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United Church of Canada. Corner Brook, First United Pastoral Charge.

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-

The First United Church congregation at Corner Brook was formed 15 March 1925 under the ministry of the Bay of Islands Methodist Mission. The congregation was composed of Presbyterian and Methodist families. This date not only constituted the forming of the congregation but the opening of the new Church Hall for church services and functions.

The roots of Corner Brook's Presbyterian congregation can be traced to Bay of Islands in 1877, when Rev. David Creelman and others organized a congregation in Petries. This group received church membership from the Sheet Harbour Presbyterain congregation in Nova Scotia through the connections of Christopher Fischer, who had come to Corner Brook from Sheet Harbour in 1871 to run a sawmill at Humber Arm. The congregation established the first Presbyterian Sunday school in Petries (located in the west end of Curling) in the early 1870s. In the early 1890s, Presbyterian families held services in a school house until a church was built on the corner of Park Street in 1898. This was the first church erected in the original settlement of Corner Brook. Catechists to the church were supplied from Halifax and supervised by the minister of the Grand Falls Presbyterian Church. Appointments included Nicholsville, Corner Brook, Petries, and Mount Moriah.

By 1907, Methodist families had begun to attend services at the Presbyterian church, and by 1914, Methodists were being asked for co-operation in arranging services. In 1919, Rev. William J. Morris, pastor of the Methodist church at Curling, started holding services there; The increased demands on the church facilities in the Corner Brook area eventually led to the formation of new congregations and pastoral charges in Humbermouth and Corner Brook. 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 necessitated the construction of the Church Hall, which opened in 1925.

The next year, the congregation became a self-supporting entity as the First United Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada, Newfoundland Conference, Grand Fall's Presbytery. However, the Church Union was not totally successful in the Corner Brook area. A separate Presbyterian congregation continued there; by 1955, it was known as the St. Paul's Presbyterian Congregation.

The United Church congregation built a new manse in Corner Brook in 1927. The ever-increasing population placed greater strains on the Church Hall, and in 1936, under the tenure of Rev. G. L. Mercer, the idea for a new church was conceived. Fund-raising began, and in 1946, the First United Church was dedicated.

Rev. George L. Mercer was appointed to the charge in 1929 and quickly brought its organization into line with the Session/Stewards/Official Board structure outlined in the United Church Manual.

The congregation continued to grow in Corner Brook West, and by 1956, a church expansion programme was initiated. The First United Hall on Park Street was opened in 1958, and the Oakland House Sunday School-Church Hall was opened in the Country Road area in 1958. (Oakland later became a separate pastoral charge.) By 1959, a second manse on Park Street had also been purchased and was in operation.

Saunders, Sadie

  • Person
  • 1898-

Sadie Saunders (Cummings) b. 1898. Private secretary to Sir William Coaker, until 1926. Carbonear correspondent for the Daily News. Married Fred Saunders.

St. Patrick's Parish (Witless Bay, N.L. : Catholic)

  • Corporate body
  • 1831-1996

St. Patrick's Parish was established in 1831 and included the communities of Bay Bulls, Witless Bay, Mobile, Tors Cove, Burnt Cove, St. Michael's, Bauline and La Manche. Prior to this, these communities were part of the much larger St. John's Parish which stretched from La Manche on the Southern Shore to Holyrood, Conception Bay.

In 1893, St. Patrick's Parish was divided. Bay Bulls and Witless Bay remained in St. Patrick's Parish. The remaining communities were transferred to the the jurisdiction of the newly established Sacred Heart Parish, with Mobile as its centre. In 1921, Mobile was removed from Sacred Heart Parish and transferred back to St. Patrick's Parish.

Additional jurisdictional changes to St. Patrick's Parish occurred in 1921 when Archbishop Edward P. Roche separated Bay Bulls from St. Patrick's Parish and created the Parish of Saints Peter and Paul, with its parish centre at Bay Bulls. This left the communities of Witless Bay and Mobile under St. Patrick's Parish.

In 1965, Sacred Heart Parish was dismembered and the parish came under the jurisdiction of St. Patrick's Parish. In 1996 St. Patrick's Parish and Sacred Heart Parish were canonically suppressed. The successor parish was the newly created parish Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

Freedom of religion had been granted to Roman Catholics in Newfoundland in 1784 and Rev. James O'Donel, vicar apostolic, was selected to organize the Catholic Church in Newfoundland. Sometime before 1796, O'Donel built the first Catholic Church in Bay Bulls, then part of St. John's Parish. The first priest appointed to St. Patrick's Parish was Rev. (later Dean) Patrick Cleary. He chose Witless Bay as the centre of the parish where he built a presbytery and started the construction of a church in the 1830s. This church, the current church in Witless Bay, was completed by Dean Roche ca. 1877. In 1989, when renovations were being made to the presbytery at Witless Bay, newspapers dating from 1840 were discovered in the walls of the house, suggesting that this was the original house that built by Cleary built and the oldest surviving Roman Catholic Parish presbytery in the Archdiocese of St. John's.

