The Royal St. John's Regatta - Poetry
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An event as large as the Royal St. John's Regatta would not be complete unless people in the province, country, and even the world had heard of it. In this information age, the internet, tv, radio and newsprint are making this possible as the world becomes a global village.

However, up until 1937, there was no broadcast of the races. In fact, most of the country of Newfoundland (as it was previous to 1949) did not hear of the race results until well after the Regatta had ended.
John O'Mara
Click the picture above to watch a video clip from John O'Mara discussing poetry inspired by the Regatta.

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Being from such an isolated region of the world, where communication was difficult and there were very few roads between major centers, people had to find a way to communicate with one another. Thus begins the tradition of storytelling in Newfoundland.

Storytelling's most basic intent is to convey information between parties. Of course, embellishments occur and, at times, it is hard to tell fact from fiction - but storytelling is still a form of communication. It has existed for thousands of years and the great people of Newfoundland and Labrador are no exception. In fact, many Newfoundlanders are known for their storytelling prowess, and take great pride in this. These stories come in the form of songs, poems, and written or oral accounting of events.

While there are many and varied selections to choose from, we will only be looking at a small sample to give you an general idea of what was written.

Old Times At The Regatta
Published in: The Newfoundland Quarterly,
Regatta Edition, Vol. III No. 2A,
August 1954

There have been tales written about the specific personalities or crews who have had an impact on the Regatta. None of these are more famous then the legendary Outer Cove crew of 1901, more commonly know as the Nine Thirteen Crew.

The Nine Thirteen Men
By: L.E.F. English, O.B.E
Published in: The Newfoundland Quarterly,
Regatta Edition, Vol. III No. 2A,
August 1954

One of the more well known Newfoundland Historians and Storytellers is Jack Fitzgerald. He has written three books on the history of the Royal St. John's Regatta, the most recent being A Day at the Races published by Creative Publishing, 2003.

Harry Murphy's Verse
Published in: A Day at the Races
Chapter: Liquor History of the Regatta
By: Jack Fitzgerald
Published by: Creative Publishing, 2003

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