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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Our 7th Annual Clyde River Lectures Series begins this Saturday. Our theme this year is “Cars, Photography and Fashion”. Here’s our line-up:

Saturday, January 26th, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Rudy Croken – “Are you for or against the Automobile?”

Rudy Croken, Author of Ban the Automobile, Instrument of Death

In the early part of the twentieth century Prince Edward Island earned itself distinction of a dubious nature in the history of the automobile and transportation in Canada, and indeed the civilized world. Why would the Island turn its back on what many consider the defining invention of the twentieth century, the automobile? Could all the rest of the world be wrong? Here’s a story of a local meeting from The Guardian, Nov. 4th, 1914:

Anti-Automobile Meeting – A branch of the Anti-Automobile Association was formed in New Haven Hall on the 24th ult. when the following officers were elected:–President, Angus McPhee, New Haven; Vice President, Neil McKenzie, Canoe Cove; Treasurer, P. J. Berrigan, Dunedin; Committee: George Cruise, Kingston; D. Fraser, Kingston; W. D. Shaw, St. Catherine’s; John Scott, Clyde River; and John McKinnon, New Haven. The several speakers spoke in a very decisive manner against the running of autos on the country roads, which are in such a condition to render it dangerous to the travelling public. All the members present pledged themselves to support no candidate for the Legislature who would not promise to oppose the running of autos or grant them any more privileges of running on the country roads.

Was the general area West of Charlottetown for or against the automobile? Clyde River, Cumberland, New Haven and Canoe Cove had originally opposed the auto, but by March of 1917, some felt the attitude toward the new contraption had changed. After a meeting at Afton Hall which came out against the automobile by a reported 36 to 6 count, Artemus Betts of Cumberland penned a letter to The Patriot on March 29, 1917, challenging the numbers reported to the media by John MacDonald. Betts claimed the actual count was 36 to 26 against the auto and that many local people had left the meeting before the vote was taken. He also contended that many of those who voted against the automobile were “outsiders”. Betts wrote that he, “…circulated a petition in favour of opening up a certain defined area for automobiles which was signed by over ninety bona fide residents in the district.” He further stated that, “Many people strongly resented the meeting being held by outsiders who came merely for the purpose of raising trouble in our district.”

You don’t want to miss how the drama unfolded. Find out why some Clyde River and area men were initially against the automobile and how eventually horseless carriages came to dominate our Island roads. Rudy will be selling his book, Ban the Automobile, Instrument of Death. at this event.

Rudy Croken is a resident of Kensington. Rudy is a retired educator and had a 32-year career as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and intermediate school levels. He has had a life-long interest in automobiles, is a 40-year member of the Prince Edward Island Antique Car Club and currently serves as its President.


Saturday, February 9th, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Wayne Barrett & Anne MacKay – “How the Local Landscape influenced our Photography”

Anne MacKay and Wayne Barrett

1977 was a memorable year for Anne and Wayne. It was in that year they were married. They moved to beautiful St. Catherine’s, to a place that overlooked the West River with the view towards Dunedin. That same year they also set up their business: Barrett & MacKay Photography.

“This area, where we chose to live has come to mean more to us than property or a house – it became our sanctuary. It was here we raised our children. This is the place we went for walks with them along the tree-lined, canopied dirt road in St. Catherine’s, and beyond to Canoe Cove. From our verandah, it was a place to listen to birds in the trees behind the house and observe the little fox that always returned to have her kits under our horse shed. This area was, and still is beautiful with its tidal river, wooded hills reflected down upon the incoming tide, the lay of the land – the landscape. This place, in every season, always offered us a photographic gift to capture. Now, it is 2019, and we are still living in this place and in the same home (many renovations later). As always, this place we call our home, this small area of PEI is still our sanctuary.”

