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On the bookshelf: Bonavista


Bonavista by Bruce Whiffen is published by Flanker Press and available at the Butterfly Book Boutique in Port aux Basques.

By Gerald J. Roy Special to Wreckhouse Press Inc.

With the exception of the first part of the book which recounts the 1997 celebrations, which I will briefly relate, this is basically a book on the history of the BONAVISTA and Trinity Bay region from the first landing of The Matthew of John Cabot to the present day communities.

In 1997, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador was looking to find an alternative source of revenue for the province’s communities. Residents of Bonavista, with the 500th anniversary of the Cabot landing, held a grand ceremony over several days, which were attended by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip as well as dignitaries, federal ministers, the premier and several mayors and others.

The rest of this book will be of particular interest to historians and aficionados of the history of the consequences of the cod fisheries moratorium.

From the establishment of temporary seasonal settings to the more permanent settlements on the province’s North shore, to the survival means through periodic downturns in the fisheries, from the residents’ participation in the 2 World Wars and through the present day struggle due to the pandemic, this is a book directed at a very narrow spectrum of readership. So although it is well researched and thoroughly documented, I cannot give a very high rating.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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