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Friends across the Miles: VSOs - an important part of Labrador Education History

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About the author:
Llewelyn's collection of books includes the series:
1. Illustrated Diaries about European Budget Short-Break Holidays
2. Photo Albums
3. The Port Hope Simpson Diaries 1969-70
4. Port Hope Simpson Mysteries
5. The Voluntary Service Overseas in Labrador.
6. Travel Handbooks
Llewelyn has worked with The Honourable Canadian Senator William (Bill) Rompkey, on writing the history of the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Labrador.
This is what Bill wrote in his letter to the first get- together of the VSO teachers at Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire 1-3 August 2003,
"...Labrador called to you and we are calling you now. I hope you will do what you can during these few days to fill in the Labrador record with your recollections and reflections. This too will be an important contribution to Labrador history. But mainly I hope you enjoy your time together.
Llewelyn Pritchard has done a remarkable job in bringing you together. He is as shrewd as Holmes and as persistent as Poirot. He could even be a great Canadian! We owe him more than we can say. It's his event and I know it will be successful. All good wishes. Bill Rompkey"

Friends across the Miles: VSOs - an important part of Labrador Education History

Voluntary Service Overseas

Authored by Pritchard M.A.

(Cover photograph: Scout hike across the ice from Nain by John Penny VSO teacher 1966.)
Original copies of newspaper and magazine articles about the work of the Voluntary Service Overseas (V.S.O.) teachers in Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada 1960 - 70, when 18 year old students - mainly from the United Kingdom, taught in the schools of the Labrador coastal settlements.

"It's been over 30 years since members of the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) were stationed in Labrador and now a search is underway to locate those who served as teachers from 1960-1970 (one year terms).

VSOs came from the United Kingdom to isolated communities and a way of life that was foreign to them. Some of the communities they were stationed in included Nain, Hopedale, Lodge Bay, Cartwright, Mary's Harbour, Cape St. Charles, William's Harbour, Rexon's Cove, Mud Lake, Makkovik, North West River, Port Hope Simpson and Rigolet.

The idea to bring members of this volunteer organization to Labrador originated with Reverend Bill Peacock, superintendent of the Moravian Missions in Labrador. He knew the difficulty there was in attracting qualified Newfoundland and Canadian teachers to the Labrador coast, particularly more remote communities.

When Bill Rompkey (now Labrador Senator) became superintendent of the school board in 1968, VSOs were already in place.

"I was very attracted to the idea, particularly as we were still having the same problems filling some schools," said Mr. Rompkey.

He said the use of volunteers in Labrador was not new... "

Extract "The Labradorian" Happy Valley-Goose Bay 18 JUne 2003 by Karen Blackmore

Publication Date:
Dec 03 2011
1468022091 / 9781468022094
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Full Color
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage

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