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 (, 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


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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.)



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!

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AGM Soon!

AGM 2015

If you’re interested in Them Days and would like to get involved, now’s the time to do it!!

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Thank you for all the well-wishes!

It really is a very exciting time here at Them Days. With a special publication coming out any day now (the re-print of Snowblind & Seal Finger), the 40th anniversary, and working on the Labrador Fishery issue, I haven’t had time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak (as if there are any roses out there when I look out my window and just see a wall of snow). We’ve had a lot of media coverage recently about our 40th anniversary, and lots of congratulations and well-wishes have been coming in through social media, on the phone, from office visitors, and even when I go out to the grocery store, I meet lots of people who want to say hello and congratulate Them Days on 40 years of publishing.

In addition to the amazing show put on by Labrador Morning, we were also featured in this week’s Labradorian newspaper! Woo hoo! Click here to read the article.

Ooh! Here I am holding the newspaper with Them Days in it!

Ooh! Here I am holding the newspaper with Them Days in it!

We were also featured on the CBC NL website with a photo gallery and everything!

I was also on Here & Now on Friday (skip ahead to about 1:05:10 to see my part.)

It’s all been really great and I really must thank everyone for being so nice, and to the media outlets for thinking our anniversary is newsworthy enough to celebrate.

And, speaking of publicity, I’ve been asked to spread the word for an event that may be of interest to my readers (not a Them Days event, but up your alleys!)

The oldest snowmobile in Labrador is being restored to working condition and will one day be driven on the Labrador coast as it did 100 years ago.

Memorial graduate Jamie Brake, an archaeologist in Nunatsiavut, will deliver the presentation, Recovering Labrador’s First Snowmobile, on Thursday, March 19, from 7-9 p.m. in room 250 at Memorial’s Labrador Institute, 219 Hamilton River Rd., in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Organized by the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development, the presentation will include journal entries, photographs and silent film footage. All are welcome. A reception will follow.

To RSVP, call 1-877-700-4081 or

I saw that snowmobile last summer up in Nain, so I know this will be interesting!


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Them Days Turns 40!

We at Them Days celebrated our ruby anniversary a little bit early, thanks to the wonderful folks at CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning show. The idea came up last year during our 39th anniversary, so it was great that Jay Legere, the producer, and Labrador Morning was still interested in doing it. It turned out AMAZING!

Mark Cumby, the tech for the show, putting it all together behind the scenes!

Mark Cumby, the tech for the show, putting it all together behind the scenes!

Todd O'Brien, the host, was new to Them Days, but he definitely learned a lot in the lead-up to and the day of our show! (He also got through the week with an awful flu--a total trooper.)

Todd O’Brien, the host, was new to Them Days, but he definitely learned a lot in the lead-up to and the day of our show! (He also got through the week with an awful cold–a total trooper.)

Click here to listen to part of the show. DO IT!!!

We covered an hour-and-a-half (well, almost. There’s always weather, news, etc) of Them Days content! I did a segment with Joe Goudie, who of course was president of the Labrador Heritage Society when Them Days started back in 1975 and also on Them Days’ board for a long time, and then Susan Felsberg (long-time volunteer and also former chair) and Judy McGrath (another long-time volunteer who now lives in Ontario and came in over the phone) did a part. We also heard from Gail Turner about why Them Days is important, I did a reading, and Richard Neville played Labrador songs throughout! He also read a poem.

We also listened to excerpts from the Them Days episode of Land and Sea, which I watch a few times a year and love (we have a copy at the office), and it brought back a lot of memories for people to hear Doris’ voice (and Dave Quinton’s too, I’m sure!).

Richard performed such lovely songs, doing medleys of Labrador favourites. He also read one of Leslie Pardy's poems, and that was my favourite moment of the show!

Richard performed such lovely songs, doing medleys of Labrador favourites. He also read one of Leslie Pardy’s poems, and that was my favourite moment of the show!

John Gaudi and the aforementioned Jay at Labrador Morning put a lot of work into today’s show, and it certainly showed. They were also great hosts, and we had flummies and toutons with redberry and bakeapple jams!! MMMMM. I may have eaten a few (more like five). I also scored an awesome (and much-coveted) Labrador Morning mug! woo hoo!

Jay Legere, producer at Labrador Morning (sorry Jay, the one photo I took was out of focus)

Jay Legere, producer at Labrador Morning (sorry Jay, the one photo I took was out of focus). Also, in the foreground, the bowl of flummies made by Judy Voisey, former Them Days administrator and soon-to-be bakery owner!!

John Gaudi, reporter, was live-tweeting the show.

John Gaudi, reporter, was live-tweeting the show. Sorry John, you’re fuzzy too.

Then we had a draw for the grand prize, a box of 101 Them Days magazines! (That’s the 100 for $100 box, and a rare issue thrown in to sweeten the pot!)

I closed my eyes and reached into the box. There were a lot of names in there!

No, I’m not in pain…I closed my eyes and reached into the box to do the big grand prize draw! There were a lot of names in there! (Thanks to John Gaudi for the photo)

I drew my Uncle Mackie’s name, but as you can see, I really didn’t know what I was grabbing in that box of names. I’ve heard he was very excited, and I’ve had a few people say that they were excited for him since he’s such a nice man.

It was SO much fun and it made waking up super-early worth it, haha! We’ve been hearing from so many people that they enjoyed the show this morning. It makes me so happy to hear it. I’m so lucky to have this job and deal with great people every day and do cool things like today’s radio show. Thank you to Labrador Morning for making this happen.

I leave you with this morning’s rendition of Boys From the Tickle, a Richard Neville original. Definitely a future classic (does that make sense?).


PS Okay, maybe not leaving just yet. If you don’t follow the goings-on on Twitter, here’s a sample:

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