Discovering a Clue to this Postcard’s Identity
Unbeknownst to me, this postcard image held one important clue to its date and occasion.🔎
I’ve been trying to identify it for a long time until a friend from St. John, spotted the schooner, Viking anchored in the background.
With this information, I was able to find the story in the old newspapers.
Whit Monday Celebration
June 4, 1906
Pictured above is the celebration for Whit Monday, the day after Pentecost when the Christian festival took place.
It marked the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after His Ascension, which occurred on the seventh Sunday after Easter.
St. Johnians pared this holy holiday with a picnic gathering and the consecration of a new cistern.
Here is the story reprinted from the paper.
Embarking for East End
“On Whit Monday, the motor schooner, Viking, embarked with a number of passengers to East End, St. John.
Among them were Bishop Greider, the Reverend, Mr. Perlee, the Reverend, Mr. A.B. Romig, and Mr. J. Hooper, bound for the ceremony of consecrating a newly built cistern.
Captain Hassel, wearing the uniform of the East Asiatic Company, brought the schooner to a safe anchorage.
A Pleasant Sail on the Viking
After a pleasant sail of 4 and 3/4 hours, the vessel dropped anchor in the bay of what may be called, the most remote corner of King Frederick’s empire.
There was a big gathering of villagers and their friends from other parts of the island.
They assembled along the shore, under the friendly shade of trees, to greet the fifty passengers from the Viking, who were to be their guests for the afternoon.
An energetic reverend, one of the hardest-working Moravian missionaries on the island, was responsible for the whole thing. His name was, Edward B. Foster.
Reverend Foster was born in Jamaica and spent thirty-one years as a preacher in the islands, a good and faithful servant to his flock.
East End cannot boast of a city population, neither does it possess a street of any dimensions.
No whir, nor chance of rushing a street passenger.
It is neither bothered by politics.
Nothing but a few houses, just enough to shelter a hundred people, dotted here and there among the foliage that covers the side of a hill overlooking the bay.
There is nothing ancient nor modern about the place, except the hills.
It has the sun, and plenty of it, too, all day long.
It seems to be the hottest as well as the most out of the way part of the kingdom; — that is East End — only that and nothing more.
Bay Swarmed With Sailboats
On Whit Monday, however, the bay swarmed with natty craft from far and near with the Dannebrog at masthead — the Viking, towering among them as the Great Admiral Ship of the Fleet.
Shoreline Thronged with Life
The shore thronged with life, all of which must have made up the picture of a lifetime for the “oldest inhabitant” of that sleepy little fishing village, for whom a cistern had just been built.
On a little spur, shaded by one of those blazing “Flamboyants” now in bloom, is the home of the “school mistress” of East End and the one we are told who gets the highest marks in St. John for her little cement-floored school.
There, the cistern has been built, adding so much more to her authority.
Consecrating the New Cistern
The cistern is a necessity to that part of St. John.
Months ago, there was an epidemic of a pernicious fever there, which caused the death of several, due to the water supply–or rather the want of a proper one.
Reverend Foster conceived the idea of building a public cistern and in the face of many difficulties, has succeeded.
It is about 20 feet long, 14 wide and 7 or 8 feet deep.
Following remarks from the Reverends Heath, Perlee and Romig, the formal part of the ceremony was performed by His Honor, Judge Zielian, who declared the cistern open to public purposes.
Hearty cheers were given for His Majesty and those involved in building the structure.
When the Viking began swinging uneasily at anchor, all knew it was time to get around Ram’s Head and head home.
Everyone was the better for the pure air enjoyed under the sunniest of skies.”
Thanks again Eleanor Gibney, for finding the clue in this photograph!🔎