The Harbor Grace Standard and Conception Bay Advertiser

 

September 10, 1862

A house belonging to Mr. Benjamin SMITH, at Gossebury Cove, Trinity Bay, took fire on the night of the 6th inst., and was burnt to the ground. A child of Mr. SMITH, we are sorry to relate, perished in the flames, notwithstanding every exertion was made to save it. Great praise is due to Mr. S. SEWARD, for his exertions in saving the rest of the family, who but for his exertions would have perished.

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September 6, 1879

[To the Editor of the Standard]

Dear Sir,-

While as Newfoundlanders we rejoice at the progress that our country in general has made within the last few years, it must be with surprise that one would learn of the backward and primitive condition of a part of our land so near to the Capital and its civilization as the very romantic and interesting district of Random Is. Having recently spent a short time there on a Missionary tour, I was pleased with its beautiful scenery and with the kindness and hospitality of its people. The roads also were better than I expected to have found them; but its comparative isolation and means of communications with the outer world are something that ought not to be. Now, one may die, and for days be buried, in Carbonear or Harbour Grace, and unless a special boat be sent, friends in Random would not know it, though distant only fifteen miles from Heart’s Content. There is no postal communication, even in summer, with or from an outside district, except a fortnightly mail via Trinity, and when letters arrive they may lie about for weeks in Random before they are delivered.

What then is most justly due to that populous and interesting district, and to the Bay in general, (and which would also greatly benefit Bonavista and the parts adjacent), is nothing less than a Steam Packet running regularly between Trinity and Heart’s Content, touching en route at Ireland’s Eye and Heart’s Ease. An increase of way-offices in Random, now so much needed, would then soon follow. And I am sure if those who are so deeply interested would petition and thus strengthen the demands which their influential member would, I have no doubt, be willing to make on their behalf. Random would soon be brought within easy reach, to the great increase both in numbers and in prosperity of its inhabitants.

Yours very truly,
John Godden
Sept. 4
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November 5, 1881

A young Scotchman, who recently arrived in Newfoundland to take charge of the mission at Random South, commenced his ministry on the first Sunday in October in a fisherman’s coat and boots, borrowed for the occasion. On the previous Friday evening, on the passage from St. John’s, the craft in which he sailed struck a rock, only giving him time to spring to the deck and into a small boat, valise in hand, but leaving behind hat, coat and boots, with his whole supply of winter clothing, and the three trucks of books comprising his library. In a manly note to the President of the Newfoundland Conference, asking for book needed at once in view of Conference examinations, he says, “I do not know how I am to pay for them. I set out for this place with all I thought I should require; no I possess scarcely anything.” President Ladner presents the case in another column, asking ministers and friends who may have any spar books in their libraries to aid in making Mr. Lumsden’s loss. Any volumes send him or ordered to be sent him from our Book Room will be carefully forwarded by Rev. S.F. Huestis. A young man who could reach the shore on Sunday morning in such plight, and greet his future parishioners with the challenge, “Lend me a coat and boots, and I’ll preach to you.” is well deserving of help. – Halifax Wesleyan

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September 9, 1882

Random Notes – Some of your readers will probably be interested by a few jottings about the district of Random.

The Fishery – Very few me are at home in the summer: nearly all go to Labrador. At one point in South West Arm, I only found one man, out of 20 belonging to the harbor, at home. Only 20 men or thereabouts are at home in Smith’s Sound: 100 or upwards are on the Labrador. Their catch is from 2 to 6 quintals only. In South West Arm the 15 men fishing at home have 9 to 10 quintals a man.

All the traps are about Fox Harbor, Gooseberry Cove, Butter Cove, and Hearts Ease: 4 traps from South West Arm, and 2 from North West Arm, as well as 2 or 3 belonging to these harbors, have been fishing here this summer. They have only done middling: none. I believe, much, if at all, over 100 quintals.

I was surprised to find so many vessels going to the Labrador from such small harbors. In South West Arm alone, I am told, all 27 craft, of from 35 to 80 tons; besides 6 smaller ones. Northern Bight itself has 7 vessels.

