RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 20 January 2016

“Valiant Nova Scotians: The Province’s Recipients of the Victoria Cross”

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Col. John Boileau (ret’d), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Canadian Armed Forces

Abstract:
Since Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross in 1856 it has been awarded 1,363 times, including to 98 Canadians, five of whom were Nova Scotians. In an illustrated talk, John Boileau explains the background to the creation of the Victoria Cross, the history of the award over the years and a detailed description of the lives and military actions of the Nova Scotia recipients of this prestigious gallantry decoration.

Click here for a bio of Col. John Boileau.

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Winter/Spring 2016 Lecture Series

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.
Click here for a downloadable programme brochure.

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January 20, 2016

“Valiant Nova Scotians: The Province’s Recipients of the Victoria Cross”

Col. John Boileau (ret’d), Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, Canadian Armed Forces

Abstract:
Since Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross in 1856 it has been awarded 1,363 times, including to 98 Canadians, five of whom were Nova Scotians. In an illustrated talk, John Boileau explains the background to the creation of the Victoria Cross, the history of the award over the years and a detailed description of the lives and military actions of the Nova Scotia recipients of this prestigious gallantry decoration.

Click here for a bio of Col. John Boileau.

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February 17, 2016

“Surviving War and Adapting to Village Life: Ella Barron, A Dutch War Bride in Ingonish, Cape Breton”

Ken Donovan (ret’d), Parks Canada Historian

Abstract:
Cornelia Aletta Iske (Ella) was one of 48,000 war brides who came to Canada after 1945. During the war, Ella’s family of nine children struggled merely to survive. Ella met Alex Barron of Ingonish and they were married in Holland in January 1946. Arriving in Cape Breton in June 1946, she and Alex eventually raised a family of 10 children. Some adjustments, however, were necessary: Ella spoke Dutch; she was a Protestant in a Catholic community; she was a city woman in a village.

Click here for a bio of Ken Donovan.

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March 16, 2016

“The Triumph of the ‘Larger Unit’: Origins and Impact of the School Consolidation Movement in Antigonish County, 1923 to 2012”

Paul W. Bennett, Founding Director of Schoolhouse Institute and Adjunct Professor of Education, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
The modern school consolidation movement, pioneered in Alberta between 1913 and 1919, eventually emerged a decade later in full force in the Maritimes. In April 1923, Pastor James Boyle of Havre Boucher, Antigonish County, NS, dismissed the one school “district unit” as a relic of the past and signaled the advent of school consolidation to address the impoverishment of rural schools. Building upon research undertaken for Vanishing Schools, Threatened Communities (2011), this lecture will explore and analyze the origins, extent and impact of the first school consolidation movement in Antigonish County from the 1920s until the full adoption of the “Larger Unit” as provincial policy in 1954.

Click here for a bio of Paul W. Bennett.

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April 20, 2016

“Outslicking Sam Slick: The Mysterious Stranger (Henry More Smith) in Nova Scotia: 1812‐1815”

Gwendolyn Davies, University of New Brunswick

Note: This lecture takes place at our Annual Banquet at the Dalhousie University Club. Tickets will be available to purchase in March.

Abstract:
In 1812, a charming young English trickster swept through Rawdon, Windsor, Halifax, and Pictou leaving behind a trail of identities and audacious thefts. Condemned to death in New Brunswick in 1814 for horse theft, he was nonetheless back in Nova Scotia in 1815 embarking yet again on a life of audacious crime and inspiring Sheriff Walter Bates’ 1817 bestseller, The Mysterious Stranger.

Click here for bio of Gwendolyn Davies.

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May 18, 2016

“Immigration to Atlantic Canada: Historical Reflections”

John Reid, Saint Mary’s University

Note: Lecture will follow our Annual General Meeting and will take place in the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Theatre at Pier 21.

Abstract:
Presented in conjunction with the Immigration to Atlantic Canada Conference This lecture will present a broad analysis of historical immigration patterns in Atlantic Canada, setting migration within an Indigenous context and distinguishing between Newfoundland and the Maritime region. The twin processes of Indigenous dispossession and settler colonization will be considered as contexts for Atlantic Canada’s roles and responsibilities in a world increasingly shaped both by the need to recognize the rights of Indigenous peoples and by the forces of global migration.

Click here for a bio of John Reid.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 9 December 2015

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Click to download lecture poster

“Material Life and Landscape along the St. Mary’s River in Northeastern Nova Scotia, 1840-1910”

Meghann Jack, PhD Candidate, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Abstract:
The nineteenth century Nova Scotia countryside was a dynamic landscape where ideas of improvement, industriousness, and convenience characterized the way farmers patterned and negotiated their material surroundings. This talk analyzes the material motivations of St. Mary’s farmers in relation to the architectural expression of their farmsteads. The focus is both spatial and temporal, showing change in one small region over time. An examination of architectural choice and conceptualization, and the experiential realities of farm life and labour, demonstrates how farmers used their barns and farmhouses––buildings that reflected both economic and cultural concerns.

