“It’s a Glorious Country” is a treasured-trove of letters written home in the summers of 1924 and 1925 by young Florence “Fiss” Clothier, a student of Vassar College, to her wealthy Philadelphia family. They vividly describe her life as a Grenfell volunteer teacher in the tiny settlement of Sops Island Upper in White Bay, Newfoundland.
On Sops Island Fliss lived with the Gale family, quickly becoming immersed in a world remote from her affluent background. She was enthralled with the rugged beauty of Newfoundland, and developed deep affection and respect for her hosts, “Mrs. Gale” and “the Skipper.” She was delighted by the spirited children in her charge.
The letters abound with detailed descriptions of people, events, and the challenges and joys of everyday life in White Bay, a part of Newfoundland for which there is virtually no written record. They also document the “White Bay Unit,” a little-known offshoot of the International Grenfell Association and a forerunner of NONA.
Edited by Mark Graesser