Archive for the ‘Women’s Institute News’ Category

The Clyde River History Society attended the launch of the book, We’ll Meet Again, this past Saturday at Trinity United Church in Charlottetown. Author Katherine Dewar, who has participated in our Clyde River Lecture Series, presented her latest book that features the fascinating stories of women who took part in World War II in varied capacities.

Katherine said that she had to write this book or their stories would be lost. Reading The Guardian, she would see the obituaries of these veterans, and that spurred her to get started. She set out to research their stories and interview the ladies still living. It was their chance to tell their stories. Research assistance was offered by Jane Dyment who is a member of the Clyde River History Society. Jane is a descendant of Thomas and Jane (Robertson) Beer of Clyde River and lives in Ottawa. She was able to conduct research at the National Archives on Katharine’s behalf.

During the event on Saturday, Katharine featured Jean MacLean from Meadowbank, earlier from Clyde River, and a member of the Clyde River Baptist Church and Women’s Institute over the years. Jean was one of the six ladies in attendance for the launch, and she wore her WWII uniform. An excerpt of her story was presented.

Katherine also recognized Norma MacLean who lives in Charlottetown now but was very involved in Burnside Presbyterian Church and the Women’s Institute in Clyde River. Norma is now 101 years and was not in attendance at the launch. You may recall an earlier story where we recognized her 100th birthday last year.

Further stories:

  • CBC PEI story featuring book launch: The heroic PEI women who served in WWII – and where you can meet some of them – read
  • PEI Historian’s new book aims to preserve the ‘amazing stories’ of WWII women – read
  • CBC Video featuring Jean MacLean finally receiving membership to legion at 96 – link here to watch the video

The book is available at local bookstores. 


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Norma MacLean will celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday, March 30th. Norma was an active member of the Clyde River Women’s Institute for many years, attended and sang in choir at Clyde River Presbyterian Church, former employee at Moore & McLeod and served in the RCAF, Women’s Division during WWII. Please offer greetings below in the comments section and we will make sure to email them to her at the Garden Home where she is currently living. Or, if you wish, please email your greetings to vivian@eastlink.ca and they will be included.

Update: Norma received our messages. You can view photos on the Garden Home Facebook page here.

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Despite the blustery weather, people turned out to attend pharmacist Rebecca Dunn‘s presentation “Knowledge is Your Best Medicine”. After presenting tips on how to maintain and improve our health, our most important asset, Rebecca answered pharmacy-related questions. Members of the Clyde River W.I. and Council served lunch. The next session is tentatively scheduled for February 6th. Watch this space for updates!

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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.


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Clyde River Women’s Institute welcomes you to attend their annual Strawberry Social on Wednesday, July 11th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverview Community Centre. You can enjoy the flavour of strawberries and ice cream along with some home-baked treats.

Enjoy the succulent sweet taste of the season and a stunning view of the river. You can un-wind and re-connect with friends, relatives and neighbours. There’s bound to be a few folks home from away. Admission at the door.

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Bruce Brine accepting the Erland Lee Award

Bruce Brine has been awarded the Erland Lee Award of Appreciation, a prestigious award that is given to a man who exemplifies those qualities of Erland Lee which led to the founding of Women’s Institute. Erland Lee was farmer, teacher and head of a Farmer’s Institute in Stoney Creek, Ontario. He was a forward thinking man and provided the assistance needed to launch the first Women’s Institute that is now found around the world.

Bruce’s name was put forward for the award for PEI by the Clyde River W.I. Here is an excerpt from their nomination:

It is with great pleasure that the Clyde River Women’s Institute is submitting the nomination of Bruce Brine as a candidate for the Erland Lee Award of Appreciation.

Since becoming Administrator for the community of Clyde River in 2009, Bruce has given his full support to W.I. activities and endeavours, and he has strengthened the relationship between the Community Council and W.I. as both groups work to enhance our rural community.

Each year, in his administrative role, Bruce applies for government assistance to hire a summer student. He then spends many volunteer hours mentoring and training the student in the duties involved in keeping the community’s public spaces – the Community Centre, Park and Pioneer Cemetery – looking their best. In addition to facilitating the Community Council’s and the Women’s Institute’s joint efforts in maintaining the outward attractiveness of our community, Bruce has been instrumental in assisting the W.I. in obtaining funding from provincial and federal sources for infrastructure upgrades to our Community Centre.

