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The Killdevil Lodge Experience in Gros Morne National Park

Flanker Press

The year 2019 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Killdevil Camp and Conference Centre, situated in the scenic Bonne Bay area of Lomond, Newfoundland and Labrador, in Gros Morne National Park.

The twofold purpose of this book is to tell when and how the site was acquired in 1959 by the Diocese of Newfoundland and developed over those sixty years, and to share the first-hand experiences of people, particularly campers and staff, who have spent time at Killdevil. More than thirty people have contributed stories of their experiences. Some of them pay tribute to volunteers who gave many years of service directing the church camps and to making Killdevil what it is today.

Everyone who passes through the gate at Killdevil is a visitor to Gros Morne National Park, an important site to Parks Canada. This book shows through personal anecdotes, historical narrative, and photos the Killdevil Lodge experience from its beginnings to present day.


Stewart Payne was born at home in Fogo, Newfoundland, in 1932, the tenth of eleven children born to Albert and Hilda Mae (Oake) Payne. Upon graduating high school in 1949, he attended Memorial College in St. John’s to train to become a teacher. His first teaching job was in a one-room school at Wild Cove, Seldom-Come-By, 1949–1950, and he went on to teach in another one-room school on Indian Islands for the year 1950–1951. Two years after he had graduated from St. Andrew’s School in Fogo, he returned to become its principal.

Stewart began performing as a choir member and lay reader for the Anglican Church early in his teaching career. The seed was planted, and in 1952 he returned to St. John’s to study theology at Queen’s College. In 1956, Bishop J. A. Meaden sent Stewart to Happy Valley–Goose Bay as a student minister. His experiences in Labrador during the summer of 1956 assured him that his future was in pastoral ministry.

He graduated from Queen’s College and was ordained as a deacon in 1957 and a priest in 1958. Stewart returned to Happy Valley–Goose Bay and worked as a minister there for eight years, covering the areas of Rigolet, North West River, and Mud Lake. In 1962, Stewart married Selma Carlson Penney of St. Anthony, and they started a family in Happy Valley while Stewart continued his work there.

In 1965, Stewart and his young family moved from Labrador to Bay Roberts, Conception Bay, where Stewart took over as the new rector at the parish. He worked there until 1970, when he and his family left to serve in St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. In 1978, Stewart was ordained as bishop of the Diocese of Western Newfoundland. He and Selma moved to Corner Brook, to the See City of the Diocese of Western Newfoundland.

While living in Corner Brook, Stewart Payne was elected and installed as metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, and therefore also became archbishop of Western Newfoundland, a position he held from 1990 to 1997, when he retired. Today Stewart makes his home in Corner Brook.

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