Today is National Heritage Day and Canadians are invited to celebrate Heritage by learning about our country’s immense historical, cultural and natural heritage. Newfoundlanders & Labradorians have deep roots and are strongly connected to our many aspects of heritage.
I took the opportunity today to explore one of our cultural icons off the Great Northern Peninsula – Sir Doctor Wilfred Thomason Grenfell. I began by reading a couple of new chapter’s of Ronald Rompkey’s “A Biography Grenfell of Labrador“. This work of Canadian History had received such comments from The Globe and Mail:
Ronald Rompkey shows that Grenfell went beyond being a doctor or a missionary to become a cultural politician who intervened in a colonial culture. Grenfell of Labrador provides a vivid picture of the man and the social movements through which he worked.
There is an abundance of social history here and all of it is worth knowing – The Globe and Mail
I still have many pages of this work to read, and look forward to hearing about how Grenfell set-up his missionary work focusing on health care. He believed that advancing employment and education was a means to promote healthy lifestyles, so his mission developed schools, an orphanage, cooperatives (fishery, retail, forestry, craft), industrial work projects (agriculture), and aspects of social work. His mission, the International Grenfell Association gained international status in 1914. It will be celebrating its 100 year in 2014.
The legacy continues, even today as the Grenfell Historical Society continues to operate a museum, archives and interpretation centre that has thousands of visitors throughout the year. There are regular craft nights and a focus to retain the Grenfell Handicrafts and use the famous “Grenfell cloth” in its clothing.
I dropped by the Heritage Gift Shop and purchased the coaster below. If you would like to make a purchase on-line visit: http://www.grenfell-properties.com/STORE/
I encourage you to take some time today to reflect on an aspect of heritage. We can learn much from where we have come, as we plan for the future.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
- Giving the Gift of something Handmade cannot be Beat (liveruralnl.com)