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Newfoundland's 60th anniversary quiet

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland, March 31 (UPI) -- The province of Newfoundland and Labrador observed the 60th anniversary of joining Canada's confederation Tuesday with little ceremony.

Last fall province Premier Danny Williams said there would be celebrations but Monday he said such things as the troubled economy and the March 12 offshore helicopter crash that killed 17 oil platform workers put a damper on festive events.

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"It's not a time for celebration and it's not appropriate," Williams said.

Plans to have celebrations of the province's recent designation as a "have" province that doesn't need federal subsidies were also scaled back, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Prior to March 31, 1949, Newfoundland and Labrador was a British dominion with its own currency and postage stamps. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, dating to 1729, is the oldest police force in North America. It polices parts of the province alongside the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and municipal forces.

Some residents of the capital, St. John's, told UPI many of the island's natives consider the anniversary of being when Canada joined Newfoundland.

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