Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have always worked away from home. Now we commute to other provinces like Alberta or work in mega-projects at Churchill Falls, Bull Arm or Long Harbour. In the past, it was off to the Grand Banks or to Labrador to earn money in the fishery.
Jill English set out in 2013 to find the women’s stories behind this work culture – a culture that pre-dates Newfoundland and Labrador’s entrance into Confederation. This week, as part of the Gone Again series, she tells the story of Winnie Thornhill.
- Gone Again looks at women and the culture of working away
- Gone Again | Ashley Murphy on working away and missing home
Thornhill told English about the time of the schooner fishery when the men would off for months, leaving the women to do everything while coping with loneliness. Thornhill found herself a young mother and widow in a very short time span.
Winnie celebrated her 97th birthday in April and is still happy and healthy in her beloved Newfoundland.
About Gone Again
In 2013, as part of her Masters in Media Production with Ryerson University, English produced the ‘Gone Again’ series to showcase an element of Newfoundland’s workforce that bridges past and present: the commute. Driving across the province with her friend Deidre, she collected stories tied to the back-and-forth relationships with friends, family and the land itself.