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O'Brien, Denis
Persoon · [183-]-1889

Denis O'Brien (1837?-1889), Catholic priest, was born in the Diocese of Limerick, Ireland. He was ordained a priest on 24 May 1863 by Bishop John Thomas Mullock of Newfoundland.

Following ordination, Rev. O'Brien was appointed vice-president and professor at St. Bonaventure's College, St. John's, Newfoundland, where he taught Latin and Mathematics. He remained with the college from 1882 to 1888. In 1889, he was appointed a curate in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Parish, St. John's, and served there until 1895. During these years, he organized a night school in St. John's. Upon leaving St. John's, he took an assignment as a missionary in the Diocese of Dubuque, Iowa.

Rev. O'Brien died on 3 September 1899. Those who knew him described him as a fine scholar and a powerful pulpit orator.

Taylor, Joseph
Persoon · [166-]-1734

Joseph Taylor (1662/3?-1734), naval officer and Commodore of Newfoundland, was born circa 1662 in England. He died on 23 May 1734.

Taylor joined the merchant service at the age of ten and the Royal Navy on 26 March 1690. On 2 January 1692/3 he was appointed master of HMS Roebuck. He served on a number of ships as first and second lieutenant over the next ten years. He was appointed Captain of his first ship, Charles Gally, on 15 February 1702/3. He served the Navy with distinction, notably in Spain (1708) and captured many enemy ships during his career.

On 31 May 1709 Taylor was made Commodore of the Newfoundland convoy and responsible for the attendant duties which accompanied that position. He arrived in St. John's on 16 August to find the town had been captured by French forces under the command of Saint-Ovide de Brouillan during the preceding winter. The fort and most of the town had been burnt to the ground. Taylor immediately set about rebuilding the fort using crewmen from the naval vessels Litchfield and Rye and naval stores. He encouraged the townspeople to rebuild their houses and other properties. Taylor was successful in having Fort William rebuilt as a stronger and larger fortification. After one year of service as commodore, Taylor returned to naval duty in Europe.

Buckley, Joseph
Persoon · [16-]

Joseph Buckley was a merchant of Boston who married Joanna, daughter of Richard Shute and widow of Nathaniel Nichols, in 1688.

O'Donel, James Louis
Persoon · 1737-1811

James Louis O'Donel (1737-1811), Franciscan priest and Catholic bishop, was born in Knocklofty, County Tipperary, Ireland in 1737, son of Michael and Ann (Crosby) O'Donel. He died on 5 April 1811 at a friary in Waterford, Ireland.

There is little information available on O'Donel's early life, but it is known that as a young boy he was educated by a private tutor, and later at a classical school in Limerick. He joined the Order of Saint Francis in Limerick and was appointed a member of Convent of the Immaculate Conception of the Irish Franciscan Community at Prague. There he received the habit of St. Francis, made his final profession of vows, completed his education and was ordained a priest in 1770.

After five years as chaplain to several aristocratic families in Bohemia, Rev. O'Donel returned to Ireland (1775). In 1776, he was elected as a provincial definitor (consultor). On 19 July 1779, he was selected Minister Provincial, or Superior, for a three-year term, placing him at the head of the Franciscan Order in Ireland. When his term of office was completed, he was appointed guardian of the friary in Waterford. In 1784 Rev. O'Donel was appointed by Pope Pius VI as Prefect Apostolic of Newfoundland, including Labrador, Greenland and all points north up to the North Pole.

Rev. O'Donel arrived in Newfoundland on 30 May 1784. In the same year, on 24 October 1784, Governor Edward John Campbell proclaimed freedom of religion. Recognizing that the greatest need of the church in Newfoundland was the presence of more priests, O'Donel recruited fellow Franciscans. Franciscans Patrick John Phelan, John Patrick Phelan and his nephew, Reverend Michael O'Donel, a secular priest, came to Newfoundland. In 1785, O'Donel oversaw the completion of the first Roman Catholic chapel on Henry Street, St. John's.

O'Donel was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Newfoundland on 5 January 1796. On 21 September 1796, he was consecrated titular Bishop of Thyatira in Quebec by Bishop John Francis Hubert, becoming the first bishop in Newfoundland and the first English-speaking bishop in North America. By 1790 Bishop O'Donel had established clergy in Ferryland, Harbour Grace and Placentia. Experiencing a decline in his health, he applied to Rome in 1805 for a coadjutor. During the last year of his term of office (1806) he supported the establishment of the Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) at the Society's inaugural meeting in the London Tavern on 17 February 1806.

With the arrival of Rev. Patrick Lambert in Newfoundland, O'Donel resigned from his office on 31 December 1806. The following year, on 26 July 1807, O'Donel left Newfoundland. Along the way he made a brief stopover at Portsmouth and Bristol before retiring to the friary in Waterford, Ireland, where he died in 1811.

Devereux, Nicholas
Persoon · 1778-1845

Nicholas Devereux (1778-1845), Catholic priest, was a native of County Wexford, Ireland. It was assumed that he was born in the Bannow area in 1778. He was ordained a deacon in Ireland and arrived at St. John's, Newfoundland in 1816.

Devereux was ordained a priest in the old Cathedral on Henry Street by Bishop Thomas Scallan, becoming the first Catholic priest ordained in Newfoundland. Bishop Scallan described Rev. Devereaux as a "good, moral, and studious" young man.

Devereux's first pastoral appointment was as a curate in Sacred Heart Parish, Placentia, under Rev. Andrew Cleary, parish priest. In 1819, he was appointed a curate in Immaculate Conception Parish, Harbour Grace, where he ministered until 1830. That year, Devereux was appointed the first parish priest at Burin and he remained there for two years. In 1832, he was named parish priest of the ecclesiastical district of Bonavista Bay, with residence at King's Cove. His ministry included pastoral visitations to the northern areas of Bonavista Bay, including Tilting Harbour. He held that appointment from 1832 to 1845.

Rev. Devereux died at the parochial house, King's Cove, Bonavista Bay, on 25 April 1845, after a long and painful illness. He was buried in the parish cemetery at King's Cove.

Halpert, Herbert
Persoon · [19-]

Folklorist Herbert Halpert began teaching at Memorial University in 1962, before the establishment of the Folklore Department. For four years he taught undergraduate students introductory elements of folklore in the course, English 200, a full-year required course for undergraduate students. While he was teaching, Halpert encouraged students to interview their relatives and friends and to submit samples of various "folklore items". He encouraged his colleagues, with some success, to involve their students in this collecting. Halpert was instrumental in establishing the Folklore Department in 1968.

Horwood, Harold Andrew
Persoon · 1923-

Harold Andrew Horwood (1923-), writer, journalist, politician, social activist, was born at St. John's 2 November 1923, son of Vina (Maidment) and Andrew Horwood. He married Cornelia (Lindesmith) (Cohen); they had two children, Andrew and Leah.

Upon graduation from Prince of Wales College, Horwood was employed as a longshoreman. It was during this period that Horwood became involved in the labour movement; in 1946, He organized the Labourers' and General Workers' Protective Union and served as President. He was the organizer for the Newfoundland Federation of Labour from 1946-1948. Horwood next became involved in the pro-Confederation campaign, and served from 1949-1951 as Liberal MHA for Labrador. He was a reporter, columnist and editor for the Evening Telegram from 1952-1958, before he resigned to write full-time. By the early 1950s Horwood was an outspoken critic of J. R. Smallwood. He was the founding vice-chair of The Writers' Union of Canada and chair, (1980-81), and founded the literary journal; The New Quarterly (1980-81).

A prolific writer, Horwood published over twenty-five books, including fiction (Tomorrow Will Be Sunday ; White Eskimo; Beyond The Road ), the travel book, Newfoundland, collections of short stories (Only The Gods Speak), biographies (Bartlett, the Great Explorer, The Foxes of Beachy Cove), poetry (Cycle of the Sun), and two volumes of memoirs (A Walk in the Dream Time, and Among the Lions), as well as numerous articles. Several of his works have won literary awards; Horwood was also awarded the Order of Canada in 1979.

Ryan, John
Persoon · 1843-1908

John Ryan (1843-1908), Catholic priest, was born in the Parish of Dovay, County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1843. He died at St. John's on 27 September 1908.

Ryan was educated in Thurles College and Mount Mellray, a boarding college for candidates to the priesthood under the direction of the Cistercian Monks. He attended All Hallows College, Dublin, where he completed his studies with a doctorate degree in theology.

Ryan arrived in Newfoundland in October 1865 at the invitation of John Thomas Mullock, Bishop of Newfoundland. He was ordained a priest in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, St. John's, on 2 February 1866 by Bishop Mullock. His first appointments were as a curate in the following parishes: Assumption Parish, St. Mary's, St. Mary's Bay (1866-71), and Holy Rosary Parish, Argentia (1871-73). In 1873 Rev. Ryan was selected as the parish priest at St. Patrick's Parish, St. John's (1873-1908), where he was serving at the time of his death. For many years Rev. Ryan was a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Bonaventure's College.

Curwen, George
Persoon · 1610-1685

Captain George Curwen (1610-1685) was born in Sibbertoft, England, and emigrated to Massachusetts in 1638. Settling at Salem, Essex County, he quickly established himself as a prominent local merchant, provisioning farmers, townsmen, and fishermen. By his death in 1685, he had accumulated one of the largest fortunes in New England.

Captain Curwen's business involved outfitting fishing companies and partnering with independent fishermen, advancing provisions in return for a portion of the catch. He also dealt with smaller outfitters, providing them with wholesale goods that they retailed to their fishermen. As well, Curwen played an important role in the offshore fishery and in the fish export trade to Spain and the West Indies.

Thomas, Arthur Harvey
Persoon · 1891-1960

Arthur Harvey Thomas (1891-1960), sports journalist, coach, and sports enthusiast, was born in Toronto on 15 March 1891, the son of Newfoundland-born parents, Charlotte and Edward Thomas. He married Violet Deir on 20 October 1932 and they had four children: Florence, Arthur, Carl, and Ruth. Thomas died on 20 December 1960.

The Thomas family returned to Newfoundland while Arthur was still young. Before he was two years old, he suffered a fall which broke his vertebrae and caused his height to be shorter than average. He attended the Methodist College, St. John's. Following graduation, Thomas was employed as clerk and court reporter in the legal firm of Conroy, Higgins & Hunt.

A member of the St. John's Rifle Club, Thomas was a noted marksman in competitive shoots. In 1914 he became an instructor in the use of firearms and trained volunteers in the First Newfoundland Regiment (later the Royal Newfoundland Regiment) before they were despatched overseas.

From the early 1920s until his death, Thomas was active in the local sports community. He was a sports journalist for the Evening Telegram (1927-1947), a member of the St. John's Regatta Committee, and manager for the Guards Athletic Association baseball and track and field (athletics) programs. He coached Jack Bell, Newfoundland's long distance champion of the early 1920s. Thomas was also an avid curler and billiard player. In 1947 he promoted the revival of city baseball and the development of St. Pat's ball field.

Thomas was also active in the George Street United Church choir and he sang with the winning choir in a competition in 1933.

Thomas was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and into the Basketball Newfoundland Hall of Fame as a builder in 1984.