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Here is our second excerpt from Meadow Bank W.I. Tweedsmuir History from 1951 which talks about the establishment of the Women’s Institute in 1913 and re-establishment again in 1938. 

Meadow Bank was one of the pioneer Institutes organized on Prince Edward Island. In The Guardian of March 17th, 1913, we find the following item:

On March 14th, 1913, despite the inclemency of the weather, Mrs. A.E. Dunbrack (the organizer) had a large number of residents of Cornwall and vicinity to listen to her interesting talk on the Women’s Institute movement, after which she gave an illustrated lecture on the principles underlying the cooking of meat. Mrs. Dunbrack was given authority to announce to the government that forty-five women were anxious to organize themselves into an Institute in that section and would guarantee that the movement would have their untiring support.

Also, in The Guardian of April 8th, 1913 appeared:

Women’s Institutes were organized yesterday afternoon at Cornwall and Meadow Bank. The objective of the Institute is the improvement of the conditions of home life in our Province, and it is hoped by means of the meeting of the practical and enterprising women of each community to discuss the improvement of homes and surroundings; the condition of schoolhouses; public health, in short, anything that goes to the wellbeing of the district as well as the interchange of thought and information will bring the desired result.

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Mrs. W.W. Crosby, first president of the Meadow Bank Women’s Institute

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Mrs. Mary E. Roper, first secretary of the Meadow Bank Women’s Institute

Mrs. W.W. Crosby and Mrs. Mary E. Roper who had both attended the March 1st meeting at Cornwall were on April 7th (our official birthday) made president and secretary, respectively, of the Meadow Bank Branch and continued as such for the next six years during which time the women of the district met monthly, sometimes in the school and sometimes in the different homes.

It was the time of World War I and sewing and knitting and the packing of boxes for the boys overseas was a major project. One of the first improvements to the school was a hardwood floor which served until the year 1950 when it was overlaid with plywood and battleship linoleum.

 

With the cessation of hostilities in 1919, interest on the part of some waned and it was decided to disband. For a number of years, a few of the women joined the Cornwall-York Point Branch and this branch was gradually joined by others.

The care and management of the Cornwall Hall was given over by the shareholders to the Institutes who have made many improvements to it. Among these might be mentioned, redecorating, installing of electric lights, stage properties and a piano.

On December 7th, 1938, the Cornwall-York Point Institutes, having grown inconveniently large, members of Meadow Bank reorganized their own branch but continue to contribute one-third of the maintenance cost of the hall.

Officers since 1938 have been:

Presidents:

  • Mrs. Frank Boyle
  • Mrs. Victor MacPhail
  • Mrs. Colin MacPhail
  • Miss Laura Crosby
  • Mrs. Charles Hyde
  • Mrs. Stirling Clow
  • Mrs. Pearl Scott
  • Mrs. Victor MacPhail (2 years)
  • Mrs. Elmer Clow
  • Miss Laura Crosby (2 years)
  • Mrs. L.H. Drake
  • Mrs. Victor MacPhail (2 years)
  • Mrs. Harvey MacLean

Secretaries:

  • Mrs. Norman MacFadyen
  • Mrs. Stanley Hyde (2 years)
  • Mrs. L.H. Drake
  • Mrs. Stirling Clow
  • Mrs. Norman MacFadyen
  • Miss Laura Crosby (3 years)
  • Mrs. Harvey MacLean
  • Mrs. Charles Hyde (2 years)
  • Mrs. Sterling Clow
  • Mrs. Stanley Hyde (2 years)
  • Mrs. James Yeo

Notes:

  • On July 10th, 1950, Mrs. W.W. Crosby was honoured with a Life Membership in the Prince Edward Island Women’s Institute because of her pioneer Institute work in this Province.
  • The Meadow Bank W.I. prepared the community history from which this series of featured excerpts is taken.
  • If you have any photos of the Meadow Bank W.I., please send them to vivian@eastlink.ca and we will add them to this story.

Stay tuned for our third excerpt that talks about the establishment of a school in Meadow Bank.

