Dream about your Valentine

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

FEBRUARY 13

“BAY LEAVES UNDER YOUR PILLOW”

Bay Leaf Heart

Bay Leaf Heart

Many traditions have evolved around St. Valentine’s Day.  One that is particular to the Eve of St. Valentine involves the bay leaf.

Bay leaves have been used to help determine ones future mate.

The practice has been to place a few bay leaves inside of a small cotton bag, preferably red in color. Place this herb bag under your pillow on Valentine’s Day Eve.

Part of the tradition requires that a love charm be recited prior to going to bed for the evening:

“Good Valentine, be kind to me, in dreams let me my true love see.”

Performing this love spell is supposed to cause you to dream about the person that you will eventually marry.

The bay leaf was held in such high esteem that victors of battle, sport and study were crowned with garlands of laurel, as a symbol of their success. This is where the term “baccalaureate” originates from and it is now referred to when students have successfully completed their schooling years. The word “baccalaureate,” alludes to the bay wreathes worn by poets and scholars when they received academic honors in ancient Greece.

Just check the spice rack to see if you have any bay leaves in the house.

Sleep well.

 “Good Valentine, be kind to me, in dreams let me – my true love see.” 

Ashes, fasting and movies.

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

Ash Wednesday (February 10) is the beginning of Lent.

What are these ashes all about?

ash-wednesdayA colleague looked at another colleague today and wondered why she had dirt (ashes) on her forehead. Today  (February 10) in the tradition of most Christian churches (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and others) it is Ash Wednesday, originally called dies cinerum or day of ashes.

Ash Wednesday is the name given to the first day of the season of Lent, in the typical Ash Wednesday observance, Christians are invited to the altar to receive the ashes. The Pastor applies ashes in the shape of the cross on the forehead of each, while speaking the words, “For dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

For over twelve hundred years on the dies cinerum (day of ashes) faithful followers have approached the altar and received ashes upon their foreheads. These ashes are made from the burnt palm branches that were blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year.

Abstaimning , fasting and generally changing one’s lifestle during Lent was  taken very seriously.  People would often give up there favourite food, would refuse to play cards and or attend dances and other social functions.

Imagine, no movie fro 40 days!!

No movies during Lent

No movies during Lent

During Lent of 1909, Michael Francis Howley, the Catholic Archbishop of Newfoundland was very concerned about a relatively new form of entertainment that had become quite popular. His concern about this “new entertainment” stirred him to release a Pastoral  Letter to be read in all churches. The Pastoral Letter outlined the rules and regulations of Lent for that year.  The letter was very direct and forbade Catholics:

“to attend any worldly amusements; such as balls, dances, even in private houses, parties, theatrical or other entertainments, such as these new forms of moving pictures, or shows of any kind held in Public Halls by whatsoever name they may be called.”

The first moving picture in the province a showcase of moving images of famous persons was shown on February 19, 1901 at the British Hall (later known as the Paramount Theatre).

The idea of abstinence and fasting  is not exclusive to the Christian world.

Buddhism, the Buddha Himself encouraged monks and nuns to limit their food intake after the noon meal, and therefore it is common practice among Buddhist monks and nuns to refrain from eating after noon until the next morning on a daily basis.

Jews fast for six days which are spread out at various times in the Jewish calendar year; this means abstinence from food and liquids for both men and women – unless certain exemptions are necessary such as illness or pregnancy. The most important and holiest day of the Jewish year is Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), and on this day Jews will fast and pray for a period of 25 hours.

Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset for 30 days during the month of Ramadan, (which is the month the Prophet Muhammad revealed the Quran), followers are to abstain from food, liquid and smoking. Fasting is considered the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam (These pillars are: i. Creed; ii. Daily prayer; iii. Almsgiving; iv. Fasting; v. Pilgrimage), and it is obligatory for both men and women.

