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Irving Fogwill papers added to archives

Irving Fogwill’s papers are the latest addition to the Archives and Special Collections at the QE II Library. Mr. Fogwill's daughter, Sylvia Fogwill Thomas, on behalf of her and her brother Douglas Fogwill and their families, presented the papers April 15.

Irving Fogwill (1901-1984) was born St. John’s and worked with the railway after leaving school. Involved in trade unionism at an early age, he was one of the seven men who founded the Newfoundland Trades and Labour Council (later Newfoundland Federation of Labour) in 1936. The union organizer supported confederation with Canada and in 1950 was named by Premier Joseph Smallwood to head of a committee charged with organizing the Workmen’s Compensation Board (WCB). In 1951 named first chair of the WCB, a position he held until he retired in 1967. Mr. Fogwill was also a writer and published his first volume of poetry – Prelude to Dawn – in 1931. Writing under the pen name John Avalon, he was published in local newspapers and magazines, especially Protocol of which he was co-editor in the 1940s. An anthology of his poetry and prose – A Short Distance Only – was published in 1981.

Attending the presentation of his papers were, from left, Archivist Linda White, Sylvia Fogwill Thomas, Associate University Librarian Su Cleyle, Bert Riggs, head, Archives and Special Collections, Ms. Thomas’ daughter Pamela Dowber, and her grand-daughter Hannah Dowber.