Thursday, 8 September 2016

Working At The Museum From the Perspective of a Student

Working At The Museum
From The Perspective Of Student
By Andrew Young, Museum Assistant

    The museum at the back of the Town Hall of Logy Bay - Middle Cove - Outer Cove is generally thought of, by many, to be a small one. Most people think that they can walk through it in five or ten minutes; this is true, to an extent. However, the museum houses over 600 objects and any individual object can carry a variety of particular meanings to a person. We have a sports section, and sections for the fishery, agriculture, religions, lifestyles, military and school.

    When you come to the museum, you are essentially coming as close as you can to putting yourself in the shoes of someone from the past. By reading the old newspapers you can get an idea of the sort of culture that they had had back then. There was a lot less deception in advertising for example. Character meant much more back then; if you didn't have it, you also didn't have their business.

    A newspaper ad from the Newfoundland Light and Power Company for example, reads as follows:

    "Protect your future first, either by a safe investment, a life insurance policy or a savings account. Then - get all you possibly can out of life. Money invested in electric appliances will give you more opportunities to enjoy life. Make yours an electric house. Be modern."

    If you think about it, that is pretty good advice even for today. In a culture consumed by debt - and as a student, student debt is a concern - it is very wise to tackle that quickly and then save. The next most practical type of investment would be a dishwasher or washing machine. We take washing machines for granted, but many people in the world spend several hours a day washing and hanging up their clothes and do this every couple of days.

    If we don't appreciate that modern innovation then it's relative value in our mind depreciates. We ultimately end up in a losing battle, man versus the machine, wherein man takes the machines for granted, and yet is completely dependent upon them, and develops appetites beyond ones capacities to sustain.

    It is therefore useful and wise to look into how the people of the past lived 100 years ago, and how people in less developed nations live today at this very moment, in order to have those points of comparison in our mind to appreciate the various advantages that we do have currently. We have to constantly combat this phenomenon wherein our happiness is adjusting to the new norm.

    That is the great value in visiting a museum or traveling, you gain a more realistic perception of where you are today. A simple life is a happy life - people then lived simply and were more carefree. If you went and asked a fisherman in Logy Bay how he was doing, he wouldn't know how to answer you. It's because there was only one way of life, and how well someone was doing in life depended upon their character, hard work and sacrifice. Little has changed since then in this regard, for the most part.

Note: Images are all from inside the museum, to help set the tone of Andrew's article. Lisa

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Sikh Society of Newfoundland Exhibit Launch

It's been a busy couple of weeks here at the museum. If you haven't seen our changes, this is your last day, and September 10 for Doors Open, then we'll be open again next summer!

We've made quite a few changes in the museum this summer, from installing UV filters to the windows to allow us to open the curtains and brighten up the museum, to moving things around to hopefully give you, the visitors, more space to explore more comfortably.

We've also updated our Ocean Ranger exhibit with a beautiful picture donated by Gerry Boland and have a couple of softballs signed by local teams donated by Tom Hickey.

Our Archaeologist for A Day program was a big hit this summer, and was run both for small groups and for summer camps. The program was a little different from last year with a focus on objects that could be found within the museum. This allowed kids to not only act as archaeologists as they dug up and recorded "artifacts", but then they could find those "artifacts" in the museum and talk about how they are used.

We also added scavenger hunt sheets which the summer camp kids loved to use as they explored the museum.

Our big even of the season was the launch of the Sikh Society of Newfoundland exhibit. Wednesday night the museum filled up with community members who were interested in learning more about Sikhism in Newfoundland. The Sikh Society came out to help open the exhibit, to answer questions about Sikhism and brought some amazing snacks. I believe everyone who attended came out of the exhibit knowing more about the role the Sikh community plays in the Northeast Avalon, and across the island. It was great to see a few museum regulars and some new visitors come out to see the launch of this new exhibit.

Thank you to everyone involved in the development of this exhibit. First, the Sikh Society of Newfoundland who supplied the museum with information and objects to tell their story. We hope the exhibit reflects your society and your place within the community. You do so much great work, and we're happy to highlight it. Next, Andrew, the museum assistant, who took care of visitors so that I, the museum coordinator, could run around getting all of the supplies, drop off and pick up signs, and research. My volunteers, Shannon and Jane, for helping with the last minute set up. The Town of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove for their support and power tools. And of course, the Heritage Committee for starting this project (in particular Katherine Harvey, the former coordinator for making initial contact and starting the research) and for their support and suggestions throughout. To be honest, with so many wonderful people backing me, there was little for me to do!

And this is it for this season, but please, visit on September 10th for Doors Open, and keep watching facebook and twitter for when we open again next year and start #CapelinRoll2017!