Labrador by Wilfred Grenfell

Labrador, by Wilfred Grenfell, 1909

Labrador, by Wilfred Grenfell, 1909

In my previous post on the Parker Pen ad featuring Kenneth Roberts (1938), I pointed out a feature of the ad that stood out to me. In small print, the Parker Pen Company noted that Kenneth Roberts was not paid for the use of his likeness on the ad; instead, per Roberts’ request, Parker was going to send an aid worker to the Grenfell Mission located in Labrador in the summer of 1938. This was the first time that I saw any mention of the Grenfell Mission in relation to Kenneth Roberts (and the first time I had even heard of the mission).

The ad has piqued my curiosity about the Grenfell Mission, and how Roberts became involved with the work in Labrador (at least to the point of directing funds to the mission). Of all the reading that I’ve done on Roberts, I’ve never seen any mention by him of this mission. Nevertheless, I want to learn more about the Grenfell Mission and its link to Roberts. Learning about such aspects of a person’s life can really help one to gain a fuller picture of the subject; that is, while Roberts’  novels give us a glimpse of Roberts the author and the man, looking into his interests can help to really see what drove Roberts – what made him who he was.

Well, today I found a neat surprise as I was looking through the “nostalgia” section at Half Price Books (their “antique” book section), and behold, I found a 1909 copy of “Labrador” by Wilfred Grenfell (among other contributors). While this book will not give me any information on how Roberts was connected to Grenfell Mission, it will definitely provide the background information needed to know who Grenfell was and the work he did in Labrador.



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