Education in St. Patrick's Parish was organized by Dean Cleary. Shortly after the Education Act of 1836, a school was established at Witless Bay and staffed with lay people. By 1844, there were Catholic schools in other communities in the parish, including Bay Bulls and St. Michael's. In 1860 the Presentation Sisters established a convent and school in Witless Bay. They educated the girls while the boys were educated in a separate school by a lay teacher. In 1915, Rev. Patrick J. O'Brien added two new rooms to the convent and school which allowed the boys and girls to be taught by the Presentation Sisters. In 1948 the Convent school at Witless Bay was renovated and called St. Bernard's School after its foundress Mother M. Bernard O'Donnel.

In 1920, Rev. O'Brien also built a new three-room school at Bay Bulls. In 1921 the Sisters of Mercy were invited to St. Patrick's Parish. They established a convent in Bay Bulls and directed the operation of the schools in the community; In the 1970s Rev. William Lawton, who had established the first parish council in Tors Cove-St. Michael's, organized the St. Patrick's Parish Council. By 1975, the men of St. Patrick's Parish had formed a District Council of the Knights of Columbus and called it the Dean Cleary Council in memory of the early pastor. Other community organizations which have been active in the parish include the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus, the Legion of Mary, the Columbian Squires and the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.

Some of the priests who served the people of St. Patrick's Parish (est. in 1831) are as follows: Dean Patrick Cleary (1831-1882); Dean Roche (1882-1916); Patrick O'Brien (1916-1922); J. J. Greene (1923-1934); T. J. Gough (1934-1954); Richard McGrath (1954-1968); Francis Coady (1968-1970); William Lawton as administrator (1970-1973); E. J. Purcell (1973-1986); Tony Bennett (1986-1987); Francis Puddister (1987-1990); William Pomroy (1990-1995); and Robert Ryan (1995-1996).

Manuel (family: Exploits, N.L.)

  • Family
  • [176-]-

The community of Exploits was initially settled by Europeans in the mid- to the late-eighteenth century. The settlers were attracted by a thriving fishery which they supplemented by sealing. The first census (1836) reported a resident population of 220.

In 1857 there were two merchant families operating out of Exploits: the Manuels and the Winsors. By the end of the 1880s, the Manuel family became involved with the export of Exploits fish to Portugal and Spain.

In the mid to late twentieth century, the community of Exploits has been virtually abandoned. Just two residents remain. The Manuel family has remained prominent in other areas of Newfoundland.

Anderson, Torsten

  • Person
  • 1834-[19-]

Torsten Anderson (1834-19-) was born in Norway on 9 February 1834 as Torstein Kverna. He married Mary Thomas in 1859; they had six boys and four girls.

Torstein Kverna arrived in Labrador in the late 1840s as an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company. He adopted a new name following his arrival in Labrador, altering the old Norwegian spelling of Torstein to Torsten and changing his surname from Kverna to Anderson as the latter was considered too difficult to pronounce. He chose the Anderson as his father's name was Anders and the name Anders had been in the family for about two hundred years. Torsten Anderson was the first European to settle in Makkovik, Labrador.

United Church of Canada. Shoal Harbour Pastoral Charge.

  • Corporate body
  • 1892-1981

Although the Shoal Harbour Mission wasn't mentioned in Minutes until 1871, the early settlers of Shoal Harbour, who came from Hants Habour on the south side of Trinity Bay, had settled there by the mid 1800's. It is believed that these people being of the Methodist faith built a little church that was dedicated to the glory of God and opened for worship on February 11, 1866. John Tilley, Moses Tilley, Aaron Tilley and David Palmer were the builders of this first little church. The mission at that time had thirty appointments.

This was their place of worship for 26 years during which time a considerable number of families moved to the area. Not long after the opening of the first church, a parsonage was built and the first residential Minister, Rev. William Swann, arrived. He was stationed at Shoal Harbour from 1871-1872 during which time he spent six months in the area with 30 appointments to visit, most of the which worship during the week night and rarely on Sunday.

As there were no roads then, or for many years after, the Missionary had many dangerous journeys. For the early years the only church in the area was at Shoal Harbour. This church was soon followed by a church at Lower Shoal Harbour (now Clarenville) and George's Brook. Because of the large area to be covered in the Shoal Harbour Pastoral Charge, Shoal Harbour, Lower Shoal Harbour and George's Brook had lay readers who helped out the Minister.