The landscape of this region, nurtured their photographic creativity. Through the 40+ years of their photographic careers, this area has been an influence in their approach to landscape photography. They will offer us a visual presentation of their landscape photography and talk about how living in this area has influenced their creativity. Wayne Barrett and Anne MacKay are husband, wife, and the creative team in Barrett & MacKay Photography. As professional photographers, they achieved success in the fields of: wildlife, nature, landscape, tourism and environmental photography. Several times in the past decade, Wayne has earned a number of awards from the Atlantic Canada ICE AWARDS. Among the awards are three Craft Awards for the outstanding images he created for the Print Campaign for Newfoundland Tourism. In 2017 Canada Post selected Wayne’s image of Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site in Newfoundland to be a Canadian World Heritage collector’s stamp. Mistaken Point was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2016. Wayne produced the photography for the submission. In 2018 Canada Post selected Anne’s image of Covehead lighthouse in the PEI National Park as one of five photographs from across Canada for the Far and Wide (O Canada) series for Permanent Domestic Stamp Collections. They are now semi-retired, but during their working careers, they created and provided a wide variety of creative photographic services for advertising agencies, corporations and editorial clients. Assignments and stock images are still featured in ad campaigns, published books and calendars. At this point in time, their photography is more about licensing their images and producing limited edition large prints from their favorite photos. In addition to assignments, they published 34 books with: Oxford University Press, Nimbus Publishers, Key Porter, National Geographic, Random House and Greystone-Firefly Books. For a full list of their awards and books, click here.


Saturday, February 23rd, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Arnold Smith – “What our Ancestors Wore”

Arnold Smith

Arnold will share his knowledge and research on what our ancestors wore and feature a display of vintage and reproduction clothing to give you a glimpse into their wardrobes – from everyday clothing to special occasions. Feel free to take along any clothing from your collections if you want to learn more about its history.

Arnold Smith has always had a keen interest in history. His first ancestors arrived on Prince Edward Island in the 1780’s following the American Revolution. He was raised and continues to live on the family farm on the Smith Road in Pleasant Valley where his family have lived for more than five generations.

Arnold has many interests from researching and restoring heritage buildings; collecting and restoring antiques; heritage cooking; and sits on a variety of community and heritage boards.

In 1989 Arnold portrayed Andrew A. MacDonald, the youngest Father of Confederation during the 125th celebrations. While doing research for the character he discovered a wealth of information on the fashions and daily life of the 1860’s. Arnold’s mother was an avid sewer, so he arranged for her to make period reproductions for Parks and People – he designed the outfits and helped his mother construct them.

Over the past 30 years he has gathered extensive information and has amassed a large library of reference books and patterns along with a substantial collection of vintage and reproduction clothing.

In 2007 Arnold was a founding patron of the Watermark Theatre. And over the past three summers has been involved with the costume production for The River Clyde Pageant. Note: We are beginning this lecture at 2:00 p.m. as Arnold works at Bedeque Auction on Saturday mornings.


The Clyde River Lecture Series takes place at the Riverview Community Centre at 718 Clyde River Road. All presentations will be followed by refreshments and a social time. These events are a great chance to get out in the winter to learn about and discuss our interesting local history. Our museum will be open to view our collection of over 200 artifacts and heritage photos. For more information on this series, please contact Vivian Beer, vivian@eastlink.ca.

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If you didn’t get a chance to hear my interview yesterday on CBC Mainstreet about the upcoming Clyde River Lectures, you can listen to a recording of it online here. The lectures will be held on Saturdays, January 26th, February 9th and 23rd. We space them two weeks apart in case we need a storm date. They begin at 1:30 p.m. with the exception of February 23rd when we will begin at 2:00 p.m. Also, refer to our earlier story for details. Look forward to seeing you there.

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Tune in to CBC Mainstreet – 96.1 FM – this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. (Atlantic Standard Time) to hear Vivian Beer’s interview with Angela Walker on the upcoming Clyde River Lecture Series. You can listen live online here. Read our earlier story on this year’s presenters.

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Our 7th Annual Clyde River Lectures Series is ready to launch for 2019. Each year, we have to think more creatively to find new topics featuring PEI history with a local community flare, and we are very pleased to announce this year’s line up. Our theme is “Cars, Photography and Fashion” which adds some glamour to our talks. Here’s a sneak peek.

