Iconic engine to high­light fes­ti­val

Her­itage Foun­da­tion seek­ing to pre­serve the sites, sounds of Make and Break

The Compass - - OPINION -

There is a sound that was once ubiq­ui­tous to the wa­ters in New­found­land that has sparked the in­ter­est of the Her­itage Foun­da­tion of New­found­land and Labrador (HFNL).

Putt-putt; putt-putt — the sound of Make and Break en­gines once filled the skies from dawn to dusk as busy fish­er­man worked to sus­tain their fam­i­lies.

This sum­mer, HFNL wants to re­store the in­ter­est that New­found­lan­ders once had in these rhyth­mic en­gines. A se­ries of oral his­tory in­ter­views, to be con­ducted throughout the is­land, will lead up to the 2012 Pro­vin­cial Folk­life Fes­ti­val in Bon­av­ista, which will fo­cus on these iconic marine en­gines.

The fes­ti­val is sched­uled for Aug. 4, as part of the town’s in­au­gu­ral Church Street Fes­ti­val.

Joelle Carey is a pub­lic folk­lore in­tern with HFNL and a grad­u­ate stu­dent in Memo­rial Univer­sity’s Depart­ment of Folk­lore.

“By work­ing on this project we hope to pro­mote the marine his­tory of the prov­ince,” said Carey. “It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to get peo­ple talk­ing about these en­gines that are such an im­por­tant part of life in New­found­land and Labrador.”

The oral his­tory project will take the form of in­ter­views con­ducted by Carey throughout the sum­mer months. These in­ter­views, along with pic­tures of the mo­tors found, will then be added to Memo­rial Univer­sity’s Dig­i­tal Archives Ini­tia­tive. This ar­chive will be ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic on­line.

The Her­itage Foun­da­tion has se­cured the part­ner­ship of Parks Canada through as­so­ci­a­tion with Ryan Premises Na­tional His­toric Site in Bon­av­ista.

“Through the many con­ver­sa­tions I have had in or­ga­niz­ing this event, I am re­peat­edly in­spired by the glazed-eyes that come over peo­ple and the small smiles that ap­pear on their faces as they re­call their par­tic­u­lar fond mem­o­ries of times spent on or near the wa­ter,” said Pat Car­roll of Parks Canada.

“The Ryan Premises Na­tional His­toric Site of Canada is hon­oured to be a part of this event,” added Car­roll, “and to have a role in the cel­e­bra­tion and re­ju­ve­na­tion of one of the re­sound­ing tra­di­tions of New­found­land and Labrador, At­lantic Canada and of the whole of Canada.”

The fes­ti­val will in­clude a Make and Break flotilla and a parts swap.

HFNL would like to hear from any­one with mem­o­ries or an in­ter­est in Make and Break en­gines. If you are in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved by shar­ing your sto­ries, or if you have an engine, please email joelle@her­itage­foun­da­tion.ca or call 1-888-7391892 ext. 5.

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