Analysis of Artifacts


Published with permission of Stephen F. Mills. Project was funded by Town of Placentia. Click below for file.

Analysis of Artifacts

Seeking photos

Logo of Town of Placentia

The Placentia institute of Newfoundland Studies

invites you

To help compile our regions heritage by

Sharing your

Old photographs

The areas of interest are:

The islands of Placentia Bay,


Branch to Petite Forte, and all areas in between.

For more information contact Anita O’Keefe,

Town of Placentia

Telephone: 709-227-2151. Ext 243

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Here is an interesting note fromFreemasonry in Canada before 1750by Reginald V. Harris:

Mention should be made here of the beginnings of Freemasonry in Newfoundland. As already stated, Placentia in Newfoundland, was garrisoned during this period by part of Philipps' (40th) Regiment.

In the Massachusetts records we find that "At the Petition of sundry Brethren Residing at -------------- in Newfoundland" the Grand Master of Massachusetts, Thos. Oxnard "Granted a Constitution for a Lodge to be held there," Dec. 24th, 1746, The Lodge appears in the St. John's (Boston) Grand Lodge records for the next 21 years, as "not represented" at meetings of Grand Lodge. On July 25, 1766, a second lodge appeared on the lists as "St. John's, Newfoundland, Lodge." It would appear most probable that the first-named lodge was at Placentia, where part of the 40th Regiment was in garrison.

St. Patrick's Day 1916

The annual parade of our Star of the Sea Society was held on St. Patrick's Day and was one of the most successful in many years.

It is just forty years since the Association was founded by the late Rev. Father Irvine and the late Magistrate O'Reilly who remained president until his death.

 Through good times and hard times, fair weather and foul, it has held steadily on, and though at one time its membership had dwindled to a bare thirteen, thank God today, the members on the roll total nearly two hundred "good men and true," over forty of whom are serving at the front.

Leaving the hall accompanied by their band the body proceeded to Church where High Mass was celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Mgr. Reardon. After mass the society visited the good Sisters of the Convent where felicitations were exchanged. The [illeg] to the Rectory, where, in the unavoidable absence of the President, Mr. W. J. Walsh MHA, Vice-President Mr. Alexander Collins made a very appropriate speech and was warmly complimented by the Pastor in his reply.

After the march through the principal streets with the band discoursing sweet music on the way, return was made to the hall when the Fourtieth parade of the Placentia Star of the Sea was brought to a close.

At night a very eloquent lecture on the Irish Race was delivered to a select and appreciative audience by Richard H. Devereaux, Esq., MHA. To attempt a description of the oration is beyond the province of the writer. Suffice to say that those who have a knowledge of Mr. Deveraux as a lecturer will understand the intellectual treat afforded us. We are truly grateful with courtesy in coming here at such a busy time.

The speaker paid a well merited compliment to president Walsh in referring to his (Mr. W's) speech at the opening of the legislature which he describes as one of the best efforts made in the house in twenty years.

In suitable words Mr. M. Sinnott proposed a note of thanks to Mr. Devereaux which was seconded in an appropriate speech by Magistrate O'Reilly and unanimously carried.

Lieutenant O'Grady followed with a very fine description of the life and work of "ours" in Scotland and at the front. He was listened to with earnest attention. All of those present have either sons, relatives, or friends engaged in the European Conflict.

"God Save the King."

Placentia, March 18, 1916

Placentia Public Library

Placentia’s first public library dates back to 1944 when a "Reading Room" at the Star of the Sea Hall provided members with reading material. This led the way for the town’s first library situated in the "Auxiliary Room" where club meeting and ladies card games were previously held.In September of 1944 the Placentia Regional Library opened to serve a population of approximately 1500 with a book stock totaling 729. Circulation of materials for the first year was 3305. This library became part of the Newfoundland Library Services which was set up in 1942 and numbered 25 libraries across the province by 1974. Today there are 96.

The local bank manager and library volunteer Mr. Frank Channing was the library’s first chairperson. One of his duties was to appoint Mr. Patrick Sullivan as the first community librarian. In a very short time, Mr. Sullivan resigned and was replaced by Miss Mae O’Keefe who in turn resigned in 1945, being replaced by Mrs. Dorothy Myrick. Mrs. Myrick who held the position unti l she resigned in 1966 spent time visiting the various schools and deposit stations in Branch, Fox Harbour and Bar Haven.

In the Spring of 1967, Mrs. Gertie Sullivan was hired. Soon afterwards the library relocated to a small room in the Placentia Town Hall. In 1968 it became apparent that a new larger library was needed. The library board and other local volunteers, through fundraising, planning and a lot of hard work made the goal a reality. In 1969 the new library building, located in the town square was completed and ready for use. The official opening was held in the summer of 1970 with Mr. James Leonard as chairperson of the board.

The library flourished over the next 20 years with Mr. Sullivan as librarian. She was instrumental in developing a sizeable "Placentia History" reference collection. On her retirement in 1986, the position was filled by Mrs. Barbara Bailey who continued in the position until1993. After Mrs. Bailey’s resignation, Mrs. Doris Bowering who worked with the Provincial Public Library in St. John’s for many years, transferred to Placentia and remains the librarian at the Placentia Public Library to this day. (2011)

Over the years, the public library has undergone major changes. The close down of the Naval Facility at Argentia in 1994 provided the library with furniture, supplies and book stock and a need for larger quarters. The Placentia Lions came to the rescue by transferring their Youth Centre building to the Provincial Public Libraries. In addition to this, budget cuts brought the merging of the Freshwater and Placentia libraries and so the major task of incorporating three libraries into one began. The "new" public library houses a book stock of 30,000 plus, and serves communities from the Cape Shore to Long Harbour.

The changing role of the public libraries is emerging with advances in computer technology. Placentia Public Library was the first CAP (Community Access Program) site in Newfoundland. CAP is part of an initiative by Industry Canada to provide rural communities with public access to the Information Superhighway. The library has six terminals with high speed internet and offers patrons access to email and other internet services and training. The Placentia Public Library has evolved into a fine Community Resource Centre ready to fill the needs of Placentia and area. (From former Placentia Library Website)

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