Admiralty House hosts heritage funding drop, preps for centenary party

     Admiralty House Museum served as the backdrop last month for an announcement of some $1.2 million in operational funding for 115 heritage groups throughout the province.
Some $9,770 of the money is being allocated to the Admiralty House Museum and Archives.
     Business and Tourism Minister Darrin King said the recipients of the funding are reviewed by a special Heritage Advisory Council struck in 2012 and composed of representatives of the department, the Museums Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Association of Newfoundland and Labrador Archives, and the Association of Heritage Industries.
Seven groups are getting funding to help with special projects, including the Newfoundland and Labrador Archeological Society which hopes to encourage owners of private collections to come forward so that their artefacts can be documented.
     “We want to gain a better understanding of collections that may not be curated,” said the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society, Tim Rast.
King complimented groups such as Rast’s for the invaluable work they do in preserving the province’s heritage.
     “As the summer winds down, this announcement is a reminder of the valuable role these organizations play in our communities,” King said. “Summer time is a very important time for museum and heritage organizations across Newfoundland and Labrador. Employees and volunteers work hard to showcase our history, our culture and our heritage to Newfoundland and Labrador families on vacation, to children in summer day camps, to those who have long summer days to themselves and free time, and to tourists who come to our province to experience for themselves this very special place that we call home.”
     Mount Pearl North MHA and Health Minister Steve Kent welcomed all the press conference guests to Mount Pearl. He noted he has a special connection to Admiralty House, having worked with a number of community organizations when the museum re-opened in 1997 and having supported it later as mayor. “This has been an important part of community life for me and thousands of citizens over the last number of years,” he added. “I’ve been involved in touring many youth groups through this facility, many celebrations have happened here at Admiralty House and the beautiful grounds that surround Admiralty House. I’ve attended many arts events at this facility and cultural events. I’ve performed wedding ceremonies (as mayor) out on the grounds.”
     Kent said the heritage funding announced by King helps heritage facilities and organizations to operate.
     Later this month, Admiralty House Museum, which is mostly funded by the City of Mount Pearl, will celebrate a milestone of its own as it marks its 100th anniversary. The facility was built as a secret naval wireless station for the British navy during the first world war. It is the oldest structure in Mount Pearl.
     Museum chairman John Riche said the actual anniversary is September 16. On that day the staff and board will hold a small event at the site. The main celebration will come on Saturday, September 19. “It will be a big event,” said Riche. “The CLB band will be playing, we’ll have their Honours the Lieutenant Governor Frank Fagan and Patricia Fagan, Senator Elizabeth Marshall is bringing greetings from Ottawa, Mayor Randy Simms will be there and the provincial government will be bringing somebody.”
     The event will be hosted in the back garden. “Our grounds are spectacular in the early fall,” Riche said.
     Meanwhile, the museum’s board and staff will soon start working on a funding application to prepare for the centenary of the sinking of the S.S. Florizel in 2018. Admiralty House has an extensive display and collection of artefacts related to the famous sealing and passenger vessel, which sank off Cappahayden in a snow storm on February 25, 1918 with a loss of 138 people.

Posted on September 3, 2015 .