Friday, 26 June 2015

10 Amazing Artifacts of NL: The Sick Call Kit

We are very pleased to announce that Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum is featured in this month's issue of Downhome Magazine. The article highlights ten interesting and unique artifacts from across the province. We are honoured to be included in this exclusive selection of amazing artifacts; each an important parts of Newfoundland's culture and history. 

Want to know a little more about the history of our featured artifact? Of course you do. 

This artifact is known as a Sick Kit, or a Sick Call Kit. Sick Kits were used by priests to administer last rites to those who were too sick to leave their homes. Roman Catholics often had Sick Kits in their homes, but priests also possessed them for any necessary occasion. They were easy to travel with, as the kit can be closed, and each item securely placed in its rightful spot. Each piece in the Sick Kit had a unique and vital role. 

The candles were lit when the priest came to the door, where he was greeted, and then led to the dying individual by candlelight. The priest brought holy water with him, which he transferred to the small bowl at the base of the crucifix, using the handled spoon to carefully transfer the holy water. The small brush was dipped into the holy water, and sprinkled on the sick person. 

The two shallow silver dishes each had an individual purpose. The first was used to hold oil - which was used to anoint the sick individual - and the second was used to hold cotton or stale bread, so that the priest could wipe the oil from his hands. 

Last rites refers to a priest's administration (usually in the following order) of Penance, Anointing and Viaticum. This ritual is meant to prepare the dying person's soul for death. Penance is the confession of one's sins in order to be absolved, and thus allows the person to get into heaven. Anointing is the act of pouring or sprinkling oil over one's head or body. This is done with the purpose of relieving suffering. Viaticum is another term for the Eucharist, and is latin for "provision for the jouney." Viaticum only takes place if the dying individual is in fact able to receive it.  

The history of this particular Sick Kit is very interesting. It is quite old, as it dates prior to 1897. It was originally owned by John and Annie Griffen who were residents of the community. It was passed down through three generations of people, and eventually was donated to the museum by Mary Kennedy in memory of her family. 

Want to read about the other amazing artifacts from across the province featured in this article? Pick up your copy of Downhome Magazine at Downhome Shoppe and Gallery on 303 Water Street. 

Check out the link below to read about one of the featured amazing artifacts. Cow Head's Murderous Axe:

-Katie Harvey

Friday, 5 June 2015

Memories of Outer Cove Plane Crash: Mary Roche

Mary Roche relaying her memory of the Outer Cove plane crash. Photograph by Kenneth J. Harvey

As mentioned in previous posts, the museum is creating a new exhibit on the Outer Cove plane crash of 1956. Our curator, Katie Harvey, is conducting a series of interviews with people who remember that day. The exhibit will contain as many first-hand accounts of the event as possible.

Mary Roche lives directly behind the house that was hit by the plane, and so she remembers the day very clearly. I interviewed her yesterday about her memory, and her story will be outlined in the exhibit. 

Here is a small portion of what she told me:

"I heard this big bang and I thought the horse was out . . . and I thought the kids were after throwing a rock and the horse bucked up against the house or something. 
And I went out singing out, 'God bless it!'
'Mom, it's not us, we had nothing to do it. That's... Look down.' 
And I said 'What is it?' And my son said, 'There's a plane.' 
I thought he was joking. 
He said, 'Mom, come out til you sees.' 
And when I went out sure enough you could see the smoke coming up."

The whole story will be revealed in the unveiling of our new
exhibit, which will take place on Saturday, September 5 from 2:00-4:00pm.

                                                                                -Katie Harvey