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Eric and Wanda MacPhail will celebrate their 65th Wedding Anniversary on August 27th. Family and friends gathered this past week to celebrate it a bit early, so I asked them to send along some photos and to tell us about their wedding day. Victoria MacPhail collaborated with the family to offer the following story and sent along some photos.

Eric MacPhail and Wanda Livingstone grew up together, having parents who visited with each other as neighbours, and having attended Clyde River School together for a few years. In 1947, they became closer and started dating, often going to Canoe Cove Hall for a movie or to Prince Edward Theatre or Capital Theatre in Charlottetown.  In August of 1948, Eric proposed, and, fortunately for us all, Wanda accepted. On August 27, 1949, they were married “at high noon” in the front parlour of the Livingstone home in Clyde River, where Ruth (their youngest daughter) currently lives with her family. It was a beautiful sunny day with a bit of a breeze, and they had 50 guests in attendance. Her father, Watson, escorted her down the stairs and handed her off to his new son-in-law. Wanda’s cousin, Fay Inman, was the maid of honour, and Eric’s uncle Lloyd MacPhail, the best man. Ina Inman, Wanda’s aunt and sister to Watson, played the wedding march, and Rev. J.R. Skinner presided. A piece of trivia: the juice to toast the bride and bridesmaid was kept in the well to keep it cold as there was no fridge and electricity at the time. However, as the minister was in a rush to leave, there was no time to get the juice from the well and thus the toasts were done with left over tea instead.

Eric and Wanda had three children, Paul, Ann, and Ruth, and now have six grand-children, Mark, Victoria, Peter (Paul and Jo-Ann MacPhail), Callie, Drew (Ruth and Allan Nelson), and Grace (Ann MacPhail).  All are very proud of their parents and grandparents!

Last Thursday, August 14, family and friends gathered together at Papa Joe’s restaurant in Charlottetown to congratulate Eric and Wanda on their 65th wedding anniversary. The love and dedication Eric and Wanda have for each other is still obvious and going strong after all these years. They are truly a couple to look up to.

On behalf of the community, we share in your celebration. Congratulations Eric and Wanda as we raise our cups of left-over tea!

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On Saturday morning, the community came out to spread soil and re-seed parts of Murchison Place Park. We banked extra soil up against the boardwalk and around tree roots. Volunteers were Jo-Ann MacPhail, Lisa Ross with her two ‘hired hands” John & Jake, Alex Dixon, David and Donna Woodside, with the help of Philip Clark and Clark’s Bobcat Service. The first volunteers started at 7:30 a.m. and work continued until 1:30 pm.

The first picture shows the two loads of dirt dropped of by Wade McQuaid, which John and Jake shovelled into wheelbarrows.  The soil was raked, graded, fertilized, seeded, and patted down by the boys with their shovels. Alex Dixon provided oats for some quick green growth. The Women’s Institute provided water for the hard-working volunteers.

We had just finished up when a group of youngsters showed up to celebrate a birthday. It’s always great to see the community out and enjoying the Park.

The father of one of the party-goers came over and said, “Thank-you to the community for having such a great park.”  He has been here quite a few times with his children, and he really appreciates the safety and fun of the park.

(Story and photos submitted by Jo-Ann MacPhail)

Volunteers needed on Saturday, August 9th! We are having topsoil delivered to Murchison Place Park to fill in the different areas that need fixing up. There will be a bobcat and operator there to distribute and level the soil but we need folks to rake it out, fertilize and plant grass seed. Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and throughout the day, we are looking for volunteers. Your support will be greatly appreciated. Come and bring the family or a friend!

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It was a spectacular afternoon to be in Clyde River to celebrate the 2014 Garden Party and Concert in Murchison Place Park, hosted by the Clyde River Women’s Institute. The large audience ranged from a few months old to 95 years old. Along with community residents, there were guests with connections to Clyde River, those home from away, and others who had lived in Clyde River many years ago and saw this as a wonderful homecoming.

The afternoon program began with:

  • Piper Matthew MacLaine
  • O Canada
  • Introduction of Honoured Guests
  • Remarks from Clyde River Women’s Institute, Community Council and Friends of Clyde River

Entertainment included:

  • Step Dancing – Dalziel Sisters – Alana Lee and Shelby Lynn
  • Songs by Kevin and Friends – Kevin Jesso, Ken Clarke, Joyce Arsenault, Peggy Dollar – Medley of songs
  • Piper Matthew MacLaine – A highlight was Amazing Grace.
  • Patricia Murray played and sang both Gaelic and English songs.

The afternoon closed with everyone singing “This Land is your Land”. In the closing remarks, Doug Gillespie mentioned that it was also 150 years ago when Dog River was renamed Clyde River, so we had two reasons to celebrate today.

One special treat was a song called “Home” performed by Patricia Murray. Patricia adapted music to the lyrics of a poem written by her Great Great Uncle Frank Gillespie while he was in Hawaii in the late 1800s. The poem was discovered in the online Guardian archives earlier this year and passed onto to the family. This poem and song will be further featured in an upcoming story.

Some of the ladies, gentlemen and children of the community dressed in period costume which added to the charm of the event and made for lovely photos.

After the concert, guests were invited over to the Riverview Community Centre for fresh biscuits, jams, tarts and cookies prepared by Thelma Gillespie and served by community volunteers. There was a celebration cake decorated with the 2014 logo. Prizes were given out for the oldest (Hilda Beer) and longest married (Eric and Wanda MacPhail).

It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and many thanks to the organizing committee and other community volunteers for creating such a memorable and enjoyable event.

The event was made possible by the PEI 2014 Fund. The organizing committee included Carol Richards (chair), Thelma Gillespie, Jo-Ann MacPhail, Lisa Ross, Nancy FitzGerald and Hilda Colodey.

Concert 9All are welcome to attend Clyde River’s 2014 Celebration Garden Party and Concert in Murchison Place Park next Sunday, August 3rd, beginning at 1:30 p.m. It will be a walk back in time as a few of the hosts will be dressed in period costume, and they welcome any guests to join in, as there will be a prize for best costume. 

Entertainers will include:

  • Peggy Dollar and Friends
  • Dalziel Sisters, step dancers
  • Patricia Murray
  • Matthew MacLaine, piper

Pam Wheatley from Cornwall Library will read to the children.

Bring along a lawn chair and enjoy this free concert. Rain location will be Burnside Presbyterian Church, across the road.

After the park event, refreshments, fresh-baked biscuits and jam and other treats, all freshly-baked by Thelma Gillespie and and her volunteers, will be served just a short walk down the road at Riverview Community Centre. Prizes will be awarded.

This event is made possible by the PEI 2014 Fund and is hosted by the Clyde River Women’s Institute.

Murchison Place Park is located among the trees at the corner of Trans Canada Highway and Clyde River Road. Parking is available in the Burnside Presbyterian Church parking lot.


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It was a spectacular day for a plein air or “paint out” event in and around Murchison Place Park. About 20 artists and onlookers enjoyed the light, warmth and inspiration that a summer morning in July can deliver. Two artists arrived along with Julia Purcell at 6:30 a.m. and set up their easels on opposite sides of the park. Other artists arrived throughout the morning, with baskets, easels and chairs in hand, and set up around the boardwalk and gazebo. Clyde River Artist Julia Purcell spent time with each artist, answering questions and offering tips.

The first thing Julia suggests when painting outside is to set up your easel so you are facing the sun. Then when you attach your umbrella, you and your canvas will be in the shade. The canvas should be upright, not leaning back, to ensure that the lines in your painting are correct. Never place the focal point in the centre of a painting; it should be off-centred to create more interest and proper movement of the eye as one views it. Use a warm colour as a base. Julia used a yellow ochre, diluted with water to create a warm background to her scene. Add the main lines of the painting e.g. buildings and fences, to establish its overall composition and then add colour.

Julia said it is important to not waste time driving around all day in a car looking for a special location, but just pick a spot and enjoy the full experience of painting outside within a landscape.

In the middle of the Fitzgerald’s field of clover overlooking the Clyde River, Julia painted and taught her admiring audience. Julia didn’t get a chance to finish her painting at the event, but she has promised to send us a photo of her work.

Thank you to the artists and onlookers who came out on such a beautiful day. Thanks to the Friends of Clyde River for providing the beverages, Jo-Ann MacPhail for providing freshly baked muffins and Erica and Lisa Ross for set up. A big thank you to Julia for leading this artistic expedition that we all enjoyed so much.


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