Somewhere between 1872 and 1885, the first church was turned over for re-modeling and used as a school and a new church opened for worship on June 30, 1892. A forest fire swept the area shortly after destroying many of the homes and the church and parsonage as well. All church records previous to 1892 were destroyed in the fire.

In 1874, the Shoal Harbour circuit included the whole bottom of Trinity Bay with more than twenty appointments which was supplied by two men, of whom Thomas W. Atkinson was one. During this same period, a church was completed at George's Brook, and one was made suitable for services at Lower Shoal Harbour, and several others were in course of erection. During his three pastorate, Rev. Atkinson witnessed the building of six churches and school houses and many members were added to the church.

Boundary changes in 1878, saw Shoal Harbour divided into two missions - Random North and Random South and later the former went back to the title of Shoal Harbour. Several other missions were made out of portions of the old Shoal Harbour field. The present appointments are Shoal Harbour, Clarenville, George's Brook, Broad Cove and White Rock.

On December 30th of that year a firm decision was made to build a new church and this, the third church, was dedicated on December 9, 1894. Then in summer of 1903, a forest fire again swept the area and the third church was burned down. A church was dedicated early in 1903 at White Rock and another at Broad Cove, now Harcourt, in the pastorate of James Pincock. We have no record of when the fourth church was started at Shoal Harbour but the Trustee Board Records show that the exterior of the church was completed during 1906 and on October 31, 1907, the new church was dedicated by Rev. Sydney Bennett, Minister at Britannia, acting on behalf of the President of Conference, who was unable to attend.

The cornerstone of a new church at Clarenville, formerly Lower Shoal Harbour, was laid on August 13, 1923, by H.G. Coppin, Chairman of the District. At the time of the union of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches to form the United Church of Canada in 1925, the Shoal Harbour pastoral charge had four preaching places and Rev. Isaac Davis was administering to 164 families there.

The Opening an Dedication Service for a new church at George's Brook and Milton was held on July 29, 1962 under the pastorate of Rev. Edward George Bailey. Late in 1962, the congregation of Shoal Harbour decided that the old church was inadequate for their present needs. Work began shortly afterwards on the new church and it was completed on the outside. The closing service for the old church was conducted on June 28, 1966 and then the old church was demolished. For over a year, worship was conducted in the basement of the new church while it was being finished . The dedication ceremony for the new church was conducted on September 15, 1968.

Presently the pastoral charge of Shoal Harbour administers to the following communities: Harcourt, Milton-George's Brook, Monroe, Shoal Harbour.

Outerbridge, Sir Leonard (Leonard Cecil)

  • Person
  • 1888-1986

Leonard Cecil Outerbridge (1888-1986), Newfoundland businessman and lieutenant-governor, was born at Ashville, North Carolina, on 6 May 1888, son of Maria Harvey (Tucker) and Joseph Outerbridge, businessman and Vice President of the Patriotic Association of Newfoundland. He married Dorothy Winifred Strathy, and they had one daughter, Nancy Diana (Winter). Outerbridge died on 6 September 1986.

Outerbridge was educated at Bishop Feild College, St. John's, Marlborough College, England, and the University of Toronto, where he obtained his LL.B. After serving in the Canadian Army (rank of major) in World War I, Outerbridge practiced law in Toronto before returning to St. John's to manage Harvey and Company with his brother, Herbert. Over the next several decades, Outerbridge was involved with the Harvey Group of Companies in various capacities: Vice President, Director, President, and Chairman. He was President of the Newfoundland Board of Trade (1923-24); Chairman, Newfoundland Committee of the British Empire Exhibition (1925) Director, Bank of Montreal; Board of Directors, Bishop Feild College (1920-24), and Bishop Spencer College (1921-46).

In addition to his business activities, Outerbridge served as honourary private secretary to Newfoundland governors from 1930 to 1944. In 1941, Outerbridge, with lawyer Charles Hunt, publicly supported the Anglo-American Leased Bases Agreement, which authorized the United States to establish military bases in Newfoundland. He volunteered as full-time director of Civil Defence in World War II, and supervised the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) team in St. John's. He supported confederation in the second referendum in 1948. In 1949, he succeeded Albert B. Walsh as the second lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland; his term ended in 1957.

Outerbridge was also active in the Anglican church: he served as Rectors Warden at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist from 1923 to 1941, and again from 1944 to 1948; he was involved with church committees; and he was on the Executive Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Newfoundland from 1920 to 1969.

Outerbridge was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (1918) and Companion of the British Empire (1926); knighted (1946); appointed Honourary Colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (1950) and Knight of Grace, Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1951); made a Companion of the Order of Canada (1967); received a Special Services Award, Canadian Institute of the Blind, for his service as director from 1959-75 (1985); and appointed Companion of the Order of the Red Cross (1985).

