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International Grenfell Association collection
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- Textual record
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CA Them Days APL 003
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1903 - 1978 (Creation)
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15.0 cm textual records
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The International Grenfell Association (IGA), a non-profit, philanthropic organization, was established as the coordinating agency for four regional associations which supported the medical, religious and social initiatives of the Grenfell Mission in northern Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as on the southern coast of the Canadian Labrador. The IGA was incorporated on 10 January 1914, but the association originated in the initiatives of physician and surgeon Wilfred Thomason Grenfell (1865-1940), to secure adequate medical care and improved social conditions in the region.
In 1892, Grenfell, a medical missionary with the National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen (NMDSF) - a British evangelical Christian charity ministering to British offshore fishermen - visited northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador to investigate reports of inadequate medical services for the thousands of migratory fishermen who went annually to the coast of Labrador from the island of Newfoundland, as well as the settlers (livyers) in Labrador. Perceiving an urgent need to provide improved medical assistance, Grenfell returned in 1893 with two nurses and two doctors, under the auspices of the NMDSF, determined to establish a system of medical care for northern Newfoundland and Labrador.
Grenfell established small hospitals at Battle Harbour (1893) and Indian Harbour (1894), and a secured a hospital ship which undertook summer visits along the Labrador coast. Grenfell and his associates (commonly termed the Grenfell Mission) also became involved in efforts to improve social welfare and to promote social and economic development. The mission built an orphanage, established boarding schools, and introduced industrial arts training (including rug hooking, weaving, carving, leather work and toy making) with the help of qualified volunteers (called "workers without pay" or "wops"). Grenfell personally encouraged the establishment of cooperatives, the first of which was founded in Red Bay in 1896. Other experiments included agricultural programs, the introduction of domesticated reindeer, and the promotion of tourism.
Associations were established in Newfoundland, Canada, the United States and Great Britain to support Grenfell's work, which, by 1914, had become a diverse philanthropic movement. This movement was created mainly by the energetic and charismatic Grenfell who divided his time between active missionary work and lecture tours to raise funds for his activities, particularly in the United States and Canada.
Initially, the IGA represented the Grenfell Association of Newfoundland (est. 1899, St. John's); the Grenfell Association of New England (est. 1904, Boston); the Grenfell Association of America (est. 1907, New York); and the Grenfell Labrador Medical Association (est. 1909, Ottawa). The IGA later included representatives from the Grenfell Association of Great Britain and Ireland (est. 1927, London) and the Grenfell Labrador Industries (incorporated 1934-5).
The IGA hired staff, recruited volunteers and allocated funds for mission projects and operations. It relied on the other support bodies and Grenfell's own fund-raising efforts (lectures and publications) for most of its finances. When Grenfell resigned from active direction (1936), retaining only the honorary title Superintendent, the IGA restructured. By then the IGA owned two hospital ships, six hospitals, seven nursing clinics and four boarding schools, and operated the King George V Seamen's Institute in St. John's. At St. Anthony, the headquarters of the medical mission since 1899, the IGA established farms, greenhouses, ship repair facilities and a machine shop as well as a hospital, an orphanage and a boarding school. The IGA also sustained industrial arts industries in many communities. The association had a permanent staff of over 50 paid employees, but much of the mission work was done by volunteers from Canada, the United States, Britain and Newfoundland.
Following the completion of a consultant's report (Tamblyn Brown, 1938) on its operations, the IGA was reorganized. Further changes were implemented after the death of Grenfell (1940), in response to health care developments during World War II and in Newfoundland both before and following confederation with Canada (1949). Most importantly, other agencies, especially government, became increasingly involved in providing medical and social services in the regions formerly served only by the Association. In 1978, the business offices of the IGA were moved from Ottawa to St. Anthony.
The IGA continued to be the main agency responsible for health care in northern Newfoundland and Labrador and to operate the other projects initiated by Grenfell until 1981. That year, the Grenfell Regional Health Services Board was created which effectively transferred the provision of medical services and its facilities from the IGA to a provincial authority under the Department of Health. The IGA ceased to be a governing body.
The IGA, now based in St. John's, has become a charitable foundation in support of various medical, educational and community projects in northern Newfoundland and Labrador. Its funding sources include endowment funds from the regional Grenfell associations in New York, Boston and London. The Board of Directors include representatives from the regional associations, as well as two nominees from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Records were collected from Jane (Hamel) Lethbridge, Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, National Archives of Canada, Cartwright Nursing Station and Mary’s Harbour Nursing Station.
