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Pre-confederation Newfoundland on the small screen

Memorial academics Philip Hiscock and Anna Kearney Guigne will make appearances during a one-hour documentary that includes unique colour footage of pre-Confederate outport Newfoundland.

Regarding Our Father, by filmmaker John W. Doyle and writer Marjorie Doyle, tells the story of Gerald S. Doyle – businessman, folksong collector, and founder of The Doyle Bulletin.

The show airs Saturday, Aug. 20, on CBC TV, at 8:30 p.m.

In the 1930s, '40s and '50s, Mr. Doyle travelled Newfoundland and coastal Labrador for business on his motor yacht the Miss Newfoundland, calling into hundreds of outports. He stood on the deck of his boat and rolled 16 millimetre colour film, providing an unparalleled historical view of the outports from the water.

He shot scenes of the fishery — men in dories hauling huge codfish with hook and line, women salting and drying the fish on the beach.

Other images include families in their best clothes crowded into trap skiffs for the trip to Sunday Mass, a coastal boat arriving in a remote community bringing passengers and mail from the outside world.

In one surreal sequence, two local teenagers outfitted in Lifesaver Girl costumes stroll along the wharf giving out candies to the men splitting fish— a vision from the 1940s stepping into a scene that would have changed little since the 17th century.

The collection of stunning and rare images constitutes a unique archive of moving images taken by a patriot observing his country during a time of profound change. Regarding Our Father uses this footage as the basis for telling Mr. Doyle's story. As Mr. Doyle travelled the coast, he was always on the look out for a songs and singers. The songs he collected constitute the well known collections popularly known as The Doyle Songbooks. Music plays an important part in the film.

Lewisporte, St. Anthony, Francois, Eastport, Happy Adventure, King's Cove, Jackson's Cove, Notre Dame Bay, White Bay, Bonne Bay – the landscape, sea scape and people from dozens of communities feature in the film.

Regarding Our Father will be broadcast on CBC Television 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, in Newfoundland and Labrador. Viewers across the country with access to satellite TV should be able to catch the program on channels that carry CBNT (8:30 p.m. Newfoundland time.)

The early stages of this process were enabled through assistance from Memorial's J.R Smallwood Institute.