2015 Clyde River Lectures – Mark your Calendars

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 7.42.08 PMThe Friends of Clyde River Historical Committee will host two upcoming lectures that will feature the two most informed and entertaining purveyors of history in Prince Edward Island. These lectures continue our “Capturing Collective Memories from Seniors” project.

Saturday, January 24th, 1:30 p.m.Catherine Hennessey – “Samuel Holland, Lord Selkirk and the Farmers of Lot 31”

2015 marks 250 years since Samuel Holland surveyed Prince Edward Island. Catherine will talk about the important contribution that Holland made to our Island, how Lord Selkirk came to own land in Lot 31 and the struggles local farmers had with distant landlords.

Catherine is best known as a heritage activist who has been working to protect buildings, landmarks, trees, and other artifacts of history. A short biography featured on the City of Charlottetown website explains how she became an activist and the contributions she has made, “In the mid-sixties she opened an antique store but was perplexed to see so many treasures from P.E.I.’s past being carted off to the mainland. She, along with others, urged the Alex Campbell government to create the PEI Heritage Foundation in the early 1970s. Hennessey served as the first executive director of that organization. She continues to work as a writer, researcher and heritage consultant. Her contributions have been recognized both locally and nationally. In 1986 Hennessey received an Honorary degree from U.P.E.I., was given the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal from Heritage Canada in 1988 and was bestowed the Order of Canada in 2001.”

Saturday, February 21st, 1:30 p.m. – Dutch Thompson – “Unforgettable Characters”

Dutch will present stories from some of the hundreds of people he has interviewed in the past 30 years, everything from those who swear by unusual home remedies like salt herring on the feet to lighthouse keepers, including Canada’s first female lighthouse keeper, and the last schooner captains on PEI.

You’ll hear about general stores & banana cages, Islanders playing hockey in Colorado, the dawn of electricity, PEI’s worst railway crash, country doctors and PEI’s first airport (co-owned by PEI’s first female pilot) plus two topics Islanders at one time never tired arguing about: religion and rum running.

Dutch has collected 700 hours of oral history which is featured on the site Island Voices, everything from midwives to blacksmiths to World War I. He has been featured for the past 22 years on CBC Radio’s “The Bygone Days” on Mainstreet & Island Morning, He worked for five years on the TV series “Emily of New Moon” as locations scout and historical script advisor. He works backstage at Confederation Centre and helped mount smash hit “Come All Ye” that played two seasons at The Mack & then toured Canada as part of the 2014 Celebrations. He lives with his wife Jill Birtwistle in a 170-year old house in Bunbury.

Refreshments will be served.

“Capturing Collective Memories from Seniors” events are made possible with funding from New Horizons for Seniors Program, Government of Canada.

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