Archive for the ‘Community Centre news’ Category

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Kirk Brown’s career spans the energy crisis of the 1970s when it seemed we might run out of oil and we were looking for alternative energy sources to now when we are seeking newer and cleaner energies. He worked with Exxon in the US and then moved on to the Ontario Research Institute and later Ontario Ministry of Energy. One day he saw an advertisement in the Globe and Mail where the newly formed Institute of Man and Resources in Prince Edward Island was looking for a Director of Research. He said the advertisement seemed to fit what he wanted perfectly, so he applied and out of 100 applicants, he got the job.

On April 1, 1977, Kirk and his wife J’Nan moved to Prince Edward Island. They first lived in a home that featured early generation solar panels in Lewis Point Park, but Kirk was keen to buy a farm. When he was a young teenager, he worked one summer on a farm in Ontario and he said it was his favourite job. So combining his two interests, the Browns purchased the MacNeill farm in Clyde River and we are glad they did.

The Institute of Man and Resources was directed by Andy Wells during Alex Campbell’s time as premier in Prince Edward Island. Campbell wanted to take a leadership role in Canada on responding to the energy crisis when the price of oil had quadrupled. Kirk said that Prince Edward Island had historically embraced wood burning energy, but to return to wood and other energies the Institute worked to develop a Canada-PEI agreement (The Agreement) to research improved wood burning systems and to look at solar and wind energies and demonstrate more efficient use of energy as a means of reducing Island household heating costs.

The Ark project in eastern Prince Edward Island is often connected to the Institute. It was a dream inspired by John Todd and the New Alchemy Institute in New England and was funded as a separate part of the Agreement to be operated by the New Alchemists. The Ark was planned to demonstrate a fully self-sustainable lifestyle. Kirk said that it turned out to be more expensive than anticipated because they were trying to integrate many new unproven technologies all at once. The Institute was asked to become the Ark project manager but eventually had to close down the operation due to lack of funding. However, there were aspects of technologies adopted there that later spawned future opportunities in PEI and elsewhere.

Shortly after starting work at the Institute Kirk was approached when plans were underway to build the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The QEH project manager wished to use something other than heavy fuel oil for heating. Kirk and the manager decided to investigate the use of municipal waste. Later Kirk went on to work at the PEI Energy Corporation, where they focused on energy strategies for public institutions. There the idea of using waste led to the Energy From Waste plant for heating the QEH. The District Heating System in Charlottetown was born out of the EFW plant. This underground system now pipes heat to many public buildings throughout Charlottetown.

The other legacy that the early work of the Institute and the PEI Energy Corporation established was wind energy. Prince Edward Island is now home of the Wind Energy Institute of Canada, and energy produced from wind turbines in PEI contributes to local energy needs and has become a valuable energy export for the Province. PEI has an excellent wind regime and was one of the early innovating regions.

Kirk’s concern these days is still on alternative energies. The Browns use solar panels to generate hot water, and wood heats their house. But more so, Kirk is unwavering in his opinion that we need to move toward energy strategies that will minimize climate change problems and the cost that it places on our environment and quality of life for future generations.

The audience had many questions for Kirk, and his breadth of knowledge was evident as he helped us to understand the economic and political winds that drive alternative energy policies and development and how important it is to keep viable energy strategies top of mind. As a community, we are so pleased to have such a valuable resource in our midst. Thanks Kirk.

If you want to watch the daily breakdown of PEI’s electrical usage, view this graph created by Peter Rukavina here. To find out more about Peter’s research, read here.

Want to know how much of our energy is currently being created by wind? Click here. To see the PEI government wind energy charts, click here.

We include here a video interview that Peter Rukavina had with Kirk and featured on a site discussing Climate Change,  “Think About it – Climate Change.”

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Website reporter and early riser Kerrilee York attended the first Joy Fit class at Riverview Community Centre this morning at 6:15 a.m. until 7:00 a.m. along with a dozen other enthusiastic souls who braved the cold. Instructor Deborah made everyone feel welcome and uplifted. She greeted Kerrilee with a big hug as soon as she walked in the door!

Deborah was great to show different variations of an exercise to suit all levels of fitness. At the end of the class, she gave out small laminated messages to each participant. Kerrilee’s message read, “Support and Challenge One Another”.

