How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

St. John’s, a University Town


Around 10:30 a.m., we stopped at the Student Building at Smallwood Centre at Memorial University (Read  history here). Umbrellas snapped on we raced to the ladies room. A student flapped soggy socks beneath the hand dryer. Afterwards, she held up her runners. Funniest thing I’ve ever seen. With only one dryer, milling students and the tour ladies women were amused but impatient.


The University Quick Facts:

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Memorial History
  • Built in shape of horseshoe, but not attached
  • Each has 250 new student apartments
  • Currently over 20,000 students in St. John’s
  • Now largest university in Newfoundland
  • Lots of foreign and Asian students
  • Tuition rates cheapest in the country, including Quebec, and Manitoba is 3rd
  • About 6,000.00 for 2 semesters
  • Rates have been frozen for 14 years
  • Ontario = $7,100
  • 30% jump expected everywhere else
  • Toughest university to get into med school
  • Lots of research
  • Fine arts. Engineering, business, marine studies
  • Ontario and British Columbia much higher tuition
  • 1975 Corner Brook Campus: now Grenville Campus since 2010
  • Campus spread out with room to expand

At one time, students were put up in homes where the mother looked after them like a second mother. As in a lot of university towns, some landlords should be put out of business because of what they offer for accommodations to poor students. These days most Newfoundland and other Canadian students prefer their own apartments instead of sharing with a second or third.

St. John the Baptist Basilica:

  • st-johns-fire-1846.php while church under construction
  • 10,000 Irish Catholics here
  • John’s populations mid-2015 (almost 215,000)
  • Bishop Fleming asked Queen Victoria to give him enough land to build a church
  • She agreed. “Whatever property you can fence in a day.” Post holes dug at night.
  • Named after her favorite saint

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  • Her own stained glassmaker give 7 stained glass
  • Each window had to be taken apart and put together on arrival
  • Shipped windows in molasses which accentuated some of the colors
  • Others came from England, France and Germany
  • 1905 ceiling inlaid in gold leaf by Connolly Brothers
  • 1955 turned to basilica from a cathedral
  • Visits by popes also make it a basilica (1955 & 1984)
  • The canopy denotes a church / cathedral changed to a basilica
  • Pipe organ has 4050 pipes (largest 16 feet; smallest 3 inches)
  • A younger person now being taught to play this organ
  • Five bishops buried beneath church
  • Lady of Fatima brought by Portuguese sailor and presented to the church
  • Sculpture work done by Newfoundlanders
  • The Veiled Virgin (marble statue)


Revered Dead Christ


The downpour had changed to a fine drizzle. Would it finally let up?

* * *

Next on October 21st –  Out and About in St. John’s

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

53 thoughts on “St. John’s, a University Town

  1. Hi Tess. This was an interesting trip. I chuckled about the hand dryer-socks-shoes-line-waiting. I’m fascinated by the molasses… I always thought that most all college towns would be nice places to live. Mega hugs.


    • We’re a (huge) town and like most others that cause the usual problems. We weren’t told about wild parties or races up the flag pole.
      The molasses shipment surprised me, but I guess they knew what they were doing, right? 🙂


  2. We went to St. John this summer. Such an interesting look to the city and the buildings downtown–so many almost frozen in time.


  3. I was fascinated the stained glass was shipped in molasses. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The narrative of the gal holding up her socks and shoes to dry had me laughing 😀


  5. Fascinating place and history!


  6. What a vision you paint of Ms sock dryer and the waiting tourist group. Seems like the trip was very educational, the sick drying a more practical lesson. 🙂


  7. Hope you’re having a truly great time Tess. I hope the weather isn’t always sock/drier damp.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


  8. 20,000 students…wow! And only one hand dryer in the student building… 😉 Great post as always, Tess ❤


  9. More rain – you are so unlucky!


  10. Fabulous photos, by the way did the trainers smell?? 🙂


  11. Nice to see a university as it should be. Our students(a minority) are busy trying to burn down ours.


  12. Desperate measures Tess, perhaps she had to sit in them all day!


  13. Beautiful Tess. Thank you.


  14. Yes, I agree with many of the comments above – especially the molasses and the girl and her soggy shoes and absolutely no spatial awareness at all.. I especially liked your style of writing in lists – much simpler to read.. c


  15. I love visiting old churches and learning about the history. Of course, the churches in Canada are not as old as the ones in Europe but still quite impressive. The stained glass is incredible! Got a chuckle out of the sock and runner drying student. They are resourceful!


  16. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    For those of you who have been travelling around Newfoundland in the company of Tess Karlinski and myself for the last month or so.. here is the low down on St. John’s University..(sounds top notch) and also St. John the Baptist Basilica which was built under the patronage of Queen Victoria.. brillian as always.. thanks Tess.


  17. Interesting that, in the uni facts Asian students are different from foreign students! Sounds particularly enlightened! Shame about the rain mind you


  18. It sounds like an interesting place and the university’s fees are very reasonable. The story of the socks reminded me of going to a gym, where we had hand-held hairdryers and a girl was standing there, naked, drying her whole body with the hairdryer. You would have thought ‘hairdryer’ was enough of a clue… but nobody said a word…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I need to retire. I so want to visit all these places. What a wonderful world.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautiful. I have a passion for visiting p;d churches. Thanks for sharing a church I will most likely never get to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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