The M?? seem to be mostly owned by the men themselves, and no doubt contribute largely to the general prosperity of the settlers here; for poverty there is none. The people live in comparative comfort, compared with many others – those at the bottom of the Bay – many of whom are half-starving during most of the winter. The mills each earn L109 to L200 a year, and in most cases are worked by the owner and his family; and that, of course, only spring and fall, or perhaps one of these seasons only. In Smith’s Sound there are 10 mills; in South West Arm 9; in North West Arm 15; the latter mostly being in operation all the summer – the men doing nothing scarcely with the fishery.

The Roads are extending – though but slowly I am informed. And no wonder, for the pernicious fashion prevails here, as in some other districts, of allowing the road grant to be looked upon as a pauper grant, or rather as a bonus given by the Government to every man: all expect their share or part; and if they don’t get it the Road Board or Commissioner will hear of it. The men, of course, are not settled home till late; and so often road work does not begin before the snow comes. Fancy a man possessed, say, of a couple of schooners, and perhaps a mill or two even – whose average earnings with boats, mills etc, come to L1000 yearly – looking for his part of the road money just the same as a poor half-starving pauper would. If any man is away when the work is going on, he expects his money to be kept back for him till he comes home. The roads about Smith’s Sound and that from Heart’s Ease to Little Harbour (which is 5 miles long – about the longest in the district) are frightfully hilly – as a woman observed, “they are critical seemly.”

Lad drowned at Northern Bight – A poor boy, Alexander Green, aged 8, was drowned here on Wednesday the 9th August, and his body has not been recovered. He was jigging with an old man in a “cranky” boat; and as they were putting up the sail to go home a squall of wind struck them, and the boat capsized. The man was saved by holding on to the bottom till rescued.

The Quarry – “The Wilton Grove Slate Quarry, Smith’s Sound” does not seem to be employing many men just now – only 5 or 6, I believe. There seems to be some expectation of a larger body getting to work soon. I was informed that the slate is of excellent quality, and in quantity immense. The Welshmen working there are capital singers. Rocky Brook school-room often gets the benefit of their musical talents, at the Church’s services. – Com.

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December 31, 1887

A Melancholy Drowning Accident is reported from Random. The Trinity Record says that on last Friday week two men, named respectively Richard Goobey and William Gregg, left their homes on the above mentioned day to put another man (whose name we have not ascertained) across Southwest Arm, Random. Nothing has since been heard of them, except that the boat has been picked up, so that it is only too certain that the poor fellows have met a watery grave.

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January 14, 1888

The Trinity Record gives a few additional particulars of the sad drowning casualty, resulting in the death of three men which occurred near Southern Bight, Random, on the night of 16th of last month. The melancholy facts are these: it appears that a young man, by the name of Patrick Bess, left Placentia Bay with the intention of spending Christmas with his sister – Mrs. Robert Seward – in Gooseberry Cove, near Heart’s Ease. He arrived at Southern Bight about dark on the above mentioned date, and after partaking of some refreshment, engaged two young men – Richard Goobey and William Grigg – to row him to Northern Bight, a distance of a mile. They started on their journey, and in the morning the punt was picked up filled with water; and also their caps. A piece of plank was started from the timbers of the boat, and it is supposed the man who was sculling burst it all with his foot, and the boat filling with water, the occupants were drowned.

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March 25, 1892

An Entertainment at Heart’s Ease, Trinity Bay – On the evening of the 22nd of February quite an enjoyable time was spent at Heart’s Ease, Trinity Bay. An entertainment was given by the scholars of the Church of England School. Although being the first given by them, the whole performance was remarkably well done. It consisted of dialogues, songs, due’s, etc. Much credit is due to Miss Purchase, their teacher, who must have taken great pains in training the children. Thanks are also due to Miss P. Alcock and Mr. Seward, who kindly came forward and helped to make the evening more pleasant. On the following afternoon a tea was given by two kind ladies.