Saturday, January 26th, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Rudy Croken – “Are you for or against the Automobile?”

Rudy Croken, Author of Ban the Automobile, Instrument of Death

In the early part of the twentieth century Prince Edward Island earned itself distinction of a dubious nature in the history of the automobile and transportation in Canada, and indeed the civilized world. Why would the Island turn its back on what many consider the defining invention of the twentieth century, the automobile? Could all the rest of the world be wrong? 

Here’s a story of a local meeting from The Guardian, Nov. 4th, 1914:

Anti-Automobile Meeting – A branch of the Anti-Automobile Association was formed in New Haven Hall on the 24th ult. when the following officers were elected:–President, Angus McPhee, New Haven; Vice President, Neil McKenzie, Canoe Cove; Treasurer, P. J. Berrigan, Dunedin; Committee: George Cruise, Kingston; D. Fraser, Kingston; W. D. Shaw, St. Catherine’s; John Scott, Clyde River; and John McKinnon, New Haven. The several speakers spoke in a very decisive manner against the running of autos on the country roads, which are in such a condition to render it dangerous to the travelling public. All the members present pledged themselves to support no candidate for the Legislature who would not promise to oppose the running of autos or grant them any more privileges of running on the country roads.

Was the general area West of Charlottetown for or against the automobile? Clyde River, Cumberland, New Haven and Canoe Cove had originally opposed the auto, but by March of 1917, some felt the attitude toward the new contraption had changed. After a meeting at Afton Hall which came out against the automobile by a reported 36 to 6 count, Artemus Betts of Cumberland penned a letter to The Patriot on March 29, 1917, challenging the numbers reported to the media by John MacDonald. Betts claimed the actual count was 36 to 26 against the auto and that many local people had left the meeting before the vote was taken. He also contended that many of those who voted against the automobile were “outsiders”. Betts wrote that he, “…circulated a petition in favour of opening up a certain defined area for automobiles which was signed by over ninety bona fide residents in the district.” He further stated that, “Many people strongly resented the meeting being held by outsiders who came merely for the purpose of raising trouble in our district.”

You don’t want to miss how the drama unfolded. Find out why some Clyde River and area men were initially against the automobile and how eventually horseless carriages came to dominate our Island roads. Rudy will be selling his book, Ban the Automobile, Instrument of Death. at this event.

Rudy Croken is a resident of Kensington. Rudy is a retired educator and had a 32-year career as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and intermediate school levels. He has had a life-long interest in automobiles, is a 40-year member of the Prince Edward Island Antique Car Club and currently serves as its President.


Saturday, February 9th, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Wayne Barrett & Anne MacKay – “How the Local Landscape influenced our Photography”

Anne MacKay and Wayne Barrett

1977 was a memorable year for Anne and Wayne. It was in that year they were married. They moved to beautiful St. Catherine’s, to a place that overlooked the West River with the view towards Dunedin. That same year they also set up their business: Barrett & MacKay Photography.

“This area, where we chose to live has come to mean more to us than property or a house – it became our sanctuary. It was here we raised our children. This is the place we went for walks with them along the tree-lined, canopied dirt road in St. Catherine’s, and beyond to Canoe Cove. From our verandah, it was a place to listen to birds in the trees behind the house and observe the little fox that always returned to have her kits under our horse shed. This area was, and still is beautiful with its tidal river, wooded hills reflected down upon the incoming tide, the lay of the land – the landscape. This place, in every season, always offered us a photographic gift to capture. Now, it is 2019, and we are still living in this place and in the same home (many renovations later). As always, this place we call our home, this small area of PEI is still our sanctuary.”

The landscape of this region, nurtured their photographic creativity. Through the 40+ years of their photographic careers, this area has been an influence in their approach to landscape photography. They will offer us a visual presentation of their landscape photography and talk about how living in this area has influenced their creativity.

