Harbour Grace Notebook: September


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2 Sept. 1889: The first Immaculate Conception Cathedral burns. Although valued at $350,000 in 1889, the church carried no insurance for damages.

3 Sept. 1799: Father Patrick Phelan drowns off Grates Cove; he is later buried at Bennett’s Lane Roman Catholic Cemetery, Harbour Grace. He would be one of the cemetery’s earliest internments. Phelan, a Franciscan or Friar Minor, headed the Harbour Grace mission under Bishop James O’Donel (O’Donnell), travelling around Conception Bay to deliver mass to its Catholics. Although the date of his arrival is unknown, Phelan was in Harbour Grace by 1794, making two visitations to his parish annually.

3 Sept. 1856: Harbour Grace Turf Club holds a meeting at Connell’s Hotel. The Club names Capt. Samuel Gordon chairperson, J. Fennell secretary.

3 Sept. 1906: Sir Thomas Roddick marries his second wife, Amy Redpath, in Chislehurst, London.

4 Sept. 1860: Volunteer Fire Brigade reorganizes: a new fire bell is erected, and a new engine purchased. Henry T. Moore, Michael Hartery and others are appointed to the committee.

5 Sept. 1830: Beginning of Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade.

5 Sept. 1864: In a match held in St. John’s, the Harbour Grace Volunteer Rifle Corps beat their St. John’s counterparts.

5 Sept. 1927: Pilots Terrence Tully & James V. Medcalf arrive at the Harbour Grace airstrip in their plane, the Sir John Carling.


James V. Medcalf and Terrence Tully, pilots of the Sir John Carling

7 Sept. 1927: The Sir John Carling leaves the Harbour Grace airstrip. Pilots Duke Schiller and Phil Wood arrive at the airstrip in the Royal Windsor.

9 Sept. 1935: The Northrop Alpha, a pleasure aircraft piloted by Frederick D. Lee, arrives in Harbour Grace.

11 Sept. 1854: Harbour Grace’s ‘Beacon Light’ first exhibited.

11 Sept. 1935: The Northrop Alpha leaves Harbour Grace for Saint John, New Brunswick.

12 Sept. 1927: SS Kyle recovers the wreck of the Old Glory, with the crew nowhere to be found. Fred Koehler, instrumental in creating an airstrip at Harbour Grace, was on board.

13 Sept. 1851: Magistrate Robert John Pinsent lays the cornerstone at the Temperance Hall on Victoria St.

14 Sept. 1614: Henry Mainwarring, a pirate who frequented Harbour Grace’s shores, leaves Newfoundland.

14 Sept. 1927: Royal Windsor leaves Harbour Grace for Windsor, Ontario, its planned transatlantic flight cancelled after the fates of the Old Glory and Sir John Carling.

15 Sept. 1936: Beachcraft newsplane, carrying Carl Chader and passengers, arrives in Harbour Grace to cover the rescue of the Lady Peace, then stranded in Musgrave Harbour. Also, the Great Silver Fleet aircraft arrives in Harbour Grace as part of the rescue. It is the largest plane to visit airstrip in its nine-year history.

16 Sept. 1911: Ship Rosemary G. crashes off Feather Point, Harbour Grace. Crew survives.

16 Sept. 1936: Beachcraft aircraft, with pilot Johnny Schobe, arrives in Harbour Grace and leaves the same day for Musgrave Harbour.

17 Sept. 1862: S.S. Bluejacket, steamship on the Harbour Grace-Portugal Cove ferry run, catches fire near Kelly’s Island. Passenger Mrs. Foley left on burning ship and rescued by Henry Gosse and crew.

18 Sept. 1936: Lady Peace aircraft, piloted by Dick Merrill and Harry Richman, arrives at Harbour Grace from Musgrave Harbour, having been rescued by Ed Rickenbacker, the famed World War I flying ace.

20 Sept. 1842: Diomede Falconio Born in Pescocostanzo, Italy, in the region of the Abbey of Monte Cassino.


Thomas Eakin’s portrait of Diomede Falconio (Source: National Gallery of Art)

20 Sept. 1936: The Great Silver Fleet and Lady Peace aircrafts leave Harbour Grace for New York, USA.

21 Sept. 1833: First Presentation Sisters arrive in St. John’s. Sisters from the Order would come to Harbour Grace in 1851.

21 Sept. 1837: Rev. William Ellis dies at Harbour Grace. He is the first British Methodist missionary to die and be buried in Newfoundland.

23 Sept. 1930: Errol Boyd and Harry Connor arrive at the Harbour Grace airstrip in the Columbia. This trip would be the plane’s second to Harbour Grace in two years. (Originally the plane carried Broadway actress and socialite Mable Boll to Harbour Grace in 1928.) More info: Harbour Grace Airport Trust Co. Logbook

25 Sept. 1730: George Garland is appointed Justice of the Peace for Harbour Grace.

28 Sept. 1976: Heritage Canada awards the Conception Bay Museum the ‘Regional Prize Award for Atlantic Canada,’ for restoration work on the old Customs House in Harbour Grace. More info: Trident (November 1976)

L-R: Gordon Simmons, former museum president; R.A.J. Phillips, Heritage Canada administrator; Judge Rupert Bartlett, museum president; and Shannie Duff, president of the Newfoundland Historic Trust. Ceremony held September 28, 1976.

29 Sept. 1879: John Munn dies in Southport, Lancashire, England, at age 72.

29 Sept. 1881: Bishop Ronald McDonald arrives in Harbour Grace.

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