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 usually followed by refreshments.
Unless otherwise indicated, our meetings are 7:30 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.

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

 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.

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 Biograph

Barry Cahill

 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.

RNSHS Annual Dinner and Lecture –
 Wednesday, April 17, 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. Tickets will be available later.

 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.

RNSHS Public Lecture – Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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

 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.