 

Firing guns at weddings

Archival Moment

February 10, 1882

Photo Credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives VA 104-22.1; Royal salute or feu de joie for a wedding party at Harrington Harbour. International Grenfell Association photograph collection. Note the men with the guns in the background.

Photo Credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives VA 104-22.1; Royal salute or feu de joie for a wedding party at Harrington Harbour. International Grenfell Association photograph collection. Note the men with the guns in the background.

There is a long established tradition in Newfoundland that encourages the “discharging of fire arms” for the purpose of creating a noise especially to celebrate a marriage. As the bride and groom leave the church the men of the town stand about discharging their guns in celebration.

On February 10, 1882 the Editor of the local paper the Twillingate Sun, Jabez P. THOMPSON, spoke out against the custom suggesting that rather than discharging their guns, pistols and firearms that they would be better served to buy present for the newly married. He wrote:

“It has been suggested that if persons are anxious to manifest esteem for their newly married friends, could it not be done in a more tangible way by presenting them with a valuable present, which the cost of the powder so used would be likely to procure. We would recommend such a plan.”

Francis BERTEAU, Stipendiary Magistrate in Twillingate was another who was not fan of discharging guns at weddings. The Magistrates objection was prompted by the fact that a case was before him in his court, a short time before, the cause of the complaint being that the plaintiff’s horse had taken fright by the firing of guns while passing the public streets.

The Editor argued:

“Magistrate BERTEAU has given caution against the unnecessary discharging of fire arms, as prevention to any serious accident that might accrue by a persistency in such a dangerous practice.”

The government of the day was also keen to stop the practice, in January 1882 a new law was passed that read:

“Any person firing any Gun, Pistol or other Fire-arms in any City, Town, or Settlement in this Island for the purpose of creating a noise or disturbance, or without some necessity or reasonable excuse for so doing, shall for every such offence pay a penalty not exceeding Twenty Dollars.”

The new law was to fall on deaf ears; the tradition of firing guns at weddings continued and remains a tradition in many communities throughout the province. Those who fired the guns always found “some necessity or reasonable excuse.”

The tradition of ‘firing the guns’ at a wedding continues in communities long the Cape Shore. Do you know of other communities?

The ‘firing of the guns’ is not to be confused with a ‘gunshot wedding’!

Recommended Archival Collection: Planning on doing some family research. The Rooms Provincial Archives is home to the largest collection of Parish Marriage Registers in the province.

Recommended Reading: Getting Married in Newfoundland and Labrador: http://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/birth/getting_married/

 

 

Shrove Tuesday—Pancake Day

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

February 9, 2016

Pancake ChefMardi Gras literally means “Fat Tuesday. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from “to shrive,” or hear confessions) or Pancake Tuesday. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins. This year Ash Wednesday is on February 10.

GIVE HIM “SHORT SHRIFT”

On Shrove Tuesday,  (February 9) Christians were encouraged to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.

The term survives today in ordinary usage in the expression “short shrift”. To give someone short shrift is to pay very little attention to his excuses or problems. The longer expression is, “to give him short shrift and a long rope,” which formerly meant to hang a criminal with a minimum of delay.

What is in that pancake

Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.

Pancakes were a simple way to use these foods, and one that could entertain the family. Objects with symbolic value are cooked in the pancakes, and those who eat them, especially children, take part discovering what their future will be as part of the meal.

The person who receives each item interprets the gift according to the tradition:

  • a penny—to symbolize poverty
  • a nickel—to symbolize wealth
  • a string—to symbolize a fisherman (if a boy got the string, he would be a fisherman, if a girl did, she would marry one)
  • a holy medal—the house blessed with a priest or a nun.
  • a hair clip—hairdresser or barber
  • a button — to symbolize that you would never marry – a bachelor or an old maid
  • a pencil stub – a career in teaching: imagine a lead pencil in your food!)
  • a thimble—to symbolize that you would be a seamstress (a girl) or a tailor (a boy)
  • a wedding ring—to symbolize that you would marry soon

Where is that nickel?

