Lectures & Gatherings

Greetings once again at the beginning of a new Wessex season! All presentations are given at Hampton Hall, Marine Institute, Ridge Road, St. John’s, at 8:00 pm, on the second Wednesday of each month. Please note that this year we have one exception: the November Lecture will be held on the FIRST Wednesday, November 7, rather than the second one.

Lectures are free and open to the general public. A small membership fee of $5.00 annually helps defray expenses and provides us with a list of email addresses and contact information for easy communication. Members are encouraged to invite friends and relatives and especially anyone visiting from around or outside the province. We are looking forward to another season of interesting presentations.

A schedule of lectures for 2018-2019 follows:

10 October 2018
Speaker: Tom Dawe, Newfoundland Poet, High School Teacher and English Professor; Editor and Writer
Topic: “An Evening with Tom Dawe: Poetry, Folklore and Storytelling”

07 November 2018
Speaker: Alistair Rice, Retired Teacher, Military Historian, and Biographer
Topic: “Died in Service: Enlistees from Newfoundland and Labrador who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918”
Abstract: This presentation will tell the story behind a major project by Mr. Rice aimed at commemorating all those from the Dominion of Newfoundland and from Labrador who died in World War I.  The project takes the form of an individual biographical and pictorial essay for each of over 2000 persons who died in uniform during the Great War.  With over 1500 war-time biographies completed and online (thus a work still in progress), the Wessex presentation will explain how the Died in Service research and writing project began and developed. It will also give examples of the biographies and highlight their importance to the military history and heritage of practically every community in our province and how, in a more personal way, show how these supreme sacrifice narrations touch most families and individuals living here today

12 December 2018
This lecture is cancelled due to inclement weather
Speaker: Nicole Penney, Archivist and Folklorist, MUN
Topic: “Mummering in Newfoundland”, followed by a Christmas sing-along.

09 January 2019
Speaker: Dr. Jim Feehan, Department of Economics, MUN
Topic: “Muskrat Falls”

13 February 2019
Speaker: Dr. Don Downer, Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds, and David Quinton
Topic: “The Patagonian Invasion”
Abstract: Shipwrecked rounding Cape Horn in 1886, sailor Bill Downer of Fogo Island eventually returned home, married and carried his family to his sheep ranch in Patagonia.  His descendants returned last summer to see the land of their ancestors . Their distant relatives Don Downer, Elizabeth Scammell Reynolds and Dave Quinton will tell the tale of  "The Patagonian Invasion" at the February 13th meeting of the Wessex Society.

13 March 2019
Speaker: Dr. Norm Catto - Department of Geography, MUN
Topic: “Climate Changes as reflected in coastal Newfoundland”
Abstract: The presentation will explain how climate-related factors are changing the coastal zones of our province, and how these and other natural events influence the social and economic activities of our settled communities.  Dr. Catto, a geomorphologist, has been researching these vital concerns for nearly thirty years.

10 April 2019
Speaker: Dr. Rob Greenwood, Director of the Harris Centre, MUN
Topic: “Demographics as destiny?  Regional development, population and productivity in NL”
Abstract: Dr. Robert Greenwood, Executive Director, Leslie Harris Centre of  Regional Policy and Development will present on work by the HC Regional Analytics Lab (RAnLab) on population projections for the province.  He will discuss the need for innovation in all sectors – public, private and community and how the future of NL is bright if we take on new approaches to social and economic development and governance.