A newsy snap­shot of the past

The Compass - - OPINION -

Ac­cord­ing to its mast­head, “The Bay Roberts Guardian” cel­e­brated 31 years in the ser­vice of the town and its peo­ple in 1940. Edited by Charles R. and Arthur S. Rus­sell, the news­pa­per was is­sued ev­ery Satur­day from its of­fice on Wa­ter Street. The an­nual sub­scrip­tion in New­found­land was $1, while Cana­di­ans, Amer­i­cans and Bri­tish paid $ 1.50. “Dur­ing the 1940s,” Der­mod C. Mad­den ex­plains, “the pa­per con­tin­ued to re­port lo­cal and for­eign news and, in ad­di­tion, adopted an ed­i­to­rial pol­icy which was pro-Con­fed­er­a­tion.”

The Aug. 17, 1940 edi­tion, which Ross Boone of South River al­lowed me to read, is a newsy snap­shot of a mo­ment in time.

Of first in­ter­est to me are the ad­ver­tise­ments. Dawe’s Nail & Hard­ware, which was lo­cated in both St. John’s and Bay Roberts, promised “Qual­ity, Ser­vice and Sat­is­fac­tion.” Roland Baggs op­er­ated a lo­cal- and long-dis­tance taxi, promis­ing “Any­where - At Any Time. Prompt At­ten­tion Given All Calls.” Az Nor­man, a self-styled “Care­ful Driver,” also op­er­ated a taxi. Lit­tle­john’s pro­vided a coach ser­vice. R.W. Good­win and W.H. Steven­son of Har­bour Grace rep­re­sented Man­u­fac­tur­ers Life and Mu­tual Life, re­spec­tively.

Lo­cal items min­gle with for­eign news and pub­lic notices. Iris But­ler of Manuels spent a two-week va­ca­tion in Bay Roberts, the guests of the J.R. Cari­vans. Fan­nie Men­chions left that week for Grand Falls. Trav­el­ing sales­man, Clarence Scott, was in town on a busi­ness visit. Mrs. A. Gor­don, who had vis­ited her par­ents, Capt. Abe and Mrs. Par­sons, re­turned home to Canso, NS, by train. Prim Sea­ward of St. John’s spent a hol­i­day with Aubrey and Mrs. Sparkes.

Mrs. Cyril Mercer vis­ited her par­ents, the John Moores, be­fore re­turn­ing home to Syd­ney, NS, by ex­press. Gor­don Bow­er­ing left by train for Grand Falls in search of em­ploy­ment. Jean Wells of St. John’s spent a va­ca­tion with her grand­mother, Mrs. R.J. Wells. Lloyd Moores and Mol­lie Hud­son of Black­head spent a week with friends in Bay Roberts. Gla­dys Mercer re­turned home from Black­head, where she had vis­ited rel­a­tives and friends.

Hay­ward Mercer, son of the Beth Mercers, had ar­rived in town from Nain, af­ter spend­ing five years with the Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany at var­i­ous posts on the Labrador. He would be re­turn­ing north in Oc­to­ber. The Sal­va­tion Army cap­tain, Olive Peach of Kel­li­grews, hol­i­dayed with Com­man­dant and Mrs. R. Bow­er­ing, be­fore as­sum­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Cre­ston corps. Nel­lie Early left for Grand Falls for a hol­i­day with rel­a­tives be­fore pro­ceed­ing to Wes­leyville to re­sume her teach­ing du­ties in the United Church school in Septem­ber. Mrs. Arthur Snow and her son, Clay­ton, had left by ex­press for Water­town, Mass., to visit her ail­ing mother, Cather­ine Snow. Josiah and Mrs. Gosse, Don­ald Gosse and his daugh­ter, along with Bert and Mrs. Dicks of Bell Is­land, vis­ited rel- atives and friends at Salmon Cove, near Car­bon­ear, Spa­niard’s Bay and Bay Roberts.

On Aug. 7, a son was born to Ed­ward A. and Mrs. Snow of Bay Roberts. On Aug. 16, a son was born to the John D. Pierceys, also of Bay Roberts. Th­ese happy oc­ca­sions were ac­com­pa­nied by the sad­der re­al­ity of death. Hazel French con­trib­uted an in me­mo­riam for her aunt, El­iza Win­nifred Baird French, who died on Aug. 14. A “dar­ling son and brother,” Wil­liam Ed­ward Snow, son of the Ed­ward Snows of Co­ley’s Point, “de­parted this life” on Aug. 13.

Birth­day greet­ings were ex­tended to the fol­low­ing in­di­vid­u­als who had re­cently cel­e­brated their birth­days: Rachel Mercer, Iron Bound Is­land, Labrador (Aug. 3); Mal­burn Brad­bury, Coun­try Road (Aug. 10); Clyde E. Brad­bury (Aug. 17); Olive Mercer, Shearstown (Aug. 11); Ed­mund Mercer (Aug. 12); James Eric Rus­sell (Aug. 12); Mil­dred Snow, Co­ley’s Point (Aug. 12); Ru­fus Bow­er­ing (Aug. 15); Gla­dys B. Mercer, Mercer’s Cove ( Aug . 1 5 ) ; Jac k Voke y, Spa­niard’s Bay (Aug. 15); War­ren Brad­bury, then serv­ing in the New- found­land Mili­tia (Aug. 17); and Ed­ward John Brad­bury, Crane’s Brook (Aug. 19).

Don­ald Snow, son of the Charles Snows of Bay Roberts, had vol­un­teered for the Royal Navy.

Both the Clarke’s Beach Sal­va­tion Army and the Bishop’s Cove Church of Eng­land gar­den par­ties were sched­uled for Aug. 21.

The ed­i­tors ex­tolled the ef­forts of Hilda Bar­rette – note the spelling of her last name – who had made an an­nual ap­peal through­out Mas­sachusetts “for cloth­ing, etc., to be dis­trib­uted in North­ern New­found­land and Labrador by the Gren­fell As­so­ci­a­tion.... We are in­deed pleased to hear of New­found­lan­ders abroad who are them­selves and by in­flu­enc­ing oth­ers con­tribut­ing to such wor­thy causes in this coun­try as the Gren­fell Mis­sion and the Twill­ingate Hos­pi­tal.”

I won­der, are any of the above­named in­di­vid­u­als still liv­ing? Bur­ton K. Janes lives in Bay Roberts. His col­umn ap­pears in The Com­pass ev­ery week. He can be reached at


Coun. Char­lene Dawe-Roach

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood

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