Born in 1928 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Paul O’Neill graduated from the national academy of Theatre Arts in New York in 1948. He was a professional actor in the U.S. and England until 1954. He returned to Newfoundland and became a CBC producer, retiring in 1986. He is author of The Oldest City – The Story of St. John’s, considered the definitive history of the city.
The Historic Sites Association established the Dr. Paul O’Neill Scholarship in 2003 to recognize his contributions to the study and promotion of Newfoundland and Labrador culture and history. The scholarship is valued at $1,000.00 and is awarded bi-annually to an undergraduate student at Memorial University enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program. There is no restriction by major or minor, but students must show academic excellence, and enthusiasm and interest in some area of Newfoundland Studies as part of their degree program. The scholarship is awarded based on the recommendation of the Dean, Faculty of Arts.
The Award for Interpretation of Provincial History was initiated in 2004 at the request of the Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. The HSA approached the Craft Council with the request that this award be included in the list of Craft Council’s Awards for Excellence, and agreed that the Historic Sites Association would sponsor it. The award is presented annually, usually in the fall during the ceremonies for the Craft Fair.
Criteria for this award were developed by the Craft Council’s Awards Committee and approved by the Historic Sites Association, as follows:
The Award for Interpretation of Provincial History is given to a craftsperson who uses his or her skill to interpret and present the history and heritage of the province. Techniques or materials used may be either traditional or contemporary. Primary importance will be attached to how the craftsperson interprets the province’s history.
2014 - Shirley Scott
2013 - Spindrift
2012 - Veselina Tomova
2011 - Barb Wood
2010 - Embroiderers of the Conche Tapestry
2009 - Frances Ennis
2008 - Mike Paterson
2007 - Janet Peter
2006 - Janet Davis
2005 - Wade Ivany
2004 - Tim Rast - Elfshot Reproductions
As part of the HSA’s mandate to preserve and present the province’s heritage and history, the Association also celebrates the hard work of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who strive to keep our stories alive. The Heritage and History Book Award was established in 2004 to recognize authors publishing written works that exemplify excellence in the interpretation of the heritage and history of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The biannual award is administered by the HSA and overseen by a committee comprised of volunteers from the Association’s Board of Directors and Emeritus Members. The Heritage and History Book Award Committee compiles the shortlist and carefully considers each selection before choosing the final recipient. The committee is comprised of dedicated heritage volunteers, historians, historical authors, history educators, and specialists in Newfoundland and Labrador studies.
Sixteen outstanding literary works in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and children/young adult have previously been recognized with the award. From 2004 to 2016 the Heritage and History Book Award was a joint initiative of the HSA and the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL). The award is now specifically for non-fiction works and will be awarded biannually by the HSA.
Towards an Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge:
Excerpts from Chapters I and II
Breakwater Books and ISER Books