Notre Dame Bay Region
Extracts from "A Century of Methodism in Twillingate and Notre Dame Bay"Rev. William Henry Edgar Mercer
published by Twillingate Sun, 1932
Transcriber's note: The spelling of certain names varies throughout the book and I have preserved these variations. I have concentrated throughout on local names, rather than the names and experiences of appointed ministers. Local ministers have been included. Typographical errors in the original are preserved, and are indicated by [sic].
THE METHODIST, NOW THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA AND TWILLINGATE PRESBYTERY, NEWFOUNDLAND CONFERENCE.
MORETON'S HARBOUR AND TIZZARD'S HARBOUR
The records show that at Moreton's Harbour there were five Society Classes and we give the names as perhaps their descendants may be able to recognize them. During the years Moreton's and Tizzard's Harbour were affiliated with this Circuit, they liberally supported the ministers and missions.
MORETON'S AND TIZZARD'S HARBOURS.
The successful business men—Osmonds, Smalls, Woolfreys, Bretts, Burts & Boyds, are descendants of the good old stock which were members of the above Society Classes. These are greatly interested in Church, education, and community work, endeavouring to make their communities bigger and better. The present Pastor, Rev. John T. Clarke, B.A., is an energetic worker, and claims he is spending a happy term among a sympathetic and considerate people.
Exploits, an appointment from 1842 to 1860, with about forty members and twenty on trial, in 1859 contributed to ministerial support £9 0s. 0d.
There were three classes—
…..Exploits suffered a great loss on January 6th, 1932, and so did the United Church and the whole of the Bay when Chesley A. Manual [sic], Notre Dame Bay's prominent business man, widely known and much esteemed, passed out.
Mr. Manuel was a descendant of the old stock of Manuels mentioned in the above Society Class list. We did not know Mr. Manuel intimately, but, knowing as much about him as we do, we copy the following extracts from a eulogy by"A friend".
Mr. Manuel's charity was as genuine as it was universal, with the result that to-day legion are the widows and orphans, the infirm and sick who mourn his death. He was kind-heartedness personified, and seemed as if to seek out those for whom he might do good. His home at Exploits was ever open to friends and visitors, and, all whose pleasure it has ever been to partake of his hospitality, could with reason proclaim him ‘Facile Princeps'."
New Bay, another old appointment, had a membership of ten in 1859, and one class took in all its members as follows:--
Edmund Moores (Leader)
….Rev. Bernard Heywood is in charge, and he is very optimistic over its future success. He has his work well organized, and his newly elected Committees will help towards"the greatly needed impetus to the social and material sides of the life of Point Leamington and New Bay Churches that these organizations can give." New Bay's contribution in 1859 amounted to £3.
LITTLE BAY ISLANDS
Another appointment of the old Green Bay Circuit was Little Bay Islands. In 1856 its membership was sixteen, an increase followed, and in 1859 the Society Class shows twenty-two members at Little Bay Islands, and two at Triton: --
[p. 131] Little Bay Islands is a place of charming scenery and is the home of the Strongs, Murcells and Joneses. It can boast of good specimens of Newfoundland product, such as Capt. George Jones, S. M., who represented this District in the House of Assembly, being elected in 1919 with a vote of 2761. We were in this District when he was elected and admired him as a public man who could face the world four-square. Hon. James M. Strong is another of Little Bay Islands [sic] best specimens, who is a member of the Legislative Council of the Newfoundland Legislature, and head of one of the largest of the country's fish producing and exporting concerns in the Island. Still another is Lady Helena E. Squires, M. H. A., wife of the Prime Minister. Lady Squires is a member of the new Lewisporte Electoral District and the first woman elected to the House of Assembly in Newfoundland. Her election by this intelligent and conscientious electorate proves her merit…..
….It is one of the oldest English settlements, north of Bonavista, that was not occupied by the French in the seventeenth century, and in 1738 there were 215 inhabitants living there in the summer, and 143 remained during the winter.
Prowse in his"History of Newfoundland" states"The English settlements, north of Bonavista, grew so rapidly, that in 1732, the Commodore was instructed to include in his ‘scheme' an account of Fogo and Twillingate." About this date Fogo owned 11 fishing ships, 14 boats of the fishing ships, and 24 boats, the property of the inhabitants. In 1742 Fogo and Twillingate were credited with making £2, 550 from seal oil.