Click here for a bio of Meghann Jack.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday,18 November 2015

“The Legacy of Gordon Sidney Harrington, 1909 to 1925”

November_2015_RNSHS

Click to download lecture poster

Carole MacDonald

Abstract:
Touted as successor to the Hon. R.B. Bennett as leader of the Federal Conservative Party and considered one of the most progressive premiers of Nova Scotia (1930 to 33), Col. Gordon Sidney Harrington, former legal counsel for the United Mine Workers of America (UMW), was Minister of Public Works and Mines from his election in 1925 and maintained that portfolio while Premier. Harrington dedicated his life (and his health) to Nova Scotians, particularly coal miners and their families, and to Canada as deputy minister of Canadian Forces Overseas in the latter part of the First World War. His life was one of great achievements and profound tragedy.

Click here for a bio of Carole MacDonald.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 21 October 2015

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Click to download lecture poster

“In defense of Mi’kma’ki: Mi’kmaq military power in Northeastern North America (1675-1761)”

Tod Scott, Independent Reseacher

Abstract:
Starting in the last quarter of the seventeenth century until the end of the Seven Years War, the Mi’kmaq successfully defended their land, families and way of life through seven colonial wars against the British.  These efforts kept British settlers from migrating into Mi’kma’ki.  From the west the Mi’kmaq successfully projected their power along the Kennebec region of present day Maine. In the east they demonstrated they were a power to be reckoned with by frustrating British economic activities and settlements in Newfoundland. When British settlers finally migrated into Mi’kma’ki in 1749, the Mi’kmaq were able to contain them in British fortified enclaves until a peace was established in 1761. 

Click here for a bio of Tod Scott.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 16 September 2015

September_2015_RNSHS

Click to download lecture poster

“‘To stimulate the acquisition of general knowledge and to promote sociability’: The Young Ladies Club of Baddeck”

Phyllis R Blakeley Memorial Lecture

Dr. Sharon MacDonald, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
Founded in 1891 by Mabel Bell, the Young Ladies Club of Baddeck (now known as The Bell Club), gave women in a small Nova Scotian village opportunities to study diverse topics and acquire skills that would enhance their own lives and the life of the community. The emergence of women’s clubs in the nineteenth century created a safe learning environment, which inevitably encouraged women to engage more fully in the public sphere. Focussing on the specific history of The Bell Club, this talk will also place the club within the larger context of the women’s club movement .

Click here for a bio of Dr. Sharon MacDonald.

The 28th Annual Phyllis R. Blakeley lecture is named in memory of the late Provincial Archivist of Nova Scotia who was remembered for her contributions to local history, as a writer in her own right, and also as an archivist, a facilitator of research and a mentor, reader and advisor to many historians.

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Autumn 2015 Lecture Series

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.
Click here for a downloadable programme brochure.

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September 16, 2015

“ ‘To stimulate the acquisition of general knowledge and to promote sociability’: The Young Ladies Club of Baddeck”

Phyllis R Blakeley Memorial Lecture

Dr. Sharon MacDonald, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Gorsebrook Research Institute, Saint Mary’s University

Abstract:
Founded in 1891 by Mabel Bell, the Young Ladies Club of Baddeck (now known as The Bell Club), gave women in a small Nova Scotian village opportunities to study diverse topics and acquire skills that would enhance their own lives and the life of the community. The emergence of women’s clubs in the nineteenth century created a safe learning environment, which inevitably encouraged women to engage more fully in the public sphere. Focussing on the specific history of The Bell Club, this talk will also place the club within the larger context of the women’s club movement .

Click here for a bio of Dr. Sharon MacDonald.

The 28th Annual Phyllis R. Blakeley lecture is named in memory of the late Provincial Archivist of Nova Scotia who was remembered for her contributions to local history, as a writer in her own right, and also as an archivist, a facilitator of research and a mentor, reader and advisor to many historians.

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October 21, 2015

“In defense of Mi’kma’ki: Mi’kmaq military power in Northeastern North America (1675-1761)”

Tod Scott, Independent Reseacher

Abstract:
Starting in the last quarter of the seventeenth century until the end of the Seven Years War, the Mi’kmaq successfully defended their land, families and way of life through seven colonial wars against the British.  These efforts kept British settlers from migrating into Mi’kma’ki.  From the west the Mi’kmaq successfully projected their power along the Kennebec region of present day Maine. In the east they demonstrated they were a power to be reckoned with by frustrating British economic activities and settlements in Newfoundland. When British settlers finally migrated into Mi’kma’ki in 1749, the Mi’kmaq were able to contain them in British fortified enclaves until a peace was established in 1761. 

Click here for a bio of Tod Scott.

