Memorial University students to rally for Ode to Newfoundland; Royal Canadian Legion calls on MUN to ‘return to tradition’

Posted: May 30, 2023 9:02 am | Last Updated: May 30th, 2023 12:01 pm
By Web Team

The controversy continues over Memorial University’s removal of the Ode to Newfoundland from its convocation ceremonies.

In the fall of 2022, the university said it would not play the anthem because it omits Labrador and contains outdated language. As well, university officials said the song does not reflect the “many communities” within the institution. The decision sparked outrage within the community, from the arts to the legislature. In fact, several politicians immediately asked MUN to review the decision.

On May 9, the university’s senate voted to extend the ban.

“The decision to remove the ‘Ode to Newfoundland’ from convocation was intended to create safer and more welcoming spaces for all students,” Dr. Neil Bose, the university’s president, said in a statement.

“We are committed to working together with representatives from the different communities and groups, internal and external to the university, to consider the continued evolution of our convocation ceremonies.”

The Ode to Newfoundland was written in 1902 by Sir Cavendish Boyle, who served as colonial governor of Newfoundland. The provincial government adopted the ode as Newfoundland and Labrador’s official anthem in 1979. 

Some Memorial University students have planned a demonstration this morning at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s. The Royal Canadian Legion has also asked the university to “return to the tradition of having our provincial ode played at convocations and other events where protocol directs that such would be the normal practice.”

NTV’s David Salter is covering the story and will have more this evening on the NTV Evening Newshour.

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