Vintage films with footage of Labrador, northern Newfoundland, donated to The Rooms

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Material will enhance Grenfell Collection at provincial archives, say officials with Grenfell Association, health authority

The International Grenfell Association and Labrador-Grenfell Health made a joint presentation of archival significance to The Rooms, Provincial Archives Division, on April 4.

A presentation of 10 16-millimetre film canisters took place at the Provincial Archives, The Rooms, in St. John’s on April 4. Participating in the donation were, from left, Dr. Norman Pinder, chair of the International Grenfell Association; Greg Walsh, director, Provincial Archives Division; and Tony Wakeham, chief executive officer, Labrador-Grenfell Health. 


The gift was comprised of 10 16-millimetre film cans featuring scenic footage from northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador dating back several decades.

The films have been in the possession of Labrador-Grenfell Health for an unspecified period of time, and in the interest of preserving the historical material, the regional health authority collaborated with the International Grenfell Association in a joint donation to The Rooms in St. John’s.

“Labrador-Grenfell Health was pleased to work with the International Grenfell Association to do something which we believe enhances and supplements the archival material that is in place in the Grenfell Collection at The Rooms,” said Tony Wakeham, chief executive officer, Labrador-Grenfell Health.

“Now that the films have been turned over to the archives, they will review and evaluate the footage and determine how it can possibly be shared with researchers, students and others who have an interest in the Grenfell Mission and the legacy of Sir Wilfred Grenfell.”

Joining Wakeham for the presentation was Norman Pinder, chair of the International Grenfell Association’s board of directors. He said he was very grateful to Labrador-Grenfell Health for its role as a partner in this important donation to the Provincial Archives, which he hoped will add fresh material for Grenfell historians and scholars to view.

He added that it is also a timely contribution as the International Grenfell Association is celebrating in 2014 its 100th anniversary. In commemoration of the event, The Rooms has mounted an IGA exhibit that will be officially opened by the Lt.-Gov. Frank Fagan in June.

The presentation of the film canisters was made to Greg Walsh, director of The Rooms, Provincial Archives Division. He thanked the donors for the gift of the films and noted that staff at the division will commence an appraisal of the material in order to determine a process for conservation treatment, preservation and accessibility for public research.

Some of the film titles included in the donation are:

•    Northern Neighbours, St. Anthony Late 1940s and Cartwright before ’49;

•    Down North on the Labrador, silent b/w print;

•    Whaling, silent colour print;

•    With Sir Wilfred Grenfell on the Labrador, St. Anthony, Cartwright, North West River;

•    Dr. Thomas, St. Anthony ’66;

•    Adventure and Experience, Sturgis-Grant Productions, New York. 


The International Grenfell Association aims to continue the work initiated by Sir Wilfred Grenfell, while working in partnership with government and agencies, by providing funds for projects that benefit the health, education, social and cultural well-being of the people of northern Newfoundland and coastal Labrador.


Labrador-Grenfell Health provides quality health and community services to a population just under 37,000 and covers the communities north of Bartlett’s Harbour on the Northern Peninsula and all of Labrador.

The regional health authority operates 22 facilities, including three hospitals, three community health centres, 14 community clinics and two long-term care facilities.

Organizations: The Rooms

Geographic location: Labrador, Northern Newfoundland

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