So there you go. The most difficult part of a new exercise program is the jitters of attending the first class. Looks like it was a friendly place for all.

February is heart month, so do your heart a favour and feel the love of our Joy Fit class. Congratulations to the Friends of Clyde River, Community Spirit Committee, for organizing this program. Joy Fit runs on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 6:15 until 7:00 a.m.

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It’s now easier to keep up to date on Clyde River events!

We have upgraded our events page on our website to include a Google calendar that offers you these new features:

  • Click on events within calendar and a pop-up will offer you more information.
  • View a larger format calendar and print it off to post on your refrigerator or bulletin board.
  • You can sync our calendar of events to your calendar on your computer or mobile devices.

Click on the Events page or link here: https://clyderiverpei.com/calendar-of-events/

Make sure to pass on this link to your friends and family who want to keep up to date on all our events. We will be regularly adding more events, so stay tuned.

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We had an enthusiastic crowd of 35 people last Saturday, so we are keen to see all of you out tomorrow for what promises to be a very entertaining and educational lecture with Catherine Hennessey. She will be talking about the importance of Samuel Holland to the history of Prince Edward Island. I would think by the time she is finished, we will all be standing up for his legacy.

Catherine’s lecture begins at 1:30 pm and runs until 2:30. You can then continue the conversation over home-made treats and hot beverages.

The lectures take place at the Riverview Community Centre on 718 Clyde River Road.

The series is presented by the Friends of Clyde River, Historical Education Committee.

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It’s a few degrees warmer today and it will be even warmer and friendlier at Riverview Community Centre for the beginning of our Clyde River Lecture Series at 1:30 pm. Lecture runs 1:30-2:30 and we’ll have a cup of tea/coffee and some home-cooked treats. Helen Smith-MacPhail will present on her trip to Europe where she followed the story of the Murray Brothers from Clyde River who fought in WWI. See you there.

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Well, here is a chance to join friends and neighbours to follow through on what could potentially be the most common new year’s resolution of all.

Get a little more fit.

Melody Sider from the Friends of Clyde River Community Spirit Committee has lined up Gym Teacher Deborah Christie from New Haven to lead exercise classes called Joyful Fitness featuring cardio and core exercises for all fitness levels. These classes can tie in with yet another resolution to get up earlier and have a more productive day. Her classes start at 6:15 a.m. and will run until 7:00 a.m. beginning February 4th and continuing on Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Riverview Community Centre. If you need a little more motivation, she promises the classes will be good fun…but, then it is always fun to get together with the folks in Clyde River. Let us know how it goes.

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What a wonderful Fall we had here in PEI and still not any arrival of snow but maybe tomorrow, as the chilly Northwest winds have arrived. The month of December will soon be upon us and in PEI that means the beginning of the Christmas party season. Clyde River will have their community Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 4th at 7:30 pm at the Riverview Community Centre.

Whether you live in or love going to Clyde River events, you are welcome to enjoy the warmth of our hospitality. Other than bringing along your Christmas spirit, you can choose to bring along a gift (value of $5) for an exchange. Men are to take gifts for men; women take gifts for women. There will be music, carol singing, skits, games, some tasty food and overall a grand time.

The Women’s Institute are participating this year in the White Cross Christmas Gift Campaign. This campaign was established in the early 1960s by the Canadian Mental Health Association, PEI Division. If you wish, you can bring along a small, new, unwrapped gift of a personal item e.g. shampoo, cosmetics, socks or gloves. The Clyde River W.I. will arrange to drop off theses gifts at the White Cross Program office in Charlottetown. Gifts will be given to those who may not otherwise receive one this season.

On the evening of our Christmas Party, we will be selling tickets to win a 3′ x 2′ gallery photo of Clyde River featured on the front cover of the newly launched photo book, Landscape of Memories. Tickets are $5 each. Also, if you have not yet had a chance to purchase the book with 170+ full-colour photos of our community and you wish to give it as gifts this season, there will be books available for sale at $25.

So find a touch of red in your wardrobe and come on out to celebrate the Christmas season with your friends and neighbours.

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The Friends of Clyde River is organizing a fundraiser for Murchison Place Park and invites you to a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, November 18th at the Riverview Community Centre, 718 Clyde River Road.

