Biography

John P Christopher, while working as a marine mammologist, studied pilot whales, beluga  and harp seals from the mid 1950s to the late 1960s 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 world travel and a career as a singer of Newfoundland/ Irish/UK, 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 as well as  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 1962-1964 spent several voyages  aboard the MV Theron at the  Newfoundland/labrador  seal hunt ( also now long defunct) with the famous  polar explorer-sea captain  Captain Harald Maro, just five years after Maro had 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 has now  become part of the Gov't of Nunavut's Culture and Heritage Archive  along with a large collection of 35 mm coloured slides taken at Whale Cove, Nunavut 1961-1965. The volume is also now with the Centre for Newfoundland Studies  at the MUN Library, Dalhousie University's   Killam  Library  ( Indigeneous Studies and Oceanography Divisions), the WWF of Canada  and the Safina Center, SUNY ,Stoneybrook , NY, USA . A second volume Second Helping: Newfoundland  Labrador Nunavut   was published in 2017 with a book launch  at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax., that  has now also found a home  with the above  instsitutions.


 He has also recorded several folk song CDs, including the two highly flavoured Newfoundland albums Having a Time with Juno winning fiddler John Showman  and Newfoundland Sounds where he's accompanied  by Pressgang Mutiny an a capella  shanty group led by another ace fiddler James McKie. 

He has presented his music, and given book readings and slide shows at many libraries and museums across Canada and been a performer and given workshops at music festivals in   Canada  and abroad ,such as  Mariposa in Ontario and Brimstone Head on Fogo Is. Newfoundland, an ancestral home. He has also performed and been recorded at Mexico City's La Casa de Chopin and been showcased on Europe's Radio Merkury since 1993 leading to radio play in  several  countries on that continent ..He's also been heard in Australia (ABC) , Mexico, Portugal the USA and in Canada, where he  received  national  airplay on  CBC  singing the WW 2 classic ----the D Day Dogers on Max Ferguson's  (Rawhide)  Remebrance Day  radio show in November 1965..

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

                     Memorial University of Newfoundland  NL  St John's  NL    1953-1956
                     Dalhousie University Medical School Halifax   NS                !956-1958
                     Dalhousie University   Halifax  NS                                        1962-1964
                     University of Toronto   Toronto  Ont.                                     1967-1972
                            

Awards:               John Lewis Paton Award  Memorial University of Newfoundland   1956
                            Dalhousie University Medical School Entrance  Scholarship          1956
                            Runner up , Governor General's Medal   MUN                                1956
 
Organizations:    Founding member, Memorial Music Makers Orchestra  MUN
                           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   USA
                            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)    MTL  PQ                                                                     1954-1964
                         British Embassy:Wash DC   USA                                                                   1960
                         Ont. Govt.: Public Health Labs management trainee  To. ON                        1964-1965
                         Dept. of Epidemiology and Biometrics U of T Med  School TO  ON               1967-1975 
                         Director Statistical Unit   "   "   "             "      "      "       "                                  1970 -1975 
                         Dept. of Nursing: McGill University  Statistical Software consultant                1976-1979
                         Ontario Hydro: Statistical Software Consultant                                                1980- 1985

:
Publications:     Bulletins of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada (Arctic Unit) 1962-1968
                          Special paper for National Museum of Canada: NL Seal Hunt  1964 
                          Molasses Bread and Tea  2006 Trafford Press
                          Second Helpings 2017 Trafford Press
                          
                          Special paper on whaling for the Vancouver Marine Museum                                      2003
                          Several papers on whaling and sealing at the National Museum of Nature  Ott           2006-16


                          Numerous papers on the whale and seal fisheries and the Grand Banks cod fishery collapse at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Halifax  NS  .                                                                                 2003-2016
                                             

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Miscellany

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

Most of the Whale Cove Nunavut photos and documents in my collection are now in the Govt. of Nunavut Culture and Heritage Archive. MUN's CNS collection and its Folklore Dept,   the Nova Scotia archive,  the WWF of   Canada and the Safina  Center , Suny   NY  .....................some of this material is also with LAC, the Canadian Library Archive.

.Family lore....:: First cousin ( twice 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.

CBC radio interview St John's NL WAM,(Max Furlong prior to performance at Brimstone Head Folk Music Festival 2013
A brush with celebrity  animal rights pioneer Bridgette Bardot on a Dartmouth NS pier in 1963 during TV interviews on seal hunt  that year . 

 One of last to photograph and record Inuit life at the start of  modern resettlement .era  circa: 1960
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  Advocate for the setting up of protected marine reserves free from fishing; ocean conservancy in general ;  preserving marine bio habitats; especially of corals and sea turtles,  abolishing of bottom trawling entirely, putting restrictions on  setting of trawl lines and gill  nets in general.. ....ridding the  world's  oceans  of   plastic  ......
                  

   facebook.com/ John P Christopher

   google.com/ John P Christopher
     

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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