Marine Institute officially opened Jan. 15, 1964
Monday, January 15, 2024

60th Anniversary Parade Street

Sixty years ago on Jan. 15, the predecessor of the Fisheries and Marine Institute held its snowstorm-delayed official opening at Memorial’s former Parade Street campus in St. John’s.

Classes started at the College of Fisheries Navigation, Marine Engineering and Electronics less than seven months after Premier Joseph Smallwood’s mid-1963 announcement to create a college serving the educational needs of the fishing and marine transportation industries.

Dr. Paul Brett, vice-president of Memorial University (Marine Institute), says the new college immediately distinguished itself by offering unique oceans programs not found elsewhere.

“In the early days, the focus was on training for very specific industries in Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said. “But in the long run, the founders laid the groundwork for the Marine Institute to be a global educational and research leader for the oceans sector.”

‘Shake-down cruises’

Led by its first president, Dr. William Hampton, the college delivered two preliminary programs to 146 students thanks to the efforts of 22 instructors, 12 administrative staff, a librarian, a registrar and a three-member advisory board.

Those courses offered instruction on marine navigation, fish processing and care of nets and other fishing gear.

A Newfoundland and Labrador scientist who had worked in the seafood industry, Dr. Hampton labelled the early courses “shake-down cruises” designed to learn more about the students, their education needs and the challenges ahead.

Learn more in the Gazette.

60th Anniversary Official Opening