Since 1973, the Centre has been owned and managed by the Clyde River Women’s Institute. The addition of insulation, a new furnace and energy efficient windows has made the former schoolhouse a comfortable site for Institute and community events, and the improved air quality is beneficial to the community museum that is being developed in the basement of the Centre. Bruce’s help in achieving these improvements to our building has been invaluable. As well, Bruce is generous in volunteering his considerable technical expertise to historical lectures, watershed presentations and private functions at the Centre.

Bruce Brine has certainly made an outstanding contribution to the Clyde River’s Women’s Institute as we strive to fulfill our national aim to promote women, families and communities.

His name will also be forwarded for the Canadian Erland Lee Award.

Editor’s note: On behalf of the Friends of Clyde River and our website audience, we congratulate you on this award. Bruce has worked oftentimes behind the scenes over the years as Community Administrator. Bruce, you have done an exemplary job of running the community’s business and it’s your time to shine and receive the recognition that you so richly deserve.

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Canada Day Celebrations: Sunday, July 1, 12:30 to 2:00, Riverview Community Centre: It’s a birthday party! Be a kid again or still. Enjoy hotdogs, cupcakes and ice cream. Help us raise the flag, sing the anthem and celebrate Canada’s big day.

Strawberries and Ice Cream Social: Wednesday, July 11, 6:30 to 8:30, Riverview Community Centre: The big summer event for Clyde River Women’s Institute is, of course, the annual Strawberries and Ice Cream Social where young and not so young gather to enjoy the scrumptious desserts and meet friends and neighbours. Admission at the door.

Art in the Park: Saturday, July 21, 9:00 to Noon, Murchison Place Park (shine or light rain): Art in the Park welcomes all levels of painters, especially the beginner. Come on out for an enjoyable morning of painting with new and old friends under the dappled canopy of the park. We also welcome those who enjoy watching art being created. All are invited to join a free demo and painting lesson in an interactive workshop style with artist Julia Purcell, starting at 9:30 am. Get started working in Plein Air painting and learn to develop a well-built start for your painting by using a view finder to shape a limited focus, plus many other painting insights. Bring your own painting materials and easel if you have one. View finders will be provided. If you plan to participate in this lesson, we ask you to pre-register by emailing juliampurcell@gmail.com. Coffee and water provided. There is a washroom on site.

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We are pleased to share this lovely memoriam submitted by Emily Bryant.

People who remain in the same area for their entire life have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on their home communities and they are a vital link for their families and neighbours. Wanda Jean MacPhail is a perfect example of one who has made an important contribution to her life long communities. Clyde River and New Haven lost a favourite long-time resident when Wanda Jean MacPhail (Livingstone) died on January 20, 2018. Of course, Wanda’s loving family, including her husband Eric, will miss Wanda most of all but all of us who had the privilege of knowing her have fond memories of this hard-working, kind woman who was friendly and welcoming to all.

Sympathy is extended to Wanda’s faithful loving family who include her husband Eric P. MacPhail, her daughters Ann and Ruth, son-in-law Allan Nelson and daughter-in-law Jo-Ann. As well, Wanda was a proud grandmother to Mark (Megan), Victoria, and Peter MacPhail, Callie and Drew Nelson, and Grace MacPhail-Wagner.

As the only child of Watson and Lillian (Hyde) Livingstone, Wanda grew up listening to a lot of adult conversation. Her mother had kept a scrapbook of community events and Wanda, who has always valued community, carefully protected this information for many years. When the history of Clyde River was developed a decade ago, this scrapbook was a valued source of historical information.  Wanda’s stories and insights were a big help as well.

It is hard to even say Wanda or Eric without saying them together ‘Wanda and Eric’, as they were a life long team. They always knew each other as, even though Eric’s family lived in New Haven, Eric chose to attend school in Clyde River – probably influenced by Wanda Livingston, a beautiful young girl. Eric and Wanda were married in 1949 and were devoted spouses for almost 70 yrs.