Wayne Barrett and Anne MacKay are husband, wife, and the creative team in Barrett & MacKay Photography. As professional photographers, they achieved success in the fields of: wildlife, nature, landscape, tourism and environmental photography. Several times in the past decade, Wayne has earned a number of awards from the Atlantic Canada ICE AWARDS. Among the awards are three Craft Awards for the outstanding images he created for the Print Campaign for Newfoundland Tourism.

In 2017 Canada Post selected Wayne’s image of Mistaken Point UNESCO World Heritage Site in Newfoundland to be a Canadian World Heritage collector’s stamp. Mistaken Point was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2016. Wayne produced the photography for the submission.

In 2018 Canada Post selected Anne’s image of Covehead lighthouse in the PEI National Park as one of five photographs from across Canada for the Far and Wide (O Canada) series for Permanent Domestic Stamp Collections.

They are now semi-retired, but during their working careers, they created and provided a wide variety of creative photographic services for advertising agencies, corporations and editorial clients. Assignments and stock images are still featured in ad campaigns, published books and calendars. At this point in time, their photography is more about licensing their images and producing limited edition large prints from their favorite photos.

In addition to assignments, they published 34 books with: Oxford University Press, Nimbus Publishers, Key Porter, National Geographic, Random House and Greystone-Firefly Books.

For a full list of their awards and books, click here.


Saturday, February 23rd, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Arnold Smith – “What our Ancestors Wore”

Arnold Smith

Arnold will share his knowledge and research on what our ancestors wore and feature a display of vintage and reproduction clothing to give you a glimpse into their wardrobes – from everyday clothing to special occasions. Feel free to take along any clothing from your collections if you want to learn more about its history.

Arnold Smith has always had a keen interest in history. His first ancestors arrived on Prince Edward Island in the 1780’s following the American Revolution. He was raised and continues to live on the family farm on the Smith Road in Pleasant Valley where his family have lived for more than five generations.

Arnold has many interests from researching and restoring heritage buildings; collecting and restoring antiques; heritage cooking; and sits on a variety of community and heritage boards.

In 1989 Arnold portrayed Andrew A. MacDonald, the youngest Father of Confederation during the 125th celebrations. While doing research for the character he discovered a wealth of information on the fashions and daily life of the 1860’s. Arnold’s mother was an avid sewer, so he arranged for her to make period reproductions for Parks and People – he designed the outfits and helped his mother construct them.

Over the past 30 years he has gathered extensive information and has amassed a large library of reference books and patterns along with a substantial collection of vintage and reproduction clothing.

In 2007 Arnold was a founding patron of the Watermark Theatre. And over the past three summers has been involved with the costume production for The River Clyde Pageant.

Note: We are beginning this lecture at 2:00 p.m. as Arnold works at Bedeque Auction on Saturday mornings.


The Clyde River Lecture Series takes place at the Riverview Community Centre at 718 Clyde River Road. All presentations will be followed by refreshments and a social time. These events are a great chance to get out in the winter to learn about and discuss our interesting local history. Our museum will be open to view our collection of over 200 artifacts and heritage photos. For more information on this series, please contact Vivian Beer, vivian@eastlink.ca.

Read Full Post »

This little boy thinks the fire engine is the best thing in the park

The Friends of Clyde River welcome any donations of toys for Murchison Place Park. The Park is very popular with young families, and we like to to have toys available for the children as they enjoy their time there. After Christmas, if you notice that some of your family’s toys, large and small, have become too young for your children’s use and you would like to pass them along then or in the Spring, please contact Jo-Ann at 902-675-4335.

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Devonport, England, Military Hospital, R.A.M.C, 7th Coy, February 16th, 1919 (Letter #31) 

Dear Brother;

Hoping this will find you in the pink as this leaves me at present. We have got the fever very bad here again. We have got about 200 in this hospital now down with it, about seven deaths a day on average. It is still not quite as bad as the last time.

