’s son

I wrote an article in The Telegram a while back about traditional Newfoundland children's singing games.  It included a version of "King William was King George’s son." 

Colin Burke, now of Port au Port, sent me his version, which was sung in St. Jacques, Fortune Bay, circa 1950-1952.

King William was King George’s son,
Of all the royal race he’d won.
Upon his breast a star he wore
Pointing to the government’s door *
Come choose you east, come choose you west,
Come choose the one that you love best.
Down on this carpet you must kneel
As the grass grows in the field,
Kiss your partner if you please
Now you may rise up off your knees.
Burke notes: 
* (or maybe government store, which is what I seemed to hear)I was about six or seven years old, and there was a “government store” at the government wharf.

The King William in question is probably William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) - King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death, the third son of George III. The image above is William in dress uniform painted by Sir Martin Archer Shee, c.1800, from the book The National Portrait Gallery History of the Kings and Queens of England by David Williamson

Monday, February 23, 2015

Brown Bag Lunch - Public Sector Folklore Panel Wed, Feb 25th.

Interested in what Memorial University graduates are doing with their folklore degrees? 

This brown bag lunch will be a panel with three public sector folklore graduates - Nicole Penney, Alanna Wicks and Crystal Braye Dinn, who were all part of the first cohort of MA students who graduated from the Department of Folklore's cooperative education stream in public folklore.

This panel is being organized by Dr. Jillian Gould of the Department of Folklore, and Dale Jarvis of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The three Memorial alumni will discuss their experiences with the program, and how they have found employment since graduation.

The panel will take place Wednesday February 25th, 12:30-1:30 in Education 4051.

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 Guest Speaker - Nicole Penney

Guest Speaker: Nicole Penney  

Nicole Penney 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 Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. 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 which combine art and archives.

Why are you passionate about heritage?

I'm passionate about heritage because of the potential it has in the areas of education and public outreach. People thrive on a strong sense of community and I enjoy bringing traditions that belong to a group back to them, in the form of workshops and public events. I have a particular interest in archives and public programming and firmly believe in their potential as a way to bring older and younger generations together. Our heritage teaches us so much about ourselves and the direction we are headed in, while also bringing us together to feel connected through a shared experience.
Want to hear more from Nicole? Join us for Youth Heritage Forum 2015!

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

Friday, February 20, 2015

Youth Heritage Forum 2015 Guest Speaker - Caitlyn Baikie

Guest Speaker: 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.

Why are you passionate about heritage?

When I think about what has shaped me as a person so far in my young life, I think about my heritage first and foremost. As a descendant of Northern Labrador with roots in Northern Newfoundland as well, I am very lucky to come from regions in Canada that have rich history. At the age of eighteen I moved away from home for the first time, and though I was always aware of how unique Inuit culture is, I realized that the strong connection I have to my heritage shaped the way I view the world and my role in it. The way I understand the environment, sharing of knowledge, to everyday life, I realized came from my heritage. I have turned these realizations into my study, and passion which I enjoy sharing with those who are interested to learn more about the role of their own history in their own lives.

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

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cat's Cradle, Chip Chip and Hopscotch

A picnic in May 1958. Ethel Benson with children Olga Pippy, Carol Clancy and Sandra Antle.
Photo courtesy of Sandra Antle.
Last week, as part of our Hoist your Sails and Run project, MUN Folklore students paired off with community participants for interviews, the fodder for the content of the upcoming booklet. While they were at that, the rest of us entertained ourselves by looking at old pictures, and playing with string and marbles, remembering the ins and outs of Cat's Cradle and Chip Chip (where one person holds a certain number of marbles in their closed hand and the other has to guess how many).

One of the students had thought to bring in some painter's tape, so that we could mark on the ground without spoiling MacMorran Community Centre's gym floor, and it didn't take us very long to get a round of Hopscotch going!

This Tuesday was in the midst of MUN's midterm break, but we're back at it next week! Keep an eye out for updates as we put the booklet together!

For more information about Hoist your Sails and Run, please phone me at 739-1892 ext 3 or email me here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Help Solve the Carbonear Soper Photo Mystery

I'm on my way to the Heritage Saskatchewan Forum 2015, but have a quick stop in Toronto which is just long enough to allow me to blog about this mystery photo which arrived in my inbox today.

The photo was sent by Michael Soper, of Scarborough, Maine, but who comes from three generations of Sopers in Carbonear. Michael writes,
"I am guessing that they must be Sopers as identical pictures were at two Soper houses - George Soper on Soper's farm (son of George E. Soper) and G. Hubert Soper (son of William Henry Soper)."
Any thoughts? Email me at, or leave a comment below.