More workers!

So it’s summertime (well, sort of), and that means something very exciting for Them Days–SUMMER STUDENTS!

We have two students in our office this summer, Wallace and Sandra. If you’re a long-time reader of the blog, you’ll know Wallace already. Sandra just started and has fit into the office very easily. It helps that she was on our Regatta team, I guess!

Sandra, Phoenix, and Wallace!

Sandra, Phoenix, and Wallace!

We also just got a new laptop, since the other one is kicking the bucket, one port at a time (we’re down to one USB port out of three, the built-in SD card reader doesn’t work anymore, and the hard drive has been filled up too many times to count). It’s eight years old, and has had a long, happy, productive life, seen a lot of Labrador, even been all the way to the Yukon! It won’t be retired JUST yet, but the new one will take over a lot of the duties.

Tabea's trip to the post office was a happy occasion!

Tabea’s trip to the post office was a happy occasion!

The anticipation!  Ohhh I am so excited!!

The anticipation! Ohhh I am so excited!!

AHHHH!!! It is here!!!

AHHHH!!! It is here!!!

I was SO happy to get it in the mail the other day. If you’ve ever had the “joy” of working with geriatric technology, you’ll know what I mean.

But then…the happiness was brought down a peg or two when it was discovered that the sound card wasn’t working!!!!! Noooooooooooo!!! We have two computers that can’t be used for transcribing because of issues with their sound cards, and the new computer was supposed to alleviate that issue, but it appeared that we had gotten a defective computer. :( :( :(

But Wallace saved the day…over 2 gigs of updates later, the sound is WORKING! I said we need to name the computer, and Sandra suggested something that comes back from the dead or rises again, so I suggested Phoenix. That’s the computer’s nickname for now.

Aimee

PS: When Windows 8.1 asks you if you want to sync the two computers that are under the same account and use the same settings, and you do, figuring the new computer will take on all the modified settings and things that you’ve put together over the last several months on the desktop, you will be disappointed to find that the old desktop takes on the bloatware and the factory settings from the laptop! Just a forewarning.

PPS: So the audio crapped out again–the driver DISAPPEARED!!!! So we are having some help in getting it fixed–thanks Jessica!!!

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Storytelling workshops

Well, it’s been a busy few weeks here at Them Days! (I know it seems like I say that all the time, but it really has been very busy this year.) I have yet to report on pretty much everything I’ve done since February!! So let’s get it started, starting with the most recent things.

Two weeks ago, we started hosting storytelling workshops with Gary Green, a retired educator and respected storyteller based in St. John’s.

We started these storytelling workshops because we wanted to continue with the story walks we started last summer around Happy Valley. A few organizations expressed interest in expanding the reach to beyond our area, so we got a grant to bring up Gary to Labrador communities to teach people about telling stories. Gary conducts story walks in St. John’s, so he knows just what’s best.

Our schedule was: Rigolet on April 27th, Hopedale on the 28th, Nain on the 29th, Goose Bay on the 30th and Cartwright on May 1st.

Well, the weather decided not to cooperate. Gary was lucky he even made it in at all from St. John’s! But he did, and on the right day and everything! (Just several hours late.)

On Monday, Gary and I arrived at the airport bright and early at 6:30, prepared to get on the early flight to the north coast. The coast was just improving, weather-wise, and people who had been stuck here for five days or so were finally going to get their chance to go to Nain and Natuashish and Hopedale…but NOT to Rigolet. There was so much traffic going up there, and coming back! There was a plane full of young teenagers who had been up in Nain for the regional Heritage Fair who were very excited to come back home! The airport was buzzing…it might as well have been Pearson or Heathrow, just, you know, smaller planes.

Watching people leave for the coast, while we sat and waited...and waited...and waited....

Watching people leave for the coast, while we sat and waited…and waited…and waited….

Yep, just watching people come and go, while we sat and waited. Two days in a row.

Yep, just watching people come and go, while we sat and waited. Two days in a row.

We got to see some real characters, like Olaf from Frozen.

We got to see some real characters, like Olaf from Frozen.

And Prince Charming, Cinderella, and Snow White!

And Prince Charming, Cinderella, and Snow White!

And the lady who cleans the floor with a Zamboni-type machine.

And the lady who cleans the floor with a Zamboni-type machine.

Yep, lots of people heading out.

Yep, lots of people heading out.

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Lots of people had been waiting for days, and continued to wait after us.

Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Lots of people had been waiting for days, and continued to wait after us.

We waited until 3:30, when they announced that the flight was officially cancelled. So we made changes to our tickets and decided to go straight to Hopedale instead. I brought Gary back to the office for a look around, and to read some magazines.

Gary met one of our regular visitors, Dave Massie, who then regaled him with all sorts of tales!

Gary met one of our regular visitors, Dave Massie, who then regaled him with all sorts of tales!

The next day, we were back at the airport bright and early to try again. This time, it wasn’t looking looking good for Hopedale, but the weather was lifting in Rigolet! Erg! The day we tried to go to Rigolet, we couldn’t go there, but people were going to Hopedale, but when we tried to go to Hopedale, people were going to Rigolet and not Hopedale!!!

Later in the morning, a flight to Rigolet was announced for 12:30. I asked at the counter and the chances of getting to Hopedale were only so-so. So we decided to do some quick switching around, and arranged to go to Rigolet instead of Hopedale. We didn’t want to sit around in Goose Bay another day, not getting out to the coast at all, if we had a chance of getting out. And if we did get out to Hopedale, it was looking like it would be much later in the day (plus the longer travel time added to that). So I called up Jill, who was getting things done that I couldn’t at the airport, and she arranged for everything to be going ahead in Rigolet. (THANKS JILL!!)

Then 12:30 came…and went. As did 1:30. And 2:30. It was probably closer to 3 by the time we got out of Goose Bay…and wouldn’t you know it, the flight to Hopedale was scheduled to go not long after ours!

Finally! Heading to Rigolet!

Finally! Heading to Rigolet!

On the plane with a load of cargo. (A lot of fruit!)

On the plane with a load of cargo. (A lot of fruit!)

We felt especially bad then about missing Hopedale, but at least we were on our way to Rigolet! We had a great workshop there, and the participants were SO enthusiastic. We went until almost 10:00 at night! (With a break for supper, of course.) Our workshop was held in the beautiful Strathcona House. What a wonderful setting for telling stories of the past!

Good thing Gary dressed for Labrador, as he experienced late April in Rigolet--still on skidoo!

Good thing Gary dressed for Labrador, as he experienced late April in Rigolet–still on skidoo!

Rigolet workshop. We worked late into the night with a great bunch of ladies!

Rigolet workshop. We worked late into the night with a great bunch of ladies!

The morning we left Rigolet.

The morning we left Rigolet.

Leaving Rigolet

Leaving Rigolet

What we saw of Hopedale.

What we saw of Hopedale.

The next day, our flight was delayed. Of course. But we made it to Nain about five hours past our scheduled time. We did a portion of our workshop with another group of enthusiastic participants, and continued our workshop the next morning. In the evening, I gave Gary a tour of Nain, and visited a friend. I was sad to leave both Rigolet and Nain after such short visits!

Nain workshop

Nain workshop

Our amazing group in Nain!

Our amazing group in Nain!

From my tour of Nain with Gary

From my tour of Nain with Gary

At the Northern store. I was pretty impressed with their selection of foods. Lots of things I never would have expected.

At the Northern store. I was pretty impressed with their selection of foods. Lots of things I never would have expected.

Gary taking photos of Nain

Gary taking photos of Nain

Hello Siutik!

Hello Siutik!

Our flight out of Nain was the only normal one (the only one without delays) of our whole trip! We got back into Goose Bay at lunchtime, wolfed down some food at Mariner’s Galley (we figured a buffet was the fastest way to eat on the go!) and headed out to the gorgeous Birch Brook Nordic Ski Club for the afternoon’s workshop.

Gary provides some in-flight entertainment.

Gary provides some in-flight entertainment.

The Goose River

The Goose River

We held the workshop in the comfort of the ski lodge lounge, on couches and upholstered chairs. Ahhh!

Listening

Listening

Gary leads the workshop at Birch Brook.

Gary leads the workshop at Birch Brook.

Gary is a very good teacher, and he had everyone's attention!

Gary is a very good teacher, and he had everyone’s attention!

Listening

Listening

Our Goose Bay workshop in the lovely Birch Brook.

Our Goose Bay workshop in the lovely Birch Brook.


After the workshop was over, I jetted off again–this time, straight to the Labrador Heritage Society Annual General Meeting! I had been asked to give a talk and show a video, which I did. The AGM was held in the new Labrador North Chamber of Commerce Building, which will also be the new Visitor Information Centre. It was the first meeting held in there. It has been renovated just beautifully, with canoes and forms made by Joe Goudie hung from the ceiling as light fixtures. Very modern! I just loved it!!

Me, at the Labrador Heritage Society AGM, after a whirlwind week!

Me, at the Labrador Heritage Society AGM, after a whirlwind week!

In the end, we couldn’t go to Cartwright–our ride’s vehicle was in the garage, car rental agencies were denying rentals for drivers going to the south coast because the roads were so bad, and while we could find people going out, we weren’t guaranteed a ride back…so we put it off until later in the summer, when the roads are better. What a week!

Anyway, that’s it for now, but I’ll have more to say on the last couple of months soon!

Aimee

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A Little Bit of Recognition!

So I heard this happened today:

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for Torngat Mountains.

MR. EDMUNDS: Mr. Speaker, I rise in this hon. House today to congratulate the producers of Them Days magazine on their fortieth anniversary.

Them Days magazine was first produced in 1975 by the Labrador Heritage Society, and has been published quarterly ever since. From trapper tales to interviews with fishermen, the magazine has celebrated and remembered days gone by in Labrador.

Many claim that the magazine would not have been possible without Doris Saunders, the driving force behind Them Days for nearly thirty years. Her legacy lives on in the publication of the magazine that continues to this day with the help of many dedicated people in Labrador.

As part of the fortieth anniversary celebrations, Them Days will be publishing a special issue on the Labrador fishery in June called Floaters, Stationers and Livyeres.

Them Days is a cultural institution for Labrador – an institution that has been successful in capturing the history of the Big Land through the eyes and ears of Labradorians themselves. There are many stories yet to be told.

I ask all hon. members to join me in congratulating Them Days magazine on their forty years in production, and I look forward to reading many more issues in the years ahead.

Thank you.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

Thank you to Torngat Mountains MHA Randy Edmunds for that bit of recognition!

Aimee

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Thank you, volunteers!

Them Days owes a lot to our volunteers. They do so much for us, whether it’s picking up or delivering magazines, stuffing envelopes, interviewing, driving the editor around ;), writing stories, playing music, taking photos, or making flummies at our Culture Days event, serving on our board or one of our committees, typing transcripts, or any of the other ways we’re helped out. We get by with a little help from our friends, as the song goes. (By the way, if anyone is hankering to do some transcription work, we need some volunteer transcriptionists! Our fisheries issue work is continuing at a fast pace, and even though Tabea is hard at transcription work every day, we have a TON of interviews!!)

We have so much to be thankful for at Them Days, and on this volunteer week, I would like to say a special thank you to all the volunteers who have helped out at Them Days. Your work is truly appreciated.

Here’s a photo I don’t think I shared before on the blog. It’s the presentation of the first Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service. We gave it to John Heard last year (if we want to be technical, it was for 2013, but I think the presentation was early in 2014). John is a wonderful man who has done so much for Them Days and other organizations in town. He has an infectious spirit and is the humblest person I have probably ever met. He’s a truly good soul and I’m happy to know him.

Then-chair Susan Felsberg presents the first-ever Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service to John O. Heard last year.

Then-chair Susan Felsberg presents the first-ever Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service to John O. Heard last year.

You may remember that the second award was given to Dave Massie, another awesome volunteer at Them Days.

Okay, this is funny. As I’m typing up this blog post, I get a new email notification and here is its contents:

The Royal BC Museum celebrates
National Volunteer Week with a terrific invitation

VICTORIA, BC – Today, to celebrate National Volunteer Week, the Royal BC Museum launched Transcribe (transcribe.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca), a crowd-sourcing website that invites the public to transcribe valuable historical records from our archival collection.

By donating their time to transcribe letters, diaries, journals and other materials, volunteers can help share BC’s history from the comfort of their living room, library or local café.

Don Reksten, a long-time member of the Friends of the BC Archives and volunteer at the BC Archives for 12 years, was one of the first to transcribe a document on the website. “From the BC Archives point of view, the benefits of Transcribe are twofold,” he said. “The documents are now available online and you end up with searchable transcriptions. It’s really a worthwhile endeavour.”

The concept behind Transcribe is simple: the Royal BC Museum provides digital photographs of archival materials alongside a blank text area, and users type exactly what they see. Anyone with access to the internet can participate. Volunteers simply visit the website, choose a collection and start transcribing, all on their own time.

“Crowd-sourcing is an increasingly popular way for archives and museums like ours to improve the accessibility of their collections,” said David Alexander, Head of New Archives & Digital Preservation at the Royal BC Museum. “The more volunteers who turn their attention to the Transcribe website, the easier it is for future users to search for – and learn from – handwritten source records.”

Once the finished transcriptions have been approved by Royal BC Museum staff, the data will become searchable on the Transcribe site, using relevant keywords. Visitors to the site are not obligated to transcribe; they will also have the option to view the materials as an online exhibition or to browse existing transcriptions.

Volunteers already serve a significant and visible role at the Royal BC Museum, with 426 volunteers providing assistance by doing work as varied as classifying specimens, greeting visitors, leading tours and mailing information to members. The beauty of the Transcribe project is that volunteers can assist from just about anywhere.

The site currently features diaries, letters and other materials from WWI. As the project grows, new collections and new audio and video media will be introduced. The first batch of images includes the letters of Victoria lawyer Arthur Douglas Crease, who described the war in letters to his family. Crease survived the war, and his letters became an important part of BC’s history.

Isn’t that funny? Here I am, talking about a need for volunteer transcriptionists, and up pops this email! I love this idea!

Happy Volunteer Week, everyone! Much love to our volunteers. <3 <3 <3

Aimee

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Storytelling Workshops

Do you live in Cartwright, the Upper Lake Melville area, Rigolet, Hopedale or Nain? Are you interested in storytelling? Come join us for a free one-day workshop with storyteller Gary Green!

2015 Storytelling Workshops Rigolet

We will be in Rigolet on April 27; Hopedale, April 28; Nain, April 29; Happy Valley-Goose Bay, April 30; Cartwright, May 1.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with us!

About Gary:

Gary Green is a storyteller and author who has performed both inside and outside the province for a variety of groups ranging from youth camps to international conferences. Among the groups for which he has performed are the Cape St. Mary’s Performance Series, Battle Harbour Historic Trust, Canadian National Storytelling Conference, St. John’s Library Board, Schooner Tours, St. John’s Folk Festival and Trails, Tales and Tunes. Gary has performed on television as part of the series “Legends and Lore of the North Atlantic” and on several radio stations. He has performed in the international award winning productions “Inside Outside Battery” and “Foghorns and Heartbreak”. In addition, he has performed in the national “Tale of a Town” project. Gary has been a consultant for the use of storytelling in the interpretation of the Battle Harbour National Historic Site and is very active in developing and delivering a story-based interpretation of The Crow’s Nest Officers’ Club National Historic Site. Gary developed and operates two history-based story walks – “The Battle of Signal Hill” and “The First Escape”, a walk through downtown St. John’s based on the escape of a WWII German POW. He is a board member of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival, and a founding board member of the Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation. Gary teaches storytelling at the Vinland Music Camp and is a regular performer at the St. John’s Storytelling Circle.

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Snowblind and Seal Finger is out!

Snowblind and Seal Finger COVER

May I introduce to you our most recent special publication, Snowblind and Seal Finger. It’s a revised and expanded edition of the 1998 publication (which is so rare, we didn’t have one in the office until someone bought a used one and donated it to us). It’s all about early health care, home remedies, and medical stories. Right now, it’s only available through Them Days, as we haven’t sent it out to retailers yet, so come on over to our office or our website and buy it! This is not one of the regular magazines, so if you’re a subscriber, it won’t come in the mail automatically.

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Happy Birthday, Daphne!

I have the first spare moments that I’ve had since I-don’t-know-when, so time to start blogging!! There is oh-so-much to say. This perhaps isn’t the most work-related post, but I suppose it’s the most time-sensitive, so let’s get to that first. Happy Birthday!! Daphne had her birthday last week, and now she’s studying about archives. So that’s pretty exciting. Our office has been very well-travelled lately.

Tabea and I went out at lunch time and bought some cheesecake squares and a LOT of candles and sparklers (they were all so fun! I couldn’t help myself, even though we could have gotten by with just two. Did you know you can get candles with coloured flames?) Then Daphne’s niece dropped by to say hello and we conspired with her to get Daphne back in the archives so she wouldn’t know that we were frantically lighting all the candles and arranging the squares on a plate. (Those plastic shells are SO NOISY.)

Surprise!

Surprise!

They really were very exciting candles and sparklers.

They really were very exciting candles and sparklers.

Blowing out her candles

Blowing out her candles

That’s it for now! Time to tidy up and leave for the day on this gorgeous (and very warm and melt-y) spring day!
Aimee

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