Well, I have been trying to get out of the army since the first day of the year and I should have been out the 3rd of January, but there is so damn much red tape they are trying to do me out of my passage back, but there is nothing doing, they got plenty of fight out of me. I have not done four years for nothing. Well, have you got plenty of work? Labour is unsettled over here. Everybody is on strike. The country is in a hell of a state, plenty of Bolshevik and German money behind it.

Well, how is Herb Hatch and all the other boys? I suppose Ted and Mary are going to high school by this time. Is Ted alright. You said he had a bad ear the last time you wrote.

Remember me to Sam, Flo and children. I heard Lillian is working, as I had a letter from Mother yesterday. Well, I wish you would drop a few lines when you have time. Hoping I will be able to see you all about 1920.

With love and best wishes.

From your brother, Lee.

Editor’s Notes:

  • The war may have been over but the suffering continued. Labour movements had been building momentum throughout the war. Strikes were rampant.
  • The Paris Peace Conference began on January 18th, 1919, included delegates from 27 nations and resulted in the Treaty of Versailles with Germany and subsequent treaties with Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey.
  • The Treaty of Versailles placed full blame for the war and a tremendous financial burden on Germany, which is believed to have created the conditions for the later rise of Nazism which led to WWII.
  • World War 1 casualties were estimated to be somewhere between 9 and 11 million military. The estimate for civilian casualties is somewhere around 8 million.
  • The army camps were rife with flu, and when the soldiers returned home, the virus spread to their families and communities. Estimates were between 20 and 40 million died within a year and a half after the war, but current estimates are much higher at 100 million. It was referred to as the Spanish Flu. Spain was neutral during the war. The Allied countries suppressed the news about the flu, but in Spain they freely reported on the illness, so people associated it with them.

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Devonport, August 21st, 1918 – (Letter #30) 

Dear Brother;

Just a few lines to let you know I am alright. Hoping this will find you all the same. Well, I am still in Blighty and I am tired of writing and getting no answer. I have not had a letter from you since I had the registered one with the dollar in it. It seems to be the same with all us Canadians here, as there is about a hundred in the hospital here and they don’t get any letters from Canada. I would like to know where in hell they are going to. That is why I am having mine sent to a private address. I do stand more chance of getting them.

Well, I had a Medical Board two weeks ago and they marked me B I for B II, so I am expecting to be on the next draft and it is for Siberia, but you leave that to me. I do not want to go there. It is too far away and too cold. I would rather go to France. I think I can kick off it. Well, I am not fit for it anyhow, but I am getting better every day. I am getting stronger. It takes quite a little time to get over gas, but this is a dead place here. I do not like it.

I was just thinking today, I am going on to my fourth year in the army. It seems about 10 years. Well, the good old U.S.A. is doing good work. They are getting lots of men over here and that is what we want to end this war quick. They are also good fighters, but, of course, they have lots of swank. They tell us they are coming to finish the war here. They don’t know what we have done and suffered the past four years. But they’ll love their swank when they get to France and up against old Jerry.

When do you think it will be over? Have you got plenty of work? Well, as long as you can keep out of the army, you are alright. Well, I do hope you will get this letter and try to write to me once in a while. Remember me to the boys. How is Sam? I never hear anything about Dave Ross. What is he doing?

Love and xxxx for Mary and Ted. Hope he is better with lots of love.

From, Lee

Editor’s Notes:

  • Lee mentions Siberia. After Russia had backed out of WW1, the remaining Allied countries sent soldiers to Russia during their civil war to assist the anti-communist movement, strengthen the Eastern front and also to protect military supplies and equipment in Russian ports. They eventually backed out in 1920, but this intervention did create distrust between East and West.
  • The Americans helped to turn back the Germans in the Spring Offensive from March to July and during the final Hundred Days Offensive from August to November. Germany was not able to replenish their armies to compete with the influx of fresh American soldiers and improved morale among the Allies. The Central Power armies were tired, the citizens were hungry. Germany wanted to fight another battle at sea with the British, but the German navy refused and revolted, supported by civilians. The German Empire collapsed. They had no choice and an armistice was signed on November 11th, 1918.
  • There are two more letters, but this letter represents the last letter before the war ended.

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