SPANIARD'S BAY, NL — If you want to get the lowdown on some unique solutions to common ailments, there's a new booklet available that might help.
Last week, the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador (HFNL) launched "Folk Cures and Practical Magic." The project came to be through HFNL's Oral History Roadshow.
Earlier this year, the organization held a mug up at the Wesley Gosse Heritage Museum, where attendees recalled the ways their families used to tackle common illnesses. Later, researchers with HFNL and a summer student with the heritage society conducted individual interviews for the project.
"It's nice to see something in print," said Dianne Carr of the Spaniard's Bay Heritage Society. "It's something you can hold, something you can read."
Terra Barrett, one of the researchers who worked on the project, noted that not all stories referenced in the booklet come from Spaniard's Bay, though all of them did focus on folk remedies. Among other items, the booklet includes some out-of-the-ordinary ideas for treating arthritis, lice and varicose veins.
Carr said there's more work to be done locally to preserve the stories and traditions of Spaniard's Bay.
"It's my hope that as the heritage society continues, we can reach out to people in the community and gather many more of these recollections and continue to put them in our oral history archives."
One hundred copies of the booklet were printed, with free ones given to those who contributed to its contents. Remaining copies will be sold locally through the heritage society, and an online version can also be accessed through the HFNL website — http://www.heritagefoundation.ca.
The launched took place last Tuesday at the Holy Redeemer Parish Centre. The provincial government's New Horizons for Seniors program provided financial support to the project.