Alice Lizzie (Smith) Critch

Compiled by her grand-daughter, Melvina Eddy

Alice (Smith) Critch was born in Round Harbour, Trinity Bay in 1900, daughter of Joe and Martha (Spurrell) Smith. The family later moved to Gooseberry Cove. Alice had one sister and five brothers.

Alice married George Critch of Cavandish and they settled in Hillview where they raised two daughters, Flora and Janet, and five sons, Jim, Cecil, Ben, Luke, and Roy.

She was called on when people couldn’t get to a doctor. Alice also used many charms – blood charm, put away warts, and her most used one, for toothaches, as many a young person in the place can attest to. She wrote the charm on a piece of paper, which she then rolled up around a piece of string so it could be worn as a necklace. But first she scratched up the writing so it couldn’t be read. Another one used quite often was the blood charm which she passed along to her children and grandchildren. I have heard a lot of stories where people would have bled to death only for her. My dad, Jim Critch, used the charms as well.

Alice also acted as a midwife a number of times. 

I have to end by saying she was the sweetest grandmother that anyone could ever have and growing up I always said that if I had a mother-in-law like her I would always live with her.

In my words I think my grandmother was a healer.

Special thanks to Alice’s grand daughter, Melvina (Critch) Eddy, for this information.