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(July 25, 2002, Gazette)

Memorial bunks history buffs

Memorial University opened its doors and dining halls to student history buffs from across the country during the Historica National Heritage Fair on July 8-15.

Over 200 participants, including student attendees, alumni students and chaperones plunked down their luggage and historical wares at Memorial’s residences as they prepared to participate in the week-long national heritage fair, held in Newfoundland for the first time.

The National Heritage Fair is an initiative of the Historica Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of Canadian history.

Memorial collaborated with fair organizers on many fronts to create an Olympic-style village on campus for the fair’s attendees.

“Memorial was really good in making sure that our every need was attended to,” says Barbara Bartlett, village mayor. “They readily made classroom and meeting spaces available to us and rescheduled dining times to suit the students’ schedule.”

Students and their chaperones stayed in Blackall and Barnes’ residences, took their meals in the dining hall and made full use of the computers and office equipment at Pete’s Place in Hatcher Hall.

Memorial’s Office of Student Recruitment and Promotion made its tour program available to all participants, and provided bilingual campus information for student orientation kits. Event and classroom spaces were also made available for the fairs exhibits, a Saturday-night dance and workshops, two of which were hosted by folklore graduate students, Kristin Harris and Jessica Grant.

Ms. Harris conducted a workshop on step-dancing, while Ms. Grant held one on traditional recipes, including the finer points of pan-frying cod tongues, to which there were reportedly mixed reviews.

Bill Jamieson of Memorial’s STEM-Net helped the fair’s alumni students—those who had attended a historic national fair in the past—create a news e-zine, www.histori.ca, which reported on daily happenings.

The Historica National Heritage Fair encourages children to present history in a personal way. The 165 student attendees were selected from 110 local and regional fairs held across the country in which 140,000 students vied for a spot at the national fair.