Project 3: The Colonial Building -
Prime Ministers of Newfoundland

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): James G. Lynch - Technology Education Teacher
School: Mobile Central High School
Box 60
Mobile, NF
A0A 3A0
Tel: (709) 334-2525
Grade Level: Level I
Number of Students: Approximately 30 students
Project Start and Finish Dates: Start Date: 12 November - Finish Date: 8 May, 1997

  Project Overview

Who was the first prime minister of Newfoundland? Who was the first native born prime minister of Newfoundland? These and other questions will be answered in the Colonial Building-Prime Ministers of Newfoundland project.

This project requires that students research the first prime ministers of Newfoundland. Microcomputer students will be charged with developing a web page dedicated to the Prime Ministers of Newfoundland. This web page will feature a large picture of the Colonial Building, the old seat of government in Newfoundland. Clicking on the picture will lead you to a list of biographies of the first prime ministers of Newfoundland, outlining the struggles of the colony to achieve first representative then responsible government.

Newfoundland occupies a dominant position at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which flows to the heart of Canada. This, coupled with its proximity to the rich fishing grounds off the Grand Banks, resulted in fierce competition among European countries anxious to gain control over its harbours.

During the 16th century, Newfoundland was regarded as nothing more than a fishing area. Every spring, fishing vessels from Europe would arrive on the banks to fish. With the coming of the fall and the end of the fishing season, the vessels would return home, very often without having touched land during the entire summer.

All this changed, however, with the arrival of the English near the end of the 16th century. Because of a lack of salt, English fisherman had to dry the cod they caught. This process made it necessary to establish seasonal babes to prepare and dry the fish. These installations consisted primarily of stages, flakes and shelters. At the end of each season the Captain of a ship would leave several of his men behind to repair and ready equipment for the following season. These men would spend the entire year on the island and, as a result, these seasonal bases gradually developed into permanent settlements. This was the case with St. John's as with several other smaller villages along the Newfoundland coast.

Despite the protests of the West County Merchants who monopolized the Newfoundland Fishery, John Guy was granted a Royal Charter to establish a colony in Newfoundland in 1610. Failing to stop the colony through the judicial system, agents of the West County merchants proceeded to burn some of the buildings that had been erected at Cupids. Discouraged by these setbacks, Guy returned to England. Despite several other attempts at colonization the island continued under the firm control of the West County Merchants for the remainder of the century through scattered settlement continued to occur.

Despite the efforts of the West County Merchants, who did everything in their power to prevent the grant of a local legislature, a bill was passed in 1832 in the House of Commons granting a representative assembly to Newfoundland. This was followed a few years later in 1855 with the granting of Responsible Government status with the Honourable P.F. Little as the first prime minister.

Biographies of Prime Ministers to Research

  • 1855-1858 - Phillip F. Little
  • 1858-1861 - John Kent
  • 1861-1865 - Sir Hugh W. Hoyles
  • 1865-1869 - Sir F.B.T. Carter
  • 1870-1874 - Charles Fox Bennett
  • 1874-1878 - Sir F.B.T. Carter
  • 1878-1885 - Sir William V. Whiteway
  • 1885-1889 - Sir Robert Thorburn
  • 1889-1894 - Sir William V. Whiteway
  • 1894 April-Dec. - Augustus F. Goodridge
  • 1895 Jan-Feb. - Daniel J. Greene
  • 1895 - 1897 - Sir Williams V. Whiteway
  • 1897 - 1900 - Sir James S. Winter
  • 1900 - 1909 - Sir Robert Bond
  • 1909 - 1917 - Sir Edward P. Morris
  • 1918 - 1919 - Sir William F. Lloyd
  • 1919 May-Nov - Sir Michael Cashin
  • 1919-1923 - Sir Richard Squires
  • 1923-1924 - William R. Warren
  • 1924 May-June - Albert E. Hickman
  • 1924-1928 - Walter S. Monroe
  • 1928-1932 - Sir Richard Squires
  • 1932-1934 - Frederick C. Alderdice

  Curriculum Connections

The Prime Ministers of Newfoundland project meets several of the Essential Graduation Learnings outlined in the Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation. This project not only promotes citizenship by raising the level of awareness among students about the political past of Newfoundland but also meets the requirements of communication in the establishment of web pages and technological competence in their actual design.

This project clearly has a social studies focus but also requires extensive technological skills required in the Microcomputers 1100 course outline. Students will be required to compose their research findings using a word processor and will be required to make specific software selections when converting to HTML format. The project will also require demonstration of skills in scanning, uploading files, and graphics creation.

  Resource Connections

Students will have access to the Technology Lab and will be required to selected software for appropriate construction of the web page. This will be a collaborative effort as only one web page will be created with each students contributing to its development.


Evaluation of this project will be in accordance with the objectives set out in the curriculum guide for Microcomputers 1100. Students must demonstrate a knowledge of a number of specific software packages and must use that software for the finished product.

Specific outcomes include:

  • Students must demonstrate understanding of the basic communication principles of encoding/decoding, transmitting/receiving, storing/retrieving and how they are employed in a variety of communications tools and media.
  • Students must demonstrate an understanding of graphic, network and other communication systems.
  • Students must employ a broad range of communication tools, techniques, and processes.
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