Consultation with General Membership and Interested Observers

18 March 2023

The Council of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is pleased to invite General Members and interested observers to a consultation on ‘The Way Forward’  – our planning exercise for the Society’s future. This event will be held on Saturday morning 1 April in the Akins Room at the NS Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Atlantic); light lunch and refreshments will be provided. The consultation will also be available via Zoom (click here to join), especially for those at a distance who would like to join and contribute to the discussion.

The agenda will present the Report and Recommendations from the Working Group on ‘The Way Forward’: Next Steps in Acknowledging the Society’s Role in Past Narratives.’ The Report is available here and we encourage you to read it before the meeting. A facilitator will lead discussions throughout the consultation, and participants will be encouraged to provide feedback and input, including fresh suggestions – this is your opportunity to be heard! The meeting will end with a vote – by members only, both in person and online – on accepting the Report and Recommendations.  

We’ve also developed a brief electronic questionnaire leading from the Report and Recommendations, to guide us in discussions on Saturday 1 April. The questionnaire is available here; it will take 10-15 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We encourage you to fill it out and click ‘submit’ by Saturday 25 March – especially if you’re unable to attend on 1 April. We value your thoughts on how the Society can best move forward, and we appreciate your time! 

Your Councillors are energized by the opportunities they see for moving the Society forward in the months ahead. We look forward to seeing YOU and hearing YOUR thoughts, either in person or online, Saturday 1 April.

Warmest regards,
Lois Yorke  

Lois K. Yorke
Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society

Consultation with General Membership

October 7, 2022

For many months now, the Council of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society has wished to consult with the General Membership regarding several business items which fall outside the context of regular Monthly Meetings. Now that in-person gatherings are again possible, we are finally able to convene such a meeting  – Saturday morning 15 October in the Akins Room at the NS Archives, 6016 University Avenue, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon (Atlantic). The consultation will also be available via Zoom (click here to join), especially for those at a distance who would like to participate. As well as members of the Society, we also welcome interested observers.

The agenda will include the following, with specific Council and Editorial Board Members present to introduce items, respond to questions, and invite discussion:  

  • An update on the Society’s Journal – the move to Érudit, Canada’s academic electronic publishing platform, and what members can expect going forward; recent changes within management.
  • The move to Halifax Central Library for our monthly meetings and lectures – a trial partnership and what this means for members; the slight rebranding required to fit the Library’s marketing template.
  • The Way Forward’ – why now seems an opportune time to look back, refresh ourselves, and move forward; the Working Group and what’s been accomplished so far; proposed next steps; input from the general membership.
  • An update on the Community Grants Initiative – a two-year trial undertaking, providing modest financial support to the broader community, and now entering its second year.
  • Proposed resumption of the Society’s Annual Banquet…our first since 2019!
  • Questions from the floor.

We look forward to sharing information on these recent developments, and to soliciting your feedback and input. We look forward to seeing YOU, either in person or online, Saturday 15 October!

Warmest regards,
Lois Yorke

Lois K. Yorke
Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society


Atlantic Canadian Studies Grad Student Research Day (March 18, 2022 @ Saint Mary’s University)

Join us Friday, March 18th, 2022 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm for the Community-Based Work in Atlantic Canada conference in-person at the Unilever Lounge (SB 422 – 4th floor Sobey Building – Saint Mary’s University) and online via Zoom. This is a free one-day event with three panels from local researchers and a roundtable discussion focusing on community work across Atlantic Canada.

For both in-person and Zoom attendance, please register no later than March 11th at

For more details, please look at our Conference Program and feel free to share!

Black Canadian Women’s Care During the Great War

The Nova Scotia Women’s History Society presents ‘Black Canadian Women’s Care During the Great War’
Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 6:30 p.m. (Atlantic), via Zoom
Dr. Hyacinth Simpson
How do you uncover the untold stories of Black women’s contributions to the Canadian war effort when they are absent from the archival and other records? That’s the focus of the first presentation in the Dialogue series, sponsored by the Nova Scotia Women’s History Society.
Hyacinth Simpson, associate professor at Ryerson University, will talk about her research and the strategies she is using to fill the gaps.

Dialogues offers a format where Dr. Simpson will be joined by a panel of experts in Black Canadian history. The event will be moderated by Dr. Claudine Bonner of the Sociology Department, Acadia University. Panelists include Sylvia Parris-Drummond, CEO of the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute, and author and researcher of African Nova Scotia history Tony Colaiacovo.

Participants are encouraged to submit questions and insights ahead of the event and there will be opportunities to engage during it. Dr. Simpson also is hoping to hear from people with personal connections or knowledge of the topic.

