Up and down the Labrador coast and in northern Newfoundland nine co-operative stores have been established by Doctor Grenfell since that autumn evening when he met the Red Bay folk in conference and they voted to stake their all, even their life, in the venture that proved so successful. Two or three of the stores had to discontinue because the people in the localities where they were placed lived so far apart that there were not enough of them to make a store successful.
Every one of these stores was a great venture to the people who cast their lot with it. True they had little in money, but the stake of their venture was literally in each case their life. The man who never ventures never succeeds. Opportunity often comes to us in the form of a venture. Sometimes, it is a desperate venture too.
Doctor Grenfell had to fight the traders all along the line. They even had the Government of Newfoundland appoint a Commission to inquire into the operation of the Missions as a “menace to honest trade.” A menace to honest trade! Think of it!
The result of the investigation proved that Grenfell and his mission was doing a big self-sacrificing work, and the finest kind of work to help the poor folk, and were doing it at a great cost and at no profit to the mission. So down went the traders in defeat.
The fellow that’s right is the fellow that wins in the end. The fellow that’s wrong is the fellow that is going to get the worst of it at the proper time. Grenfell only tried to help others. He never reaped a penny of personal gain. He always came out on top.
It’s a good thing to be a scrapper sometimes, but if you’re a scrapper be a good one. Grenfell is a scrapper when it is necessary, and when he has to scrap he goes at it with the best that’s in him. He never does things half way. He never was a quitter. When he starts out to do anything he does it.
A LAD OF THE NORTH
The needs of the children attracted Dr. Grenfell’s attention from the beginning. A great many of them were neglected because the parents were too poor to provide for them properly. Those who were orphaned were thrown upon the care of their neighbors, and though the neighbors were willing they were usually too poor to take upon themselves this added burden.
There were no schools save those conducted by the Brethren of the Moravian missions among the Eskimos to the northward, and these were Eskimo schools where the people were taught to read and write in their own strange language, and to keep their accounts. But for the English speaking folk south of the Eskimo coast no provision for schools had ever been made.
The hospitals were overflowing with the sick or injured, and there was no room for children, unless they were in need of medical or surgical attention. There was great need of a home for the orphans where they would be cared for and receive motherly training and attention and could go to school.