[p. 132] ….from 1832-1973 Fogo and Twillingate were an electoral District. Its first M. H. A. was Thomas Bennett and its last S. McKay and C. Duder.
….Many of Fogo's lay workers have been among the foremost in our great Church, viz., T. C. Duder, M. H. A., Dr. Malcolm and John Lucas. We have heard Mr. Lucas preach from the pulpit of Bay Roberts church and his sermons were edifying. John Hodge, Esq, was also one of Fogo's great men. We can judge of him through his ancestors—the Hodges of Twillingate who are outstanding figures in the commercial, political and religious life of this town. Josiah Oake of the present day, Sunday School Superintendent for twenty-eight consecutive years and Recording Steward for a similar period.
….We must not fail to mention Levi Perry, Esq., J. P., of Joe Batt's Arm, whom we knew quite well. The late Levi Perry was one of our Church's best local preachers and workers. He was Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, local preacher and member of all Boards connected with his Church for several years, and was from youth actively identified with the life of the Church. He was a local preacher of outstanding ability. We [p. 133] have heard him speak in Lewisporte Church, and his addresses always made a profound impression on his hearers. He was a great missionary enthusiast and his thrilling messages on the great missionary work of our Church gripped the hearts of the people whose privilege it was to listen to him. He was a loyal and faithful friend of the minister, and, while others criticised, he praised. His hospitable home was always a haven of rest to the man of God. He liberally supported his church and made many sacrifices to raise the minister's salary.
He was a good Methodist but he was none the less a man of broad outlook, and his wide reading and deep human sympathies enabled him to sympathize with and help those who took a different view from his own. As a man he was honoured and loved by all who knew him. His whole life was an example, and one of fine inspiration, and he left a great memory behind him.
CHANGE ISLANDS AND HERRING NECK.
In 1931, under the supervision of the present enterprising pastor, the Rev. Thomas Evans, a new Bell and Belfry were erected in memory of the late Solomon Roberts, Esq., J. P. –Mr Roberts' legacy to the United Church….
Change Islands began to discover its independence, and erected a new Church [p. 134] which was completed and opened for divine worship under the superintendency of Rev. Albert A. Holmes. Subsequently a Parsonage was built which resulted in Change Islands securing its own Pastor. Revs. C. W. Bryant, H. G. Coppin, Arminus Young, L. E. G. Davies, J. A. Wilkinson, W. J. Woolfrey and others, have been stationed at Change Islands since the erection of the Parsonage. The work there had been carried on successfully through the previous years with the help of such worthy laymen as the Watermans, Taylors and Robertses. Recently we met Mr. John Roberts, of the firm of S. Roberts, a very energetic business man, who has accumulated some wealth, and devotes a great proportion of it to the welfare of his fellow man. Mr. Roberts has given liberally to the N. D. B. M. Hospital, and his many friends wish him a long and unselfish career of philanthropic deeds.
[From the section on Herring Neck] Mr. Joseph White, of Twillingate, is manager of G. J. Carter's establishment there.
[NB: On p. 135 there are photographs of R. W. Manuel and Manuel's Hotel.]
[p. 136] The Manuels, Woolfreys, Freakes, Moors and Rideout [sic] were the successful business men of our day. The Manuels, Woolfreys and Freakes, are still carrying on with a large measure of success. Mr. Uriah Freake, one of Lewisporte's finest citizens and Church workers, passed out about seven years ago. The loss to this community and Church at that time seemed almost irreparable. He was a man of generous instincts. The half will never be told of his kindness to those in need. His left hand knew not what his right hand did. I can only inadequately pay merited tribute to the memory of Uriah Freake, my sincere friend. Mr. Eli Rowe is manager of Freake's business at Lewisporte. Lewisporte is now an Electoral District, and at the last General Election, elected a Lady, Helena E. Squires, wife of the Prime Minister, as its first representative to the House of Assembly—a precedent in Newfoundland politics.
….Lewisporte consists of handsome dwelling houses and bungalows, two large hotels, Manuel's and King George (Woolfrey's), several boarding houses and restaurants, a splendid church (United), S. A. Barracks, two school buildings, five large business establishments and several small stores, and a newly renovated Orange Lodge and Hall. This Hall serves as a town hall and Court House. Dr. Knapp, J. P., is both doctor and Magistrate.