Register at 
Dr. Simpson’s research interests focus on Caribbean, Caribbean diaspora and Black Canadian literature and cultures. An associate professor in the Department of English at Ryerson University in Toronto, her writings on Caribbean and Black Canadian fiction, poetry, cinema, and theatrical works have been published in scholarly and popular outlets. Dr. Simpson has developed a digital project on Caribbean poetry for teachers and students and she does extensive editorial work. She has served for the past nine years as editor of MaCom__è__re, an award-winning journal that publishes research on Caribbean women, and guest edited a special issue of the Journal of West Indian Literatures. Her BA and MA are from The University of West Indies (Mona, Jamaica) and she earned her PhD at York University (Toronto).

Cultural Contribution of Indigenous People in the Canadian Military

Poster MacFarlane

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society has received the following notice:

When the first Canadian contingent left Halifax in 1914 for the Great War, it appeared to be very British. After the experiences of that first world war and of the past century, it has become clearer that Indigenous People have not only been included in the Canadian military but have contributed significantly to its evolution.

The Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia extends an invitation to members of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society to hear a talk by John MacFarlane, Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, on Wednesday, 21 November 2018. John’s talk is titled “Growing Together: the Cultural Contribution of Indigenous People in the Canadian Military since the First World War.” His bio is attached.

The event will start at 11:30 am at the Royal Artillery Park Officers’ Mess, 1575 Queen Street, Halifax, with an informal no-host get together, followed by the talk at noon, then questions and answers, to finish about 1:30 pm.

A limited number of light lunches will be available at a small charge. There are some cafés, etc., in the area that offer quick take out lunches. Parking at Royal Artillery Park is very limited.

Registration is not required and there is no fee to attend this event.


CAH Darlington
Commander, Royal Canadian Navy (retired)
Vice-President, RUSI(NS)

Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia
Twitter: @RUSI_NS
Facebook: Royal United Services Institute – NS

Speaker Bio

Seven Flags over Shearwater

Orr poster

Members of The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society have been invited to attend the following presentation:

Presentation Title: “Seven Flags over Shearwater: 100 years of an East Coast Air Station”

Abstract: On Sunday, 25 August, 1918, two Curtiss HS-2L flying boats of the United States Navy took off from United States Naval Air Station Halifax, located at Baker Point on the eastern shore of the harbor. They then proceeded to fly over the Citadel – thereby eliciting a strong letter of protest from the army authorities. From this somewhat inauspicious beginning commenced 100 years of aviation at ‘an East Coast Air Station’ – and what an exciting 100 years they have been.

The air station played an integral part of the development of the RCAF in the lean years of the Depression and during the Second World War, was the main operational base of the RCAF’s Eastern Air Command. After the war, the station was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed RCN Air Station (RCNAS) Dartmouth and commissioned as HMCS SHEARWATER. With the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, HMCS SHEARWATER became Canadian Forces Base Shearwater and reported first to Maritime Command and then, in 1975, to Air Command. Today, Shearwater is the Master Helicopter Base of the RCAF responsible for the provision of operationally-ready maritime helicopters and personnel to the RCN.

This talk will trace the 100 years of aviation at Shearwater and seek to explain the historical significance of the events that took place there.

Speaker Bio

Government House Lectures – Winter 2018 Schedule

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Evenings @ Government House
Winter 2018 Series
Three themes/anniversaries are marked in this series:
  • African Heritage Month 2018 (Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community)
  • Centenary of the end of the First World War
  • Centenary of women attaining the right to vote in Nova Scotia

13 February – To mark African Heritage Month 2018, Vanessa Fells of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre will present on the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia.

27 February – Dr. Sally Ross will present on the history of Acadian schools in Nova Scotia from 1758 to 2018: Challenges and Victories.

13 March – Professional musicians Patricia Creighton and Peter Allen will give a Flute and Piano Recital.

27 March – To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, Dr. Brian Tennyson will present on Nova Scotia’s Experience of the First World War.

10 April – To celebrate Tartan Day, the Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia will perform both traditional and modern highland and step dances.

24 April To commemorate the centenary of many women attaining the right to vote in Nova Scotia, Dr. Heidi MacDonald will present on this important stage in the suffrage movement.

These are free public events – everyone is welcome

Government House is located at 1451 Barrington Street, Halifax. All events commence at 7:00pm and doors open to the public at 6:30pm. As seating is limited to 90, people wishing to attend must register by calling 902-424-7001 or by visiting the Evenings @ Government House section under News & Events on the official website at: or by emailing For more information and to view upcoming events in the series visit or follow the Lieutenant Governor on Twitter @LtGovNS and Facebook.

This schedule is available as a PDF download.

Conference: “Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping, 1498-1763”

Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping

MTA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Monday, 13 November 2017 at 8:00 AM – Tuesday, 14 November 2017 at 9:00 PM (AST)
Halifax, NS

To be held at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic; registration closes Nov. 2, 2017

Further details here