Davidson, Stewart Alexander

  • Person
  • 1921-

Stewart Alexander Davidson (1921- ), World War II veteran, teacher, university professor, sports researcher, was born in Montreal in 1921. After serving in the RCAF during World War II, he returned to Montreal where he enrolled in a Bachelor of Physical Education program at McGill University. Following graduation, Davidson taught in Montreal schools for a number of years before continuing his studies at Columbia University. He continued his teaching career after receiving his EdD from that institution and subsequently taught in the School of Physical Education (later the School of Human Kinetics) at the University of Ottawa until his retirement in 1986.

While conducting research on Canadian sports pioneers, Davidson encountered Frank Graham, who encouraged him to examine the history of sport in Newfoundland. Davidson obtained funding from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to make a research trip to the province in the summer of 1980. With Graham's assistance he interviewed fourteen members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. Most of the interviews, all with men, were conducted in the Sports Archives office. The resultant paper, "An Oral History of Newfoundland Sport", was presented at the Fifth Canadian Symposium on the History of Sport and Physical Education at the University of Toronto in 1982 and published as part of the Symposium's proceedings.

St. John's Curling Association (N.L.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1910-

The St. John's Curling Association, commonly known as the St. John's Curling Club, was established on 8 July 1910 when two men's clubs, the Terra Nova Curling Club (fl. 1863-) and the Micmac Curling Club (established 188-), voted to amalgamate at a joint meeting. The consitution and the by-laws of the Association were adopted at that same meeting. The Association was incorporated under The Companies Act.

The mandate of the St. John's Curling Association was to foster and promote curling in the city. Throughout its history, it has also raised monies for the war effort and various city charities. Although the St. John's Curling Association maintained close relationships with the Ladies' Curling Club (organized 1906) and cooperated in hosting many curling events, the latter was not totally integrated until 1959. The first woman president, Jane M. Martin, was elected in 1982.

From 1912-1941 the Association leased their facilities from the Newfoundland Curling Rink Ltd. The curling rink was located on Forest Road, next to the Prince's Skating Rink. The Association purchased the curling rink in the fall of 1941, but on 28 Nov., before the curling season commenced, the rink was destroyed by fire. On 25 Jan.1943, the Association officially opened their new rink on Factory Lane. To help finance the new facility, public skating and dancing were offered at the rink. This continued until 1955, a year after the St. John's Memorial Stadium was opened. In 1976 the old rink was sold and the Association constructed a new facility on Bonaventure Avenue, which was officially opened on 22 Oct. 1976.

Albert H. Salter (1877-1940), the first secretary-treasurer, commenced the systematic recording of the Association's activities. These records were stored at the club building until 1941, when Peter Ledingham, the honourary secretary, rescued them from the fire. At the request of the Association, a pictorial history, Through curling years, the 75th, was written by Clifford K. Andrews in 1986.

The Association currently is governed by a five-person executive elected at the annual general meeting. The Committee of Management, consisting of the executive, past-president, and six elected members, is responsible for club activities and curling arrangements and regulations. They also appoint appropriate sub-committees. The Committee is assisted by an elected advisory board.

Rabbitts, John Victor

  • Person
  • 1909-1964

John Victor (JVR, Jack, Bunny) Rabbitts (1909-1964), athlete, civil servant, coach, sports writer, was born in St. John's on October 4, 1909, the son of Jessie (Clarke) and Fred Rabbitts. On October 4, 1957, he married Dorothy Elizabeth Hewerdine. They had no children. Rabbitts died in St. John's on 8 August 1964.

Rabbitts attended the Methodist College, St. John's, where he participated in football (soccer), hockey, and track and field (athletics). He joined the Church Lads Brigade (CLB) in 1923, where he played football (soccer), hockey, basketball, and track and field, and was a member of the rowing crew in the St. John's Regatta (1925-1928). He also participated in tennis and curling.

Rabbitts attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston before returning to St. John's to work as a civil servant with the Newfoundland Government. He was an executive member of the Newfoundland Amateur Athletic Association (NAAA), founder (1935) and president of the Newfoundland Lawn Tennis Association, and served on the executives of hockey and basketball sport governing bodies. An avid bowling enthusiast ("Mr. Bowling"), he organized tournaments and developed public interest in the activity. He also coached gymnastics at the CLB and Bishop Feild College (1950). He organized the All-Newfoundland Football Association (and was first president in 1950) and was later made an honourary life member of the association.

Rabbitts involvement in sport also included research, writing, and chronicling. For forty years he was a regular sports contributor to local newspapers. In 1979 he was inducted posthumously into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame. The Basketball Newfoundland Hall of Fame inducted him as a builder in 1984. The Newfoundland Soccer Hall of Fame inducted him in 1985, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Tennis Hall of Fame followed suit in 1986.

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