[p. 137] We append the following clippings from the pen of Mr. Peter Moors, during our ministry at Lewisporte:
Editor Daily News,
Dear Sir,--Just an echo
from this thriving town. Last night Rev. Mr. Mercer, our energetic
pastor, held a congregational meeting to let the whole church know
what was being done. It was unique; no meeting of this kind was ever
held here before and is not general anywhere, we believe.
Notwithstanding the fact that discipline recommends it had it been
understood full accounts of all branches of the work would have been
given, as it was only just an outline from some and nothing from
others, but no doubt at the next meeting full reports will be
presented. It is certainly right and proper that every church should
know what is being done, what money is collected and how expended.
All Boards are appointed (or should be) by the Church and should at
stated times give full reports of their work. The time has come when
not only the Minister, T. B. and Q. O. B. should know, but the church
as a whole. Lewisporte is advancing all along the line; all
collections are a long way ahead of last year, so we are told.
Services on Sundays and week nights are well attended and spiritually
uplifting. Sunday School, Bible Class, Ladies Aid, Women`s
Missionary Society, etc., are doing well. The ladies have and are
doing splendid work and they are deserving of our highest praise.
When the boys came home from the front they were given a hearty
welcome, an excellent tea and entertainment were got up for them and
all enjoyed it fully. A very nice Honour Roll hangs in the Church
and School Room to their honour. They have done nobly: some are
maimed for life, some gave their lives on the field of battle and
their bodies lie somewhere across the seas but their names will go
down in history as having done"better than the best."
Editor Daily News,
Dear Sir,—Just a word from Lewisporte. On New Year's Eve the building committee handed over our Methodist Church to the trustees free of debt and with a small balance over. All things considered this is good, and to the Great Head of the Universal Church be the Glory.
Some months previous the monument was unveiled by two [p. 138] of our khaki boys in honour of those who so nobly laid down their lives for the cause of freedom and liberty. The Memorial is a marble slab and table with the names of our heroes engraved in letters of gold, and christening font and the words,"Holy, Holy, Holy," printed on the front of the table. It is erected in the Church.
At the Harvest Thanksgiving more than three hundred dollars (300) was raised. The people of Lewisporte gave nobly of their substance and our friends from the S. S. Home and others bought most of their goods. We must not forget that our people gave the produce first, otherwise there would not have been anything to sell, so equal credit comes to giver and buyer. The ladies of the congregation have come to the front and done their part grandly and we cannot say too much in their praise.
The Methodist people of
Lewisporte are looking forward to a good year. They are working to
make the church independent, and if all will only work and pray and
give as God has given them, then we shall as a Church realize great
and lasting good, and to God we will give all the praise.
Lewisporte, Jan. 10, 1921. P. M.
….It was named Botwoodville in honour of the Rev. Edward Botwood (C. of E.) who was appointed Archdeacon of Newfoundland in 1894. Since it became a sea-port town the"ville" has been dropped, and it is now Botwood…..
[p. 139] The A. N. D. Co's offices at Botwood are in charge of Mr. Thomas Arklie, a very capable superintendent, and the work of the A. N. D. Co. and the Buchan's Mining Co. is carried on without friction, under the superintendency of Mr. Arklie and his efficient staff….
[p. 140] The commodious stores of Ayre & Sons, Ltd., Wentzells, Adams, Harveys, Antles, Strongs, Dominics, Browns and Baggs, and other accessories of modern civilization with electricity as the principal illuminant in the leading homes, public buildings and stores, make the town present a very handsome appearance, comparing favourably with large towns in Newfoundland and Canada.
[From the section on the new United Church, p. 141] In 1926 an excellent concrete basement (Sunday School [p. 142] Hall) was constructed under the superintendency of Mr. G. J. Strong, an efficient architect, which will serve as a great asset to Botwood youth. The corner stone of the new edifice was laid December 4th, 1926, by Mr. Thomas Arklie, assisted by Mr. G. J. Strong. It is of costly marble, the gift of Mr. James Wentzell. A box to be deposited in the receptacle containing a Bible, a Hymn-book, the record of proceedings of the first General Council of the United Church of Canada, copies of the New Outlook and Monthly Greeting, documents of the names of members of the Building Committee, Trustees, and all Church officers and souvenirs from members of the congregation, was passed over by the master builder Mr. Strong, to Mr. Arklie, who having deposited it, made the necessary adjustments, and laid the corner-stone according to the Ritual of the Methodist Church. Mr. Arklie gave over the special trowel used in performing the ceremony to the Official Board….
Mr. John Roberts ably superintended the construction of the Church, and brought it to completion in 1928….
[From a description of the July 8th dedication service] At the morning service, Rev. Dr. Fenwick was the preacher, who baptized Gloria Ruth Mercer in a font presented as her gift, to the new Church.
Many and sundry were the gifts placed in the Church, the largest being a magnificent pipe organ by James and Mrs. Wentzell; all the electric fixtures in memory of Gilbert Antle, who died in the World war [sic], by Thomas and Mrs. Antle; a large pulpit Bible and Hymn-Book by W. G. and Mrs. Adams; a memorial clock in memory of their boy, by Thomas and Mrs. Edison; Pulpit chairs by Arthur and Mrs. Antle; an Honour [p. 143] Roll by Mr. Frank Adams; Pulpit and Communion Table by Mrs. Mercer's Play Troupe.
The plan of the new Church was drawn and presented by the Bowring Bros., Bay Roberts, and the exterior with its two beautiful towers, is built according to the original plan. The interior is the plan of Mr. John Roberts….The organ, the gift of the Wentzells, is one of the finest in the outports….
We should like to rescue from oblivion, and place on record a few names of old friends, Church officers and workers, viz.: James Wentzell, Thomas Antle, A. J. Harvey, Valentine Manuel, Thomas Oxford, W. George Adams, Kenneth Dean and John Elliott.
A name worthy in the annals of Methodism in Notre Dame Bay, is that of James Wentzell, a Canadian, who emigrated to Newfoundland when a youth. Mr. Wentzell has for many years done noble service as a layman, class leader and local preacher. His active services in the Church are over, but he is still found among the worshippers.
The Wentzells have contributed liberally to every effort of the Church, not only of their own particular branch, but the Churches of other denominations, as well as hospitals and other worthwhile institutions. Our N. D. B. Memorial has, and will continue to receive contributions from them. They have given several thousands of dollars to the new Church at Botwood, and our wish is that the Wentzells will be long spared to enjoy the worship in the Church they have helped largely to build.
Methodism has no warmer friend and well-wisher than Thomas Antle. He helped largely in the building of the old [p. 144] Church and the School Hall, being an active member of the Building Committee, and gave his sympathy and liberal support to the new Church, which was greatly appreciated. The minister is always a welcomed guest at the Antle home. The present Recording Steward of Botwood charge, is Arthur N. Antle, Mr. Antle's eldest son, who is following in the footsteps of his father.
A. J. Harvey was for years Recording Steward, and has been a life-long supporter of the Church of his choice.
Valentine Manuel, for many years sexton and lay-reader, did what lay in his power to enhance the cause he loved.
Thomas Oxford is a devoted worshipper, and is very seldom absent from the Lord's House, on Sunday and week evening.
W. G. Adams is always ready with his support and service, as a worthy and useful church official. The Adamses have always been a great help to Methodism. The Rev. Allan S. Adams of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, is a brother. As church workers at Tilt Cove, the Adamses had a record, and their record at Botwood is most certainly praiseworthy.
Two faithful Trustees and church workers—Kenneth Dean and John Elliott—have passed on. We highly esteemed the friendship of Kenneth Dean, because of his simple goodness and sterling Christian character. In our term of office at Botwood we became close personal friends, and his presence was to us a benediction in and out of the Church. We were with him in almost his last moments, and when the sands of Time were running out he gladly and quietly committed his soul to God, trusting Him whom he had believed. Of no man could it be more truthfully said, in affectionate farewell:"Well done, good and faithful servant."
Few men were missed more than this respected townsman, when he was removed from Botwood and the Church he continually attended, supported and adored.
Although Mr. Dean was well up in years, he volunteered to do his bit for King and country, and was promoted to the office of Lieutenant with His Majesty's Forces during the Great War.
John Elliott, a
successful foreman with the A. N. D. Co. for years, was a much
respected citizen, Class leader, Exhorter and church official. Like
Mr. Dean he died in great peace. He was one of the big-hearted
Churchmen, who gave us $ 500.00, as his
[From a section on the United Church in Northern Arm North] Immediately over the choir on the northern end of the Church, is a beautifully executed coloured glass window, and in the western end there is another. Both donated as memorial windows by the Evans family.
