World of Difference
QUAERITE PRIME REGNUM DEI -
Seek ye first the kingdom of God.
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador -- most people just call it
Newfoundland -- is Canada's
most easterly province. The two parts are divided by the Strait of Belle
Isle. Newfoundland lies off the
east coast, and Labrador -- a much larger mainland -- lies to the northwest.
Early fishermen and explorers had many names for the province,
including "New Founde Lande",
"Terra Nova", "Terre-Neuve", and
"Terra de Bacalao". "Newfoundland" is actually
(European-origin) place-name, first mentioned way back in 1503, in The
English Daybooks of King's
Payments. Worth mentioning here is that Gaspar Corte-Real was the
first to name the mainland "Terra
del Lavrador", which means Land of the Farmer. It was
later anglicized as "Labrador".
The capital city is St. John's. It's not confirmed, but
it's a common myth that John Cabot had named the
area St. John's Isle because he landed there on June 24 (1497). Not disputed, however, is that it was first
established as a base for English fisheries in 1504, founded in 1583,
became a seat of the government in 1832,
incorporated in 1888, and received a city charter in 1921.
Area: At 405,720 square kilometres (156,649 square miles),
it represents 4.1% of Canada, and ranks
7th in size among the provinces (9th among both the provinces and territories).
Elevations: The highest point is found at Mount Caubvick
at 1,652 metres (5,420 feet); and the lowest
point is along the coastline, at sea level.
Water: The area has more than 800 lakes, the largest
of which is Michikamau Lake at 7,666 square
kilometres (2,960 square miles). The waters over the Grand Banks are noted
for being among the foggiest
in the world!
Temperature: The average January temperature is -16.4
˚Celsius (2.5˚ Fahrenheit) in Goose Bay
and -3.9˚ Celsius (2.5˚ Fahrenheit) in St. John's. The average July temperature
is 15.8˚ Celsius (60.4˚ Fahrenheit)
in Goose Bay and 15.5˚ Celsius (59.9˚ Fahrenheit) in St. John's.
Superlative Temperature: The lowest recorded low for
the province was set on February 17, 1973 when
Esker Station (Labrador's) barometer read -51.1˚ Celsius (-60˚ Fahrenheit). The highest temperature ever
recorded for the province was on August 11, 1914 at Northwest River (Labrador)
at 41.7˚ Celsius
Snow & Rain: The average annual snowfall is 445.2 centimetres (175.3 inches) in Goose Bay, and 359.4 centimetres
(141.5 inches) in St. John's. The average annual precipitation is 946.1
mm (59.6 inches) in Goose Bay, and
1,513 mm (59.6 inches) in St. John's.
More Superlatives: The province's greatest recorded
annual precipitation was in 1983, at Pools Cove: 2,253 mm
(88.7 inches). St. John's can boast owning many of Canada's weather records:
foggiest, windiest, cloudiest, and wettest.
Cartwright had the greatest recorded snowfall over 5 consecutive days
on January 1, 1965 with 182 centimetres
(71.1 inches) of snow.
Gros Morne, in Rocky Harbour (1,943 square kilometres / 750 square miles);
and Terra Nova, in Glovertown (399 square kilometres / 154 square miles).
There are 95 provincial parks covering 449,428 ha. (1,735 square miles)
which makes up of 1.1% of
Newfoundland and Labrador's area.
That's 34 natural environment parks, 20 natural and scenic reserve parks,
20 outdoor recreation parks, 15 wilderness
and ecological reserves, 5 park reserves and 1 waterway park.
Some of the National Historic Sites and Parks in the province are L'Anse
aux Meadows (north of St. Anthony),
Basque Whaling Archaeological Site (Red Bay), Cape Spear (near St. John's),
and Signal Hill (St. John's).
Some of the regional sites are Beothuk Village (Grand Falls-Windsor),
Commissariat House (St. John's), and
Lester-Garland Premises (Trinity).
In the early 1990's, there were approximately 175,600 dwellings, with
a population density of about 1.5 persons
for square kilometres (4 per square miles) -- the lowest among all the
provinces. And only 1 Native reserve.
Newfoundland and Labrador's economy is mostly based on
its natural resources and their processing --
such as hydroelectric power, mining and fishing. It is worth noting here
that the province is Canada's largest producer
of iron ore and has significant mining in lead, zinc, as well as other
Tree: Black spruce
Flower: Pitcher plant
Bird: Atlantic puffin
The flag was adopted on June 6, 1980.
The Coat of Arms was granted by King Charles I on January
1, 1637; and officially adopted on January 1, 1928.
Newfoundland celebrate the closest
prior Mondays to St. Patrick's Day (March 17), St. George's Day
(April 23), Discovery Day (June 24), and Orangemen's Day (July 12).
