The society meets monthly from September to May inclusive to hear and to discuss individual papers about personalities, places and events integral to the history of Nova Scotia at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. Society lectures are open to the public and are completely free. Lectures are followed by refreshments.
Unless otherwise indicated, our meetings are 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evenings at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Please note that the December lecture is held on the second Wednesday of the month.

Latest information on our upcoming lectures is here

The New Nova Scotia: Provincial Tourism, History, and Identity, 1956-1966

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, 7:00 pm, Nova Scotia Archives

Phyllis R Blakeley Memorial Lecture

Ms. Sara Hollett, Gorsebrook Research Institute

Abstract:
In 1962, the Nova Scotia Travel Bureau hired advertising firm, Dalton K. Camp & Associates (DKCA) to design and distribute tourism promotional materials across North America. This paper argues that the ideas presented in the advertising of DKCA represented a significant shift away from earlier ways of seeing identity and history in tourism promotion. These new ways of seeing reflected consumerism, as well as a more modern understanding of how history could be used to sell a destination.

Click here for a bio of Sara Hollett

The Long and Contentious Road to Women’s Suffrage in Nova Scotia

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:00 pm, Nova Scotia Archives

Dr. Heidi MacDonald, University of New Brunswick

Abstract:
This presentation highlights key moments in the women’s suffrage campaign in Nova Scotia, from the 1830s through the 1960s. It will examine the important roles played by groups such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the Halifax Local Council of Women, and the Nova Scotia Equal Suffrage Association, as
well as individuals such as Eliza Ritchie, Edith Archibald, and Mary Chesley.

Click here for a bio of Heidi MacDonald

 

Comprehending the Complexities of Community and Class: Integration at Graham Creighton High School

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, 7:00 pm, Nova Scotia Archives

Ms. Stefanie R. Slaunwhite, PhD Candidate, University of New Brunswick

Abstract:
In 1964, when Graham Creighton High School in Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia, opened its doors for integration, many of its feeder communities were relatively rural and isolated. Racial tensions emerged, creating a legacy of conflict. Graham Creighton was the predecessor to Cole Harbour District High School, which has received considerable attention in the media related to racial tensions. While racism was undoubtedly a contributing factor to tensions between the communities, it must be considered that integration at Graham Creighton was not simply an integration of two races; rather, it was an integration of several very distinct and relatively rural communities. This article examines the nuances of community and integration, considering factors such as class, socio-economics, and geography.

Click here for a bio of Stefanie R. Slaunwhite

 

The Extraordinary Paul Laurent, Mi’kmaw Sagamow

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, 7:00 pm, Nova Scotia Archives

Mr. Bob Sayer

Abstract:
Laurent’s career that included being a hostage, leader of armed resistance, negotiator, peacemaker and Treaty signer makes him a towering figure. As an adolescent, he was a hostage in Boston, where his father was hanged. Head of the E’se’katik/ Mirligueche/ Lunenburg band, he became a leader of the Mi’kmaw forces based in the Baie Verte area. He is mentioned in various dispatches and minutes. Casteel, in his infamous survival story, features Laurent. Spokesman for his people, Laurent met with the Halifax Council and proposed partition in 1755. He fought in the Beausejour and other campaigns, and became prominent in the Mi’kmaw leaders’ debate and dispute about peace and war. Laurent appeared before the Halifax Council again in the French-Mi’kmaw “Scare” of 1762. He had signed the 1760 treaty that became a go-to document in later landmark provincial and Supreme Court decisions.

Click here for a bio of Bob Sayer

 

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Note: This lecture will follow our Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

HMS Jervis Bay – the Nova Scotia and Maritime connections

Harold E. Wright, retired Saint John historian

Abstract: HMS Jervis Bay, an Armed Merchant Cruiser, was sunk in November 1940 while protecting convoy HX84 outbound from Halifax. The ship had recently been refitted at the St. John Drydock. A large number of her crew was from the Maritimes. This presentation will give a brief overview of the ship and crew but focus on Convoy HX84 and her Nova Scotia crew.

Click here for a bio of Harold Wright.

