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Wilson Vardy (1858-1921), harbour master and light keeper, was born in Channel, Newfoundland, the eighth of ten children of Lucy and John Vardy (from Christchurch, England). Wilson's father, John, died on 28 December 1861 of suspected foul play. Wilson Vardy married Jane Meade on 11 February 1881 and the couple had eight children. Wilson was buried 21 December 1921 at the old Anglican cemetery at Graveyard Point, Port aux Basques.
Vardy worked as harbour master and light keeper on Vardy's Island at Channel and Port aux Basques from 1899 until his death in 1921. He was in charge of the leading lights and buoys, which had been established in 1898/9. These consisted of a front light, a rear light, and a series of buoys which were removed during winter to avoid drift ice.
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The United States consuls and vice-consuls were mandated to provide assistance to American citizens in foreign countries. They assisted individual Americans with various issues, including visas, passports, and legal entanglements. They provided advice to American companies on investment opportunities. Consuls aided American sailors and fishermen, who were injured, ill-treated or separated from vessels, return to their home ports.
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The United Nail and Foundry Company Limited, a metalworks firm based in St. John's, Newfoundland, was established after a resolution of amalgamation was approved by the the shareholders of the Newfoundland Consolidated Foundry Company Limited and the St. John's Nail Manufacturing Company Limited. On 6 May 1930 the provisional directors, Marmaduke G. Winter, Charles P. Ayre, Tasker Cook, Daniel A. Ryan, Charles A. C. Bruce, Albert O'Reilly and Samuel J. Foote met for their first meeting, with Frederick W. Angel as chair.
After the amalgamation large investments were made to set up an up-to-date industrial plant, new machinery and new equipment was purchased to expand into electro-plating, non-ferrous casting, galvanizing, semi-steel casting and later steel and alloy casting. 1931 saw the opening of the plating and oxidizing plant, brass and aluminum plant and soil pipe fitting plant. The galvanizing and holloware plants had begun construction and were opened in 1934 and the steel plant in 1937.
The company survived the 1950's and 1960's but they were not profitable as it expanded to cope with work from the opening of the Wabush mines. The foundry had the contract to do the castings but found it harder and harder to get the business as the foundry was using outdated equipment and could not keep up with the orders. The demand for cast metal stoves and ranges had also declined as electric ranges and alternative modes of heating came on stream. The nail factory was also using the old process of nail manufacturing, so they became less competitive with outside manufacturers who shipped their products into the province. Finally a major fire in 1972 destroyed the office, shipping warehouse, pattern shop, plating and fitting shops. The business did not rebuild and in 1979 it ceased operations and went into receivership in 1982.
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From 1816 to 1839, the Methodist congregation in the Burgeo area was ministered by the Fortune Bay mission, headquartered at Grand Bank. In 1839, Burgeo came under the jurisdiction of the Western Shore mission, which consisted of 52 harbours and coves with headquarters at Hermitage. Rev. William Marshall was appointed visiting missionary to the area and, in 1841, reportedly "preached in open air to a congregation too large to meet in any one house." Burgeo was described as the largest Protestant settlement on the shore at that time. From 1843 to1880, Burgeo came under the jurisdiction of the Grand Bank mission.
In 1880, Burgeo became a separate mission in the Burin District of the Methodist Church of Canada, Newfoundland Conference. Charles Myers served as the first pastor, and his charge consisted of congregations in East and West Burgeo, Ramea, and nearby communities and coves. The first Methodist church was built in Burgeo in 1882 during the pastorate of Henry Abraham. A new church was dedicated in 1924 during the pastorate of Rev. H. R. Bursey.
In 1925, the mission became part of the United Church of Canada. Rev. W. A. March served as first pastor following Church Union, with congregations in Burgeo, Ramea, and Otters Point. In 1961, the pastoral charges of Burgeo and Petites-Grand Bruit united to form the Burgeo- Petites Pastoral Charge under the ministry of Rev. Joseph Burke. The boundaries of the charge were expanded to include congregations in Burgeo, Grand Bruit, La Poile, Ramea, and West Point. In 1967, the charge was subdivided into two ministries: Burgeo Pastoral Charge, which included Ramea and Grand Bruit; and Channel Pastoral Charge, which included Petites. Currently, the Burgeo Pastoral Charge is made up of congregations in Burgeo and Grand Bruit.
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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.
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Topsail United Church had its beginnings in 1837 with the formation of a small Wesleyan Methodist "meeting house." Before this, the settlers (farmers and fishermen who had moved into the area from Portugal Cove around 1822) had been holding church meetings in various homes throughout the community, visited by clergymen from St. John's.
By 1869 the meeting house which was used for both church and school was too small for the growing congregation. It was time to build a bigger church. A short time later the old church in Topsail which was opened in 1837 by Rev. J.S. Addy was superseded by a new substantial and elegant structure. The exact date of opening of the church is not known but it is understood that the church was built in November, 1871. This church contained two rooms - the church sanctuary and the school. It had no tower, no bell, no organ and rough benches for pews. Gradually a tower was built and a bell installed to call the people to worship.
This little church of 1871 was the edifice that became so well known throughout the island. The church became the landmark in the area and became known as "The Church by the Side of the Road." In 1971 the church by the side of the road celebrated its 100th Anniversary. By now this building was badly in need of repairs. The church members were faced with a big decision, whether to renovate the old church, maintaining this historic landmark, or to build a new church that would met the needs of the vigorous and growing congregation. It was decided that the old church would be replaced but the new church did not materialize until December 1977. The site of the old church is marked by a simple wooden cross constructed from its own timbers.
Today Topsail United has a membership of approximately 465 families. The old brass bell, which was removed from the old church, still sings out from its tower on Sunday Mornings, as it has done for many years.