Newfoundland is basically different from the
rest of Canada in way of time zone, and they are proud of it! The
Newfoundland time zone (on the island and the south coast of Labrador)
is one half hour ahead of Atlantic time zone; the rest
of Labrador is in Atlantic time zone.
Amazingly Still on the Books - can you believe it?
In St. John's, it's an
offence to put your garbage in thin, small bags. The bags must be at
least 66 by 91 centimetres in size.
A brief history of the beginning of the European "invasion":
According to legends and sagas, Eirik the Red, his father Thorvald and
the rest of his family set sail from their Norway
home into the Atlantic. The subsequent discoveries of land was not made
out of a sense for adventure, but rather because Eirik
and his family were banished from their homeland. Thorvald, a farmer,
was involved in some killings. His son, Eirik,
not much better, also killed -- in a dispute about borrowed furniture
-- so that they were both declared as outlaws by their local
They discovered Greenland and settled there. Norwegian Bjarni Bardsson
sailed to this great new land. But his journey took a
long time, as he kept getting lost because of bad weather. He saw unknown
lands before finally landing at Brattahlid in Eriksfjord.
Bjarni told tales of what he'd seen along the way. Eirik's brother, Leif,
wanted to see for himself the one described as having forests,
because the Greenland economy was lacking certain resources such as timber.
So he sailed there and called it Vinland. The
now known as Newfoundland.
Why Vinland? In the forests, the vines were so heavy with grapes, that
he called it Vinland, meaning the land of wine.
They say first impressions are the most important ... Leif's brother, Thorvald Jr., went to this land full of timber. He met some
natives, but the encounter did not go well. To make a long story short,
he ended up slaughtering eight of the natives almost as soon as they got
there. His men fled and
returned to Greenland.
More of Newfoundland & Labrador's History:
Circa 550 A.D. Legend has it that this is when St. Brendan arrived in
Circa 900 - Algonquian people were in Labrador.
Circa 1000 - The ancestors of Beothuk Indians were in Newfoundland.
1000 - The Vikings landed in Labrador, and built a settlement at the
present-day L'Anse aux Meadows.
1400s - The Basque, French, Portuguese and Spanish fished on the Grand
Banks and Labrador Sea.
1497 June 24 - John Cabot sailed along the Newfoundland coast, and lands
-- where it is believed to be -- on the province's east coast.
1500s - The whale oil industry was at Red Bay, along the coast of Labrador.
1500 - 1501 - Gaspar Corte-Real explored, and established Portuguese claim
to fisheries, along the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador.
1506 - Jean Denys made what is believed the be the first known Norman voyage
to Newfoundland, and landed in what is present-day Renews.
1509 - During that winter, a colony was established in St. John's in the
name of Britain. No one survived.
1523 - 1524 Giovanni de Verrazano explored North America along the coast.
He also named present-day Newfoundland and
Nova Scotia Arcadia.
1527 - John Rut explored the Labrador coast during that summer.
1528 - The first permanent residence was built in St. John's by a merchant
1534 May 10 - Explorer Jacques Cartier reached Newfoundland, explored
and mapped the coast.
1558 - The first settlers arrived at Trinity.
1583 August 5 - Humphrey Gilbert claimed land for the British in St. John's.
1585 October 10 - On this day, Bernard Drake destroyed the Spanish fishery
in the Newfoundland waters.
1586 - 1587 Explorer John Davis explored Trinity Bay.
1610 May 2 - King James I granted a charter to colonize Newfoundland to
the Company of Adventurers and Planters.
August - Governor John Guy brought settlers to Cupids.
Also, pirate Peter Easton built a fort at Harbour Grace -- it was a base
to attack shipping.
1612 October - Explorer John Guy explored Trinity Bay.
1614 - An English colony was established at Conception Bay.
1616 June 17 - William Vaughan bought Avalon Peninsula. He had made many
attempts to establish a Welsh colony at Trepassey and Renews.
1621 - George Calvert bought the Avalon Peninsula from Vaughan, and then
established a colony at Ferryland.
1623 April 7 - George Calvert obtained a royal charter for the Province
1633 - King Charles I forbade settlement on Newfoundland.
1637 November 13 - King Charles I somehow granted all of Newfoundland
to a group of nobles, headed by David Kirke, but he didn't give
any authority over the fishermen.
1638 - David Kirke consequently became the first governor of Newfoundland.
He then went on to build forts at Ferryland, St. John's,
and Bay de Verde. He brought 100 colonists.
1662 - The French established a fishing settlement at Placentia.
1665 December 13 - The Dutch plundered St. John's.
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