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The Colonial Building: "If These Walls Could Talk"
Construction and Interior

Noteworthy Events

Debates and Demonstrations

Landmark Moments

Post-Confederation Era

Landmark Moments

The political history of the Colonial Building had many landmark moments, like the winning of Responsible Government in 1855 and the opening of the National Convention in 1946. With the opening of the National Convention, the Colonial Building began another active chapter in its political history after the virtual dormancy of the Commission of Government years.

House of Assembly in Session c. 1914.
Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL C1-207).
(37 kb)

The Commission of Government was appointed in 1933 to take over the affairs of the Colony and give Newfoundland a "rest from democracy". The Convention saw the Assembly Chamber alive with debate and graced with the oratorical skills of Joseph R. Smallwood, Peter Cashin and many others. When the Convention ended, and the two referendums were held, the result for the Colonial Building was that it would now be the seat of the Provincial Legislature of the tenth Province of Canada under J.R. Smallwood's leadership of a Liberal Government.

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