Archive for the ‘Murchison Place Park’ Category


Artist Julia Purcell masterfully recreates the scenic setting of Gallery 18 in New London, on a peaceful Saturday afternoon. The daylong art demonstration coincided with Purcell’s ongoing exhibition and sale called, “Finding My Voice.”

Clyde River artist Julia Purcell made the front page of the Journal Pioneer on Monday and we want to say how proud we are of her and her work. The following is a reprint of the article that appeared.

Nature of Painting

“I started this landscape painting this morning and kept going until mid-afternoon once the paint was starting to set,” said Purcell. “Then I took a break.”

Painting is one of Purcell’s greatest pleasures in life, and it brings out a world of creativity.

“I don’t want to give away my age, but I’ve been painting for 40 years. It started with my parents who are well-known painters (Joseph and Tela Purcell of Nova Scotia), and it was something I eventually got the courage to try. And with lots of practice I got better,” she added.

“It’s definitely a shortcut if you have an instructor to guide you.”

Purcell instructs many on how to paint picture perfect images of P.E.I.

Unlike watercolours or acrylics, oil paints are complicated and take a long time to dry. Knowing the chemistry of this paint is almost essential to achieving the proper effect, she said.

“Oil painting, you do in stages,” explained Purcell. “First, you do a drawing then an under painting and keep going for a few hours until the paint starts to set. Then you would generally lay aside the painting for that day and, hopefully, get back to it the next because otherwise the paint doesn’t go on as layers the way it should.”

Several people came to see the artist transform a blank canvas into a stunning landscape painting full of blended brushstrokes with vibrant colours.

“There’s nothing I would rather be doing then to paint or talk about painting. I had several lovely people spend quite a few hours with me actually. It was great,” said Purcell. “One of the ladies that came to visit me today wants to learn how to paint, and she actually commissioned me to go out and take a look at a certain area.”

The daylong oil painting demonstration coincided with Purcell’s ongoing exhibition and sale, “Finding My Voice,” which features landscapes, townscapes, portraits and flowers of P.E.I.

“The owners of Gallery 18, Aubrey Bell and Patricia Bennett, saw my posts online and asked what I was going to do with all my work and if I would like to have a show, and, of course I said yes,” stated Purcell. “That was last fall and I have been working on it all winter, through the spring and summer.”

For more information visit www.Gallery18.com.

Editor’s note: Julia leads an art demonstration at our Annual Art in the Park event held each July at Murchison Place Park. Many of her paintings feature the beauty of Clyde River.

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Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.15.40 PMClyde River artist Julia Purcell has an exhibit and sale of her original works at Gallery 18 in New London. The show is called Finding My Voice and features new paintings of Island views. The show continues through until Sunday, August 28th. Gallery 18 website here.

Doreen Pound attended the opening of the exhibit on August 7th. She says there are both watercolour and oil paintings. Her favourite was a landscape view of Clyde River from the vantage point of Jo-Ann MacPhail’s. Almost half of the paintings are of Clyde River.

We are having a lovely summer, so make sure to take a drive up to New London with your friends, neighbours or off-Island guests.

Julia leads the Art in the Park event at Murchison Place Park each summer.

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The Friends of Clyde River invites everyone to our annual Art in the Park event on Saturday, July 16, from 8:30 a.m. until noon at Murchison Place Park. Guest artist Julia Purcell will lead an art demonstration. All are welcome to take along their art supplies to paint/sketch or, if you just want to relax and listen, that is great as well. We offer a special invitation to families to come out and paint together.

Take this opportunity to stroll through the park to see the many recent improvements that have been made which include new play and swing sets, areas landscaped and new trees added.

Art in the Park will take place in fair weather or light rain. Please check this website for details if the weather is uncertain.

Murchison Park is located on the corner of the TransCanada Hwy and the Clyde River Rd. Coffee and treats will be provided in the early morning but feel free to take along a lunch.

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The Murchison Place Park Cleanup is on this morning. Come in as early as you can. Many hands make light work.


Audrey MacPhee, Lori Perry and Alex Dixon

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Good News! We are excited to say that Murchison Place Park is getting a bit of a refresh.  Soon after the cleanup this Saturday there will be ongoing work in the Park for two weeks.

  • Brand new playground equipment is being constructed.
  • Some older or damaged trees will be trimmed or taken down.
  • Many new trees and shrubs are being planted.

It is important to note that during the entire work period it will not be safe for visitors to be in the Park. Once all this work is completed, Murchison Place Park will be a better and safer place for this summer and beyond.

Murchison Place Park will be closed to all visitors from Monday, May 16 to Friday, May 27. Check here for updates or changes to these dates.

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-20631324591BBFB451Murchison Place Park Spring Cleanup will take place on Saturday, May 14 at 9:00 a.m.  All are welcome.

Take along a rake, shovel and work gloves to help make the park beautiful. Refreshments provided.

This is a great chance to reconnect with friends and neighbours and bring a little colour back into your cheeks.

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Murchison Park 3We will be closing up Murchison Place Park on Saturday, October 17th, 9:00 to 12:00 noon. We invite volunteers to join us to help out and enjoy a beautiful fall day in Clyde River. Feel free to take along some bulbs for planting. We suggest you wear work gloves. Refreshments will be served. If it is raining, the close up will be the following Saturday at the same time.

