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United Church of Canada. Corner Brook (Birchy Bay) Pastoral Charge. (N.L.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1902-1994

The first reference to the Curling Pastoral Charge appears in the United Church yearbook of 1928. In 1929, other preaching stations within the ministry included Humbermouth, Spruce Brook, and Summerside; Prior to its formation as a charge, Curling had been the head of the Bay of Islands Mission. That mission had formally been established in 1903; however, Methodism in the area can trace its history back to the formation of the Fortune Bay Mission in 1816, with headquarters in Grand Bank. As Methodist missionaries spread westward from Grand Bank, new missions were formed along the south coast and, later, the west coast: in 1839, the Western Shore Mission; in 1851, the Channel Mission; in 1873, the Bonne Bay Mission; and in 1883, the St. George's Mission. The St. George's Mission extended into Bay of Islands and, from 1889 to 1903, shared its title with Bay of Islands. Its appointments included Curling, Lark Harbour, Summerside, Wood's Island, Humbermouth, Corner Brook, Petries, Georgestown, Middle Arm, and Goose Arm. Deer Lake was added by 1915.

The first Methodist church/school in Curling was built in 1890. The first separate church was dedicated in the late 1890s. It burned in the early 1940s and was replaced in 1944 by the Curling Memorial Church. The construction of the Corner Brook Paper Mill began in 1923 and resulted in an influx of hundreds of people into the area. The increased demands on the church facilities in the Corner Brook area eventually led to the formation of new congregations and pastoral charges in Corner Brook. In 1948, the Humbermouth congregation also became a separate pastoral charge.

Currently, the pastoral charge is composed of congregations in Curling (Memorial) and Summerside (Bethany).

St. Patrick's Parish (Plate Cove, N.L. : Catholic)

  • Corporate body
  • 1966-

St. Patrick's Parish, located in Plate Cove on the Bonavista Peninsula, was established in July 1966. The community was first settled in the early 1800s, largely by Irish Roman Catholics from Bonavista and King's Cove. Settlement occurred on both sides of a cove, with the areas known as Plate Cove East and Plate Cove West. The communities were initially missions of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, King's Cove.

In 1857, although there was a small Catholic school in Plate Cove East, the residents continued to rely on the church and school at nearby Open Hall or at the parish centre at King's Cove. Following the establishment of Plate Cove as a parish, Reverend Michael Hynes was appointed the first resident priest. In 1984 St. Patrick's Church was completely destroyed by fire. A new church was built in a more central location between Plate Cove East and Plate Cove West.

From 1990 to the present, St. Patrick's Parish in Plate Cove has been ministered to by assistants of the parish priest at nearby King's Cove.

Pastors that have served St. Patrick's parish since its inception include: Michael Hynes (1966-1979); Aloysius Antle (1979-1982); Gregory Pumphery (1983); William Hearn (1983); Larry/Lawrence George (1984-1989); Michael Hynes (1990-1992 parish priest of King's Cove; Sister Alice Dower PBVM assisted); William Houlahan (1993-1997 parish priest of King's Cove; Sister Sarah Moore, Sister Amelia Mooney and Sister Elizabeth Whelan assisted); Sebastian and Brian Colbert (1998-1999 parish priests of King's Cove; Sister Elizabeth Whelan assisted); Brian Dunn (1999- parish priest of King's Cove; Sister Elizabeth Whelan assisting as Administrator of Plate Cove).

St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, N.L. : Catholic)

  • Corporate body
  • 1917-

St. Francis of Assisi Parish, forming part of the Diocese of St. John's and encompassing the settlements of Outer Cove, Middle Cove, and Logy Bay (amalgamated as the Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove in 1986), was erected by Archbishop Edward P. Roche in 1917. Prior to the establishment of the parish, Outer Cove and Middle Cove formed part of Holy Trinity Parish (Torbay) while Logy Bay fell within the jurisdiction of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Parish (St. John's). All three communities were served by visiting clergy.

Daniel O'Callaghan, first parish priest, oversaw the development of St. Francis of Assisi's infrastructure. The cornerstone for the first parish church, still in operation today, was laid in 1918 and the first mass was held in the new structure on 24 December 1919. During his tenure, Rev. O'Callaghan also supervised the construction of a parish school and presbytery.

