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Gardiner, Sylvester

  • Person
  • 1707-1786

Sylvester Gardiner (1707-1786), physician and pharmacist, was born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, in 1707. He studied medicine in Boston and later opened a practice there. From medicine, he branched out into the pharmaceutical trade. Gardiner became a wealthy man and continued to generate wealth through his investments in real estate. He died on 8 August 1786.

When the American Revolution commenced, Gardiner supported the British (Loyalist) cause. When Boston was evacuated in 1776, he moved to Halifax, leaving most of his property behind. He spent some time in Newfoundland in the years 1783-85. After the end of the American Revolution, Gardiner returned to New England, settling in Newport, Rhode Island.

Tudor, Hugh

  • Person
  • 1871-1965

Henry Hugh Tudor (1871-1965), soldier, was born in England in 1871, son of Rev. Harry Tudor, Sub-Dean of Exeter Cathedral. He died on 25 September 1965.

Hugh Tudor initially became involved in the military at a young age. He saw combat in the Boer War from 1899 to 1902, receiving two medals for his service. Following 1902, he accepted postings in the British colonies until the commencement of World War I in August 1914. Tudor was in command of a unit in Egypt but was on leave in England when war broke out. When his unit arrived from Egypt, he and his men were soon involved in the war effort. Tudor helped plan strategy for the Battle of Cambrai (November 1917), using smoke to hide troop movements. By the end of the war, Tudor had reached the rank of Brigadier General, commanding the 9th Scottish Division, which included the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR).

In May 1920, Tudor was named police advisor to the Viceroy and commanding officer to both the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police. He was one of the men most wanted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). After the assassination of his aide-de-camp, it was decided that it was too dangerous for him to continue living in the British Isles.

In 1925 Tudor relocated to Newfoundland, and became involved in the fishery, working with the firm of George M. Barr Ltd., in St. John's.

Banks, Sir Joseph

  • Person
  • 1743-1820

Joseph Banks (1743-1820), traveller, botanist, naturalist, and geographer, was born on 2 February 1743 in London, England, the only child of Sarah Bate and William Banks. On 23 March 1779, Banks married Dorothea Hugessen (1758-1828), daughter and heiress of William Western Hugessen; they had no children. Banks died on 19 June 1820 at Heston in London.

Banks was educated initially at home by a private tutor, and then at Harrow School (1752-55), Eton School (1755-60), and Christ Church College, Oxford University (1760-63). Unable to study botany at Oxford, Banks engaged Isaac Lyons, from Cambridge, as his private tutor. When his father died in 1761, Banks became a wealthy man in his own right at the age of 18. Five years later in 1766, the 23-year-old naturalist took part in a voyage to Newfoundland aboard the vessel Niger, which docked in St. John's and then Croque, a fishing settlement on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, en route to the coast of Labrador. Banks made many notes on local archaeology and natural history, especially ornithological observations.

Banks was one of the most influential men of science in the eighteenth century and as such received a large number of professional distinctions during his career. He was a Fellow both of the Society of Antiquities and the Royal Society. He served as President of the Royal Society from 1778 to 1820, the longest-serving President in the history of the society. As President of the Royal Society, he was involved in the Board of Longitude, the Greenwich Royal Observatory, the Board of Agriculture, and the African Association. He was appointed Special Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (1773) and Trustee of the British Museum . Banks was appointed to the Privy Council in recognition of his role as a government advisor in 1797. In 1819, the House of Commons selected him as chair of two committees: the Committee to enquire into the prevention of banknote forgery and the the Committee to consider systems of weights and measures.

Banks had a role in most British voyages of discovery in his period. He sponsored William Bligh's doomed expedition from Tahiti to the West Indies on the Bounty in 1789. He organized Matthew Flinders' voyage on the Investigator (1801-3) to begin the mapping of Australia. He was involved in George McCartney's mission to China (1792-94) and with George Vancouver's voyage to the northwest coast of America (1791-95). Banks sent botanists all over the world, including New South Wales, the Cape of Good Hope, West Africa, the East Indies, South America, India, and Australia. Many times these voyages were at his own expense.

