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Students of the future learning from the past: Vista Regional Heritage Fair held in Trinity

TRINITY, N.L. — As students prepared their projects this year for the annual Vista Regional Heritage Fair, they kept the theme in mind — “Lessons from our past, shaping our future.”

At the fair in Trinity on Wednesday, May 9, kids not only presented their projects to the judges, but also learned in workshops like a cooking station with chef Chris Sheppard.

Sheppard explained some different traditional Newfoundland and Labrador foods, like fish and brewis, while inviting students to make their own toutons. The children were able to put their own spin on the cultural cuisine, bringing the food into today by adding chocolate and marshmallows or ham and cheese to their recipe.

Students also visited the Green Family Forge in the afternoon.

In the Rising Tide building, kids showed off their hard work, proud of what they’ve learned.

For Grade 9 student William Martin of Sunnyside, winner of the overall prize at the fair, his project was very personal to him.

He chose “The Battle of the Boyne” focusing on the history of the Orangemen.

William says the week before he started work on his project, he inherited his great-grandfather’s Orangemen regalia, which inspired his topic. He was the grandmaster of Southwest Arm Orangemen.

Upon investigation, he discovered what the Orangemen were established for and details of their existence.

“I found out they actually wanted to protect King William’s reign,” William explained to The Packet. He added they tried to prevent any attempts, like that of his uncle King James, from happening ever again.

“It mind-blowed most of the time because this here was basically just a big family feud!”

He says it’s fulfilling to be able to research a topic that he feels connected to; in this case through his great-grandfather.

Jocelyn Coates of Riverside Elementary also had a family connection with her gardening project. She detailed how her grandparents Jean and Ed Coates of the Northern Peninsula garden in a traditional way.

“I like going up there to visit them, I find it really fun,” Jocelyn told The Packet.

She says they gave her some information and she has photos. She learned how to garden and the history of food-availability in Newfoundland.

“I think it would be really fun to have my own garden and plant my own vegetables and stuff.”

And likewise, Grade 5 student Tristan Phillips of Matthew Elementary had his project connected to family, as well as one of his greatest interests — hockey.

Tristan told The Packet his project focused on comparing old hockey equipment to the new, modern gear.

“It’s interesting because how it has developed,” said Tristan. “There’s no protection back then! Now it’s so different.”

His grandfather Bill loaned Tristan some skates from the 1960s and goalie gear and sticks from the 1970s. Tristan says he begins playing Peewee hockey next season.

Cassidy Hibbs is a Grade 9 student from Clarenville Middle. She did her project on the Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD), dressing in a full uniform as part of her presentation.

“I’m very interested in World War One and Two and it just captivates me learning about it,” she told The Packet.

She says women, who weren’t allowed to serve in the First World War and who weren’t qualified to be nurses, helped serve through the VAD. These roles included assistant nurses, clerks, welfare officers and ambulance drivers.

“I even learned a lot about Frances Cluett, who wrote letters giving us deep insight into the war.”

As for the annual Ambassador award, which is given to a student who then travels to Europe to see areas relating to the First World War, this year’s winner was Hannah Bannister of Tricentia Academy. Hannah was presented the award by MHAs Neil King and Mark Browne, along with last year’s ambassador winner Hayley Peddle.
Check out the photos in the above slideshow for all the winners and more.

Twitter: @jejparsons

2018 Vista Regional Heritage Fair award winners

• WW100 Commemoration Program award: Emma Rogers, WAG – Random Island Academy;

• Museum Resources award: Blayre Hannah, Elizabeth Swan – Riverside Elementary;

• Archival Materials award: Brady Keats, Elliston – Anthony Paddon Elementary;

• Wooden Boat Heritage award: Katie Spurrell, 1914 Sealing Disaster – Riverside Elementary;

• The Rooms award: Emma Hookey, Women’s Role in the Past – Bishop White School;

• Parks Canada National History award: Madison Nurse, Argentia Base – Riverside Elementary;

• First Peoples award: Daniel George, Inuit Knowledge on Climate Change – Riverside Elementary;

• Annual Theme award: First place William Martin, Battle of the Boyne – Tricentia Academy, and runners up Adam Penney, Resettlement of Deer Harbour, and Mark Butt, Logging: Lessons from our Past – Anthony Paddon Elementary;

• Island Room Fishing Heritage award: Brady Coady, NL Cod Fishery – Riverside Elementary;

• Talk with our Kids About Money award: Logan Eddy, Schooner than Later – Riverside Elementary;

• Architectural Heritage award: Chloe Vivian, Resettlement – Riverside Elementary;

• Special recognition awards: John Lambert, Beothuks, and Russell Monk, She Shoots, She Scores – Riverside Elementary, Hannah Stringer, NL Schools: Then and Now – Matthew Elementary, and Alice Spurrell, One Room School – Southwest Arm Academy;

• Ambassador award: Hannah Bannister, Women in Wartime – Tricentia Academy.

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