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Take off with the Faculty of Arts

By Janet Harron


In the spring of 2008 Kevin Major took 16 diverse Newfoundlanders on a 12-day trip of a lifetime. Now the Faculty of Arts announces the second annual In the Footsteps of a Regiment tour (April 21 to May 5, 2009) that will once again trace the footsteps of the Newfoundland regiment from the streets of St. John’s to the battle of Beaumont-Hamel.

Following the same itinerary as the inaugural trip, Mr. Major will also be taking the second group on a side excursion to Belgium to visit the fifth and final Caribou statue commemorating Newfoundland’s contribution in the Great War.

“It certainly touched an emotional chord among those who went on the first trip and we hope to meet or even surpass that experience in the spring of 2009,” said the award-winning writer.

Mr. Major’s interest in the First World War was fuelled when he researched and wrote No Man’s Land, his 1995 war novel that captured the last hours of the Newfoundland Regiment as it marched toward the Somme and the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel, where it was devastated on July 1, 1916.

Allyson Fleck of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans participated in the first tour. She said In the Footsteps of a Regiment gave her an insight and appreciation for the First World War that will forever remain with her.

“It was a truly moving pilgrimage,” she said. “Kudos to Kevin Major and the MUN organizers for such a fantastic experience.”

Two additional educational adventures will be offered in the spring of 2009 alongside In the Footsteps of a Regiment.

Pia Banzhaf, a German language teacher with the Faculty of Arts and the Division of Lifelong Learning will be escorting a group to the Rhine-Ruhr area of Germany from May 4 to 15, 2009. From Caves to Cathedrals: A German Odyssey is an opportunity to discover 2,000 years of history while exploring both the heights of culture (Beethoven and Bonn) and the depths of depravity (National Socialism and Wewelsburg).

“We will walk in the footsteps of Germanic tribes, Roman conquerors, and medieval rulers,” said Ms. Banzhaf, a native of the region who can trace her family tree back to Charlemagne. “This is an extraordinary travel and educational opportunity not to be missed by anyone interested in the full breadth of human history.”

Dr. James Hiller of Memorial University’s history department has had an interest in architecture since his childhood growing up in England. In Buildings That Tell Stories: Keeps to Concrete (June 2 to June 14, 2009), he will take participants on an unparalleled tour of Britain’s most representative ancient and modern buildings. Dr. Hiller will showcase everything from the best preserved tower keep in England to the South Bank redevelopment of London which includes a major national art gallery in a former power station.

Other destinations include the Houses of Parliament in London, the famous Guildhall at Lavenham, and Hampton Court, a royal palace since the 16th century. Participants will stay at Memorial’s Harlow campus in the UK and all destinations are within easy reach of Harlow. Buildings That Tell Stories is a wonderful experiential learning opportunity for lovers of great architecture and those that want to gain a different perspective on the history of Britain.

For further information on costs and itineraries, please visit www.mun.ca/artsfriends or contact Chris Hibbs, go abroad coordinator, on 709-737-2152 or chibbs@mun.ca.

Registration for all programs is limited and is on a first-come basis.

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