Samuel Evans, a local preacher for many years, and a man of a kindly and Christ-like disposition has done noble service, also Robert Evans, Sunday School Superintendent and lay-reader, has served faithfully.
HOSPITAL STAFF 1931.
Dr. Charles S. Curtis, Medical Director.
Dr. Frank Phinney, of Cincinnati, eye, ear, nose and throat specialist. Drs. Wilcox and Forsyth, House Officers.
Drs. Kopperud and Kuenhert, Dental Department.
John D. Steele and Edward Newhauser, Assistants.
Miss Carlsen, Head Nurse, Housekeeper and Anaesthetist.
Misses Mason, Minteer, Widenmyer, Fisher, Van Pelt, Beach and Stewart, Nurses.
The United Church is of an attractive design and reflects great credit on the builder, Mr. Ambrose Davis.
[From a section on the ministers, p. 150] These ministers have been ably supported by the Moulands, Abbotts, Hickses and Whiteways.
This town has produced splendid specimens who are making large contributions to their own country and elsewhere. Some of them are Rev. Solomon Hann, M. A., Jesse Whiteway, Esq., M. H. A., Dr. S. P. Whiteway, Principal of the Normal School of Newfoundland, Dr. Charles Whiteway, physician in his own town, Beaton Abbott, Principal of Wesleyville High School, Isaac Goodyear, Principal of St. George's, Horatio Guy, Principal Grand Bank, B. H. Butt, Principal Twillingate. We have been associated with the latter three who have proved their worth as teachers.
T. W. Abbott and sons have an enterprising firm at Musgrave Harbour doing a large trade.
This place, originally named Western Arm, has been made by John Hicks and his sons, the Tulks, Goodyears, Chaulks and Woolfreys.
TILT COVE AND NIPPER'S HARBOUR.
[From the section on Tilt Cove, p. 151] The mine called "the Union Mine" produced on the east side copper and iron ore, and west, copper and richer iron ore. The discoverer was a prospector named Smith McKay, who, while in the home of a fisherman, caught sight of a piece of yellow-coloured stone on the mantel shelf. He examined the stone and ascertained that a child had picked it up at the bottom of a cliff close at hand, and that it had fallen from the cliff. Mr. McKay knew that this was copper ore and subsequently, with his partner, Charles F. Bennett, secured a mining license, and in two or three years this quiet village became a scene of mining activity….
The mine was closed down in 1912 and the miners left, and this town, famous for its copper mining region, was reduced to its former condition as a fishing hamlet, with but the mining apparatus remaining. About fourteen families are residing there now.
The Methodist Church at Tilt Cove was in charge of such men as Revs. J. J. Blythe, Dr. Bond, J. K. Curtis, Edwin Moore.
Nipper's Harbour….is the home-town of R. G. Starks, Esq., M. H. A., of Green Bay, who carries on an extensive business there.
The last census there were 17,268 Methodists in the Bay, an increase of about 16,000 in half a century. In the whole of Newfoundland in 1845 there were 14,239 Methodists, and according to the census returns of 1921, there were 73,410. The increase in this period being almost 60, 000. The increase in the decennial period from 1911 to 1921 was 5, 368.
[p. 155] This old circuit [Twillingate] was a pioneer in the stress it laid upon work for the youth and it had especially built and equipped buildings for the training of the young and was able to enlist in this service through these many years some of the most capable and eminent parishioners—a few of whom we have mentioned—one of the old schools converted into a net-store by Messrs. Ashbournes Ltd. adorns this town to-day….
THE LAST YEAR OF THE GREAT WAR. –CONFERENCE LOYAL ADDRESS.
[p. 162] During the month a deputation appointed by the Conference, consisting of the President and Secretary, Rev. E. W. Forbes, M. D., B. D., Rev. W. B. Bugden, B. A.; Messrs. A. Mews, C. M. G., W. H. Peters, A. Soper, R. F. Horwood and J. C. Puddester, waited upon His Excellency the Governor and presented the following Address which had been beautifully illustrated by Mr. W. G. Currie….
[p. 164] The late Rev. Wm. Harris, who passed away on February 7th at Brooklyn, N. Y., was for a number of years stationed at Moreton's Hr., and previous to that time was Junior Minister in Twillingate, marrying first the late Mary Roberts from Long Point. His daughter Winnie is still in China as a missionary. He leaves a widow and a son in Brooklyn and a son in Toronto.
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