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Copy of history book

Joanne (MacFadyen) Turner presented us with a copy of a brief history of Meadow Bank that was completed in 1951, given to her by her Uncle Lennis MacFadyen. The history was prepared by the Meadow Bank Women’s Institute and handwritten in beautiful penmanship by Laura Crosby. It features photos and individual histories of Meadow Bank farms and descriptions of early community life. For many years, there was only one copy of this history that passed around the community for reading. Later, there were a few photocopies produced, so we thought we would give it a broader audience on our website and feature excerpts of the history 66 years later. We invite those with further historical information to add notes in the comments’ section below or to email vivian@eastlink.ca. We will make sure that our friends in Meadow Bank receive any information or photos that you send.

They entitled the document The Meadow Bank W.I. Tweedsmuir History, as it was inspired by Lady Tweedsmuir, the wife of the former Governor General of Canada (1935-40) who promoted literacy in Canada, established the first public library at Rideau Hall and was delighted to see Women’s Institutes of Canada compiling community history books. More about Lord and Lady Tweedsmuir here. The first of our featured excerpts follows:

Introduction to Meadow Bank
(written by Lawson Drake at 20 years old before he left to attend Cambridge University in England)

Some five miles upstream from Charlottetown, on the north bank of the river Elliot, lies the rural community of Meadow Bank. To its inhabitants and to its visitors, this country settlement presents the finest scenery of which Prince Edward Island is capable. Let us look for a moment at Meadow Bank as it is today.

There are 21 farms homes with a total population of some 80 men, women and children. Of the 2,089 acres of land, a portion is under actual cultivation. The remainder is largely in the form of farm woodlots. Good quality and fine fields distinguish the farm produce in the district.

Meadow Bank is bound by Hyde Creek on the East, the Elliot River on the South, the Clyde River on the West and the districts of Cornwall and Clyde River on the North. The community is reached by a side road from Highway 2A at Cornwall. The road follows the perimeter of an imperfect square to regain the Highway 1/2 mile east of the Clyde River Bridge, the highway itself forming the fourth side of the square. The land rises in gently rolling hills to an elevation not exceeding 150 feet above sea level. The road in many places follows the height of land and from here the observer is met by a pastoral panorama unparalleled in the serenity of its beauty. Dominating all and providing a fitting backdrop for the pleasing mosaic of the lush green pastures and rich red fields is the calm blue width of the river, the sunlight gleaming and dancing on the crests of the tiny wavelets. All about one is the evidence of the husbandry of man, the well-kept fences which enclose the fields, the stacks of hay and the fields of potatoes with their long straight rows.

How different it must have been 200 years ago. The river was there with its laughing water, the Minnehaha of Mi’kmaq. But the land had yet to be cleared, the soil yet to be tilled, the homesteads yet to be built. The forest covered all.

Stay tuned for the next excerpt: History of the Meadow Bank Women’s Institute – established in 1913

The meeting to discuss changes to the Planning Act will take place tomorrow evening: Wednesday, February 22nd, 7:00 p.m.

Late last year, the provincial government amended the Planning Act Subdivision and Development Special Regulations for existing golf course developments inside the Special Planning Areas. In general, the amendments allow for the subdivision of residential lots associated with an existing golf course and/or adjoining lands under the same ownership. The change allows for the development of no more than five lots per parcel, exclusively for single family dwelling use. This change affects the Clyde River Golf Course.

All are welcome.

We followed up with Cornwall Curling Club’s – PEI Junior Women’s Curling Champions to find out about their experience at the National Championship in Victoria, B.C., January 21-29. The team includes Second: Breanne Burgoyne (Clyde River), Lead: Rachel O’Connor (Charlottetown), Third: Kristie Rogers (New Haven) and Skip: Lauren Lenentine (New Dominion). Lauren Lenentine gave us the following update on behalf of the team.

After competing at Nationals, one word that could describe our emotions would be “proud”. We went to B.C. without any expectations but with a goal to make the Championship Pool. Once we achieved our goal, it was an incredible feeling. We were the first women’s team from PEI to make the championship round since 2012. That year, Sarah Fullerton finished 8th. This year, we finished 7th. We received many messages from home saying how proud everyone was, and those emotions transferred over to us.

The final result in the championship game was Alberta defeating Ontario 5-3.

Our biggest highlight on the ice would be beating B.C. and the reigning World Champions, Nova Scotia. It was a surreal moment. We all realized that we can compete at this level and we are not out of place.

Off ice, interacting with fellow athletes and sightseeing were our two favourite things. Victoria is a beautiful city, and it was nice to feel warm air for a change. We visited a coastal town called Sooke and it was breathtaking. As for meeting curlers, we made friends from across the country. In the evenings, we would all meet in the Player’s Lounge and play board games and ping pong. Some of our favourite memories were made off-ice!!

During the eight days of competition, we played 10 games together as a team. Most days we played two games, but some days we only played one. After the tournament concluded, we all took part in a mixed doubles tournament. We were paired with a male player and coach from another province/territory and we competed for top. I was paired with the lead from Northwest Territories. Unfortunately, all four of us were eliminated in the first round, but it was still an amazing experience.

Staying in “the zone” wasn’t a difficult task. As soon as you walk into the arena/club, you have a feeling that is indescribable. No matter how sore or tired you were, it all disappeared once we were on the ice.

We already knew most of the teams from the Atlantic provinces, but we met lots of new people from western provinces.

One thing that I gained personally from this experience is patience. We saw various strategies that differed from our own and by times it was frustrating. But I learned that if you wait, the right opportunities will come. Another thing we learned was how to preserve ourselves. We learned the importance of proper nutrition, hydration, and rest. These three things were crucial during the long week.

After what we just experienced, our goal next season is to win Junior Provincials and return to Canadian Juniors. We plan on travelling and competing in a few more events throughout the season to prepare for this.

Having our family and friends there as support made the experience even more special. No matter where you were, you could always hear the PEI chants! Being able to look into the stands and see all the familiar faces is a really great feeling. And without a doubt, we had the best fans!! I know their experience was just as amazing as ours.

Pat Quilty, our coach, won the Asham Coaching Award. This award is voted on by fellow coaches, and it is based on sportsmanship. Although I may be biased, I believe Pat was the best choice for this award because of all the hard work and dedication he has put into our team in the past eight years. He always shows respect for other curlers and coaches. It is very well deserved.

“I think it is an exceptional experience for our team because of our age. For such a young team to have such a good result is truly incredible. The way they handled the pressure was awesome. Having this experience can lead to many other great things.” – Coach Pat Quilty

Editors note: Thanks, Lauren, for the great follow-up story and thank you, Pat, for your input and all your efforts with the team. We extend our congratulations to you all. We will be cheering just as loudly next year. We enjoyed following reports from John Cullen @cullenthecurler especially when he tweeted:

Newspaper Clipping from My Mother’s Scrapbook: Argyle Shore residents were awakened from a sleepy winter 76 years ago this week when a plane force landed in the quiet community on Tuesday, February 18th, 1941. This article was submitted to The Charlottetown Guardian and published March 4th, but the author is not identified. We do, however, have a first-hand account from Linda (Inman) MacDonald who was walking home from school along with her sister on the day the plane came down. Her account follows the story.

A Forced Landing at Argyle Shore

(RCAF photo)

(RCAF photo – Harvard)

In some lives the knock of fate is forever sounding. This time it sounded on mine, in a high pitch one, concerning an R.C.A.F. “Harvard” plane which made a forced landing near the Straits on Tuesday afternoon, February 18th, 1941.

Flying blind in a snow squall, Pilot Lee of “Summerside Air Training School” saw it was useless to regain altitude, after he had come dangerously earthward, there he cleverly grounded his plane in Mr. James Ferguson’s field, suffering a broken propeller when the heavy wheels broke through the snow, thrusting the plane on its nose.

The training school was immediately notified of the misfortune and sent out a helper plane which was found of no value being unable to land without damage. Pilot Lee then made connection with the Bombing and Gunnery School at West Royalty, explaining his plight 18 miles west of Charlottetown on the south coast of PEI.

Flying Officer Lewis and four mechanics then set out for Argyle Shore, and after a thrilling and adventurous sleigh drive under the guidance of Mr. Mathewson, all arrived safely on 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It is to be understood sleigh driving is a new and interesting exploit for English airmen; so for PEI Islanders, we can hardly catch the spirit of the adventure.

