Rosamond (Smith) Peddle

Reprinted with permission from Hodge’s Cove by Eric C. Stringer, 2011

Rosamond Peddle

Many of the older residents of Hodge’s Cove will remember my maternal grandmother, Rosamund J. Peddle – “Aunt Rosamund” to most people. Those who do, have their own special memories of her.

As one of her nineteen grandchildren (thirteen grandsons, six grand-daughters), I too have special memories of her.

Grandma lived with our family during the winter months while her youngest son, Uncle Max, was overseas during World War II. A short while after he returned home, she came to live with us permanently and remained with us until her death in 1960.

During these years I learned much about her life.

In her early years Grandma was a teacher and to get a teaching certificate she was required to attend teacher training school in St. John’s. Getting there meant a journey across Trinity Bay by boat, then a walk across the Heart’s Content barrens to Carbonear and from there to St. John’s.

I asked her to tell me about the journey … was she apprehensive about it. She told me that on her walk she encountered a huge bull on the road, that wasn’t too bad in her estimation. However, as she entered a community and came upon two women, into a fight, hair pulling and all, that gave her some concern.

She made it to St. John’s, completed her training and came out with her Teaching Certificate, dated May 31, 1886. She was quite proud of that and thankful that she could do her community a service.

Can you imagine what educational services were available here in Hodge’s Cove in 1886! Small wonder that her community ‘put her on a pedestal’.

One of my favourite stories, and she told it to me many times, certainly illustrates the educational facilities here in Hodge’s Cove in the late 1800’s.

Her classroom was a store loft belonging to her father. It had a peaked roof, which was covered with black felt, held down with rows of nails. These nails, in neat rows, running the length of the loft, were open to view.

The education system of the day provided for visits from the clergy and a representative from the Department of Education who at that time was Dr. William Pilot, who was also one of the signatories to her teaching certificate. As a teacher, and a young teacher at that, she stood in awe of Dr. Pilot.

Imagine how she felt when, during one of his visits, in stooping to speak to a child, Dr. Pilot’s bald head made contact with a number of nails in one row.

She watched as he moved away, stood erect, sucked in his breath, ran his fingers along his head and carried stoically on.

An afterthought … Did my grandmother have any impact on my decision to become a teacher? I really don’t know, but I did have thirty-three very rewarding years as a teacher.


Submitted by Florence Green to Hodge’s Cove by Eric Stringer

*housewife, gardener, telegraph operator, nurse, and all-‘round go-to person