Sara Spike

Sara Spike

Dr. Sara Spike is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of New Brunswick. Her scholarly work focuses on the cultural history of rural communities in Atlantic Canada with a particular emphasis on coastal environments. Since receiving her PhD from Carleton University in 2016, she has returned home to Nova Scotia, working as a historical consultant, most notably at Sherbrooke Village Museum, and as the lead researcher for the Eastern Shore Islands Heritage Research Project. This is a government-funded, community-directed study of the coastal archipelago along Nova Scotia’s often-overlooked Eastern Shore.

Allan Marble

Allan Marble

Dr. Allan E. Marble, professor emeritus, Dalhousie University (2000) is the author of eighty-seven journal articles and fifty-seven conference papers published on the cardiovascular system and fifteen articles and biographies relating to the medical history of Nova Scotia. In addition, he has authored ten books in genealogy and the history of medicine in Nova Scotia. He is currently working on number eleven. Dr. Marble is a past-president and Fellow of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, a founder and past-president of the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia and the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes. He is Chair of the Medical History Society of Nova Scotia. He has served on the boards of the Heritage Trust and the Public Archives of Nova Scotia (vice-chair). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society and the Allan E. Marble Prize is awarded annually for research excellence in graduate work in Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University.

Annual Dinner 2018

Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Annual Dinner Meeting

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 — 6:00 for 6:30
Dalhousie University Club
6259 Alumni Crescent located just off South Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lecture: “The Citadel on Stage” by Alex Boutilier

Alex Boutilier’s 2015 book, The Citadel on Stage, is a lively and entertaining social history. While it is a biography of the people of Halifax during the colonial era, it is also the story of the British army and Royal navy in a garrison town, and a study of the relationship of politics, religion, economics, and culture, as well as social activities in pre‐confederation Halifax. It also traces British military theatre, sports, and recreation in colonial Halifax.


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 Thursday, 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 13 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

Jeannette Verleun and Carly MacLellan

Jeannette has been interested in both medicine and history since a young age—in fact, she originally went to university planning to study archaeology, with medicine as a back up in case that didn’t work out! As you can see, she did finally decide to pursue medicine and will finally have that MD after her name this May. She grew up on a farm just outside of Montague, PEI.

Carly graduated with her medical degree in 2017 and is studying to be a family doctor in the historic Annapolis Valley. She is the oldest of three daughters of a pair of teachers from just outside of Truro, Nova Scotia.

Alex Boutilier

Alex Boutilier

Alex D. Boutilier was born in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton and grew up in the shadow of Princess Colliery. His interest in history started as a teenager when he began doing research on his paternal family. His ancestors were among the Foreign Protestants, or Huguenots from Montbeliard, France who arrived in Halifax in 1752 and went on to found Lunenburg in 1753. He has a keen interest in the culture, customs, and traditions of diverse societies having travelled extensively throughout England and France visiting medieval churches, museums, archaeological sites, and ancient ruins. He has also toured all of the British and French fortifications in the Maritimes and eastern Canada. Alex believes that history is not fixed in time; that it is constantly changing as new information is uncovered/revealed.
His preferred authors include social historians, such as J.C. Furnas, cultural writers like Arthur Koestler, the literary critic, Harold Bloom, and his favourite playwright is the great bard, William Shakespeare. Alex loves studying, researching, and writing social history, which he finds highly informative and suggests it can be “unexpectedly hilarious” at times.
Alex studied at Saint Mary’s University and graduated with degrees in English and psychology, as well as an MA in Atlantic Canada Studies. From 1998 to 2005, he was an instructor for the Saint Mary’s Writing Centre. His first publication, The Citadel on Stage was based on detailed research done for his Master’s thesis. From 14th Colony to Confederation is the second in a trilogy. The third, Evolution of the Middle-Class in Nova Scotia is a work in progress and should be ready for publication in 2019. Alex’ lifelong occupation was in sales and marketing for several industrial corporations. He currently lives in Fall River, N. S. with his wife, Rosanne.

