Marine Atlantic Exhibit
Before the time of air travel the only way to get on or off our island was by sea. Back in the day of Robert Gillespie Reid, he envisioned a complete transportation link across the island of Newfoundland to connect with mainland North America via a regularly scheduled ferry crossing for people and goods. Early in the twentieth century this link enabled Newfoundlanders to emigrate to the mainland in search of a better life, knowing they were most likely never to return. This same practice exists today as people search for a different life elsewhere, but it is much easier for former Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to return home for a visit. Marine Atlantic is the first impression many people visiting our province, by sea, get.
The sailing across the Cabot Strait has been a constant in the history of our province in providing support for commerce and helping to maintain strong family ties. Most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who leave this province carry with them the dream that one day they will return home for good. Even war did not stop the ferry service between Newfoundland and the mainland because it became a vital service during the Second World War in defending the western hemisphere and the building of American bases.
This exhibit enables generations of people to recall memories of their travels on Marine Atlantic and share them, and encourages visitors to learn more about the rich history of transportation in Newfoundland and Labrador. The history of Marine Atlantic represents coming home and leaving home which provoke a range of feelings, the happy memories of returning home to family and the homesickness that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel when they leave their sense of place and unique culture.