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The first in the series of Seniors’ Lunch & Learn events was a great success with 40+ in attendance. Ellen Dixon offered advice on Working the Kinks Out. After the session, guests enjoyed some hot Chili.

Mark your calendars for the second in the series which will be Friday, December 6th at 11:00 a.m. when RCMP Constable Gavin Moore will talk about phone scams, computer fraud and related topics. More details will follow in a reminder.

This series is hosted by Clyde River Council with assistance from the PEI Seniors’ Secretariat and the Clyde River W.I. Each event includes a presentation on a topic related to health, recreation or safety, tailored to those 50+ and is followed by a hot lunch. The sessions are free and they take place at Riverview Community Centre, 718 Clyde River Road.

The following story appeared on CBC Prince Edward Island site on November 11th. We have reprinted it here with their permission. We are pleased to feature this story of Jean MacLean who lived for many years in Clyde River and now lives in Meadowbank but stays very involved in our community activities. We look forward to reading the published book in 2020.

Author Katherine Dewar and Jean MacLean look through a photo album to stir memories. (Isabella Zavarise/CBC)

A P.E.I. author has been collecting the untold stories of Canadian women who served in the Second World War.

Katherine Dewar began working on her latest book about two years ago. While the book is still a work in progress, Dewar hopes it will preserve the legacies of the many women who were part of the war effort.

“They’ve got absolutely amazing stories, these women, and they’re all so brave, they’re all so laid-back,” Dewar said.

“I guess I know why they lived to 95 and 97. Nothing seemed to bother them. They took it in stride.”

The stories include women rescued from the Mediterranean Sea after their ship was sunk by torpedoes and women who served on the battlefields of Europe.

Among the stories Dewar has collected is that of Jean MacLean, who served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS or commonly referred to as “Wrens”) in Halifax.

MacLean, now 95, told Dewar she liked the camaraderie with her fellow Wrens. There were some women whose mothers had done everything for them, even washing their stockings. MacLean said the war taught them to be self-sufficient.

MacLean said her time in the military made her become used to what was available. She said they were given orders and did what they were told. When the war ended and women returned to civilian life, MacLean said it impacted how they were able to live their lives.

“They were just so used to someone telling them what to do,” MacLean said.

After meeting her husband while stationed in Halifax, MacLean moved to the island in 1945.

Jean and husband Harvey on their wedding day in Halifax. (Submitted by Katherine Dewar)

“I wasn’t used to anything with boats or fishing, or anything like that,” said MacLean, who grew up in Ontario and has lived in Meadowbank, P.E.I., since leaving the war.

Her Wrens uniform is on display in a museum in Kensington, P.E.I.

Dewar said the stories in her book have a common theme of women who weren’t afraid of adventure and didn’t seem to be rattled by what was going on around them.

One Island woman told her about living in military barracks where 60 women shared one bathroom. She said the woman told her she thought it was “paradise” because it had running water, power, a telephone and a washing machine.

“She had come from rural P.E.I. where they never had any of those things, so she thought life was good,” Dewar said.

When she began her research, Dewar was in contact with 17 women ranging in age between 95 and 104. While working on the book, she said nine have died.

Of 11 women she interviewed, she said four had boyfriends that were killed during wartime.

“Some of these stories are very, very sad, too,” Dewar said.

She hopes to have the book ready for publishing sometime in 2020.

Dewar has written other books, including Those Splendid Girls and Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Military Nursing Heroine.

Article written by Isabella Zavarise, CBC.

Many of you will recall last year we featured 32 transcribed letters from The Great War that former Clyde River resident Lee Grant Darrach (1882-1953) wrote to his brother in Boston. Further to publishing these documents, Alan Buchanan was engaged to read each of the letters which was recorded by Perry Williams, Virtual Studios Creative Digital Media. These recordings certainly bring to life the gripping reality of the War that Lee experienced. To listen to Alan’s reading of each of the letters, click here or on the photo, scroll down and click play on each of the 32 audio files appearing just underneath each title. You can read along as you listen. We commemorate Remembrance Day 2019 by sharing these audio letters. This project was managed and supported by the Clyde River History Committee. We once again thank the Darrach family for sharing these letters.

With assistance from the PEI Seniors’ Secretariat and the Clyde River W.I., Clyde River Council is hosting a series of Seniors Lunch and Learn events at the Riverview Community Centre over the next few months. Each event will involve a presentation on a topic related to health, recreation or safety and tailored to the 50+ age bracket. The event will be followed by a hot lunch. The sessions are free. Organizers ask that if you plan to attend to please leave a message at 902-626-8668 or administrator@clyderiverpei.com so they know how much food to prepare.

The first event in the series will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 13, when physiotherapist Ellen Dixon will discuss how physio can possibly ease the aches and pains that sometimes accompany the golden years entitled “Working the Kinks Out.” All are welcome to attend.

 

Clyde River Baptist Church

The Women’s Missionary Society of the Clyde River United Baptist Church invites you to attend their annual Thank Offering Service on Sunday evening, October 27th at 7:00. Special speaker will be Pastor Marie Kenny with special music by the Three Graces and the Church Choir. The Church is located at 618 Clyde River Road, Clyde River. A light refreshment will be served following the service.

Let’s take a stroll down Dog River Road

And recall the days when our ancestors came

And boats were moored along river docks

Could we have imagined the day

After the many years of a bustling highway

That we could go back to gather a glimpse

Of the peaceful life that they had once again

We’ll hear sounds of hawks on the marsh

Mooing cows up Watson’s Lane

And stop on the hill

Not to avoid a near miss

But to take in the beauty we missed.