Banks established his scientific base at his London home in Soho Square in 1776 and housed his natural history collections there. He made his house and collections open to the wider scientific community. Banks did not differentiate between British and foreign scientists, and he even maintained scientific relations with France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

Banks was created a baronet in 1781 and was invested Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1795.

Oke (family)

  • Family
  • 1833-1968

The Oke family documented in the fonds are the descendents of lighthouse builder and inspector Robert Oke, an English immigrant who had initially been employed at Burin by the Slade mercantile firm. The Oke family established several family businesses in Harbour Grace and in St. John's.

William Robert Oke (1833-1894), son of Robert Oake, established Oke's Carriage Factory and Undertaking Rooms in Harbour Grace in 1856; the business was relocated to Duckworth Street, St. John's. Four of Oke's sons were involved in the business: Robert Kammay, John Carnell, William Carnell, and Edward Landgon; the name of the firm was changed to William R. Oke & Sons, Builders (1885) to reflect their involvement. William R. Oke & Sons constructed carraiges, wheelbarrows, cartwheels and caskets.

Following the St. John's Great Fire (1892), the factory, which was uninsured, was completely destroyed. A son, John Carnell Oke, reestablished the business on Prescott Street as John C. Oke & Sons, later renamed Oke's Carriage Factory (ca. 1900). Gordon Jeans Oke, son of J.C. Oke, entered the business as a partner in 1906 and assumed full control of the firm in 1931.

After World War II, the Oke family phased out carriage production, although the coffin factory remained in operation until 1968. In 1968, following 62 years in the trade, Gordon Oke retired and the business closed.

United Church of Canada. Britannia Pastoral Charge. (N.L.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1879-1990

Britannia pastoral charge includes communities of Aspen Brook, Snooks Harbour, Elliott's Cove and Weymouth. It was first mentioned in the writings of Rev. T.W. Atkinson in 1876 when he reported that he had preached at the new church at Britannia Cove. For a number of years Britannia land Foster's Point were combined to form the Britannia and Foster's Point pastoral charge.

In 1902, a new church was dedicated at Britannia Cove and in 1911 a new church was opened at Foster's Point. Boundary changes within the pastoral charges over the years had many small communities popping in and out of the Britannia pastoral charge . The Minutes of 1920 stated that Britannia was to include all placed on Random South that wasn't included in the Shoal Harbour Mission. These communities included Britannia, Foster's Point, Hickman's Harbour and Lady Cove.

At the time of the union of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches to form the United Church of Canada in 1925, Britannia was still connected with Foster's Point and the charge had a membership of 184 families with seven preaching points. By 1935, Britannia was a entity onto itself and the minister was administering to six preaching places.

In recent years some churches on Upper Random Island were beginning to need costly repairs, some congregations were growing smaller and it was becoming harder and harder to keep all churches open. Transportation was now no longer a problem so the idea of uniting congregations began.

In 1986 a survey was made among the congregations, and, after much consideration and soul searching, the communities of Aspen Brook, Snooks Harbour, Elliott's Cove and Weybridge decided to unite, to form one congregation, and build a new church, centrally located.

The closing of the four churches brought sadness to many people, but it was with joy and much pride they attended the official opening and dedication of Central United on June 25, 1989. With the new church have come many wonderful things: a growing Sunday School, an active U.C.W., a choir, and good attendance at every service. By the side of the Central is a platform where rests four bells, a testimony to the four small churches whose congregations have become one to worship God and grow in fellowship together.

United Church of Canada. Twillingate Pastoral Charge. (N.L.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1831-1970

Twillingate was first visited by the London Missionary Society in 1799. By 1831, the first Methodist Congregation in Twillingate was holding secret meetings in the home of one of its members. From these meetings it can be said that Methodism began in Twillingate.

