Bac­calieu Col­le­giate full of New­found­land pride at Her­itage Fair

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

OLD PERLICAN, NL — Stu­dents at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate in Old Perlican filled their school’s gym with cul­ture.

Last Tues­day, March 20, dozens of young stu­dents show­cased their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to the Her­itage Fair – a yearly event hosted in ev­ery cor­ner of Canada, giv­ing stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore the her­itage and his­tory of home. This year’s Her­itage Fair’s theme was “Lessons from our past, lead­ing our fu­ture.”

Desks lined the walls of the school’s gym, as well as sev­eral in the cen­tre, all topped with in­tri­cate bris­tol board dis­plays fo­cus­ing on a va­ri­ety of topics rang­ing from tra­di­tional New­found­land mu­sic, the seal hunt, women in the early 1900s, and even spe­cific events such as the St. John’s Great Fire of 1892.

David Bar­rett is a so­cial stud­ies teacher at Bac­calieu Col­le­giate. He says the Her­itage Fair serves as a means for stu­dents to get fully im­mersed into the his­tory of their prov­ince, and to gain a much stronger un­der­stand­ing of var­i­ous as­pects of New­found­land cul­ture.

“Some of these stu­dents work at these projects for months. Most of them have an idea in mind by the end of Christ­mas break, so they have plenty of time to work away and do some real re­search about it,” he said. “Bac­calieu Col­le­giate has had the Her­itage Fair here for as long as we’ve been open, and we’ve al­ways come out of it with some re­ally great projects, and to­day is no ex­cep­tion. The stu­dents love it, and it re­ally is a great way for them to learn. Not only that, it keeps the cul­ture alive, and that’s the main thing.”

Stu­dents tak­ing part in the fair take on sev­eral dif­fer­ent av­enues of re­search for their projects. Bar­rett ex­plained that one of the main as­pects of these projects was to in­ter­view peo­ple as­so­ci­ated with the project’s topic, giv­ing the stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to not only get a first-hand per­spec­tive on the topic they spend months learn­ing about, but also to use re­search tools other than the in­ter­net.

Two stu­dents, Alyssa Bar­rett and Kar­lie Squires, have been in­volved in the fair for sev­eral years, hav­ing at­tended the re­gional fair for the past five years. The duo is al­ways on the look­out for project ideas, and this year’s was no ex­cep­tion.

Fol­low­ing a trip to Ren­con­tre East, Bar­rett and Squires de­cided to re­search and in­ves­ti­gate iso­lated com­mu­ni­ties in New­found­land and the sub­ject of re­lo­ca­tion.

“We vis­ited Ren­con­tre last sum­mer, and we just got re­ally in­ter­ested in iso­lated and re­set­tled com­mu­ni­ties here in New­found­land,” said Alyssa.

“When we were there, we saw how every­body there works to­gether, how nice the com­mu­nity is, and how ev­ery­one there is like a big fam­ily,” Squires added. “We did a lit­tle re­search, and when we de­cided to do our project on it, we found out we ac­tu­ally have per­sonal con­nec­tions there – both of us – so that made it even more in­ter­est­ing to us.”

This isn’t the first time this has hap­pened to them, ei­ther. Alyssa went on to ex­plain that al­most ev­ery Her­itage Fair project the two have worked on, they’ve come across some sort of con­nec­tion be­tween them­selves and the topic they were re­search­ing, which con­tin­ued to drive them and keep their in­ter­est in the fair flow­ing.

“We’re al­ways think­ing about the Her­itage Fair. We’ve had this idea since last sum­mer, so it’s re­ally be­come a pretty big part of our lives over the last few years,” Squires said. “It’s fun, and al­ways in­ter­est­ing.”

The re­gional Her­itage Fair is set to take place at Amal­ga­mated Academy in Bay Roberts May 4.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Alyssa Bar­rett (left) and Kar­lie Squires have been in­volved in the Her­itage Fair for sev­eral years.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Stu­dents lined the walls of Bac­calieu Col­le­giate’s gym­na­sium with their Her­itage Fair projects.

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