The St. John’s newspaper, The Newfoundlander reporting on the celebrations of the members of Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) in St. John’s on March 17, 1829 wrote:
“The company continued to retire, successively, until six o’clock on Sheelagh’s morning, (March 18) at which hour, we understand, a few of the campaigners might have been seen, as usual, piously and patriotically employed in “drowning the shamrock.”
The Newfoundland tradition called “drowning the shamrock” takes place on St. Patrick’s Day, when the shamrock that has been worn in the hat or lapel is removed and put into the last drink of the evening.
A toast is proposed and then, when the toast has been honored, the shamrock is taken from the bottom of the glass and thrown over the left shoulder.
Time to bring back the tradition of ‘drowning the shamrock.’
Archival Collection: At the Rooms Provincial Archives take some time to look at MG 612 the Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) collection. This collection consists of the minute books of the BIS (1822-1933, 1938-1970, 1973-1979); agendas (1964-1970); Centenary Volume (1806-1906); loan receipts (1905-1906); journal (1910-1920); cash book (1920-1931); ledger (1939-1944).
Museum Exhibit: take some time to see: Talamh an Éisc – The Fishing Ground , an exhibition at The Rooms, that introduces the Irish peoples who have been in Newfoundland and Labrador since the late 1600s, the exhibit explores the communities they built and celebrates the contributions they made to life here in Newfoundland and Labrador.