Thursday, March 4, 2010

The other side of Strawberry Field

Blasts from NL's past

“The two bodies recovered from the wrecked steamer Florizel on Saturday arrived by train last night, and were taken to the morgue, where they were identified. One of the bodies was that of John J. Connolly, butcher, who was drowned. The corpse was in a good state of preservation and was neither marked nor broken. The other was that of the Seaman John Lambert. The deceased was not drowned, and evidently met death by being hit by wreckage. The head was badly crushed and bruised, with a deep cut on the left jaw. Both bodies were coffined by Undertaker Carnell, and will be interred today.”
The Daily News, St. John’s, March 5, 1918
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“On Saturday night last a sealers’ meeting was held in the Casino Theatre at St. John’s when two of the United Kingdom Commissioners addressed those assembled. Just who inspired this meeting is not quite clear. There was no advance notice given in the city newspapers. It was late Saturday afternoon when the skippers were given the hint and told to get the crowd to go up. “Nice men to talk to” was the sealers’ opinion of the two commissioners who spoke. The sealers were disappointed that no programme of work and wages was held out to them. They are getting tired and sick of having it dinned into their ears that Newfoundlanders must help themselves. They know that well enough. What they want is someone to show them the way to new avenues of employment and industry.
That is what Mr. Alderdice promised in 1932 and that is what they believe the Commission Government is in power for now. The meeting was orderly, certainly, but it need not be described by the Tory Daily News as a welcome to the U.K. Commissioners. It was, more likely, purposely rigged to give a fictitious idea to the outports as to the manner in which the commissioners are being received in St. John’s.
The same old story of Tory bluff and scheming.”
The Fishermen’s Advocate, Port Union, March 9, 1934
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“President Roosevelt sent the following message to the people of St. Lawrence: ‘I have just learned of the magnificent courageous work you rendered and of the sacrifices you made in rescuing and caring for the personnel of the destroyer Truxton and freighter Pollux, which grounded on your shores. As commander-in-chief, and on behalf of the Navy and as President of the United States and on behalf of our citizens, I wish to express my gratefullest appreciation of your heroic action which is typical of the history of your proud seafaring community.’
Observer Weekly, St. John’s, March 3, 1942
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“Responsible Government is what our forefathers fought for and won nearly one hundred years ago. We feel that the present generation of Newfoundlanders has a duty and a trust to restore this temporarily lost heritage. We are doing no more than asking Newfoundlanders to have faith in their country, their neighbors and themselves. If you agree that an intelligent, law-abiding people of British stock are able to manage their own affairs, we invite you into the Responsible Government league and ask you to help maintain a heritage that is yours and ours.”
The Independent, St. John’s, March 22, 1948
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“Would you bet your country on the possibility that the crazy folks in Pyongyang might not hit Toronto when they aimed for Chicago.”
— Peter A. Brown, columnist with the Orlando Sentinel, as quoted in the March 6-12, 2005 St. John’s-based Independent newspaper.
Brown was critical of then-Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin’s stand on missile defence, calling it “childlike.” Martin wanted the Americans to consult with Canada before shooting down any missiles aimed at the U.S. and flying over Canadian soil.
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“They’re starving in Africa, dying in Iraq, and (Paul) McCartney makes his stand on IIes de la Madeleine doing photo ops with seals. On the other side of Strawberry Field (John) Lennon must be cringing.”
— Columnist Michael Harris, March 5, 2006 St. John’s Independent newspaper.

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