Annual Dinner 2019

Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Annual Dinner Meeting

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 — 6:00 for 6:30
Dalhousie University Club
6259 Alumni Crescent located just off South Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lecture: “Women and the War at Home: Pictou County Women in Industrialized Work, 1939 to 1945:  The New Woman Worker of Shipbuilding” by Kirby Ross

As Canada entered the Second World War, the opportunities for women had to change drastically, as a vast number of men were sent across the world to fight against the Axis powers. World War Two provided newfound opportunities for women to join work forces which had previously been closed off to them. Particularly, these new jobs were found in the industrial settings that men left. Employers in Pictou County needed to replace the missing men, and women filled these positions. Industrial roles clearly differed from the domestic work that women primarily performed before the war years. Some of these jobs were in fields that women had worked in during World War One while others represented new opportunities. In Pictou County, women began working in different industrial fields, such as shipbuilding. With labour shortages, the attitude towards women working in this field changed as demand grew for these jobs to be filled. In examining Pictou County, an important industrial center in Nova Scotia but relatively small by Canadian or global standards, the presentation will analyse not only the new work opportunities that opened to women in shipbuilding but also illustrate the ties between these new industrial opportunities and women’s prior experience and the social and economic networks that shaped their industrial employment.


Farmer’s Market Salad with Spiced Goat Cheese Rounds:

Served with house made traditional French vinaigrette

Mediterranean Chicken stuffed with Olives, Feta, Roasted Red Peppers and Fresh Basil:

Finished with a rosemary brown sauce, Chef’s choice of potatoes and vegetables


Vegan Shepherd’s Pie:

With lentils and a medley of vegetables finished with creamy sweet potatoes

Chocolate decadent brownie plated with berries (GF)

Tea and coffee

$50 per person payable in advance before Friday, 12 April.
Maximum seating for 50 people.

For reservations contact Rosemary Barbour,

with choice of menu option (Mediterranean Chicken or Shepherd’s Pie):

Email: or Telephone: 902-424-6070
Please note that cancellations can not be accepted after 12 April.

Seating for this event is limited. If you are interested in attending, please notify Rosemary Barbour at 902 424-6070 or email to ensure your ticket reservation and before submitting payment.

Cheques or money orders should be made payable to “Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society” and mailed to:

Rosemary Barbour, RNSHS Membership Secretary
6016 University Avenue
Halifax, NS  B3H 1W4

John Reid

John Reid

John Reid holds degrees from Oxford University (BA), Memorial University (MA), and the University of New Brunswick (PhD). He has been a member of the History department at Saint Mary’s University since 1985, and has held the rank of Professor since 1989. He is also a former Coordinator of Atlantic Canada Studies at Saint Mary’s, and is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Gorsebrook Research Institute. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, elected in 2004. Reid’s principal teaching and research interests include the history of early modern northeastern North America (focusing especially on imperial-Indigenous relations), the history of Atlantic Canada, the history of higher education, and the history of sport. He has published books and articles in these areas, as well as writing two historical novels for teenage readers and two plays for radio. Reid has served on the Council of the Canadian Historical Association and on the editorial board of the Canadian Historical Review. A current board member of three historical journals, in 2015 he completed a six-year term as Co-editor of Acadiensis: Journal of the History of the Atlantic Region. He is also founding Co-editor of the University of Toronto Press monograph series on the History of Atlantic Canada. Among other international activities, in 2008 he held the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) Visiting Lectureship in India. Subsequently appointed as the Saint Mary’s representative to the Canadian Member Council of SICI, he became the organization’s Vice-President/President Elect in 2018.

Harold E Wright

Harold Wright

Harold E. Wright is a native of Saint John. He has spent much of the past 40 years championing the preservation and understanding of our heritage.
 He has written over a dozen books on local heritage and is often consulted by the media and local organizations on Saint John and regional heritage subjects. His work has received recognition at the international, national, provincial and local levels. He recently received the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Commendation for his work in preserving the heritage of veterans.
 Mr. Wright is an active member of the Turnbull (NB) Chapter, Canadian Aviation Historical Society, the Memory Project, and the Friends of the NB Military History Museum at Base Gagetown. He is a long-time volunteer with the Dalhousie-NB Medical School.
 He has focused his retirement years on the story of veterans and cadets, with a concentration on aviation subjects and the story of the SS/HMS Jervis Bay. He has amassed a large collection of Jervis Bay memorabilia including the only known piece of the ship to survive its sinking.

Barry Cahill

Retired provincial civil servant. Holds graduate degrees from Dalhousie and Oxford Universities. Most recently was researcher for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry. At present is working on a scholarly biography of Lorne Clarke.

Kenneth Paulsen

Kenneth Paulsen

Kenneth Paulsen holds a doctorate in Canadian History from the University of Maine at Orono, with two Bachelors of Arts degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master of Arts degree from Northeastern University in Boston. He was a Fulbright scholar at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Canadian Embassy Graduate Fellow and the 1992 Winthrop Pickard Bell Fellow in Canadiana at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Currently, he is an adjunct faculty member at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He is a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, and the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. The majority of his ancestors were foreign Protestant settlers in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. Kenneth’s paternal grandfather’s ancestry is Danish and Swedish while his paternal great grandmother’s ancestry is Prince Edward Island Scottish and Loyalist.

Kirby Ross

Kirby Ross

Kirby Ross is a Master of History student at Saint Mary’s University and an Executive Member at Large of the Halifax Women’s History Society. Specializing in women’s contributions on the homefront in Nova Scotia during World War Two, she wrote her Undergraduate Honours thesis on women’s involvement in the shipbuilding and ammunition industries in Pictou County during Second World War. She is currently writing her Master’s thesis on entertainers during the Second World War in Halifax.