Scope and content
Collection consists of articles from AMONG THE DEEP SEA FISHERS entitled: "The Forgotten Years 1912-1945" by W.A. Paddon (1981); "64-64-64, The Valley Calling" by Susan Felsburg (1981); "On Cartwright" by C. Hogarth Forsyth (date unknown); "Indian Harbour Items" Norman B. Stewart and "Dr. Grenfell's Log" (1911); "Items from the New England Association" (1913); "Summer Hospital at Indian Harbour" by Austin B. Reeve (1913); "Indian Harbour" by Dr. Harry L. Paddon (1914); "Indian Harbour Hospital" and "Indian Harbour Hospital, Labrador" by Dr. Harry L. Paddon (1915); "Spotted Islands, Labrador" by Mrs. Manning C. Fields (1915); "A Summer at Indian Harbour Hospital" by Harold Thomas (1916); "Vale, Indian Harbour" by Harry L. Paddon (1929); "Twenty-six Years Ago" by Frederick W. Willway (1920); "Dr. Grenfell's Log" (1920); IGA in Labrador (1910); "Items from the New England Association" (1911); Indian Harbour during the war (World War One) (1914); Editorial Notes (1914); A bit about Battle Harbour (1915); "Crossing the Run" by Dorothy Jupp (date unknown); "Extracts from Dr. Grenfell's Letters to 'The Toilers'" (1903); "A Newcomer Along the Coast" by Kate Hester Parks (1923); "A Return Visit to the Coast" by Betty Seabrook (1954); article entitled "Reading for Pleasure" by Edith Sloan Griscom (part 1) and Nora Dunning (part 2) (date unknown); article entitled "To November, 1976" re: the Indian Alcohol Program in North West River; articles from AMONG THE DEEP SEA FISHERS entitled: "The Mission's Most Northerly Outposts" by Harry L. Paddon (1926); "A Peep into Battle Harbour Hospital" by Sister Bailey (1907); "A Day in Battle Harbour Hospital" by Nellie Gilgour (1909); "Items from Battle Harbour" by S.M. Carr Harris (1909); "Battle Harbour Jottings" (1910); "Winter Nursing Station for Battle Harbour Hospital, Lewis Bay, Labrador" by Alberta Morbio (1925); "Battle Harbour Hospital-Summer of 1925" by Joseph K. Surls (1926); "A Dentist's Experience in Labrador" by Abraham M. Zimmerman (1926); "Dr. Grenfell's Log" (1926); "The Summer at Battle Harbour" by Harry T. Mount (date unknown); Notes on IGA (1933); article entitled "Grenfell Mission Hospital Ships" by Dr. Harry L. Paddon (1965); articles from AMONG THE DEEP SEA FISHERS entitled "Spotted Islands" (1922); "Cary Cove", a poem (date unknown); "Dentistry at Spottted Islands" by Donald Huchingson (date unknown); "The School at Spotted Islands" by Lement B.P. Cobb; "Staff and Volunteer Workers Season-1922; "Christmas at St. Anthony Orphanage" by Harriot P. Houghteling (1921); "Christmas at Cartwright Boarding School" by Clara Gordon (1921); article from CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION JOURNAL entitled "Grenfell's Legacy to Labrador and Newfoundland" (date unknown); excerpts from NORTHERN NURSE by Elliott Merrick (1944); article from BY GREAT WATERS entitled "Adrift on an Icepan" by Wilfred Grenfell (1908); copies of THE LOCKWOOD MAGAZINE Vol. 3.1 (1938), Vol. 5.1 and Vol 5.1 typed copy (1943); Lockwood School Log photocopies of hand-written originals and retyped copies (1935-1936) and (1937-1938); Lockwood School lessons for grade two (circa 1940), Lockwood School student's work (circa 1940), Lockwood School lessons for grade two (1940), photocopies of hand-written originals and typed copies; Lockwood School holiday programs (1931-1934); correspondence regarding an outbreak of typhoid fever in Batteau, Labrador in 1917 (1917-1918); Guest Book from the Cartwright Hospital (1931-1983); Mary's Harbour Nursing Station Guest Book (1904-1987); correspondence regarding the names and locations of branches of the Grenfell Association and bequest from Jane L. Alcorn; memorandums, letters, certificates, and accounts re: IGA Timber Royalties (1935-1946); correspondence regarding the rate of pay for labourers and the use of Rangers as Relief Officers (1936-1937); correspondence between the Newfoundland Rangers, Department of Natural Resources, and IGA re: fire break at North West River (1935-1936); correspondence re: IGA permits for voluntary workers; correspondence of Minister of Agriculture and Mines Development of the Colonial Secretary of Newfoundland re: IGA application for land at North West River for hospital site (1915); "First Annual Report of the International Grenfell Association" (1914); Report of the Commissioner re: the Grenfell Inquiry by Robert T. Squarey (1917); petition by William Duff and Sons Ltd. re: IGA stores (1917); various correspondence and statements re: IGA petition and Grenfell Inquiry (1917); IGA application for the right to cut timber at St. Lewis Inlet (1918-1919); IGA machine shop expenses and revenue (1916); memorandum and articles of association of the International Grenfell Association (1913); licence and certificate of incorporation (1914); copy of report by R.T. Squary re: IGA enquiry (1917); Evidence taken on the Grenfell Inquiry by Robert T. Squarey (1917); Examinations and cross-examinations re: Grenfell Inquiry (1917); Evidence taken on the Grenfell Inquiry, Forteau, Flower's Cove, Quirpon, La Soie, Coachman's Cove, Seldom Come By, Greenspond, St. John's (1917) IGA petition for assistance from Battle Harbour to Prime Minister and Member of Parliament (1950); correspondence of SPEAR, MIDDLETON, DONALDSON & HALL PATENT and TRADE MARK CAUSES re: IGA trademark (1923); copy of the IGA 1932 Act granting certain lands at Mary's Harbour to the IGA (1932).
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THEM DAYS publications; photograph collection; LIBRARY
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- Great Depression
- boarding school
- Grenfell Mission
- Great Gale of 1885
- New England Grenfell Association
- SS Strathcona
- Hudson's Bay Company
- Northern Lights
- Aurora Borealis
- The Harmony
- Roman Catholic Church
- Moravian Mission
- MacMillan Expedition
- The Maraval
- legal dispute
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