Harbour Grace Notebook: July


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1 July 1851: First Presentation Sisters arrive in Harbour Grace.

1 July 1867: Cornerstone laid on Masonic Lodge by A.W. McKay. Still standing, the Lodge is the oldest in Newfoundland and the oldest wooden Masonic Lodge in Canada. More info: Heritage Foundation of NL.

4 July 1840: Bishop Aubrey Spencer officially consecrates St. Paul’s Church. More info: St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

4 July 1919: Handley Page Atlantic leaves Harbour Grace. More info: “Great Atlantic Air Race: Admiral Kerr in Harbour Grace,” by Dr. Lisa M. Daly.

5 July 1932: Century of Progress aircraft, piloted by Jimmy Matern and Bennett Griffin, arrives in Harbour Grace; leaves for Berlin, Germany, the same day

5 July 1919: Handley Page Atlantic forced to crash land at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, after leaving Harbour Grace; the crew repaired the plane over the summer. “Great Atlantic Air Race: Admiral Kerr in Harbour Grace,” by Dr. Lisa M. Daly.

Handley Page Atlantic crashes at Parsboro, NS

Handley Page Atlantic crashes at Parrsboro, NS

6 July 1829: Governor Sir Thomas Cochrane visits Harbour Grace to select a site for the new courthouse. He chooses the site where the courthouse is today. There is some suggestion that the courthouse should be built further west on Harvey St. More info: Harbour Grace Courthouse.

6 July 1860: Harbour Grace Volunteer Regiment forms. To approve the volunteer militia, a letter is sent to Magistrate Robert John Pinsent and signed by Captain John Hayward; Lieut. Henry T. Moore, and Robert Stewart Munn. The Regiment drilled at the Parade Grounds, near Military Rd, when weather permits, or at the Barracks. Rifle practice took place west of Target Hill, near Lady Lake.

9 July 1832: A meeting is held to discuss the best way of averting cholera from Harbour Grace. The group pass a resolution to start a subscription for the purposes of a hospital.

9 July 1837: St. Paul’s Church officially opens its doors. More info: St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

9 July 1860: Magistrate Robert John Pinsent sends letter allowing the formation of the Regiment and use of the Barracks. Sergeant Lucas Fallon, chief of police, is tasked with drilling the regiment.

Sergeant Lucas Fallon

Sergeant Lucas Fallon, 1817-1879

10 July 1945: Town of Harbour Grace becomes an incorporated municipality.

11 July 1883: Robert Crocker Bray, Samuel Comer Bray, and Ellen Coombs murdered at the Bray residence, near Church Path/Church Hill (Cochrane St). Bray’s plantation labourers, Peter Downing and Patrick Malone, are arrested for the killings. More info: Archival MomentsGibbet Hill: Unfinished Justice by Patrick J. Collins.

13 July 1863: John March, future Bishop of Harbour Grace Diocese, born in Northern Bay. More info: Newfoundland Grand Banks.

13 July 1931: Justice for Hungary aircraft, piloted by Gyorgy Endresz and Alex Magyar, arrives in Harbour Grace.

14 July 1883: Funerals held for Robert Crocker Bray, Samuel Comer Bray and Ellen Coombs. More info: Archival MomentsGibbet Hill: Unfinished Justice by Patrick J. Collins.

15 July 1931: Justice for Hungary aircraft leaves for Budapest, Hungary.

16 July 1826: King grants Sir Henry Pynn his royal license and permission to wear the insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Portuguese Army.

17 July 1799: George Gordon Cawley, a Newfoundland Regiment officer stationed in Harbour Grace, dies. His gravesite in St. Paul’s Anglican cemetery, Harbour Grace, is the oldest known gravesite of a Newfoundland Regiment officer. More info: St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

George Gordon Cawley

Gravesite of Lieut. George Gordon Cawley

20 July 1879: Tender posted in the Harbour Grace Standard: “The Building Committee of the Benevolent Irish Society will receive sealed tenders until Saturday, 28th instant, at noon, from persons wishing to contract for the erection of St. Patrick’s Hall. Plan and specifications can be seen on the application to the application to the Chairman. The Committee do not bind themselves to accept the lowest or any tender. Michael J. Jones, Chairman, Building Comittee.” St. Patrick’s Hall would be constructed near the bottom of Kingswell Lane, directly to the west.

“Movies were held at St. Patrick’s Hall in the town. Those were the days of the silents, in the early decades of the century. The feature pictures were usually western thrillers, but for many of the happy patrons, especially the youth, the main attraction was Charlie Chaplin. The admission was 10 cents for adults and 5 cents for other – and others tended to be legion!” – R.J. Connelly

22 July 1862: First Regatta held at Lady Lake (or Lady Pond), Harbour Grace.

25 July 1927: Harbour Grace Airport Trust Company, a 21-person committee, formed at the Town Hall.

25 July 1929: Bluenose aircraft, piloted by Vernon Darrell, arrives in Harbour Grace on a pleasure cruise.

27 July 1844: Dr. Edward Feild, lord bishop of the Church of England diocese, arrives at Harbour Grace in the packet Victoria. He preaches to a crowded congregation in St. Paul’s Church on the following morning (Sunday), and in the afternoon proceeds to Carbonear, returning to Harbour Grace for evening service. He raises 70 pounds for the Parsonage House soon to be erected in the parish.

27 July 1853: Work begins on the first public wharf in Harbour Grace, at the bottom of Victoria St.

27 July 1929: Bluenose leaves Harbour Grace for Sydney, Nova Scotia.

28 July 1835: Cornerstone laid for new Episcopal Church in Harbour Grace. The church was on Harvey St, located just east of Noad St. More info: “New Episcopal Church in Harbour Grace,” by Gord Pike: Part I | Part II

28 July 1904: Cornerstone laid for fourth Methodist church of Harbour Grace.

29 July 1933: “Bellanca aircraft,” piloted by George Pond, arrives in Harbour Grace.

29 July 1867: Letter in the Harbour Grace Standard: “I see by the ‘Supply’ Act of 1867 that the Legislature granted the sum of $6,000 for the erection of a Customs House in Harbour Grace. It is high time that the said building be commenced – even supposing a piece of land for the site thereof had to be purchased, the above handsome grant would be quite sufficient therefore, and for the erection of the building. If this not be done, we may well fear that the present contracted old crumbling apology for a Custom House will, before long, fall down…” More info: About Us: Customs House.

30 July 1934: “Pleasure cruise aircraft,” piloted by Paul Beso, arrives in Harbour Grace.

30 July 1846: Sir Thomas Roddick born at Harbour Grace, son of John Irving Roddick and Emma Jane Martin. More info: Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

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