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November 18, 2015

“The Legacy of Gordon Sidney Harrington, 1909 to 1925”

Carole MacDonald

Abstract:
Touted as successor to the Hon. R.B. Bennett as leader of the Federal Conservative Party and considered one of the most progressive premiers of Nova Scotia (1930 to 33), Col. Gordon Sidney Harrington, former legal counsel for the United Mine Workers of America (UMW), was Minister of Public Works and Mines from his election in 1925 and maintained that portfolio while Premier. Harrington dedicated his life (and his health) to Nova Scotians, particularly coal miners and their families, and to Canada as deputy minister of Canadian Forces Overseas in the latter part of the First World War. His life was one of great achievements and profound tragedy.

Click here for a bio of Carole MacDonald.

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December 9, 2015

“Material Life and Landscape along the St. Mary’s River in Northeastern Nova Scotia, 1840-1910”

Meghann Jack, PhD Candidate, Department of Folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Abstract:
The nineteenth century Nova Scotia countryside was a dynamic landscape where ideas of improvement, industriousness, and convenience characterized the way farmers patterned and negotiated their material surroundings. This talk analyzes the material motivations of St. Mary’s farmers in relation to the architectural expression of their farmsteads. The focus is both spatial and temporal, showing change in one small region over time. An examination of architectural choice and conceptualization, and the experiential realities of farm life and labour, demonstrates how farmers used their barns and farmhouses––buildings that reflected both economic and cultural concerns.

Click here for a bio of Meghann Jack.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, 20 May 2015

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NOTE: This lecture will follow the Annual General Meeting of the Society which will begin at 7:30 pm.

Relevance of Sir Thomas Roddick’s leadership in Medicine in 1876-1912 to the establishment and implementation of Public Policy in Canada Today

Dale Dauphinee

Abstract:
Thomas Roddick was a son of Harbour Grace, Newfoundland who found his way into medicine through studies at the Nova Scotia Normal College and an apprenticeship with Dr. Samuel Muir in Truro, Nova Scotia. After graduating from the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in 1868, he pursued a lifetime of leadership in the use of antisepsis in surgery, in establishing structure and procedures around casualty services for the Canadian militia, in expanding and rebuilding clinical and educational facilities at McGill and as the founder of the Medical Council of Canada (MCC). The latter was to be his most enduring innovation as it led to a fair and equitable standard for a nationally recognized qualification for medical licensure across provincial borders and the creation of a national physician registry.   However, it was his persistent and tireless pursuit of the MCC that his strategic political tactics have established important lessons for the achievement of change for the public good. He excelled in the use of clear two-way communication tactics and painstaking negotiation within the restrictive framework of the British North America Act and its federal and provincial division of legislative powers. The management strategies and MCC governance format that he was able to achieve stand as a model for breaking down restrictive barriers to inter-provincial movement of goods and human resources. The concept of a national professional medical qualification within a constitutional federation became a model for the Americans. Further, the evolution of his ‘dream’ of formally linking collaborating partners within health profession regulatory and education communities has facilitated Canada’s role as an international leader in the measurement of quality of health care professionals and in emphasizing the public accountability of practicing physicians in the 21st century.

Click here for a bio of Dr. Dale Dauphinee.

RNSHS Annual Dinner and Lecture – Wednesday, 15 April 2015

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“Our Earliest Moving Images”

Ernest Dick

Abstract:
This lecture will explore the early history of film-making and film appreciation in Nova Scotia, including the first films seen in Nova Scotia; the first films made about Nova Scotia or shot in Nova Scotia; the world’s first documentary shot off Nova Scotia; Canada’s first feature film made in Nova Scotia; and our earliest amateur film-making.

Click here for a bio of Ernest Dick.

NOTE – ANNUAL DINNER AT DALHOUSIE CLUB

Tickets for this event must be purchased by Friday, 10 April 2014. Seating for this event is limited. To reserve tickets please print and complete a copy of the reservation form available here, and then mail it along with a cheque (made payable to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society), to: The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, PO Box 2622, Halifax, NS B3J 3P7.  Please be sure to phone Rosemary Barbour at 902-424-6070  or e-mail the Society about your plans to attend the dinner meeting.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD RESERVATION FORM.

RNSHS Public Lecture – RESCHEDULED to Wednesday, 1 April 2015

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THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED.

“American sponsorship of Helen Creighton’s folk song collecting in Nova Scotia during the Second World War”

Creighton Barrett, Digital Archivist, Dalhousie University Archives

Abstract:
In 1942, Helen Creighton received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation to attend the Folklore Institute at Indiana University. The fellowship enabled Creighton to meet several prominent American folklorists, including Alan Lomax, who helped her borrow sound recording equipment from the Library of Congress. The Rockefeller Foundation followed with two grants to cover Creighton’s expenses as she hauled the recording equipment across Nova Scotia. With this joint sponsorship, Creighton made hundreds of folk song recordings during the summers of 1943 and 1944, an incredible accomplishment given the ongoing Second World War. The recordings were sent to the Library of Congress and copies were deposited at what is now the Nova Scotia Archives. This sponsorship from two American organizations was a pivotal moment in Helen Creighton’s career, and helped secure her status as one of Canada’s best known folklorists.

Click here for a bio of Creighton Barrett.