History lesson: Heritage Fair connects students to the past – Newfoundland & Labrador

More than 200 students from all over the Avalon Peninsula showed off their work on 169 displays at the Avalon Heritage Fair on Saturday. 

In a technology-reliant age many people turn to the World Wide Web for answers, but many of the fair presenters, like Grade 8 student John Haire, just turned to their families. 

For John Haire’s project on the logging industry all he had to do was look up his family tree. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

“I had to get a lot of my information from my nan and my pop,” Haire said when talking about his project on logging in the 1900s. 

“I have a lot of ancestors who were loggers. My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my nan had 12 brothers and sisters so they were all loggers.”

Alice Bridgeman is the programs specialist for kindergarten to Grade 6 for the N.L. English School District. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Stories like Haire’s are exactly what organizers wanted to hear. 

“Its very important and they get really enthused about their history,” the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District’s Alice Bridgeman said.

“They get excited and they learn things about their past that they didn’t know.” 

The fair started in 1997 and has expanded across the province. This year’s theme is “Keeping Our Stories Alive.”

“We are hoping and looking for a project that keeps our culture alive,” Bridgeman said.

“That goes back to the oral history and traditions and people talking about that and their connections to the past.”

Some students even dressed the part. Julia Fitzgerald, left, went for a sealer’s outfit like her great-great-grandfather Sidney Jones while Karsen Best did his best David Suzuki impression. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The fair featured students from Grade 4 to Grade 12. A lucky few will get to travel to Ottawa to learn more about Canada’s culture, and co-organizer Barbara Bartlett said 19 students from across the province will be selected to go to France and Belgium this summer. 

Trips and prizes aside,…

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