History of the Port de Grave
Anglican Parish

Recent Events:

From 1930 to 1945 the work of the parish continued without any major events, administered by the following clergymen: Rev. G. Elliott, 1929-1932; Rev. R.O. Davies, 1932-1936; Rev. T.F. Honeygold, 1937; Rev. R. Farewell, 1937-1944; Rev. E.P. Hiscock, 1944-1945.

The term of the next incumbent, Canon Richards, however must be regarded as unique, since it was the only instance in which the rector was a native son of the parish. Canon Richard's missionary work and exemplary life of service to mankind in the Flowers Cove mission earned him the supreme respect and admiration not only from those he worked with directly, but from the community in general; as bespoken by the fact of his being honoured with an O.B.E. Canon Richards retired from this parish and his active ministry in 1952. He passed away in 1958 and was buried near St. Mark's Church, Bareneed.

Canon Richards was succeeded by Father G.H. Maidment in 1952. Father Maidment soon endeared himself to the hearts of his flock through his total dedication to his work and his constant desire to help those in need. He began his career as chaplain to the Newfoundland Regiment during World War I; an extract from a letter he sent from France in 1917 is recorded below.
On Sunday, Nov. 14th, 1917, I had the first opportunity of taking services for the First Newfoundland Regiment in France. On the previous Sunday I had preached to a small evening congregation assembled in a barn which serves as a chapel. But this morning I took the general parade service. It was very largely attended, the Worcester Regiment as well as the Newfoundland being present; the non C. of E. denominations were also present. ... The service was held in a large field back of the village church which now lies in ruins. ... It, however, was but a prelude to the chief service of the day, which followed immediately in the impoverished chapel ! There it was my privilege to give to a small company the sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord. It was indeed an impressive service. The building half destroyed, the improvised altar with its twinkling lights, and above it all a beautiful representation of Christ hung on the Cross, all seemed to emphasize the reality of the sacrifice we were offering to our Heavenly Father.
I shall now ro on alternate Sundays to minister to the Regiment, as well as visiting them every now and then during the week.

During Father Maidment's term a new four-room school was built at Ship Cove, a project in which he displayed great leadership, and was always fiercely proud of the outcome. Also, being a war veteran, he played an influential role in having a War Memorial placed on the school grounds, as well as establishing a local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Father Maidment served this parish until his retirement in 1960; he passed his retirement years in this area until his death in 1969, and was laid to rest near St. Luke's Church.

The next Rector was Rev. F. Reid who arrived in 1961 to serve the parish for seven years. During this period a new rectory was built to replace the old rectory which was by then almost one hundred years old. Rev. Reid also made a significant contribution to the educational needs of the area, serving as the chairman of the enlarged Anglican School Board, during the planning and construction of the first Ascention Collegiate at Bay Roberts. This was indeed a major undertaking to build a large modern high school to accommodate all the high school students from Georgetown to Briant's Cove. With the opening of this school, St. Luke's School ceased to be a high school and enrolled only primary elementary students.

The parish's next priest was Rev. Father J. Taylor (1968-1971), who unfortunately was plagued with ill health during his term and was eventually forced to retire from the position for that reason. With the departure of Father Taylor in 1971, a very significant event occurred in that the parishes of Port de Grave and Brigus - Salmon Cove were combined to form a single parish, served by one rector. This occurrence was actually a repeat of history since the original Port de Grave mission, founded in 1826; included the communities of Brigus - Salmon Cove parish.

The first clergyman to assume this dual role was Rev. Mark Genge, the priest serving the Brigus - Salmon Cove parish at the time of union. Rev. Genge resigned this position in 1973 to become secretary of the bible Society; he has since been elevated to Bishop of Central Newfoundland.

The present rector is Rev. H. Brown who assumed his duties in the parish in 1973. Fortunately, the onerous task of serving this large parish has been made more manageable by the assistance of Rev. V. Bishop. Rev. Bishop, a native of Burnt Head, had carried on lay work for many years in the parishes in which he had taught school, but, on September 19, 1976, in an historic occasion, he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Luke's Church, Ship Cove. Rev. Bishop now serves the parish as an assistant priest.

The churches built at Ship Cove and Bareneed in 1916 and 1926 respectively, are still serving the needs of their congregations. In the intervening years both those buildings have undergone numerous renovations, additions and improvements. Although, now of considerable age for wooden structures, they are both in an excellent state of repair, and remain, as ever, a continuous source of joy for the faithful. The members of those congregations have always been immensely proud of their churches and undoubtedly will continue their preservation as a symbol of the sacrifice of those who provided them, but, above all because it is the "House of God."

The facts given above are really a very biassed account of the work of the church in those communities. The truly important accomplishments of the church have been spiritual in nature and thus impossible to relate in terms of dates and events. Its essential role has always been to contribute to the spiritual lives of its members, as pointed out by reports of the early missionaries. Although its spiritual accomplishments are difficult to relate it is safe to assume that it has fulfilled this role well, and over the centuries the church in this mission and parish has been a symbol and a means of hope; hope for a fuller and richer life on earth, and, hope for eternal life in Heaven! God bless its work in the future.