The History of the Port at Pugwash

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Halifax Public Library. To join the lecture virtually, click the Zoom link here.

Stephen Leahey was raised in Pugwash. His early education was in a one-room schoolhouse. He graduated from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Queen’s University, and attended William’s College in Massachusetts. An Honourary Citizen of Winnipeg and a Lieutenant in the 78th Fraser Highlanders, he has received/holds an Honourary Doctor of Laws from Saint Mary’s University. Reading widely and being naturally curious led him to relating the history of his village in two books which he has donated to the Cumberland County Museum. Neither a scholar nor an academic, in his research and treatment Leahey relies extensively on the work of others who have undertaken the basic research and writing. His books are designed/intended to be sold locally by the museum.

Abstract: The configuration of the Port of Pugwash, a seagoing harbour at the end of a long bay on the Northumberland Strait, easily shields its presence. This feature was exploited first by Nicolas Deny for a trading post, then by French aristocrats from Trois-Rivières to funnel agricultural products from their marsh-based seigneuries to Fort Louisbourg, and finally by the British in London who tapped it for their masts and naval stores. With rare exceptions, London prohibited settlement near the harbour, specifically between River Philip and Tatamagouche, until the Westchester Refugees arrived in 1784.

Black Roots and white roots intertwined in Nova Scotia’s Tree of History

Wednesday, March 20th, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Halifax Public Library. Here is the Zoom link.

Karen Hudson is a dedicated educator and principal at Auburn Drive High School. She has chaired, co-founded, and participated on boards including the Freedom School, Africentric Learning Institute, Connecting to Africa, and the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq committee at Dalhousie Law School. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Nova Scotia Teachers Award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Nova Scotia Family Volunteer Award. She is also featured in John Morrison’s book The IT Factor: Discover and Unleash Your Own Unique Leadership Potential. Karen is an alum of MSVU (2005) and in 2019 she was recognized Nationally as an Outstanding Principal by the Learning Partnership.

Kathrin Winkler is a retired teacher, peace activist, artist, mother, and grandmother. Nova Scotia’s rich and hidden histories reveal critical areas for repair necessary for moving forward to justice. For her, art is a practice and the imagination is the territory that sprouts change. She is a Nova Scotia VOW member; a Thousand Harbours Zen sangha member and she loves swimming in the ocean.

Abstract: Marcus Garvey famously wrote: “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and
culture is like a tree without roots.” 15 Ships left Halifax harbour on January 15, 1792 and the ripples that caused the conditions leading to this epic journey are evident to this day, yet still not fully known. The #1792Project’s aim to share the history of the 1,196 Black Loyalists by creating unique personal connections, continues in a letter-writing campaign. We will share the perspectives of students and community participants and how we hope to continue keeping the history of the 15 Ships to Sierra Leone alive.

The Inequalities of Integration: A History of Space and Race at Graham Creighton High School

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia (10 Cherry Brook Road). Here is the Zoom link to virtually attend this lecture.

Stefanie Slaunwhite is a Ph.D. Candidate at University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. Her current research examines the histories of medicine, education and disability at the Dr. W.F. Robert’s Hospital-School in Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1965-85. Her presentation for the RNSHS is based on her article published in 2022 with Acadiensis, entitled “To hell with the people in Preston: The Inequalities of Integration at Graham Creighton High School, Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia, 1964-1979.” 

Abstract: Graham Creighton High School was a pilot project for integration in the relatively isolated Eastern Shore Area of the County of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The school in Cherry Brook opened as an integrated institution in 1964. It served as the space for students from the surrounding Black and adjacent white communities to be brought together in adherence to the local school board’s integration policy. But while integration was the board’s policy, it was often not implemented in practice.