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Murchison Park 3We will be closing up Murchison Place Park on Saturday, October 17th, 9:00 to 12:00 noon. We invite volunteers to join us to help out and enjoy a beautiful fall day in Clyde River. Feel free to take along some bulbs for planting. We suggest you wear work gloves. Refreshments will be served. If it is raining, the close up will be the following Saturday at the same time.

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Kathleen MacLean, Myra MacLeod, Dalvay Murchison, Robert Matheson, Isabel Murchison, William Murchison, Ina Livingston, Ida MacLean, Tena MacKinnon – Clyde River, July 22nd, 1927 (photo provided by CraigAnn Ummel)

(Story submitted by Jane Von Bredow)

In the picture, above, which was published on November 2014, two of the girls in the boat were Ina Livingstone and Isabel Murchison. They had been school friends earlier, and were still good friends at that later date, in 1927, when the picture was taken.

It was just one year later when some very significant changes began for both of them. My mother, Isabel, married my father, Edwin Johnstone, in 1928, and went to live in Charlottetown. A few years later, Ina married Dr. Mark Inman and went to live in London, Ontario. Then in 1933, at just 30 years of age, Isabel died.

There may be some people in Clyde River who would be intrigued, as I am, at something relating to them that occurred more than 50 years later.

My son, Alex, whose home was Toronto, attended Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. In 1983, at the end of his first year there, he approached his friend, Dave, about looking for a place where they might have the experience of living on their own. Dave told him that he knew of another student who had the same idea, and suggested they look for an apartment that the three of them could share. Alex agreed to this, though he had not at the time met the other student, a friend of Dave’s named John. He had confidence in Dave’s judgment that John would be suitable and congenial.

They found a place and moved in. But it was actually not until after they were settled and had been together a while that Alex began to get acquainted with John. They had no classes together and John had come to Queens from British Columbia. While washing dishes one evening they spoke about how much travelling each had done, and concerning how much of Canada they had seen. It was in the course of that conversation they discovered that both had been to Prince Edward Island more than once because both had family connections there. They spoke of the Island, and then to their mutual surprise, they discovered that both of them had roots in a small place called Clyde River!

Alex phoned me about it, and though I was surprised at the coincidence, it was not difficult for me to establish that John was the son of Dr. Faye (Inman) Dirks, and grandson of Ina Livingstone Inman. Alex is a grandson of Isabel Murchison Johnstone.

In the years after her marriage, Ina and her family continued to visit at home in Clyde River every summer. My grandmother spoke often about her and her family whom she heard about from Ina’s mother, Daisy, (Mrs. Boyd Livingstone). There was a photograph of Ina’s daughters, the two little girls, Faye and Heather Inman, on the mantel in our parlour, but I recall meeting them only once or twice.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 7.00.04 PMWe were school aged children when my cousin, Carl Brown, and I happened to be in Clyde River at a time when Ina and her family were at home visiting, and we went with our grandmother to visit them. It was sometime in the 1930’s and I recall only that their Uncle Watson let us have the fun of riding on a load of hay together that day! Although worth little as a picture, the snapshot taken that day records the occasion. It was almost 50 years later that Faye’s son and mine met by accident at Queens. Naturally we did not become friends on the basis of meeting so briefly as children, and in fact I did not hear anything further about the Inman girls after my grandmother’s death in 1952.

Sometime after we had established the coincidence of Alex and John living together in Kingston, Alex brought John home with him to Toronto one weekend and I was able to tell them my memories of the connection in Clyde River. I told them of going often with one of my uncles to get our butter from John’s great-grand-mother, Daisy Livingstone. The Livingstones, like many others at the time, did their own home churning, and they always made enough butter to supply our household also.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 7.00.22 PMI was able to show Alex and John the jug that we took back and forth to get some of the buttermilk that was a welcome accompaniment, and I told them how all of the family at what is now Murchison Place welcomed the oatcakes that Daisy often gave us on those occasions. (I am not referring to an oatmeal cookie, but to real old-fashioned Scotch oatcakes that are much plainer and are eaten with jam or cheese as a snack. With cold fresh buttermilk they were a very special treat.)

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John Dirks (left) and Alex von Bredow (right)

The friendship that John and Alex formed so accidentally at Queens became one that they have maintained throughout the years since then. This picture of them was taken in 1991 on Alex’s wedding day, when John was his best man.

John has roots in Clyde River through both of his maternal grandparents, not just through the Livingstones. His great-grandfather, Peter Inman, father of Dr. Mark Inman, was at one time the store keeper in Clyde River. Alex, as one might guess, was named for his great-grandfather, Dr. Alexander Murchison of Murchison Place.

Editor’s note: Thank you, Jane, for this contribution to the “Capturing Collective Memories” project. One of the wonderful results of this project is to read such rich multi-generational stories that have a chance to be told.

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Audrey MacPhee, Lori Perry and Alex Dixon

Audrey MacPhee, Lori Perry and Alex Dixon (last year’s clean up)

It’s a beautiful morning to clean the park. Drop over between 9:00 to 12:00 noon today to Murchison Place Park. Bring along your own garden and clean up tools e.g. shovels, rakes…some Rubber Maid totes would be great. Food, refreshments and team spirit will be provided.

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