Tag Archives: RNC

RNC Officers Carry Guns


April 3, 1998

Royal-Newfoundland-Constabulary-HP-QC-frontThe Newfoundland legislature authorized officers of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary to carry sidearm’s on April 3, 1998 ending this provinces status as the only unarmed police force in Canada.   Previously, members of the force kept their weapons in a  locked compartment in their police vehicle.

The Justice Minister of the day Chris Decker made the announcement in the Legislature.

On 2 December 1997, a Select Committee of the House of Assembly was appointed to enquire into the arming policy of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, and report its findings to the House of Assembly by 31 March 1998. The Select Committee conducted research, viewed presentations by interested parties and held public hearings.

The Committee tabled its report to the House of Assembly on 31 March 1999 which recommended that the arming policy of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary be amended to permit its members on operational duty to wear sidearms as part of their regular uniform.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has the deepest roots of any police force in Canada and possibly North America. These roots date back to 1729 when Newfoundland’s first Governor, Captain Henry Osborn of the Royal Navy, created six separate judicial districts each with justices and constables.

Recommended Reading: Browne, G. (2008) To Serve and Protect: The Newfoundland Constabulary on the Home Front World War Two.St. Johns: DRC Publishing.

Recommended Website:  RNC Historical Society:   http://www.rnchs.ca/history.html




December 15, 1980

June Layden, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

On this day December 15, 1980 the first female members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary were sworn in.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) is the oldest police force in Canada, which has roots dating to 1729, and was reorganized in 1871 to become the Newfoundland Constabulary. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the prefix “Royal” on the Newfoundland Constabulary in 1979 in recognition of its proud history in this Province. The present day RNC is Newfoundland and Labrador’s Provincial Police Force. Prior to this Province joining Canadian 1949 the RNC was the National Police Force of the Dominion of Newfoundland.

In that first class was June Layden who  held every rank possible in the RNC’s Street Patrol Division, including constable, media relations officer and platoon commander. On Jan. 22, 2009 she made history when she became the first female RNC officer to become a superintendent.

Photo Credit: The Rooms, Provincial Archives Division: A 12-162, Motorcycle Division [ca 1947

Of the approximately  400 RNC Officers in the province in 2915,  300 were male (74.35%)  and 109 were female (25.65%).

Recommended Web site: http://www.rnchs.ca/   The mission of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Historical Society is to stimulate and encourage the commemoration of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in its customs, traditions and affiliations and to appropriately honour and preserve their legacy for future generations

Recommended Reading:  Kenney, P. & Wentzell, S. (1991) Policing in Newfoundland, in The Newfoundland Quarterly, Vol. LXXXVI, No. 3, April 1991, pp. 42-43.

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