Monthly Archives: August 2012

Labour Day

Hello everyone,

The Them Days Office will be closed Monday, September 3rd, 2012 for Labour Day. Them Days will reopen again Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 8:30 A.M.

Have a great weekend.


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Guest Post: The White Elephant Museum (Makkovik)

Since many of our blog readers are interested in other organizations in Labrador that share some of Them Days’ goals and purpose, I’ve asked some people at these institutions to write guest blog posts. Today’s guest post is from Joan Andersen of the White Elephant Museum in Makkovik. I think that the idea Joan talks about below is super cool–I love putting the talents of summer students to good use! Thanks, Joan, for this wonderful insight into your museum! (And way to go, Jessica, for your awesome work!)

The White Elephant Museum is a heritage structure in Makkovik, part of the Moravian Mission property. It was built in 1915 as a boarding school. The school soon outgrew the little building, and was moved to the huge mission house. Then the little house had to be maintained but had no real purpose, hence the name White Elephant! It has most often been used as a residence, until 1996 when the Moravian Centennial committee in Makkovik decided to turn it into a museum. It is a seasonal operation, open in summer time. But tours are available upon request. This summer we hired Jessica Winters as our tour guide/museum worker. Jessica enjoys painting, so we asked her to begin what we called a Museum Showcase. She paints a picture and we post it in a public place. It not only showcases something of interest to the public, it also shares Jessica’s talent.

Jessica’s paintings on display

The first shows a flower, which I saw in Happy Valley as well. It looks like a tiny white flower, but when you pick it and take a closer look, it has all this color!! The common eyebright is the name of it.

Jessica’s painting of the Common Eyebright

The second painting is a rendition of a photo found in the book “The Seafaring Jacksons” by Charles Uglow. Captain Jackson was at the helm of the Moravian Mission ship ‘Harmony’. Jessica painted a picture of Miriam Rowe, from Bedford, England. She was a teacher who came out on the Harmony in 1923 and taught in Makkovik. Aunt Inga Andersen (1913-2010) and Andrea Andersen (1912-1986) took music (organ) lessons from her. Amongst the collection of post cards at the museum are a few written by Miriam Rowe to Andrea in 1925 and 1926.

Jessica’s painting of Miriam Rowe on the Harmony

Here is the third painting done by Jessica Winters, our summer student. She finishes up today, and start her final year of high school in September. This is a picture of Bill Edmunds… her rendition of a photo found in the ITK magazine. She is working on another painting now, Ellen (Andersen) and Abe Morgan.

Jessica’s painting of Bill Edmunds

-Joan Andersen

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My last day at Them Days

Happy Thursday all,
Today is my last day at Them Days! Wow, eight weeks really did just fly by. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some super people, whether it was coworkers, interviewees, or just people I have met while working. I head off to Cape Breton University early Saturday morning (eeeek), I have learned so much from Them Days. I have enjoyed working closely with the preservation of our history, if it was digitzing or being told stories by word of mouth.

Not to mention the endless memories and laughs that we shared. I don’t think there was a dull day here at Them Days even though we are all busy, there was always something that stood out. I know I’ll miss my coworkers, and I have learned something from each and every one.

I wish nothing  but the best for Them Days and everyone that has some sort of contribution to this non profit organization.

Thanks to the SWASP program offered through the provincial government’s Department of Advanced Education and Skills, and Them Days Inc. for providing me with a fun filled summer work placement, I am very grateful. Once again, I’ll certainly miss this fun filled busy office.

Take care everyone,

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Job Posting: Project Assistant!

Yes, that’s right–another job ad! (And this time, it’s NOT for an administrator!)

We’re putting out a new special issue soon, and because it’s going to be big, I need some help! So we’re looking for somebody who could do some archival research, interviews, and be super organized. Could it be you?

Click here to see the job ad.

So exciting!!!


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Disaster Preparedness Workshop

Last Wednesday and Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop hosted at the Labrador Interpretation Centre, taught by representatives from the Canadian Conservation Institute (it was jointly sponsored by the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives and the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador). It was about dealing with emergencies at museums and archives and making disaster preparedness plans…a very useful topic, as you might imagine!

Of course, we hope that we never have to deal with the sort of thing that we were talking about at the workshop (flooding, fire, break-ins and vandalism, digital failure, etc), but it’s best to be ready than not.

We learned about the theory behind these emergencies, how to deal with disasters thrown your way, and we also looked at disasters that had taken place at other institutions, like roof collapse from snow, fire, and flood. I was thanking my lucky stars that nothing like this has ever happened at Them Days. What a catastrophe those events would be!

Of course, not all emergencies are on a large scale. Some are smaller…like what if a pipe burst and things got wet? Well, now I know more about handling wet items.

We put our theory to the test with some activities.

A salvage exercise from the workshop…how would you deal with these pieces if they were wet?

And then, we even got to do some hands-on stuff!

Would you know how to pick up a piece of paper floating in a puddle? You wouldn’t want to just pick it up if it were fragile and important, because it could tear, fold in on itself and tear while you try to take it apart.

Well, I learned a way to do that! You can pick it up with a piece of plastic!

Testing a new skill…lifting a paper out of water using a piece of plastic!

Simply lay the plastic on top of the paper floating in the water. It will stick itself to the paper in the water (yay water surface tension!). Touch the corners of the paper as you pull the plastic out, so that it doesn’t lift off. Ta-dah!


Now, I’m all excited to write an emergency preparedness plan. Funny how that might not seem like the most interesting thing to do, but I’m all energized about it from the workshop.

Ready for disaster!

The North West River United Church ladies made some amazing food, too. I left with a full and happy belly each day! 🙂


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Join the conversation on our Facebook page!

Tracy, our Archive Technician, has posted some interesting finds on our Facebook page. Take a look and join the conversation! (And don’t forget to “Like” Them Days to keep up with our announcements and events!

What Tracy posted on Facebook

I definitely remember reading this paper! How about you? Do you know the people pictured on the pages? (I do!)


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Jim’s Harbour

It’s Friday!!!

On a warm summer’s day me and my parents decided to go to the cabin.  The sun was shining bright and the water was flat as the floor.  A perfect day to go to our cabin, we concluded. – Gillian Gear, Them Days Vol 33.2

The above quote was written by my sister.  After brainstorming ideas with Aimee it was certain that I should write about my experiences at my cabin (of course, Gill had to speak of the guest that would appear often: the black bear.)

My dad, a familiar site: making sure the boat doesn’t drift away!

Jim’s Harbour is shared by three families: my family (the Gears), and two families of the Jacques.  A beautiful harbour that is 45 minutes away from Postville (almost halfway to Makkovik).  The cove at low tide was occupied by my sister and I catching baby sculpins, flatfishes and if we were lucky, eels.  As we would be playing the day away, my mother or father would yell out to us letting us know that supper was ready.  To our luck, we would enter the cabin to fried fish that was just pulled from the net that day (yummm!)

I think I tripped up a few times here…

A game we would enjoy is something we would call lava, jumping from one rock to another and not stepping on any of the grass seen.  Of course, I would be wearing rubbers and clumsy me would trip up numerous times.  As we grew older, we used the rocks for tanning or just enjoying the sound of the wind on the water.  Oh, I should add I did hook myself in the leg one time swinging my hook back and forth which was from fishing in the harbour (that was fun.)

See you another time cabin!

The memories are endless from this place.  It will always have a special place in my heart, it was truly our second home.  I have no idea when I’ll be back to this place, but I’m hoping sometime in the foreseeable future.

Have a great weekend everyone,






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