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July 1900

Pratt family moves to outport community of Grand Bank where they stay until John Pratt's death four years later

Summer 1900

leaves St. John's for his parents' home at Grand Bank

September 1900

begins two years of studies at the Methodist College in St. John's, after reluctantly accepting dying father's offer to finance his education if he agrees to become a Methodist minister; during this period he studies science and photography under astronomer and landscape photographer Robert E. Holloway, and encounters the theory of evolution

photograph of the Methodist College Home, Long Hill, St, John's, where EJP boarded


photograph of John and Fanny Pratt dressed for presentation to the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, St, John's

12 December 1901

deeply impressed by first successful transoceanic transmission of a wireless message, received by Guglielmo Marconi on Signal Hill in St. John's

c. 1902-1907

photograph of EJP in group of young men


Spring 1902

graduates from Methodist College, after placing second in the College and third in Newfoundland in final examinations for the Associate of Arts Diploma, and applies successfully for his Second Grade Teacher's Certificate

begins two-year appointment as headmaster of the two-room school at Moreton's Harbour

EJP recalls teaching at Moreton's Harbour (30 June 1960) [1:17; 839Kb]

during this period he observes whales being towed into the harbour and develops fascination with whaling; initiates a successful attempt to obtain a resident physician for the community; initiates successful prosecution of "wreckers"

EJP recalls various duties at Moreton's Harbour (30 June 1960) [0:27; 296Kb]

EJP recalls finding doctor for Moreton's Harbour (30 June 1960) [0:41; 444Kb]

qualifies to apply for a First Grade Teaching Certificate but declines the opportunity to do so because of requirement to pass test in elocution


Summer 1903

writes the London Matriculation Examinations in St. John's and passes with high honours; is now qualified to enter a university

delivers his first sermon, at Grand Bank, in presence of gravely ill father

September 1903

letter to Editor, The Collegian [request to be put on list of graduates]

2 December 1903

postcard to to Mr E. Lodge, Assistant Supervisor of Education, St John's, Newfoundland [offers to sell him 400 Newfoundland stamps 'at fifty cents a hundred as you said last year']


January 1904

John Pratt abandons all pastoral duties because of illness

receives a Local Preacher's licence and acts as informal curate to the pastor of Moreton's Harbour

15 March 1904

John Pratt dies at Grand Bank; EJP unable to attend funeral in Grand Bank

25 March 1904

attends burial service of his father in St. John's

May 1904

recommended by the Official Board of the Moreton's Harbour Church as a suitable candidate for the Ministry

June 1904

begins the first circuit of a mandatory three-year probationship in Cupids-Clarke's Beach

photograph of Clarke's Beach

22 September 1904

letter to Barbara Brett [note of congratulations (class standings)]

c. 1905

photograph of EJP and friend


April 1905

returns to family home in St. John's after physical and emotional breakdown; recovers

7 May 1905

passes his required theological inquisition

June 1905

attends annual District and Conference sessions of Methodist Church

20 June 1905

preaches sermon at Gower Street Methodist Church

25 June 1905

preaches sermon at Gower Street Methodist Church


manufactures and sells an herbal potion called "Universal Lung Healer," in order to pay for further education

EJP recalls selling "Universal Lung Healer":
Version 1 (1 May 1958) [2:46; 1,793Kb]
Version 2 (30 June 1960 [2:25; 1,571Kb]

Summer 1906

along with two classmates, W.H. Pike and S.H. Soper, decides to study at Victoria College in Toronto after being forbidden to study "new theology" at Wesleyan College in Montreal

30 June 1906

preaches his last sermon in Newfoundland in George Street Church, St. John's

mid-July 1906

after being denied financial assistance by the Church, sets out for Notre Dame Bay with W.H. Pike; for six weeks travels through outports with Pike (who has an agency from a St. John's photographer to take family photographs) selling "Universal Lung Healer" (recalled in first publication, "A Northern Holiday")

September 1906

photograph of W.H. Pike, EJP, and S.H. Soper in St. John's

18 September 1906

sets out from St. John's on SS Bonavista on first leg of journey to Victoria College, Toronto; has first experience of Atlantic hurricane on journey

EJP recalls arrival in Toronto (30 June 1960) [0:23; 249Kb]

Autumn 1906

begins first year at Victoria College, taking usual freshman courses since he is not granted advanced standing for London Matriculation Diploma

advertisement for Victoria College (Christmas 1909)

writes the Newfoundland Conference on behalf of Pike and Soper to confess their rebellion, prays for forgiveness and asks for their tuition to be paid in the customary fashion; while waiting for reply, is threatened with expulsion for non-payment of tuition

takes on supply preaching on rural circuits in the Toronto area out of financial necessity, and continues to do so for years

during this period begins lifelong friendship with Arthur Phelps

photograph of Arthur Phelps (c. 1922)

November 1906

forgiven by the Newfoundland Conference and outstanding school fees paid


Spring 1907

finishes first year with an "A" standing in all subjects but mathematics

September 1907

begins second year at Victoria College, registering in courses in philosophy and theology; finds conservative theology professors uninteresting except for George Blewett, whose primary interest is "new" Wundtian psychology; takes courses with controversial new Chair of English Bible, liberal Scottish theologian George Jackson, an advocate of the "Higher Criticism"; prefers philosophy and especially psychology courses to other theology courses

photograph of George Blewett (1905)

photograph of the Reverend George Jackson (1908)

cartoon attacking teaching of Higher Criticism at Victoria College, reproduced in Acta Victoriana (1916)


26 January 1908

letter to Willis Pike [impressions of Toronto and memories of the East]

mid-June 1908

leaves Toronto for Estevan, Saskatchewan to work as a circuit-riding preacher on the Methodist Church's mission fields (recalled in "A Western Experience")

establishes headquarters in home of William Magoon in Turner; holds Sunday services in Turner and neighbouring towns; visits families, conducts prayer in farm kitchens, baptises infants; conducts funeral services

Summer 1908

takes mortgaged possession of a quarter section of land west of Turner to be managed by William Magoon

8 July 1908

letter to Charles E. Manning [description of Mission work]

September 1908

begins third year at Victoria College

meets Lydia Trimble, his first love

photograph of Lydia Trimble

goes in for public speaking and debating; accepts role as treasurer to committee for annual "Bob" festivities; is named one of two "Locals" editors of Acta Victoriana responsible for campus news

photograph of EJP, treasurer of the 36th "Bob" (October 1908)


April 1909

publication of "A Poem on the May Examinations." Acta Victoriana, 32 (April 1909), 561-564 (EJP's first published poem)

May 1909

suffers breakdown caused by anemia and severe headaches and aggravated by mental and emotional stresses; recovers during convalescence in St. Catherines, Ontario at the home of classmate Fred Hetherington

June 1909

accepts "summer supply" appointment to Bridge Street Methodist Church in Belleville, Ontario

September 1909

begins fourth year at Victoria College

early Autumn 1909

registers in the honours philosophy program, under the influence of George Blewett's application of experimental psychology to questions of theology

December 1909

photograph of Board of Acta Victoriana 1909-1910

detail of above

9 December 1909

wins Annual Union Prize for oratory
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