RNSHS Annual Dinner and Lecture – April 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Women and the War at Home: Pictou County Women in Industrialized Work, 1939 to 1945:  The New Woman Worker of Shipbuilding

Kirby Ross, Halifax Women’s History Society and Saint Mary’s University

Note: This lecture takes place at our Annual Banquet at the Dalhousie University Club – 6:00 for 6:30.

Abstract: 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.

Click here for a bio of Kirby Ross.

Watch the video:
click for video

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

Invisible Victims: The Trial for the Murders of the Emoneau Family of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1791

Kenneth S. Paulsen
Bunker Hill Community College

Abstract:
 This paper will explore the murders of the Emoneau Family at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1791. On 19 March 1791, Frédéric Emoneau, his wife Juliana Elisabetha Frankin and their granddaughter Catherine Elizabeth Emoneau were murdered by their godson George Frederick Boutelier and his brother John Boutelier. The murders were the first to occur in the township of Lunenburg since its founding in 1753. The trial for the murders is unusual in that the Boutelier brothers were tried for the murder of Frédéric Emoneau. Elisabetha and Catherine Elizabeth Emoneau are not mentioned by name during the trail. Elisabetha Emoneau and her granddaughter are obliquely mentioned during the trial without naming them. They are largely invisible despite the acknowledgement that they had been murdered along with Frédéric Emoneau. Under British common law, women had no legal personality. The paper will examine the circumstances of the disappearance and invisibility of these two women in the trial.

Click here for a bio of Kenneth Paulsen.

Watch the video (revised audio track):
click for video

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

“Malagash Man”: Chief Justice Lorne Clarke and Canadian Judicial Biography

Barry Cahill

Abstract:
 The late Honourable Lorne O. Clarke QC was Chief Justice of Nova Scotia from 1985 to 1998 and is generally credited with rehabilitating the judiciary after the disastrous consequences of the prosecution and wrongful conviction of Donald Marshall Jr. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the significance of Clarke’s career in the context of Canadian legal history.

Click here for a bio of Barry Cahill.

Watch the video:
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RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

“The Home of Cricket”: The Sport of Cricket in Pictou County, to 1914

John G. Reid, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
 Insofar as cricket forms part of Nova Scotia’s historical memory in the 21st century, it is often imagined as an imperial sport played primarily by a gentlemanly social elite that consisted largely of recent English immigrants or by military and naval officers. Although this image has some limited validity when applied to Halifax, it is manifestly inaccurate elsewhere in the province. Cricket, in reality, was played primarily by settlers of at least the third generation, and the social composition of the many cricket clubs distributed throughout the province was varied and complex. This lecture will investigate the particular cricket culture of Pictou County during the ‘long’ nineteenth century (to 1914), including the emergence of provincially dominant teams in Stellarton and Westville that had their roots in the extended history of cricket in the county’s coal-mining towns and villages.

Click here for a bio of John Reid.

Watch the video:
click for video

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 — 7:30 p.m., Nova Scotia Archives

Charlie’s War:  The Life and Death of a South African Soldier in the No. 2 Construction Company, 1917–1918

Kirrily Freeman, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
 On the night of September 22-23, 1918 Private Charles Some died of wounds in France, but he did not die in battle or from war injuries: he was murdered on a narrow mountain road in eastern France, stabbed multiple times in the face, chest, back and neck, his throat severed. Although Charlie Some died a violent death in France in 1918, it was outside of battle and likely at the hands of an ally or comrade. Though he fought with the CEF, Charlie Some was not Canadian — he was born in the British colony of Natal in southern Africa. He joined the No. 2 and lived in Africville, but was a newcomer to that historic community. When he was hospitalized, it was a result of civilian encounters, and his service file is peppered with absences and punishments. In short, Charlie Some’s experience in the First World War differs significantly from the Great War stories familiar to most Canadians.
But Charlie Some’s experience is revealing when placed in a wider context. In his migration from Natal to Nova Scotia, his recruitment as a Black man into the military, his health and hospitalization, the labour he performed, and his non-compliance with the regulations and routines of military life, the influence of racism and empire are overwhelming, and illustrate the connections that existed between local, national, and imperial policies and practices. Ultimately, Charlie’s experience — which on the surface seems exceptional — is in fact remarkably representative of much broader global patterns.

Click here for a bio of Kirrily Freeman.