 

 

Hockey trophies and war

Archival Moment

The Herder Cup

February 2016

Ralph Herder loved hockey, he was seriously wounded July 1, 1916.

Hubert Herder loved hockey, he died at Beaumont Hamel, July 1, 1916. (Click to enlarge)

The Herder Memorial Trophy is emblematic of Newfoundland and Labrador hockey supremacy. The trophy, more commonly known as ‘the Herder” is awarded to the provinces best ice hockey team.

Among members of the Herder family that it honors are seven Herder men that loved hockey, three that fought in the First World War.

Arthur Herder, a lawyer, was a  lieutenant in the First World War, he died of his wounds in 1917.   Hubert was a lieutenant when he was killed at Beaumont Hamel July 1, 1916.   Ralph, also a lieutenant, was seriously wounded July 1, 1916. He survived the war. He became Publisher of The Evening Telegram on the deaths of his brothers in 1934, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Herder Memorial Trophy in 1935 in memory of his brothers who predeceased him.

Arthur Herder signed up for military service in Saskatchewan where he was practicing law, but later joined the Newfoundland Regiment before Beaumont-Hamel. Arthur’s two brothers — Hubert and Ralph — both signed up in St. John’s and went to Gallipoli before France but the three brothers were together at Beaumont-Hamel on July 1.

The sister , Elsie Herder , of the three lads — also joined the war effort. After news reached St. John’s of the two boys being wounded, she joined a group of nursing volunteers who went over to help.

There’s also a cousin, Wallace Herder, of St. John’s who was killed in action in 1917.

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On January 14, 2016, the St. John’s IceCaps , at The Rooms , unveiled a Royal Newfoundland Regiment tribute jersey to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel.

The logo on the tribute jersey features a black silhouette of a First World War Royal Newfoundland Regimental solider encircled by the words: Royal Newfoundland Regiment 1916-2016.

The IceCaps will wear the jerseys (TONIGHT) Friday and Saturday, February 5th and 6th versus the Utica Comets. Many in the seats at Mile One will be remembering their ancestors who loved the game.

Tickets can be purchased at the Mile One Centre box office or online at http://www.mileonecentre.com

LEST WE FORGET

Recommended Archival Collection: The Rooms Provincial Archives – Sports Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador has a substantial collection of photographs detailing the history of League Hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador.

What happened to the ‘hockey’ Rover?

Archival Moment

January 1917

20uzhx4Hockey has evolved over the years and one of the more profound changes that came about during the First World War was the introduction of six aside hockey.

Previous to the war years, Newfoundland teams put seven players on the ice. The additional player was known as the “ROVER’. The rover did not have a set position per se, but rather “roamed” about the ice.

There were two other positions that fans would have known, the “POINT” and “COVER POINT”, eventually they became today’s Defense.

In the winter of 1917 a contingent of the Newfoundland Regiment departed Newfoundland by boat   destined for Halifax where they were to join a flotilla destined for England. On route to Halifax it was discovered that all of the men had contracted mumps and or measles.   So as not to infect the rest of the troops the Regiment was sent from Halifax to Windsor, Nova Scotia where they were to recuperate.

Among those aboard ship were some of the best hockey player’s that the Dominion of Newfoundland   had ever produced. Known as the Windsor Contingent of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment some of the hockey players in quarantine were H.G.R. (Harry) Mews, Charlie Strong, Ernie Churchill, Rex White, Duke Winter and Lionel Duley.

The team played a series of games in Windsor during their ten-week quarantine before sailing to England and the trenches of France  in April.

This was the first time that Newfoundland put a team on the ice playing with six players per side. The Newfoundland players liked the new game. With the rover removed the players had much more ice surface to cover. The game became much faster.

In 1918, Nova Scotian teams visited St. John’s and the new rule change was introduced. The change was formally adopted in 1919 by the Newfoundland Hockey Association. The ‘Rover’ was no more.

