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The Coming of the Workers to Newfoundland
Canada - in 1908
Revised August 3, 2008

The Coming of the Workers to Newfoundland  

The S.S. Carthaginian Left Liverpool Aug. 08, 1908, to Glasgow, to St. Johns, arrived Halifax, Aug. 19, 1908.

Manifest shows: George Johnson, Walter H. Dennison, Thos. McGivern, Wm. Armstrong, Joseph Brown, WM. IRVINE, John Baillie, Blanche H. Chappell, Janet Dougal, Rosetta (Nettie) Miller, Mary K. Wilson. (11 total)

In Aug. 1908, twelve workers came from the old country, docking in the St. John's Harbour. Blanche Chappell was one of them and she used to tell how they climbed Signal Hill on Sunday where they had their little meeting. When the boat continued on its journey to Halifax, N.S. (arriving in Aug) it left George Johnson & Tom McGivern behind, and Blanche used to say that a lonely feeling it was to do this. The others went on to a convention in Dartmouth (possibly the first in N.S.). Tom became ill and soon had to return to the Old Country, leaving George alone. He found work on Nash's farm (older folk), Topsail Road (outside of Dodge City), until Jimmy Patrick came from Nova Scotia to join him some time later. When Jimmy came they went to Random Island, at which time Joe and Sam Burridge professed. (Joe went to Boston, Mass., working as a building mover, going out in the work in 1911 and labouring all his days in the U.S.) While they were together, John Verge also professed, as well as John Adams. (father of Jack, (Moncton), & Roy, (Ont)

(The Paradise folk recall that when George visited Nfld. in 1970 he said he could remember having a cup of tea at the Woodstock (not called Inn then). This was one of the few remaining buildings that George could still recognize.)

After the convention Daisy Fee and Nettie (Rosetta) Miller arrived in Newfoundland. They found a summer home in Long Pond in which to have their meetings, and it seems George walked out to one of their meetings one Sunday. Gladys Butler recalls her father making benches for the girls at that time and the rest of the family being put out at him for doing so.

Susie Dawe "Aunt Susie Morgan" was 14 years old when the girls came. Her half sister, Laura, a young widow, had returned home at that time. She thought that by having Daisy & Nettie come to church with her one day, they would see it 'her way'. The sermon that morning was Matt. 10, and when Laura asked the girls what they thought of the service, they replied that they agreed perfectly with all that had been read. It was after this that Laura began to attend the meetings, and was the first to profess in Newfoundland. Lil Greenslade also professed in that mission. (The 2 churches around at that time were: Church of England and the Salvation Army, which was just getting its foothold).

Gladys also recalls Nettie fixing up a hat for her sister, Susie, so she could attend Sunday school one day. Nettie had been a milliner in the Old Country. When Susie returned home the girls asked her how Sunday school went and she replied: "they told us not to be swept about with every wind of doctrine". It was about 1925 that "Aunt Susie" professed, this being through Margaret Delamere and Agnes Harper. She recalls a convention at Seal Cove approx. 1912 at Ned Morgan's, where Geo. Walker was present.

The girls remained in Long Pond approx. 4 months, then came to Paradise where Jim & Mary Sharpe first took them in. The Sharpes lived across the road from where Melvin Sears now lives. It is told that Mary had unusual medical abilities. The meetings were held on the other side of the road from the Sharpes in their son Jim's home. The Sharpes never did profess but continued to remain church-going people.

Bill Coombs was the first to profess in Paradise, followed by his wife, Helen. They remained true in spite of much opposition. They had two daughters: Katherine "Kitty" and Rosetta "Nettie" (named after Nettie Miller). It is told that at one point Helen said to Bill: "What are we going to do? Shall we go back too?" and Bill quoted those words: "To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life". After the Coombs professed, the meetings were held in their home. (This would be the front yard area of Jack & Nettie's present-day home.)

Two years later when John Stone & Jimmy Patrick had meetings, Sarah Drover, daughter of Jim & Mary Sharpe), Sarah Lynch (nee Janes), Sarah Clarke (nee Lynch), and Mose & Elizabeth Gosse professed. Sarah Drover had been working in the hayfield one day when she became convinced this must be God's Way, and hers was wrong. She and "Aunt Sarah" Lynch were baptized in 1914 in Royals Pond by John & Jimmy. Sarah Drover was Phyllis' grandmother also an aunt to Winnie Hussey (nee Murphy).

George Johnson told about the first convention in Paradise being held in a pony stable at the Coombs. He, Sam Charlton, and Geo. Walker were present. This must have been about 1910, as Geo. left Nfld. after that.

Jack Lynch recalls Special Meetings being held in the home where Kitty & Leo Sears, Sr. now live. The home at that time was owned by Sam Burridge. There may have been a couple at the Coombs' home before this.

There was a convention in Paradise about 1914 (also 1915) back of Joe & Becky Clarke's. Nettie as a little girl remembers the water being brought to boil in big pots in a little cook-house put up by the workers.

The first to be buried in our "Paradise Cemetery" (approx. 1915) were a Burridge baby from Bell Island and "Aunt Sarah" Lynch's 4-mo. old baby girl. The ground had been given by Bill Coombs, and he buried them. This cemetery was enlarged in the 1960's and again in the 70's. (Bill Coombs passed away in 1939 and his wife, Helen, in 1963.)

Because schools in Nfld. were/are church-connected, the children of those who professed at that time were put out of the school. It was after this that Lillie & Julia Yetman each came to teach our friends' children for a year in Paradise. This was first done in a shed (the cook-house) behind Joe Clarke's, and later in the home where Kitty Sears now lives. George Whitefield, one of the workers, also taught for a month or so. Some of his art work is still on the wall, behind the panelling, in the Sears' home.

Davy Stewart recalls that in 1935 when he first came to Paradise, there were 8 people professing. Of these, 4 were Sarah's: Sarah Drover (Sr & Jr; Sarah Clarke & Sarah Lynch.) The others were: Bill & Helen Coombs and Mose & Elizabeth Gosse. It was during Davy's 3 years in Nfld. that Nath Hussey and others all professed.

Fellowship meetings in Paradise were first at the home of the Coombs. Other homes later were: the Mose Gosse's and Joe Lynch's. Meeting was also at Will Gosse's for awhile. From Mose G's, the meeting eventually went to Nath Hussey's, where it remained until 1982 when Nath was no longer able to remain in his own home. In Nov. 1963 Sun AM Meeting began in Leo & Beatrice Sears' home, with one being placed at Jack & Nettie Lynch's not long afterward. This brought the total to 3, until about 1973 or 4 when another meeting began at Joe & Becky Clarke's. In the fall of 1976, following the deaths of Mark & Silvy Clarke in May (sons of Mark & Olive), two more meetings were started at Eli & Elizabeth Abbott's and Melvin & Jane Sears'. In 1982 when the meeting could no longer continue in the Hussey home, Joe & Marina Bussey (Foxtrap), Reg & Joan Chaytor, and Willie & Jeanette England each received a Sunday morning meeting in their home. This brought the next number of meetings right in Paradise to a total of seven.

It is possible that the next pair of sisters in Nfld. after Daisy & Nettie were: Annie Stanley & Anna Semple. Other workers who laboured in Nfld. in the early years were: Willie Kirk, Willie McAllister, Bobbie Buchanan, Jimmy Anderson, Willie Hillgrove, Albert Moore, Tom Law, Tom Fitzgibbon, Charlie Hughes, Agnes Dougal. Horace Cullwick came to Nflld. in 1945, also Mary Munroe at that time.

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