Currently a Professor at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Dr. Raymond B. Blake is also Head of the Department of History. His undergraduate studies were completed at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with his graduate degrees obtained from York University in Toronto, Ontario. He was born in Pushthrough, Newfoundland and his family was resettled to Hermitage in 1969.

(Credit: Maritime History Archives, Memorial University, PF-328.125)

(Credit: St. Peter’s School, http://tinyurl.com/cygr96s)

First Steps

The Petition

Excerpt: Over the next week or so, I will post some information about the resettlement of Pushthrough, Newfoundland. I came across a series of documents on the resettlement of Pushthrough in the Records of the Department of Community and Social Services which can be found in The Rooms, the Provincial Archives Division, and in the Premier Joseph R. Smallwood Fonds at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, Memorial University in St. John’s. I came across these documents while I was researching for a book I am writing on the relationship between Newfoundland and St. John’s since 1957. (Continued)

Excerpt: Between 1954 and 1970 there were two resettlement programmes in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Public Welfare assumed responsibility for the first, introduced in 1954, and the Department of Fisheries was given responsibility for a second phase that began in 1965. Between 1954 and 1965 some 115 communities, comprising 504 families and 7,500 people were relocated through the province’s centralization plan. Between 1965 and 1970, 140 more communities were evacuated, relocating 3,242 households and 20,000 people, making it one of the largest migrations of people in the history of Canada.  (Continued)

(Credit: St. Peter’s School http://tinyurl.com/cygr96s)

Notification of Intent to Relocate/Request for Employment

Pushthrough is Approved for Resettlement

Excerpt: At a public meeting on 7 April 1969, residents of Pushthrough elected a Resettlement Committee. The Committee then circulated a petition to all householders. Those that signed the petition indicated their desire to move. Their signatures also indicated that they intended to request financial assistance from the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador through the Fisheries Household Resettlement Act to cover the cost of relocation. The petition was completed on 25 April 1969 and forwarded to St. John’s by William Simms, the chair of the Pushthrough Resettlement Committee.  (Continued)

Excerpt: Between 1954 and 1970 there were two resettlement programmes in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department of Public Welfare assumed responsibility for the first, introduced in 1954, and the Department of Fisheries was given responsibility for a second phase that began in 1965. Between 1954 and 1965 some 115 communities, comprising 504 families and 7,500 people were relocated through the province’s centralization plan. Between 1965 and 1970, 140 more communities were evacuated, relocating 3,242 households and 20,000 people, making it one of the largest migrations of people in the history of Canada.  (Continued)

Resettlement and Reimbursement

Final Thoughts and Reflections

Excerpt: Shortly after the residents of Pushthrough signed the petition indicating their desire to resettle and completed their Notification of Intent to Relocate, they each received a personalized form letter from K.M. Harnum, the director of resettlement, acknowledging receipt of their request. He advised that C.A. (Carl) Evans, Field Worker for the Department of Community and Social Development, would soon visit and as soon as his report was received, the Household Resettlement Committee would consider their request and report its decision to residents at the earliest possible date. (Continued)

Excerpt: Some 240 people were resettled from Pushthrough between 1965 and 1970 according to the statistics tabulated by the Department of Community and Social Development of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This represented 56 households, most of which moved in 1969. Although I have not verified the statistics compiled by government, the communities of Milltown, Fortune, Burgeo, and Hermitage were the most popular communities for those leaving Pushthrough.  (Continued)

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Dr. Raymond B. Blake

University of Regina - History Department

3737 Wascana Parkway

Regina, SK   S4S 0A2

Phone: 306-585-5431

Fax: 306-585-4827

raymond.blake@uregina.ca

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© 2017 Raymond B. Blake

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