As nothing definite could be accomplished until daylight, Lewis stationed the men on half-hour watches to guard the ship, while the remainder partook of the cordial hospitality of Mr. Fred MacPhail, Mr. James Ferguson and Mrs. John MacPhail.

Wednesday brought new developments. Mr. Fred MacPhail retraced Mathewson’s 18 mile journey to Charlottetown for a new propeller; the old one was damaged beyond repair. During his absence, Mr. Earl Cook, under the direction of the aircraft men, forwarded eight “Shore” residents in attempting to move the plane out on the “broad-ice” of the Northumberland Strait.

J.A. McDougall, Murchison Sellar, Neil MacPhail and Waldron Sellar then began the strenuous work of rolling the plane to a suitable takeoff position. A considerable amount of snow was evacuated, wooden rollers were used on the forepart of the plane, whilst Mr. Sellar employed a wood sleigh as a means of sliding the tail portion.

In the interim, Fred McPhail had stayed Wednesday night at this brothers in Cornwall, on his return with the propeller. He was accompanied by Flying Officer Norton. The cargo arrived Thursday (2:30) where repair work was begun immediately.

Some time passed during which I have learned, began the battle between snow and plane. When nearing completion on Friday afternoon (3:30) Flying Officer Webster arrived by plane from Summerside for the purpose of flying the Harvard back to school not knowing this mission was apportioned to Flying Officer Norton.

The brother plan brought a large gathering, who witnessed with some regret the take-off of the newly arrived plane and the crippled ship (Friday 4:10).

This last act practically points the end, yet I must not overlook the fictitious. The airmen are all that is left and now that they have fulfilled their mission they await depot transportation.

In the meantime plans were running high concerning a party to be held at a nearby district that (Friday) night; when like a bolt from the blue shot a winged bird (which spelled disaster to their party) in the form of a plane piloted by Mr. Carl Burke, whose mission was to convey the remaining airmen back to the school. This being so unexpected, the airmen left with secret regret and the residents of the “Shore” considerably disappointed over their sudden departure.

At 5:30 p.m., Mr. Burke glided over the peaceful landscape. Scarcely had the hum of the motor died on the evening air; when, like an aftermath, we saw Mr. Mathewson arriving by sleigh with another Flying Officer whose intention it was to drive the crippled plane which long since had departed.

During the week of “Plane-thinking,” Argyle Shore learned a great deal about aeronautics and served their country with “John Milton’s” patriotism: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Linda MacDonald’s first-hand account:

My sister and I were walking home from school that day when we saw a plane flying low and landing to our left over Jim Ferguson’s field, between the school and the Argyle Shore Cemetery. We hardly ever walked home from school, but we did for some reason on that particular day. I was 11 years old and my sister, 7 years old. My sister was crying, and, as her bigger sister, I was trying to be calm, but I was terribly frightened as well. I could hear other kids coming from school also crying in the distance. You see, the war was on and we didn’t get much news about the war, only a bit in the newspaper or on the evening radio broadcast. So we thought for sure the Germans were landing. Up until that day, when we thought of the war in Britain and Germany, we considered it to be very far away. I recall the pilot staying at Jim Ferguson’s, Fred MacPhail going to town to get a part for the plane and Carl Burke flying out to the shore, but my strongest memory was how frightened my sister and I were when that plane came down and the prospect of what could be happening to our lives on that walk home from school. It was a big event for Argyle Shore.

Editor’s Notes:

This Saturday is our third and final 2017 History Lecture and you won’t want to miss it. It takes a good dose of humour to get through an Island winter and Alan knows just how to make us laugh.

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Inevitably a photo with the Boston relatives over by the car. John Darrach, happy to have his son John with wife Beatrice and children Mary and Ted home from Boston.

Excerpt from Mary Ann Darrach’s letter to her son John and his wife Beatrice in Boston – 1907. 

This is Tuesday. Yesterday, we had a blinding snowstorm, the worst this winter, but today it is fine.

The boys are going to town with loads. The snow was about gone before this snow came, so there is not much sign of Spring here now. We are all fairly well. Hope these lines will find you all the same. Tell me when you are coming home.


Screen Shot 2017-01-02 at 10.27.33 PM.pngSaturday, February 18th, 1:30-3:30 p.m. – Alan Buchanan, Storyteller – “Home from Boston: Stories of Island Family Connections in the New England States”

Many Islanders, especially from large families, went to the Boston area in the early part of the 1900s to find work, but they would always return in summers to visit their Island siblings and cousins and enjoy their ancestral Island home. This will be an opportunity to hear Alan’s entertaining stories but also to share your own. For those Boston area cousins that follow us here on our website, we welcome you to email us your stories as well in advance of the event and we will make sure to share them.

Alan Buchanan was born and raised in Belfast, Prince Edward Island. He has had a varied career, but lately has become best known as a storyteller. His career on-stage began with the production, Belfast People, in the 1980’s. Since then, he has been a member of the award-winning group, Hedgerow, and has also been featured on local, regional, and national radio broadcasts, including the popular CBC comedy show “Madly Off in all Directions”. Several summers ago, he was a member of the cast of Story which played to sold-out audiences at the Guild in Charlottetown, and for the past two summers he has been a part of the fabulously popular Four Tellers at the King’s Playhouse in Georgetown. His hilarious stories centre on the colourful characters and cultural quirks he observed growing up in a rural community.

All are welcome to attend. Following the lectures, refreshments will be served. We invite you to take along any memorabilia or photos related to the topics. Tables will be set out to display your items. We welcome our audience to also take the time to visit our large collection of archives and heritage photos at the community centre. If you have any questions about the lectures, please contact Vivian at vivian@eastlink.ca.

So, do you think you are smarter than your Grandma or Grandpa? Here are arithmetic problems from a textbook in the 1930s. Hint: you may have to ask your Grandparents to help you solve these.

  1. In walking around a field, starting at the south-west corner, you go north 36 rd., then north-east 60 rd., then south 72 rd., then west 48 rd. to the starting point. Find the number of acres in the field.
  2. A house and lot cost $4500, the value of the house being $3600. The house is insured for 3/4 of its value at .8%, and repairs for the year cost $40. The property is assessed for 2/3 of its value, and the tax rate is 18 mills on the dollar. What rent per annum must be received in order to realize a 4% investment?
  3. A solution for spraying fruit trees and plants is made up of Lime (4lb.), Copper sulphate (4 lb.), Paris Green (1.4 lb.) and Water (50 gallons). What will 100 gal. of such a mixture cost, if lime costs 5 cents per lb., copper sulphate 40 cents per lb., and Paris green 75 cents per lb.?
  4. Ten pigs weighing 56 lb. each and bought for $50, after feeding for 120 days weight 224 lb. each. They then sell for $5.625 per cwt. What is the net profit, if it cost 4.25 cents in feed to produce l lb. of gain?
  5. In sewing, the uneven-basting stitch is 3/8 long and 1/4 in. in space. How many stitches must be taken to sew a seam 2 ft. 3 in. long?
  6. Rolled oats require 1 3/4 hr. cooking on a range, but if a fireless cooker is used, 15 min. cooking on the range and the rest of the time in the fireless cooker. How much fuel is saved by using the fireless cooker, if 8.6 cu. ft. of gas per hour are used by a gas burner, gas costing 70 cents per thousand cu.ft.?
  7. For flavoring, 1 oz. of chocolate is equivalent to two tablespoons of cocoa. Chocolate costs 44 cents per lb. and cocoa 25 cents per box of 1/2 lb. There are 8 tablespoonfuls of cocoa in one box. Which is cheaper to use?
  8. Mrs. Murray is about to make a dusting cap 20 in. in diameter. She sews lace around the edge and allows for one half extra in fullness, and 1 in. in from the edge she sews beading. How much lace and beading are needed?
  9. If one sheep consumes 700 lb. of hay worth $16 per t., $1 worth of pasture, and 5 bu. of oats worth 40 cents per bu., in 1 year., find the cost of raising a flock of 210 sheep in a year.
  10. If 12 horses can plough 96 ac. in 6 da., how many horses will plough 64 ac. in 8 da.?