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Newfoundland and Labrador

Motto

Munus splendidum mox explebitur (Our splendid task will soon be fulfilled)

Quaerite prime regnum dei (Seek ye first the kingdom of God)

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Newfoundland and Labrador is where Canada sees its first sunrise. It is the youngest Canadian province, having entered the Canadian Confederation on 31 March 1949. 

Newfoundland was the first landing place of English explorers and Britain’s first colony in the New World. Its capital, the cliffside settlement of St John’s, has a strong claim to being the oldest city in North America — and certainly one of the most colourful. About eight per cent of the province’s population lives in Labrador, home to the Inuit and Innu First Nations for centuries.

One of the most heart-rending stories of World War I is the story of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment at the Battle of Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916. In less than half an hour, 733 of 801 men of the regiment were killed or wounded as the Battle of the Somme began. 

The ocean defines Newfoundland and Labrador, and the mighty icebergs that can be seen along its east coast, the ‘iceberg highway’, are a sight to behold. 

Janice Carbert’s pine woodcut Leave Only Footprints traces the Newfoundland coastline out of St John’s. The four-part piece from Marlene Creates’s 1988 series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories was inspired by conversations about landscape and memory with elderly representatives from Labrador’s native and settler communities. The room’s carpet is based upon Blue Viper, a painting by St John’s-based artist Will Gill.

Will Gill carpet artwork
Will Gill carpet artwork

Artefacts

Facts

In 1904 New Brunswick introduced four moose to Newfoundland and Labrador. Today, there are about 150,000 in the province. If the moose birthrate was the same as the human birthrate, in Canada today there would only be about 30 moose.

Leif Eriksson established the first European colony in Canada around 1000AD at St Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The remains of a Viking village were discovered there in 1960.

The first transatlantic radio transmission was received at Signal Hill in St John’s on 12 December 1901. The message was three dots, symbolising the letter S in Morse code, sent from Poldhu in Cornwall.

Cupids on Conception Bay was the first English colony in Canada, established in 1610 by John Guy and 39 settlers.

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