In 1982 Mr. Hiram Silk interviewed Andrew Winsor. Andrew was 73 in 1982 and he was recorded in Springdale where he was living at the time. Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Digital Archives Initiative website now holds the 23 minute recording of the interview.
Andrew was born in Brighton. His mother died during the birth of her 8th child when Andrew was 13. After that he moved to Triton.
In the interview Mr. Silk guides Andrew through different topics: fishing, Labrador, whales, ghost stories and home life. Early in the interview Andrew talks of the difficulties of getting to a doctor in the time before Brighton, Triton, Pilley’s Island and Robert’s Arm were connected by causeways.
“If anybody was sick well, what you have to do then is perhaps take a punt over ice, across the tickle…to get on a dog team from island to island.”
He also explained how he didn’t get much education (At 01:45):
“I went out in fishing boat when I was 8 years of age. What school I got was before that. You wouldn’t compelled like you are now.”
A big share of Andrew’s interview concerns fishing, further making this interview a valuable piece cultural heritage for the Green Bay NL area. Andrew describes rowing out about two miles to go fishing, how fish was prepared, and the prices at the time.
At the 04.05 minute mark he recalls hearing that at the time his father was a child men actually rowed to Twillingate, a distance of 40 miles, to buy supplies.
Andrew saw a number of areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, especially Labrador, because of his work on fishing schooners. He recalls the long hours, being away from home, and how much was earned. He stated he had little problem reading charts, even though he could not read or write. He mentions many locations on the Labrador coast.
At the 16:50 minute mark he talks of seeing the location of L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (Parks Canada Website), before it was excavated and developed into an interpretation site .
“Well, it was all growed over, we never know’d ever there was a soul there.”
Want to know more? Click through to the MUN site and listen to Andrew: