Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Daily Princetonian, Volume 38, Number 29, 4 April 1913


Dr. Jesse Halsey of the Mission's Medical Staff Explains its Nature


In Spite of Hardships, Well-Regulated and Sanitary Community Has Been Developed

Dr. Jesse Halsey, a member of the medical staff of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen at Labrador addressed the regular midweek meeting of the Philadelphian Society last night. His subject was "The Work of Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell in Labrador." Dr. Grenfell's Heroic Work

Passing briefly over the life of Dr. Grenfell, the speaker bent every effort to make clear to all the intensely interesting, as well as heroic, work which is being done under Dr. Grenfell's inspiration among the deep sea fishermen along the barren coasts north of the St. Lawrence. His entire talk was profusely illustrated by lantern slides depicting the surroundings of these people and the mission work which is being done among them.

The purpose of this work is to help these people to help themselves and in order to accomplish this purpose it is essential that sanitary and economic conditions be improved. The average home of the fishermen is no more than a hut and during the long winter months their diet consists of the supply of dried fish which they have collected during the summer. In fact the fish are the most important factor in the life of the native. If his luck deserts him in the fishing season, the winter is one of dire necessity and this is one of the many times at which the mission lends a helping hand to the suffering Dr. Grenfell has built up a community among these people, which is well-regulated and sanitary in every way possible.

His attention has been given to the erection of hospitals, cooperative stores and orphans homes as well as saw mills, and other laborsaving institutions. The various phases of the work are combined under the religious influence exerted by the mission staff. Dr. Grenfell, as his own skipper travels along the coast each, year personally coming in touch with the needs of the fishermen.

The Spirit of the Mission

Dr. Halsey closed with an explanation that the term, mission, should be applied to this work in its larger sense. The workers in this great field are seeking in every possible way to make life easier and more livable for these rough and simple people. The whole spirit is expressed in the motto painted on the Mission hospital. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me." *

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