Duley, was Killed in Action in 1918, Strong died of wounds sustained in battle in 1918, Mews returned to Newfoundland and later became Mayor of St. John’s.

The St. John's Ice Caps will be wearing a special jersey to remember the Newfoundland Regiment on February 5th and 6th.

The St. John’s Ice Caps will be wearing a special jersey to remember the Newfoundland Regiment on February 5th and 6th.

On January 14, 2016 with great pride and respect, the St. John’s IceCaps , at The Rooms , unveiled a Royal Newfoundland Regiment tribute jersey to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel.

The logo on the tribute jersey features a black silhouette of a First World War Royal Newfoundland Regimental solider encircled by the words: Royal Newfoundland Regiment 1916-2016. The entire IceCaps team was on hand to model the new jerseys.

The IceCaps will wear the jerseys Friday and Saturday, February 5th and 6th versus the Utica Comets. Many in the seats at Mile One will be remembering their ancestors who loved the game.

Tickets can be purchased at the Mile One Centre box office or online at www.mileonecentre.com

LEST WE FORGET

Recommended Archival Collection: The Rooms Provincial Archives – Sports Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador has a substantial collection of photographs detailing the history of League Hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador.

If Candlemas Day be sunny and bright …

ARCHIVAL MOMENT 

February 2, 1871 

Febryary 2 is Candlemas Day - Blessing of the candles that are used during he year.
February 2 is Candlemas Day – Blessing of the candles that are used during the year.

 

Some of the best insights into the history of families and communities in this province can be garnered from the pages of the hundreds of diaries that have been deposited into archives in the province. In the Archives of the R.C., Archdiocese of St. John’s  their are the diaries of Edward Morris.  Mr. Morris observed on February 2, 1871.

Fine morning, light frost, wind from the north, north west. Streets frozen again but no cold such as we have had. The day fine enough but the walking very rough.  Attended at the Cathedral in the morning at the ceremonies of Candlemas Day ….”

February 2 is “Candlemas”  Day.

The ceremony of Candlemas Day that Mr. Morris observed was the blessing of the annual supply of the Church’s candles.  Beeswax candles were blessed by being sprinkled with holy water and having incense swung around them, and then the candles distributed to everyone in the church. Then there was a procession in which people carried lighted candles while the choir sang. The procession represents the entry of Jesus as light of the world into the temple.

In Newfoundland there is an established tradition that on this day a blessed candle would be lit and the mother of the household would bless the children in the home with the candle.  The wax was allowed to drip on the head (hat) and shoulders and on the shoes of the children.

Every fishing boat would also have a blessed candle. These candles would be taken out and lit during a gale or storm.

WINTER IS HALF OVER

This day also used to have great significance on the calendar, because the date lies half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, so it marks the day upon which winter is half over!  As Candlemas traditions evolved, many people embraced the legend that if the sun shone on the second day of February, an animal would see its shadow and there would be at least six more weeks of winter.

You may know the rhyme:

If Candlemas day be sunny and bright,Winter again will show its might. If Candlemas day be cloudy and grey, Winter soon will pass away. (Fox version)

If Candlemas day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight. If Candlemas day be shower and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again. (Traditional)

In Branch, St. Mary’s Bay an expression that is particular to Candlemas Day was the expression:

Half your prog and half your hay,

Eat your supper by the light of the day.

The expression calls on families, now that we are half way through winter, to take stock of their (prog)  food supplies in their root cellars  and feed for the animals (hay).   Just to insure  that there is enough to get you through the winter.

Recommended Archival Collection:   Edward Morris Diaries 1851-1887. Edward Morris was a businessman, politician, and office-holder; born in 1813 at Waterford (Republic of Ireland). He moved to St John’s, Newfoundland in 1832.  On January 1, 1851 he began to keep a daily diary that he continued until his death on 3 April 1887.