This Month In History: recalling Nonia's roots

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: May 02, 2019 3:17 PM

Up until the 19th century in Newfoundland and Labrador, medical professionals were few and far between, so caring for the ill was done at home by family members. On May 20, 1920, the Outport Nursing Committee was formed to get professionally trained nurses into rural areas. They raised money to help pay these nurses, with the government paying another portion. The nurses signed two-year contracts, and in that first year the Committee hired six nurses. In 1924, the group became The Newfoundland Outport Nursing and Industrial Association (NONIA) and began paying rural women to knit products that NONIA would then sell to raise money for nurses. Eventually, the government took over the responsibility of healthcare, though NONIA still exists as a non-profit organization and continues to employ NL knitters today, selling their wares in-store and online.

William Cook

We visited NONIA last October and finally got to see the spinning wheel built by my great grandfather that is still in the store :) wonderful people and products at NONIA, a must see for anyone visiting. Looking forward to moving home in a few years :)