Monday, May 17, 2010

Quibbles and bits

I mentioned in my last post how I came across an old collection of Newfoundland Quarterlies while Sunday cupboard cleaning.

I set aside a Special Issue from the spring of 1978: Canadian Unity: From a Newfoundland Perspective, and promised to report back on interesting bits.

And there were a few ...

I’ll leave the fascinating essays for another day.

The back of the magazine included News highlights between Dec. 1, 1977 and Feb. 28th, 1978.

Highlights include:

Dec. 1, 1977
“Solicitor-General Francis Fox stated that Newfoundland didn’t produce enough criminals to warrant a federal prison — and that the 80 Newfoundlanders in Dorchester, N.B., and Springhill N.S. prisons were permitted one telephone call per month to compensate them for the expense of their being visited.”

I wonder if they're still getting free calls back home?

Dec. 9, 1977
“A twin-engined jet crashed in Churchill Falls, killing eight people including top executive officers of Churchill Falls Labrador Corporation and Newfoundland Hydro. In November 1969 a company jet had crashed, killing eight people including the president of Brinco.”

There were a few people who died in that ’69 crash I would have dearly loved to interview re the circumstances that led to the signing of the Upper Churchill contract. They took too many secrets with them.

Jan. 9, 1978
“Premier Frank Moores and a team of Canadian experts began an international campaign, starting in New York City, to plead the cause of the Newfoundland seal hunt and to counter anti-sealing propaganda.”

Would you say the campaign worked?

Jan. 18, 1978

“The Newfoundland Medical Commission report for 1977 revealed that the average gross salary for Newfoundland doctors for the year was $75,000, while 33 of the 248 full-time doctors grossed over $$100,000.”

I was surprised there were only 248 full-time doctors working in Newfoundland in 1978.

Considering today there are 1,075 practicing doctors in the province.

Which means we have 827 more doctors today than we did 32 years ago.

As for salaries, earlier this month Health Minister Jerome Kennedy revealed that at least one doctor practicing in NL today makes $1 million a year.

Jan. 26th, 1978
“Police held a demonstration at Fort Townshend to show disapproval of what they considered the strictness of a penalty given a policeman who had been convicted of impaired driving — a 3-month suspension and a loss of 3 years seniority.”

Just before he recently retired, outgoing Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Chief Joe Browne said a Corner Brook officer recently convicted of impaired driving and mischief should be fired from the force.

Browne is of the opinion that any officer convicted of a criminal offence no longer deserves to be a cop.

Feb. 15, 1978
“The federal and provincial governments announced that work would begin immediately on the formation of a joint development corporation aiming to establish a basis for hydro development in Labrador, the main emphasis to be on the Gull Island project (part of the Lower Churchill), which is expected to generate 1,600 megawatts, about half of which the island of Newfoundland needs.”

Whatever happened to that federal/provincial development corporation?

We could use it today, considering the only way the Danny Williams administration can talk to Quebec about the Churchill is through the courts.

Feb. 28th, 1978
“Newfoundland-born seal protester and former sealer and seal-meal seller, Ray Elliott, declared he would earn $30,000 per year working for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and that he would probably need $500,000 for traveling expenses.”

He must have been traveling with the seals in a submarine.

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