Last Fall, letters were sent to 134 communities across Newfoundland and Labrador, inviting them to research their own histories. In return, those accepting the challenge would be presented with a large interpretation panel, or "Historyboard", for erection in their community, for the benefit and enlightenment of residents. Nearly 80 communities indicated that they wished to participate. By the end of August this year, 60 of these had submitted (or promised) material for a Historyboard for their community.
Each submission is reviewed by Historyboard Program Editor, Robert Cuff. The information is then condensed or expanded where necessary, ensuring that all relevant points are included, and suggestions are made for appropriate illustrative material to enhance the text, either from the images submitted or by suggesting alternative ones. The editing process generally provides a consistent approach to each Historyboard.
The editing and review are now essentially complete, except for those texts which are still outstanding. The next step, consolidating the text and images in the preparation for the design and layout stage, is ongoing. A list of the images required to complete each community Historyboard is being made and, where necessary, Liaison Representatives within the various communities are being contacted to supply any further information or images needed.
The designer for the Historyboards is George Quigley, who has done much work with Parks Canada and also our Provincial Government. The design format, which is similar to an illustrated newspaper, aims to provide a similarity which readers of the Historyboards will recognize from one community to another. When the first draft design of a Historyboard is complete, it will be sent, in about one-third of the full size, to the Community Committee for comment.
To the end of August of this year, designs were underway for only five communities: Burnside, Carbonear, Heart's Content, Renews and Salmon Cove. Several others are now ready for design and layout, while the rest will be ready as soon as the images are in place for each. It had initially been planned to have the Historyboards delivered to participating communities by the end of this year. That was ambitious, given the time it is taking to complete the submissions. It is realistic, however, assuming continued good progress, that they will be ready for installation by early Spring, 1997. The designs should be available for approval by late Fall and production of the Historyboards can follow soon after.
The Program has been a very heartening experience for the Johnson Foundation. The co-operation received from participating communities, the obvious enthusiasm, and the commitment to excellence, all contribute towards the success of this Program. The contributions by MANL representatives and the NLTA are also invaluable.
If you have any questions about the Historyboards Program, please contact: Heddy Peddle, Johnson Family Foundation, 95 Elizabeth Avenue, P.O. Box 12049, St. John's, NF, A1B 1R7; Tel: 709-737-1503, Fax: 709-737-1580.