Drop by between 8:00 and 10:30 a.m.. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children or $20 for a family. Tickets can be purchased at the door or by contacting Jo-Ann MacPhail at 675-4335 or Kerrilee York at 675-2066. Gluten-free pancakes will also be available upon request.

Come and socialize with your neighbours and perhaps meet some new ones. Also, if any students would like to volunteer, contact Jo-Ann or Kerrilee to help out at the breakfast.

The Friends of Clyde River is a newly formed committee that is helping out on special community projects.

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Last evening the Riverview Community Centre was filled to the rafters with folks who wanted to show their appreciation for the community service that Emily and Vans so generously gave to Clyde River over these past 25 years. They say all good things must come to an end, but with the many contributions this couple provided, it will be a gift that keeps on giving. We have a newly-renovated community centre and a beautiful Murchison Place Park that is a favourite spot of every kid in the area. But maybe most of all, the lasting gift is the example they have shown on how working together can accomplish great things and how being part of a community can be so much fun.

It is satisfying to reminisce about old times, but the best gift we can offer our families, friends and neighbours is to enjoy our community today. Emily and Vans likely did not realize where their involvement would lead, but as Emily and others said, when you get involved to make a difference for others, you end up getting back so much more. It is easy for different generations to go their own way, but community spirit is about people of all ages getting involved and the lasting relationships and lessons that can endure and what can be built when all our talents come together.


As part of the evening’s program, emceed by Bruce Brine, best wishes were offered by Betty Watts, Douglas Gillespie, Valerie Docherty, Carol Richards, and the following is a tribute presented by Audrey MacPhee:

Tribute to Emily and Vans

Way back in the last century, in the sixties as I recall
A handsome young man from Enmore had thought he had better get on the ball
He told his buddies “I think it’s time to find myself a mate”
So his friend returned with a proposition – I’ve found you a nice “blind date”.

“Goodness, no”, Vans replied “That will never do for me”,
“I don’t need a blind girl – I want one who is able to see.”
His friend assured him that she could see quite well with eyes of baby blue
So Vans met Emily Colwill from Northam (And we’re glad he met her, too.)

Then Emily’s off to nursing school while teaching was Vans’ fame
And soon Vans decided Emily should change her maiden name.
So there’s a wedding with a smiling bride and a groom with a quite swelled chest.
They made a home in Summerside where Gary and Greg were added to the nest.
But the call of the East brought them to Sherwood – that’s where Susan came along.
And this completes the family, and soon Vans began writing some songs.

You can take the boy from the country. but you can’t take the country from the boy.
And Vans’ boyhood desire to be a farmer and to collect some farming toys
Brought the family to live in Clyde River at the dead-end of the Baltic Road
Got himself a horse and a tractor and a little old truck so I’m told.
Pretty quiet here for the city kids who were wanting some fun – oh, my
Excitement became running out to bark with the dog if a car ever came passing by!!

Horse and sleigh rides and music and fun times for neighbours, family and friends
When you are in Emily and Vans’ company the pleasure goes on without end.
Quickly they came to love their new home and one morning Emily heard a big fuss-
The neighbour’s cows had broken out and Susan couldn’t get to the bus.
The first neighbour they met was Bill Waller Sr. who was proud of his chickens, ‘tis true
Until one Sunday morning the Bryant’s dog left several chickens all ready for stew!!

The children grew up and left the Baltic Road – the “empty-nest syndrome” did appear
A few years later, Vans and Emily retired to become busier than ever, I fear.
The house was not empty for very long as the grandchildren came along
A “Baby-sitter’s Haven” on the Bryant Estate, and more time for Vans to write songs
And to sing with Emily and their friends Marnie and Harold – better known as Jericho Road
Their talented Blue Grass music spread across PEI to crowds wherever they’d go.

Now Emily has more time on her hands and challenges are dear to her heart
She looked ‘round Clyde River and thought –“Let me see – now just where should I start?”
A member of high standing in the Women’s Institute where there is always something to do
She suggested an Apple Pie Festival and she volunteered Vans for this, too.
It began with a limit of 200 pies and over the years how it grew
Until last year it reached 951 with over 50 volunteers for their crew.
Together they made all the purchases, and organized it from beginning to end
Their magnetic personalities make it a privilege – each volunteer becoming a friend.
Vans’ teaching came to be helpful here as he gathered the money you see
Adding all the dollars up in his head – he said –no calculators for me!!

