Seeking ‘likes’ for Cupids
Effort underway to include first English settlement in Canada’s Museum of History
There’s a grassroots effort underway to convince those who operate the Canadian Museum of Civilization —soon to known as the Canadian Museum of History — that the establishment of Canada’s first English settlement in Cupids is worthy of recognition.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum have launched an Internet campaign, asking Canadians what they would like to put in these national museums, including historical events, personalities and milestones.
The website features a “timeline” that includes some notable events throughout history, and those who visit the site can click a “like” button to indicate whether they would support seeing this event exhibited in the museum.
There’s also a feature that allows visitors to “add” an important historical event.
Up to late last week, the establishment of an English settlement by Bristol merchant John Guy in 1610 in what is now modern day Cupids had been “liked” by just under 200 visitors to the site.
The timeline can be found at the following link: http://www.civilization.ca/myhistorymuseum/whatis-the-canadian-story/
There’s also a section called “Who has shaped our country,” which can be found at the following link: http://www.civilization.ca/myhistorymuseum/who-has-shaped-ourcountry/
This link includes a selection of prominent personalities, and again asks visitors to “vote” for the personalities they would feature in the history museum.
One of those added to the list is John Guy, who had received roughly 150 likes by late last week.
Guy is said to have arrived at Cuper’s Cove with a party of 39 men in August 1610. By the following winter, the population had climbed to 62, despite scurvy and pirate attacks.
The colonists fished, farmed, explored for minerals and traded furs with the Beothuk, the now extinct Aboriginal people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
According to literature, Guy’s efficient leadership at Cuper’s Cove established a model that would prove successful at other early Newfoundland settlements.
Today, Cupids is an important archaeological site and popular tourist attraction, and was the site of a major celebration in 2010, marking the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the settlement.
Those who operate the Cupids Legacy Centre are encouraging area residents to support the “My History Museum” project.
“We need some votes of support to give our little-known story some national prominence in the context of other important Canadian stories,” general manager Peter Laracy wrote in an email distributed last recently.
“Please visit the online timeline and vote if you believe, like me, that the founding of the Cupids colony is a story that has a rightful place in Canada’s historical timeline and should definitely be included in our new Canadian Museum of History.”
During a 2009 visit to Cupids, Prime Minister Stephen Harper described the historical events in Cupids as a “seminal moment in Canadian history.”
This photo of the Cupids Legacy Centre was taken from high atop Spectacle Head during the summer of 2012.