Tag Archives: Great Big Sea

Newfoundland and Cod Liver Oil

Archival Moment

September 20, 1943

Gerald S. Doyle was a major distributor of Cod Liver Oil in Newfoundland

During the final months and days of WWII governments throughout the world began to  realize that something would have to be done for the health of the children in war torn Europe.

The Pope’s delegate to Canada and Newfoundland  was aware that Newfoundland had a product with considerable medicinal value  that should be considered.

On 20 September 1943, church officials in Newfoundland were notified by the  Vatican that Rome:

“plans to secure a considerable quantity of cod-liver oil to be kept at its disposal so it can be distributed at the end of the war in those regions where the health conditions of poor children demand it.”

The letter went on the ask the local bishop in St. John’s   to

 “obtain information, if several thousand pounds of it  (cod liver oil) could be bought now  in Canada and Newfoundland.”

In Newfoundland, local businessman P.J. Lewis  was charged by Archbishop Roche of St. John’s with  finding the cod liver oil and looking at how it could be transported to the children in Europe.

Lewis had proven to be equal to the task that was assigned to him. He had managed to find six tons of cod liver oil that they were  “able to ship abroad that year, for the children of Europe.”

During World War II, the British Ministry of Food, concerned about the effect of a tightened food supply on health, provided free cod-liver oil for pregnant and breast-feeding women, children under five, and adults over forty.The British government, believing that the oil had produced the healthiest children England had ever seen, despite the bombings and the rationing, continued the program until 1971.

Cod Liver Oil is pressed from the fresh liver of the cod and purified. It is one of the best-known natural sources of vitamin D, and a rich source of vitamin A. It has been shown to prevent rickets. Because cod liver oil is more easily absorbed than other oils, it was originally  widely used as a nutrient and tonic.

Recommended Archival Collection:    Search the online database for descriptions of our archival records and to view thousands of digital photographs.  In the search bar type; Cod liver oil  –https://www.therooms.ca/collections-research/our-collections

Recommended Video:   Information Video from the British Ministry of Information WWII   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4PgMIPQb7U

Recommended Song: Great Big Sea on their album The Hard and the Easyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyocPX4k4y8

Newfoundland and Australia: Old Music Connection


April 3, 2012

Newfoundland and Australia : Old Music Connection

Photo Credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives Division, B 22-55

 Francis Forbes’s, Chief Justice of Newfoundlandand later first Chief Justice of Australia is credited with writing “The Banks of Newfoundland”.

Most would immediately recognize the tune as “Up the Pond,” the familiar music at the annual St. John’s Regatta and a piece steeped in the tradition of North America’s oldest continuing sporting event.

“The Banks of Newfoundland” enjoyed a populist appeal in nineteenth-century Newfoundlandthat would have likely astounded Justice Forbes.

Initially published for solo piano by Oliver Ditson of Boston, the piece became best known as a regimental march performed by the Band of the Royal Newfoundland Companies and a variety of other military and civilian ensembles active inNewfoundlandat the time.

Processions, festivals, dinners, soirees, and the like were frequently enlivened with renditions of the popular tune, a tradition that began in the 1820s and proliferated in the years following the granting of representative government.

At the turn of the twentieth century it was considered an unofficial national anthem of Newfoundlandand has remained the march commonly associated with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

Recommended Reading:  Australian Dictionary of Biography  http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/forbes-sir-francis-2052

Recommended Reading:  Imagining Nation: Music and Identity in Pre-Confederation Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies.  Volume 22, Number 1 (2007), Glenn Colton

Recommended to Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNVQdwzMKpA