Biography

John P Christopher, while working as a marine mammologist, studied pilot whales, beluga  and harp seals from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s in the waters off Newfoundland/Labrador and in Hudson Bay, during and after his studies at Memorial and Dalhousie Universities. Following further stints of study and employment at  Dalhousie, U of T and McGill Universities he spent a few years working at the Ontario Hydro in Toronto as a Statistical Software consultant then changed careers entirely.
 In the mid 1980s he began a career as a singer of Newfoundland, Irish, Spanish and Portuguese folk songs as well as speaking and writing about his life growing up in war time St John's and the Newfoundland Labrador outports including his experiences, during a 10 year career, with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, FRB ( Arctic Unit), defunct since 1974. During these years with FRB he worked at times with Spanish and Portuguese Grand Banks hook and line trawler fishermen and in 1962-1963 spent several months aboard the MV Theron at the  Newfoundland seal hunt ( thankfully this is  also now defunct) with the famous  polar explorer Captain Harald Maro, just five years after Maro guided to a safe landing on the Antarctica ice shelf  the Joint British- Commonwealth Transantarctic  Expedition's (TAE) advance party, from where they eventually made the first successful crossing of that continent via the south pole during 1955-1958. John Christopher brought out  his memoir chronicling  these adventures in Molasses Bread and Tea in 2005, that will become part of the Gov't of Nunavut's Culture and Heritage Archive in 2017 along with a large collection of 35 mm coloured slides taken at Whale Cove, Nunavut 1961-1965. A second volume Second Helping, has  been published with a book launch set for July 25 at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax., where it it along with Molasses Bread and Tea  will be available as well as at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies (CNS) at MUN  and the Folklore Dept. at  MUN. A third vol, The Barrel  man is Coming Down will be released in  Dec/17
 
He has also recorded several world/ folk song CDs, including the popular Newfoundland flavoured Having a Time  where he's accompanied by the double Juno award winning fiddler John Showman. He has presented his music, book readings and slide shows at numerous libraries and museums across Canada and been a performer and given workshops at music festivals such as  Mariposa in Ontario and Brimstone Head on Fogo Is. Newfoundland, an ancestral homeland. He has performed and been recorded at Mexico City's landmark La Casa de Chopin and been showcased on Europe's famous Radio Merkury, leading to wide  radio play on that continent ..He's also been heard in Australia (ABC) , Mexico, Portugal the USA and Canada (CBC).

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Grades 1-11 St Bonaventure's College........intercollegic hockey,  boy's latin Gregorian Chant choir, glee club

                     Memorial University of Newfoundland     1953-1956
                     Dalhousie University Medical School       !956-1958
                     Dalhousie University                                1962-1964
                     University of Toronto                                1967-1972
                            

Awards:               John Lewis Paton Award  Memorial University of Newfoundland
                            Dalhousie University Medical School Entrance  Scholarship
                            Runner up , Governor General's Medal 
 
Organizations:    Founding member, Memorial Music Makers Orchestra
                           Treasurer, Newman Club, Memorial University of  Newfoundland
                            Phi Chi Medical Fraternity Dalhousie University Medical School
Memberships      McGill University Nursing Faculty Association
                            McGill University Faculty Association
                            University of Toronto staff and Faculty Association
                            Cetacean Research Lab, Little Company of Mary Hospital, California
                            Institute of Oceanography Halifax NS
                            Arctic Institute  Montreal PQ
                            Canadian Statistical Society
                            Professional Employees Association ( Information Technology Professionals) in Ontario
                            NL Historical Society
                           


Employment :      FRBC ( Arctic Unit) 1955-1965: 
                            British Embassy:Wash DC 1959-1960
                            Ont. Govt.: Public Health Labs management trainee  1964- 1965
                            U of T 1967-1975: Dept. of Epidemiology and Biometrics
                            Director Statistical Unit 1970 -1975 
                            McGill University  Dept. of Nursing: Statistical Software consultant  1976-1979
                            Ontario Hydro: Statistical Software Consultant  1980- 1985

:
Publications:         Bulletins of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada (Arctic Unit) 1961-1965
                             Special paper for National Museum of Canada:  NL Seal Hunt  1964 
                             Molasses Bread and Tea  2006 Trafford Press
                             Second Helpings 2017 Trafford
                             The Barrel man is Coming Down.
         ( Newfoundland Labrador Nunavut (a memoir ) 1942-1967).       
  

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Miscellany

 Newfoundland Labrador and Nunavut book readings and power point slide presentations.at Libraries and Museums
 Music concerts and festivals of Newfoundland, Irish, Portuguese -Creole( Fado)  and Spanish sea songs and shanties, (18th -20th century), Special concerts of Newfoundland songs for children along with slide show..

Most of the Whale Cove Nunavut photos and documents in my collection will soon be in the Govt. of Nunavut Culture and Heritage Archive.....................some of this material and much of the other sub arctic material including that of  Newfoundland Labrador  might also become part of LAC, the Canadian Library Archive where Molasses Bread and Tea and the CD Tea or Tequila already reside.

.Family lore....:: First cousin ( thrice removed)  Lord ( First Baron of Waterford Ireland  and St John's NL 1917)  Edward Patrick Morris, Newfoundland PM 1907-1917, member of  Lloyd George's war cabinet 1917, and member of the House of Lords. Lord Morris was the only Newfoundlander ever elevated to the peerage.

Talks  on Newfoundland Labrador history and Nunavut in the early 1960s, climate change ( global warming) effects on the ocean.
the Antarctic crossing by TAE1956-58 and friend of Antarctic explorer and Arctic researcher Capt.. Harald  Maro, master of the arctic research vessel and sealer MV Theron. 

CBC radio interview St John's NL WAM,(Max Furlong......the Great Eastern creator) prior to performance at Brimstone Head Folk Music Festival 2013
A brush with animal rights pioneer Bridgette Bardot on a Dartmouth NS pier in 1963 during TV interviews on sealing. We were almost on the same page. 

 One of the last to film for NFB and FRBC ( Arctic Unit) the  dying days of the of old traditional Newfoundland Seal  Hunt 1962.
   One of last to photograph and record Inuit life at the start of the modern resettlement .era 1960
:                   
  Advocate for the setting up of marine reserves free from fishing; ocean conservancy;  preserving marine bio habitat; especially of corals and sea turtles,  abolishing of bottom trawling entirely, put restrictions on  setting of trawl lines and gill  nets in general.
                  

   facebook.com/ John P Christopher

     google.com/ John P Christopher
     for photos, book, contact, Facebook

YouTube.com/fu1jpc                     

Ć
09 Lukeys Boat (Featuring John Show.mp3
(5318k)
John Christopher,
Feb 6, 2017, 9:29 AM
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Tin Whistles Blowin.mp3
(3572k)
John Christopher,
Jan 20, 2017, 7:54 PM
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Whales.mp3
(3526k)
John Christopher,
Jan 20, 2017, 8:30 PM
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