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Students honour 'Ode to Newfoundland' anniversary with performance

An elementary school in St. John’s celebrated the Ode to Newfoundland on Friday, with a special performance on the day after the 117th anniversary of the first time it was sung in public.
Ode to Newfoundland anniversary 1:06

An elementary school in St. John's celebrated the Ode to Newfoundland on Friday, with a special performance on the day after the 117th anniversary of its first public performance.

Grade three students at Bishops Feild Elementary have been studying the poem for weeks, and on Friday they showed off what they learned.

Student Violetta Alloway said she worked hard at understanding the poem.

"It was a bit hard at first, and then I got to know it really well, and then I started to understand it each time I sang," she said. 

Teacher Joan Dicks said that staff wanted to help students learn the heritage of the song.

"It's part of our social studies curriculum to learn culture and heritage of our province and what a better place to start than with our Ode to Newfoundland," she said.

The students were backed by the Holy Heart of Mary Alumnae Choir, and sung the second and third verses of Sir Cavendish Boyle's four-verse poem all on their own. [Boyle enlisted famed British composer Hubert Parry, who never visited the island, to write the music.]

"It warmed my heart today to see those children shine," said Dicks.