One who was present, March 22, 1892

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August 19, 1892

An accident which makes the flesh creep happened on Tuesday at the west entrance of the Parade Rink by which door the fire sufferers are served with flour and provisions. A young girl of about thirteen years, named Hannah Drodge, presented herself for admission. When those in front of her passed in she was pressed forward by those behind, and she placed her fingers in the jamb of the open door in the act of entering. At that instant the individual in charge of admitting the people shut the door suddenly, crushing the fingers of the unfortunate girl in the most dreadful manner. She screamed out with pain, and those beside her shouted to the janitor, but the fellow only pushed the door too more closely, till somehow he at last perceived the terrible plight of the poor girl and drew open the door. The hapless victim, almost fainting with pain, released her hand from the place to which the cruel pressure had almost glued it. She was taken by her friends to Dr. Harvey, who promptly dressed the bruised limb. The young girl is an orphan, and a native of Little Heart’s Ease, Trinity Bay. She came on here just before the fire to go into service, and was residing with an aunt, who was burnt out, and the unfortunate girl lost all her clothes. She now resides at Riverhead, and her case has been represented to the Relief Committee, who will no doubt bestow upon her the help and assistance she so badly needs. – Royal Gazette.

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May 5, 1911

Miscellaneous

An Enjoyable Concert at Hodge’s Cove

One of the most enjoyable times ever held here took place on Easter Monday night in the Orange Hall which was freely given for the purpose. The doors were opened at 6:30, and by 7 o’clock the hall was filled to its utmost capacity. At 7:30 the concert opened, when all the performers appeared on the stage and sang the opening chorus. The programme, consisted of dialogues, songs and recitations, as follows:-

The Opening Chorus – Tramp, Tramp, Tramp; Dialogue – A Rose and a Thorn; Recitation – Guess what’s in my pocket; Dialogue – The Runaway match; Song Old Black Joe; Dialogue – Going on a visit; Gramaphone Selection- Flannigan’s Night Off; Dialogues – Gretchen’s Doll; Recitation – When Pa Shaves; Dialogue – Buying Eggs; Exercise – Hold the right hand up; Dialogue – Fanny’s Secret; Recitation, Troubles of the Small Boy; Dialogue – Tom’s Proposal; Gramaphone Selection – I want to go tomorrow; Dialogue – A joker in Disgrace; Song – Comrades; Dialogue – Social Difficulties; Recitation – Just a piece of Grandma’s Pie; Dialogue – Patrick’s Cross Examination; Song – The Unfinished Letter; Dialogue – The Sick Doll; Recitation – When the Minister comes to Tea; Dialogue- Swinging on the Gate; Song – Nellie Rav; Dialogue – Interviewing Servant Girls.

A lecture was then given by Rev. R. Prescott, who acted as Chairman. The Concert was brought to a conclusion by singing the National Anthem. The proceeds amounted to $10.96.

The young folks then wended their way to the schoolroom, where dancing was kept up until daylight bade them go home, some having to travel a distance of seven miles. I must not forget our teacher, Miss Ada B. Higgins, who is worthy of every praise, as she worked most vigorously to make the concert a success. I am sorry to say this most generous young lady left for her home, Harbour Grace, the following Wednesday, and was accompanied to the wharf by many of her friends and scholars who felt very sorry that she was so soon to leave us. It was a very difficult time to get her to the Railway Station amid storms of wind and snow, and it took eleven hours to cover a distance of eight miles. When arriving at the Station, she was in a dripping condition, but was soon made comfortable. Much praise is due to Station Master, M. William Benson, who so kindly took the young lady in and gave her a change of dry clothing, also some refreshments. At 9:30 the next morning Miss Higgins boarded the express for her home. Much sorrow was felt for her leaving us, as her gentle manner won the good affection of one and all. Her stay at her home will be only for a few days, as she is soon to leave for Montreal and make it her future home. We bid her God speed, and may health and prosperity attend her from this day and for aye. – W.H.S.

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Transcribed by Wanda Garrett and Lester Green, September 2014. Updated June 2017

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.