Permission was granted from the Archdiocesan Building Projects Committee, in 1966, to begin construction on a new elementary school to replace the original school building. By this time, high school students generally attended Holy Heart and Gonzaga schools in St. John's. Today, St. Francis of Assisi School is no longer under church control as a result of denominational education reforms passed by the Provincial Government in 1997.

In 1989, the Recluse Sisters (Les Recluses Missionaires) established the Monastery of Mary, Mother of the Church in St. Francis of Assisi's original presbytery at the invitation of Archbishop Alphonsus L. Penney. The monastery was closed in 2001 because of a lack of vocations to the order. The Recluse Sisters were Newfoundland's first contemplative congregation and regularly made guest rooms available for private retreats in their monastery.; A Parish Council was established during the 1970s to aid the parish priest in the administration of his responsibilities and the parish's affairs. Committees reporting to the Parish Council have included Finance, Liturgy, Social Action, Men's, Women's, Youth, Religious Activities, and Cemetery.

Pastors who have served St. Francis of Assisi Parish since its inception in 1917 include: Daniel O'Callaghan (1917-1948); Robert A. St. John (1948-1968); Eric R. Lawlor, Parish Priest and later Administrator (1969-1970); David P. Morrissey (1970-1977); William K. Lawton (1977-1987); Francis Coady (1987-1993); J. Kevin McKenna (1993-1994); and John D. Hanton (1994- ).

St. John's Art Club

  • Corporate body
  • 1940-1976

St. John's Art Club was founded in 1940, under the name Art Students Club, by Mrs. A.C. (Muriel) Hunter. Its mandate was to promote local artists and their art. Activities included exhibitions of local and imported art, sketching and art discussion groups, sponsorship of local art students, the maintenance of a member-borrowing library of art books, and illustrated lectures. One exhibition featured 73 painting by U.S. servicemen stationed in Newfoundland.

The Club's name was changed in 1945 to St. John's Art Club. In 1950, the group presented recommendations to a Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (Massey Commission). The last general meeting was held in 1973; in 1976, the Executive voted to close the Club bank account and donate the balance to the A.C. Hunter scholarship.

O'Mara family

  • Family
  • 1835-1925

John O'Mara (1806-1867), merchant, office holder, was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1806 and settled in Newfoundland. On 3 November 1831, he married Mary Allen (1813-1854), daughter of Mary (Shannon) and Michael Allen, who owned the St. John's farm known as Allen Dale. The O'Maras had twelve children. He died on 28 July 1867, and was buried in Belvedere cemetery.

O'Mara's business interests were diverse, and included general merchandise, shipping and the seal fishery. O'Mara was active in the Liberal party, and held several offices, including commissioner of roads for St. John's (1847), health warden (1847), and Roman Catholic Central Board of Education trustee(1853). O'Mara was also active in the Benevolent Irish Society (BIS).

David William O'Mara (1846-1884), magistrate, was born in St. John's in July 1846, son of Mary (Allen) and John O'Mara. He married Mary Elizabeth Geddes in 1875; they had seven children. He died at Ferryland on 31 August 1884.

After completing his education in St. John's, O'Mara studied law in Dublin, Ireland. He was appointed justice of the peace for Ferryland District in 1873, and served as justice and stipendiary magistrate for Ferryland, where he resided until his death. O'Mara also served as the returning officer for the 1878 general election.

John Thomas O'Mara (1851-1893), pharmacist, was born in St. John's, son of Mary (Allen) and John O'Mara. He married Mary Josephine Murphy (1808-1879); they had eleven children. John O'Mara died on 26 May 1893.

O'Mara apprenticed under the Scottish pharmacist, Thomas McMurdo. In 1874, he established his own pharmacy on east Water Street, St. John's, reportedly the first pharmacy opened by a native Newfoundlander. The pharmacy was lost in the Great Fire of 1892. O'Mara immediately reopened his business in his wholesale warehouse on King's Road; he later relocated to Rawlin's Cross. O'Mara was active in the BIS and was the first native Newfoundlander to be elected president of the Society.

Peter Alban O'Mara (1881-1964), pharmacist, was born in St. John's, son of Mary Elizabeth (Geddes) and David William O'Mara. He married Margaret Feehan Cooney; they had ten children. He died on 30 December 1964.

In 1906, O'Mara acquired the West End Drugstore, located on Water Street West, St. John's, and expanded the premises in 1908. The building is now a pharmacy museum, Apothecary Hall, which also houses the Newfoundland Pharmaceutical Association Archives. O'Mara was a member of the Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, City Club and BIS.

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