In 1841, the Methodist Church appointed Rev. William Marshall as the first regular missionary to serve what was known as the Green Bay Circuit. He was stationed at Twillingate and traveled throughout the District visiting the scattered communities. Despite its early beginnings, Twillingate's first Methodist Minister, Rev. William Marshall didn't arrive until 1842. Shortly after his arrival, Rev. Marshall oversaw the building of the congregations first church. Rev. Marshall held his last service in Twillingate on December 31, 1845 and died on January 9, 1846. From 1842-1859, the whole of Green Bay was ministered by one minister with headquarters in Twillingate. The circuit changed from Green Bay to Twillingate in 1859 and a new chapel was built there in 1860.

On February 14, 1868, Twillingate suffered a great loss when fire destroyed both the church and mission house. Within a year from the fire, the people of Twillingate had rebuilt the church and it was dedicated in June, 1869. The Methodist Church in Twillingate had a long history, which resulted in the establishment of several churches in the area. The growth of Methodism in the Twillingate Circuit was rapid, especially under the guidance of T.W. Atkinson, Levi Curtis and J.K. Curtis.

The appointments on the circuit are Twillingate North, with a new church seating 600; Twillingate South, where the parsonage is and a church seating 1000, Little Harbour, Crow Head, Bluff Head Cove and Gilliard's Cove. Twillingate became affiliated with the United Church after the union in June 1925.

In the late 1970's and 1980's three of these congregations, Twillingate South, Twillingate North and Little Harbour, made plans to replace their three church buildings with one central edifice. On May 24, 1984, the three congregations participated in a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the new church. The cornerstone was laid in 1986 and Central United Church was opened and dedicated to the glory of God on Sunday afternoon, May 31, 1987.

Monroe Export Company

  • Corporate body
  • 1909-1946

Monroe Export Company, Limited, a Newfoundland saltfish company, was established by Walter Stanley Monroe in 1909. The firm was based in St. John's, with a branch at Thoroughfare, Bonavista Bay.

Monroe (1871-1952), businessman and Newfoundland Prime Minister (1924-28) was born in Dublin, Ireland, the son of John and Elizabeth (Moule) Monroe. Monroe emigrated to Newfoundland in 1888 to work with his uncle, Moses Monroe, in his family enterprises which included Colonial Cordage, Newfoundland Boot and Shoe Company, and St. John's Electrical Company. After his uncle's death, he established an export firm, Bishop and Monroe Company, with Robert Bishop. The partnership was dissolved in 1909 and Monroe started Monroe Export Company, Limited, which he operated until he entered politices in the 1920s.

In the 1920s, Monroe left much of the management of the family business to his son, Arthur Monroe, who expanded into frozen fish processing. A new enterprise, Fishery Products Limited (FPL), family owned and family financed, was formally incorporated in 1941; its largest investor was Monroe Export Company. In 1946 FPL purchased the assets of Monroe Export Company, and assumed its saltfish oeprations.

Power, John

  • Person
  • 1759-1823

It is believed that John Power (1759-1823), a Franciscan priest, was born in County Tipperary, Ireland in 1759. He was listed as Vicar of St. Anthony's College, Louvain in 1782. Reverend Power arrived in Newfoundland in 1808 shortly after Bishop Patrick Lambert.

Rev. Power had vehement disagreements both with Bishops Lambert and Scallan, and they eventually excommunicated him; Lambert in 1812 and Scallan in 1821. There are, however, strong suggestions that Power had a large popular following among Irish Catholics.

When he died in 1823, Rev. Power left a considerable estate to his heirs, including legacies of L50 each to several relatives in Ireland, as well as a plantation at Twenty Mile Pond. The will was witnessed by Rev. Nicholas Devereux and Rev. Denis Mackin, and probate was granted in Ireland 23 August 1831 to Timothy Hogan, a merchant at St. John's.

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