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Lectures

All regular Lectures are at the Marine Institute at Ridge Road.

Hampton Hall is through the main front door at the Marine Institute and to the left. All lectures start at 7:30 pm. Free parking is available in front and to the west of the building.

Lectures are held on the last Thursday of the months of September, October, November, January, February, March and April. Please contact the office for symposia venues.

Please check the NEXT SYMPOSIUM page on this site for symposia information.

 

2018

 

Lectures are now at 7:30 pm

Jan 25

"Behind Barb Wire - Newfoundland POW's in the Great War"

An estimated 8 million men became prisoners during the Great War. Our presentation explores the international legal status of POWs under The Hague Conventions while focusing on the experiences of the 170 Newfoundland POWs, revealed through first-person narratives, family letters, photographs and post-war claims for pensions and reparations. Themes include “reprisal camps“; the diverse experiences of the officers and other ranks (ORs); cultural and linguistic isolation; near-starvation, inadequate medical care, and harsh labour conditions. POWs frequently suffered life-long physical disabilities and emotional trauma (“barbed wire disease“). By incorporating statistical analysis, mapping, and archival sources, hopefully this collaborative work and subsequent discussion will provide new insights into the Great War.

 

Jessie Chisholm Dan Duda
Feb 22 THE JOURNALS OF GEORGE SIMMS, J.P., AND THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE LABRADOR COURT, ITS ORIGINS, OPERATIONS, AND DEMISE


The Labrador Court of Civil Jurisdiction was a short-lived experiment in long-distance justice delivery. Each summer, from 1826 to 1833, the Court departed from St. John’s for the Labrador in an ice-reinforced vessel that cruised the Coast for two or three months, stopping at numerous coves and harbours from Blanc Sablon in the South to Rigolet in Esquimaux Bay (now Hamilton Inlet), and occasionally West to Kinnemish in Carter Basin and North West River. The Court’s activity in Esquimaux Bay played a significant role in the decision of the Privy Council in 1927, which set the boundary between Labrador and Canada. The Court’s Clerk, George Simms, a Justice of the Peace and merchant from Trepassey, kept a journal of these voyages, of which four, from 1830 to 1833, are known to have survived. This lecture is based on The Journals of George Simms, J.P., and the Records of the Labrador Court, 1826-1833, 2 vols., edited by Augustus G. Lilly and Christopher P. Curran, St. John’s: The Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2017, which contains Simms’s Journals, the complete Court Records, and a selection of archival documents, all of which add to our knowledge of legal, commercial, and indigenous activity in Labrador. These materials, most of them published for the first time, are supplemented by an Introduction which traces the history of the delivery of justice on the Labrador Coast from 1809 to 1863. There are identifications for some 225 persons and places mentioned in the publication, extended biographical sketches of the Court’s Judge, Captain William Paterson, and Simms, and contemporary illustrations, showing people and places on the Coast and the politicians, administrators, and lawyers who were instrumental in setting up the Court.

video of lecture THE JOURNALS OF GEORGE SIMMS, J.P. Part 1
video of lecture THE JOURNALS OF GEORGE SIMMS, J.P. Part 2

Augustus G. Lilly, Q.C.
Mar 29 "Wordsworth's Nephew in Labrador 1853-1867"


In 1853 George Hutchinson left England to become an Anglican minister at Battle Harbour, Labrador. He was stationed there for 14 years, and came to love the place and people so much, it took his St. John's fiancée, Selina Hayward, four years to convince him to leave "his people."

In England, Hutchinson had come to expect certain privileges as the nephew of William Wordsworth, one of the country's most famous poets. Coastal Labradorians would not have been impressed, however, since most of them were illiterate. He had to earn their respect the hard way.

We have the Wordsworths to thank, however, for documenting so much of Hutchinson's early life. Marie Wadden has been able to piece together remarkable detail about his childhood, and education, from the diaries, letters, and poems of his aunts Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary and Sara Hutchinson. More valuable still are the 5 volumes of letters preserved at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere that George Hutchinson wrote home from Battle Harbour. Marie has recently finished typing up all 100,000 words of those letters, and will tell us what she's learned about Hutchinson, and his times.
Marie Wadden
Apr 26

GEORGE STORY LECTURE AND AGM

“Ballycater and Other Frozen Water - Present Past in Current Folklore.”



The folklore of ice (and other near-frozen water) in Newfoundland and Labrador has been, and continues to be, an important part of contemporary images of the province. Likewise, ice folklore provides important identity markers for many residents. It is part of a constellation of seemingly "old stuff" and of a pool of cultural resources for creativity, identification and commerce. Words like ballycatter, copying, lolly, sish and silver thaw provide not just practical nuance to activity and survival in this climate, but also aesthetic pleasure and esoteric support within contemporary local culture. Philip Hiscock discuss these and other words, and the related phenomena in our annual George Story Lecture.
Dr. Philip Hiscock
Sep 27 “Home Stretch, Home Rule!”: Diaspora, Comparison, and Responses to the Irish Question in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine, 1880-1914"


Drawing upon research from his recently-published book, A Land of Dreams: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Maine, 1880-1923, Dr. Mannion’s talk will focus on local responses to the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Irish Home Rule movement in Portland, Halifax, and, especially, St. John’s. By investigating Irish nationalism in the diaspora comparatively, we can gain clearer insight into the strength, depth, and variety of Irish identities overseas. The lecture will examine the Newfoundland Irish from a transnational perspective, highlighting the complex combination of local, regional, national, and international factors that affected understandings of “being Irish” here and in two other communities on the prow of northeastern North America. It will focus particularly on the complex relationship between “Irish,” “Catholic,” and “imperial” identities; on the incorporation of the Irish Question into local political debates; and on assessing Newfoundland’s unique place within the global Irish diaspora.
Dr. Patrick Mannion