Kenneth Murray

  • Raised and schooled in Halifax
  • Graduated from Dalhousie University ( BSc 1967 MD 1972)
  • General Family Practice -Neil’s Harbour – 1972 to Present
  • Faculty – Dalhousie University Department of Family Medicine ( Medical Student Preceptor and Medical Resident Supervisor)
  • Interests – Kayaking, Hiking, Snowshoeing , Cross Country Skiing, Photography, Travel, Medical History

Hyacinth Simpson

Hyacinth Simpson

Dr. Hyacinth Simpson is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto where she specializes in Caribbean, postcolonial, and diasporic literatures. She has published numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews on Caribbean fiction and poetry, as well as on films and plays produced within the region and its diasporas. From 2005–2014, she was Editor of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal MaComére, which won the Horizon Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2010. She is also creator, contributor, and editor of the digital humanities Caribbean poetry project Gardening in the Tropics, and is currently at work on a critical study of the Jamaican short story since Independence.

Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, Vol. 20, 2017



Mi’kmaw Politicism and the Origins of the Micmac Community Development Program, 1899–1957

Martha Walls

“after planting their few potatoes they wander about the Island”:
   The Mi’kmaq and British Agricultural Policies in Nineteenth-Century Nova Scotia

Courtney Mrazek

The Canadian Federal Government and the Politics of Disaster
Relief during Nova Scotia’s Great War

Barry Cahill

The Private Life of Jessie MacCallum, Diarist of Windsor & St. George, 1901–1910

Julian Gwyn

Research Notes

“Race prejudice unfortunately dies hard”:
    the 1929 proposal to return racial segregation to Halifax’s public schools

David Sutherland, with assistance from Judith Fingard and David States

Note: a data file listing the 332 petitioners, along with identifying detail, may be accessed via this link:
Access credentials required to open the file are printed in Vol. 20 of the Journal.

William Shires of Chester, Nova Scotia and London, England:
    the Nova Scotian roots of an early 19th century astronomer, instrument-designer and mathematician

David Bryden


Policy Regarding Genealogical Articles

Kenneth S. Paulsen

The Taint of Witchcraft, from Salem Massachusetts to Yarmouth Nova Scotia

Deborah Trask and Gwen G. Trask

Book Reviews

Jeffers Lennox: Homelands and Empires: Indigenous Spaces, Imperial Fictions, and
Competition for Territory in Northeastern North America, 1690–1763.

  Reviewed by Christopher Bilodeau

Sheila Johnson Kindred: Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister: The Life and Letters of
Fanny Palmer Austen

  Reviewed by Alison Shea

Ruth Holmes Whitehead: Black Loyalists: Southern Settlers of Nova Scotia’s First Free
Black Communities

  Reviewed by John Grant

Peter Ludlow: The Canny Scot: Archbishop James Morrison of Antigonish
  Reviewed by Robert Nicholas Bérard

David Sutherland

David Sutherland

A Fellow and Past President of the RNSHS, Dr. Sutherland has focused his academic career on the history of Halifax. His most recent publication is “We Harbor No Evil Design”: Rehabilitation Efforts After the Halifax Explosion of 1917 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017, for the Champlain Society).

Robert Bérard

Robert Berard

Robert Nicholas Bérard has taught history at the University of King’s College, Mount Saint incent University, and Dalhousie University and is currently Director of Graduate Education Programs at Mount Saint Vincent University. A graduate of Antioch College (Ohio), he holds the M.A. and Ph.D. in history from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

He has published articles in History of Education, the Journal for Contemporary History, Studia Monastica, the Bulletin of Canadian Studies, Acadiensis, Canadian Catholic Historical Association’s Historical Studies, the British Journal of Educational Studies the Dalhousie Law Journal, the Collections of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, Vitae Scholasticae, and the New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, as well as several book chapters.

He has for some time been working on a biographical study of the Most Rev. John T. McNally, Archbishop of Halifax from 1937 to 1952. He is a former president and member of the Executive of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, co-editor of the Collections of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, and has presented several papers before the Society.