More than fish
Green’s Harbour heritage group raising money to pay for Orange Lodge
While we often focus attention on the fishery, a member of the Green’s Harbour Heritage Society likes to remind us not all Newfoundlanders fished for a living. There was a lot more to our heritage than fishing, and they are trying to keep it alive.
The Green’s Harbour Heritage Society has been in existence for less than a year. However, its president Nancy Brace says she and other members of the society have a wish list of projects they’d like to accomplish.
Their number one priority is paying for the purchase of the Green’s Harbour Orange Lodge.
The society bought the building, built in the 1890s, for $17,500.
A member of the community donated $5,000 toward the cost while another community member put up a loan to cover the remaining amount.
Fundraising efforts continue to repay the $12,500 balance Brace says.
While a recent dinner and dance in St. John’s in aid of the project had to be cancelled when enough tickets weren’t sold, Brace says, local business owners and other members of the community have been very supportive of the society’s efforts.
“Greg Crocker owns CJ’s Restaurant. He donated the labour and the chicken for our takeout dinner, and for a small operation, that was huge,” she says.
As well, she says, Todd Warren and Dale Cameron, owner/operators of Inn by the Bay, George House B and B and the Dildo Trading Post are ready to offer whatever assistance they can.
“ They contacted me right out of the blue about helping us with our fundraising. They’ve given us a print to put on tickets and they’ve given us a room at the B and B. They’ve got one of our coin cans at the Dildo Trading Post plus they’re giving us a percentage of their rooms for May, June and July.”
The offer is not only a generous one but it’s also one that shows their interest in Newfoundland historic buildings,” Brace says.
Wayne George has given a painting, which is currently up on tickets.
Many local businesses have agreed to place coin cans in their establishments.
“ Several other people who have historic connections to the community or the Orange Lodge have offered artefacts and cash to help get things rolling,” Brace says.
Fundraising efforts planned for the future include Golf Tournaments in Whiteway and St. John’s and a good old Newfoundland concert in Green’s Harbour.
Once the lodge is paid for and restored, Brace says it will be much more than a museum.
The society has tossed around numerous suggestions about what the lodge can be used for.
The building has a memorial to World War I veterans. Building upon that project is one of the ideas that the committee working to restore the lodge has talked about.
The space could be used to tell a broader story about life in Green’s Harbour and information about residents who fought in any war as well as those who stayed home to keep things together. That would be in addition to the information about the Orange Lodge, Brace says.
“ We very often only focus on the fishery... but not everyone was a fisherman. There were people who went to war; there were people who made caskets; there were people who made shingles; there were people who farmed; there were people who were involved in Orange Lodges.”
Brace reiterates the museum idea is just that, at this point in time.
While paying for the lodge may be the society’s most challenging, lengthiest and costly project, other initiatives that will see immediate results are moving full steam ahead.
Thanks to a grant, a student will spend the summer cleaning out the community’s old United Cemetery.
Tree trunks that need to be uprooted have already been sprayed with green paint and a handful of men have volunteered to do the cutting.
Whatever projects the society undertakes, will be a community effort, Brace says.
“Our goal is to work with the various church and community groups, as well as the Local Service District to improve the entire community, so that ours is an historic mandate with an eye to the future.”
TEXAS MICKY - Samantha Whiteway and Clark March draw for a Texas Mickey in May. Crystal Reid of Dildo won the bottle of Lambs Palm Breeze rum. The draw was among the many fundraisers undertaken to help pay for the historic Orange Lodge (Heart and Hand LOL No. 9) seen in background.