Wanda grew up living and working on the Livingstone farm and when she married Eric, she lived and worked on the MacPhail farm. She worked harder than most people realized and harder than most of us would or could. Not only was Wanda a dedicated mother and homemaker, but Eric would be the first to say that Wanda did more than her share of work with pursuits that he initiated such as growing cucumbers, turnips, strawberries, or summer savoury or building and operating several cottages in Argyle Shore –Desired Haven.

Clyde River and New Haven Women’s Institutes have benefited greatly from Wanda’s faithful service as did the Baptist Church in Clyde River. Wanda made and served hundreds of squares and sandwiches to help these causes. She also helped friends and neighbours experiencing illness or loss. Her kindness, quiet manner and good nature inspired everyone.

Working with the small committee that wrote the community history, I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with Wanda and Eric. I enjoyed these hours and we all were richer by the contribution they made to the book: The History and Stories of Clyde River. They offered wonderful oral history and interesting and humorous stories. Eric could eloquently describe many aspects of life in this community, but it was Wanda who laughed and was animated when she talked about Clyde River School and the fun she and her friends had at the River or when playing games. (I saw the same twinkle in her eyes when she spoke of her grandchildren.)

Wanda was happy that their daughter Ruth chose to live in the Livingstone house. This historic house on the Clyde River Road was built in 1840 and, beginning in 1998, it was lovingly restored by Eric and Wanda. By 2003, these renovations were completed by Ruth and Allan Nelson and they have lived there ever since.

When Wanda and Eric moved into Burnside Community Care, Wanda could look out at the River she loved and her childhood home. Sadly, illness took away some of Wanda’s joy and the last months have not been easy for her. It is important for us to remember Wanda as the kind, strong, smiling wife, mother and community worker that she was for most of her long life.  I think she would want this to be her legacy.

Rest in Peace, Wanda Jean MacPhail.

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Strawberries and Ice Cream Social, Wednesday, July 12th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Riverview Community Centre

The big summer event for Clyde River Women’s Institute is, of course, the annual Strawberries and Ice Cream Festival where young and not so young gather to enjoy the scrumptious desserts and meet friends and neighbours. Admission at the door. The museum featuring a collection of artifacts and heritage photos will be open for tours.

Art in the Park: Saturday, July 22, 9:00 to Noon, Murchison Place Park (shine or light rain).
Art in the Park welcomes all levels of painters, especially the beginner. Come on out for an enjoyable morning of painting with new and old friends, under the dappled canopy of the park. We also welcome those who enjoy watching art being created.
All are invited to an optional demo and free painting lesson in Plein Air landscape painting starting at 9:30 am to 10:30 am. In a workshop style, with local artist Julia Purcell, participants will learn to develop a well-built start for their painting by creating strong compositional thumbnails through the principles of Japanese notan and by using a view finder to shape a limited focus. There will be an explanation of the three properties of color and a discussion of how to implement a color strategy by using a limited palette in landscape painting. Bring your own painting materials e.g. acrylic or watercolor paint. Please include a sketch book and soft pencil such as an 8B. Using an easel is recommended. View finders will be provided. If you plan to participate in this lesson, we ask you to pre-register by emailing juliampurcell@gmail.com. Coffee and water provided. There is a washroom on site. Murchison Place Park is located among the trees at the corner of Trans Canada Highway and Clyde River Road.

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Heads up…the latest edition of the Clyde River Newsletter will be sent out to all community households this week. Stories include details on:

  • Upcoming Spring & Summer Events:
    • Murchison Place Park Cleanup – May 13th, 9:00 to Noon
    • Canada Day Celebrations, July 1st, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Riverview Community Centre
    • Strawberries and Ice Cream Social, Wednesday, July 12th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Riverview Community Centre
    • Art in the Park, Saturday, July 22, 9:00 a.m. to Noon, Murchison Place Park
  • Public Meeting to discuss Cornwall Bypass crossing Clyde River Watershed, June 8th, 7:00 p.m.
  • Youth Summer Opportunity
  • News from the Clyde River Women’s Institute
    • Roadside Cleanup, May 13th
  • Recreation and Swimming Reimbursements Available

PDF version here.

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