Names are the domain of writers and poets to give them life, so this is my humble attempt as we introduce the names of the two roads (the main road and a service road) that were once the old Trans Canada Highway through the community of Clyde River. The main route was originally called Tryon Road, as that’s where it led, and later the Trans Canada Highway that ushered our youth to their destinations of dreams across our great country.

Dog River was the name of the community before 1864, and one can well imagine the conversation among families that they would maybe like a more sophisticated and romantic sounding moniker. For in those days, a dog would not have much of a life, which spawned the expression “he didn’t have the life of a dog”. But, my dear, how times have changed for dogs. That expression has no meaning now as they have become beloved family members where their every need is taken care of. The old expression “a dog’s breakfast” is no more. My dog, for one, eats a premium blend of canine cuisine with a dollop of Balkan yogurt in the morning. It is more likely now that we will be able to enjoy walking our Rover along the Dog River Road without feeling like we’re taking our life in our hands. We can stop at the bridge to give him a chance to study the marshland birds and offer up a few barks.

So for clarification, in Cornwall, they are calling their section of the former Trans Canada Highway “Main Street”. When you are winding your way up Main Street, as you reach the community of Clyde River, without making a turn, you will then be driving on Dog River Road all the way through the community until you connect via a roundabout to the new highway on the Western boundary towards New Haven.

If you do not veer to the new highway on the Western boundary and instead travel the old highway to its dead end, you will travel along a service road now called “Watson’s Lane” named after Watson Livingston a former resident/owner of the adjacent farmland. Watson and his wife Lillian (Hyde) were parents of Wanda (Livingston) MacPhail featured here. That section of land was part of the original Livingston farm first settled by Donald and Flora (MacPhail) Livingston who many in the community could claim an ancestral connection including me. They were Watson’s great grandparents and my greatx3 grandparents. The homestead that Donald’s son Archibald (married to Margaret Dixon) built is the one that Watson’s granddaughter Ruth (MacPhail) and Alan Nelson and their family live in today on the Clyde River Road. Her parents Wanda and Eric MacPhail won a PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Award for the renovation of the homestead. JoAnn MacPhail lives on another section of the original farm.

So there you have it. We have returned to our historical roots in naming our roads. After tomorrow, we will begin to experience the community in a whole new way. It’s an opportunity for us to renew our community life and consider starting some traditions that help us reconnect with our history. And maybe instead of a car, we can enjoy a stroll or bike ride down memory lane or Dog River Road. And don’t forget to take Rover.

Historical notes from the book, History and Stories of Clyde River

  • The earliest name on record for what is now Clyde River was Oonigunsuk a Mi’kmaq name meaning Portage Place.
  • In 1765, Samuel Holland named the river Edward Creek, more popularly called Edward River.
  • Dog River appeared in Hazard’s Gazette, September 18, 1843 (Editor’s note: I have seen “Dog or Nixon River” labelling the river on farm deeds.)
  • One theory on the Dog River name was the abundance of seals swimming in the river with only their heads appearing and resembling dogs.
  • Other theories related to the many docks along the river where Dock River became Dog River and also dog sleds travelling on frozen ice.
  • Clyde River would have been chosen by Scottish Immigrants as a reminder of the famous River Clyde in Scotland. Bannockburn Road would also be reminiscent to their Scottish history and the Battle of Bannockburn.

New Highway Opens on Monday

The Community of Clyde River is approaching another historic milestone on Monday when the new highway will open, diverting much of the traffic that previously travelled through the centre of the community. The Department of Transportation issued the following notice this week:

The new Trans-Canada Highway realignment through Cornwall and Clyde River will be fully open to traffic for Monday morning.

As contractors work to finish up the project, drivers may experience some delays on Sunday, October 20 at the North River roundabout due to required finishing work. Drivers are encouraged to take alternate routes on Sunday. If using the roundabout, slow down and follow the directions of signs and traffic control personnel.

When the new Trans-Canada Highway alignment opens Monday morning, drivers are encouraged to slow down, allow for extra time, and follow the new signs carefully.

The North River roundabout will operate differently once the alignment opens. Drivers should pay close attention to the new signage and markings.

Changes for navigating the North River roundabout when coming from Charlottetown:

  • Drivers using the outer/right lane must exit onto the new highway alignment towards Borden-Carleton
  • Drivers wishing to exit onto Main Street or York Point Road must use the inner/left lane of the roundabout
  • Choose the proper lane before entering the roundabout

Changes for navigating the North River roundabout when coming from Warren Grove:

  • Drivers using the outer/right lane must exit onto the new highway alignment towards Borden-Carleton
  • Drivers wishing to exit onto Main Street, York Point Road or to Charlottetown must use the inner/left lane of the roundabout
  • Choose the proper lane before entering the roundabout

As with all roundabouts:

  • As you approach the roundabout, slow down and yield to pedestrians
  • Yield to traffic already circulating
  • When there is a gap on your left, enter the roundabout turning right
  • Do not stop once you are inside the roundabout

All other legs of the roundabout operate the same as usual. Drivers should use extra caution when using the new alignment and the newly configured roundabout for the first time.

Some of the features of the new highway include three overpasses, two interchanges and a major bridge structure over the Clyde River. The new highway will also divert the majority of truck traffic away from Main Street in Cornwall, making Main Street safer.

Here is a video from last year featuring drone footage of construction: