Expedition Report: Mr. Greenfell

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30th September, by Cornelia:

Another wonderful day, perfect for a early morning hike. The 500 steps on a broadway up the mountain wasn’t a big enough challenge for us. We climbed the cliff next to the steps. Up there we found a wonderful place to eat our breakfast. Coming from the Arctic, where it looks more like winter, we finally enjoy autumn. We could enjoy all the different colours and smell the nice odour of trees and plants.

In the afternoon we did a presentation at the elementary school and did a clean-up with the 5th and 6th graders. The two groups were named the polar bears and the turtles. The game was on to collect more plastic then the others. Everybody was running around enthusiastically, the rubbish bags were filled up in no time. Later we were able to take a shower at the gym.

The Greenfell interpretation centre offered us a tour and gave us an insight in the life of the fantastic person Dr. Grenfell. He came here to the Labrador coast in 1892 as the first doctor in this region. Imagine here lived 30’000 people, mostly fishermen without a single doctor. He treated 900 people in 50 communities in the first three summer months. He devoted his life to improve the help the local people. Dr. Grenfell practiced medicine, built hospitals and established schools and orphanages along the Newfoundland- and Labrador coasts, which were ice blocked and inaccessible for many months of the year.

Sant Anthony counted only 139 habitants by the arriving of Wilfred Grenfell and grew rapidly thanks to his hospital and the fish industry which started 1930. Today there are 2351 people living here. Today iceberg and whale watching became another industry.

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