Emily has a wealth of information on funding and is willing to see each job through
Mountains of paperwork to justify and that, too, she’s always willing to do.
Many renovations to our Centre have been the result of her ambitions
Wheelchair accessibility, the level below, the History Room, all great additions.
The L.E.A.P. program for seniors – has for years been high on her list
In fact, she’s done so much – always volunteering Vans to assist.

The overgrown trees situation at the end of the Clyde River Road
Soon got Emily’s attention and this became her new work load.
Pulling weeds, cutting trees, planting and grooming soon gave it a great new spark
And for spring and fall cleanup they’ll be right there in Murchison Place Park.
Always looking to the future, they encouraged both young and old
And set fine examples and are role models to follow as the years ahead unfold

Emily you have such a caring personality I’m sure I’d have everyone’s consent
You could criticize a wrong-doer and they’d think you paid them a compliment.
Now you are almost perfect but not quite as I have to tell this tale
Once when visiting the Lieutenant-Governor at Fanningbank – you broke a stair rail.
Your humility and diplomacy and your caring ways are truly second to none
You care not who gets the credit – only that the job’s well done!!

We thank you both – Vans and Emily – from the bottom of our heart
Things will be quiet here in Clyde River since you decided to depart.
We bought a little gift for you to hang upon your wall
And when you glance upon it you’ll think – we didn’t move at all.
May God bless your move to Stratford and no matter whatever betide
May you sail along through the future with a song in your heart and God by your side.

With much love and appreciation for 25 years of thoughtfulness, caring and dedication to this community and to the growth of community spirit.

Tribute written by Audrey MacPhee on behalf of Clyde River Women’s Institute

As part of the evening of appreciation, a dedication was made to name the Emily Bryant Room in the lower level of the Riverview Community Centre.

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This year marks 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations are taking place this weekend in Britain with the Queen’s attendance at the Epsom Derby, Big Jubilee lunch, a concert at Buckingham Palace, the lighting of the Jubilee beacons, a service of Thanksgiving and a carriage procession. In Clyde River, the Women’s Institute created their own celebration with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Tea at Riverview Community Centre with help from Canada Heritage Jubilee Program, and they invited the ladies of the community and invited guests, including St. Catherine’s Women’s Institute members.

The ladies wore colourful outfits and dusted off their hats for the occasion or donned a fascinator from those provided by Sandra Cameron or of their own creation. Hilda Colodey made her fascinator from peacock feathers. The tea featured a presentation from Helen MacPhail on their visit with the Queen while her husband was Lieutenant Governor of PEI. She fondly remembers how the Queen took extra time with them and had a wonderful sense of humour. Helen had been hoping to meet the Queen’s beloved corgi dogs, and a Queen’s aid told her if she had mentioned it in advance, they would have definitely arranged it. During the trip, Lloyd and Helen attended a Royal Ascot race and were privileged to sit in the Queen’s box to enjoy it. Helen also brought along her private collection of memorabilia to display, including the hat she wore when she met Queen Elizabeth II. Wanda MacPhail featured her mother Lillian Livingston’s scrapbook from the 1940s.

We were also delighted to have the wife of the current PEI Lieutenant Governor, Her Honour Dorothy Lewis, in attendance, and she stayed to enjoy the afternoon among some of her long time friends and acquaintances.

Music was provided by Renee Dahn on violin and her mother Julia Purcell on piano. Betty Watts, a recent recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Silver Medal poured tea. Audrey MacPhee cut the beautifully decorated and tasty cake provided by Papa Joe’s Restaurant.

Mothers and daughters took the opportunity to share the day together like Hilda Beer with Donna Green, Lois Thompson with Jennifer Good, Julia Purcell with Renee Dahn, Marilyn Dodd with Hope Dodd, Helen MacPhail with Ferne Halman and Judy Halman and Carol-Ann Murray with Kerrilee York. There was a moment’s silence for Clyde River Women’s Institute lifetime member Hazel Beer. Her daughter Vivian Beer was there to enjoy the tea and take the photos featured in the slide show.

The ladies commented on how much fun it was to dress up for a tea party and to see everyone in such beautifully coloured fashion. Each lady was presented with a Queen’s Jubilee pin, small flag and photo book with pictures of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

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