Column: Exploring Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: Exploring Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives

Snippet: Back in the 1950s, my father worked on sea-going vessels. He travelled from port to port on the Atlantic Ocean, often away from his family for months at a time. This meant he sometimes missed important events, such as his wedding anniversary. Still, he thought of his wife on these occasions and sent her telegrams. I remember reading one of them and thinking it was sweet but short.

During the Second World War, his mother also received telegrams but in these instances, they were informing her of injuries her sons sustained while fighting on the front lines in Europe. Again, these notices were short.

I learned that sending a telegram was similar to sending an email, but instead of being charged for data use, senders were charged per word. This kept telegrams short. A good example of rates is found in the third-class passenger list for the S. S. Doric of the White Star-Dominion Line, which departed from Liverpool, England, on July 30, 1925, destined for Quebec via Queenstown.

A long-distance telegram sent through the wireless station at Louisbourg, NS, was 10d. per word. The cost between one British ship to another was 8d. per word. The lowercase “D” stood for the Roman denarius and in British money, it indicated a penny.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.


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