2023 Annual General Meeting

The Society’s AGM is always held in conjunction with the May lecture meeting, and was announced accordingly in April. There are time constraints at the Halifax Central Library, however, and so in order to accommodate the AGM and its agenda properly, we have postponed it to Wednesday 24 May 2023 at 7:00 p.m. online via Zoom. Agenda and reports are now posted to the website. We look forward to sharing the year’s activities with you then and looking ahead to 2023-24.


Consultation with Members on ‘The Way Forward’ Recommendations

April 2023

 On Saturday 1 April 2023, RNSHS Councillors met with General Members to discuss and vote upon fifteen draft recommendations regarding how the Society could look back, refresh, and move forward in the coming months. The consultation was held in person and online, with a clear quorum. Discussion was brisk, engaged and positive. Wording was adjusted for certain recommendations, and a new one was introduced. In the end, sixteen recommendations were approved by a majority vote and are presented here. Councillors will now develop a timeline which we hope to have ready for the May AGM, regarding gradual implementation of the recommendations. Meanwhile, we thank all members who attended and contributed, as well as those who sent email comments in advance. Together, we have all begun to explore the way ahead.   

Lois K. Yorke
President, RNSHS      

Reminder of Upcoming Consultation

March 29, 2023

Don’t forget our consultation with members this coming Saturday April 1, 2023, in the Akins Room at the NS Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Atlantic), also available via Zoom (click here to join). For the Agenda, click here, and for a list of the Recommendations under discussion, click here. More information is available under Community Events. Members and observers are all welcome, refreshments and a light lunch will be available.  

Dr. Julian Gwyn

The Society was saddened recently to learn of the death on 18 March 2023 of Dr. Julian R.D.J. Gwyn – a guest lecturer on various occasions, with subsequent articles appearing in the Journal, the most recent being “The Private Life of Jessie MacCallum, Diarist of Windsor & St. George, 1901-1910” (Vol. 20, 2017). 

Dr. Gwyn was a graduate of Loyola College (BA), McGill University (MA), Balliol College, Oxford (MLitt and DPhil). His academic life was spent at the University of Ottawa (Professor of History, 1961-96; professor emeritus, 1997), but his research interests focused on Nova Scotia and colonial New York. For many years he was an annual summer visitor to archives and libraries throughout the province, where he will be warmly remembered for his generosity, friendship, and interest in helping others. After retirement he settled in Berwick, where he farmed while continuing research and writing for another quarter century. A dozen books and sixty scholarly articles or book chapters reflect Dr. Gwyn’s commitment to the practice of history. He will be missed.

For further details, please see www.middletonfuneralhome.com/obituaries/ 

RNSHS Membership Consultation

March 18, 2023

The Council of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society plans to consult with membership on Saturday 1 April, in the Akins Room at the Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Atlantic). The consultation will also be available via Zoom (click here to join) and will focus on the ‘Report and Recommendations for The Way Forward.’ For more information about this, see our Community Events section of the website. Members and interested observers are all welcome, a light lunch and refreshments will be available. We look forward to meeting with YOU!

Season’s Greetings

December 2022

We extend to all our Society members and friends our very best wishes for the holiday season.

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, the year has been a busy one. In-person monthly meetings have resumed, now held at the Halifax Central Library with continued online viewing options. The Winter 2023 Lecture Series is being finalized and will offer a variety of new topics – more details coming very soon! Likewise, the ink is drying on Volume 25 of the Journal and copies will be mailed out by month’s end. Lastly, work continues on ‘The Way Forward,’ our renewal exercise, with the Working Group’s Report scheduled for release in January – to be followed by a consultation (in-person and via Zoom) with all interested members.

During the coming months we look forward to sharing the results of all these activities, and we trust you will continue to support the Society by renewing your membership or contributing to our mandate by participating with your interest and enthusiasm for Nova Scotia history. We extend to all of you our best wishes for 2023!

On behalf of the RNSHS Executive and Council,

Lois Yorke

Community Grants Return

October 17, 2022

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is pleased to announce the return of its community funding opportunity in the form of two annual grants of $250 each. Applications are open to local Nova Scotia community heritage or history organizations/societies and individuals, including graduate and undergraduate students or independent scholars conducting research on any aspect of Nova Scotia history. The deadline is November 30, 2022. Please click here for detailed grant application guidelines.

Managing Editor Opportunity – Deadline Extended

Updated November 1, 2022

Deadline extended! The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society invites applications or nominations (accompanied by a curriculum vitae and covering letter) for the volunteer position of Managing Editor. Documentation should be received by the Society’s Vice-President Publications no later than November 25, 2022. For more information please click here to read more details about the position

RNSHS Membership Consultation

October 7, 2022

The Council of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society plans to consult with membership on Saturday, 15 October, Akins Room at the Nova Scotia Archives, 6016 University Avenue, Halifax, NS from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon (Atlantic). The consultation will also be available via Zoom (click here to join). For more information about the upcoming meeting, see our Community Events section of the website. Members and interested observers are welcome. 

Dr. David Sutherland

September 28, 2022

The Royal Nova Scotia Society deeply regrets the passing of Dr. David Sutherland. Dr. Sutherland was an Atlantic Canadian historian who served as a member, president, and Fellow of the Society as well as contributing to the editorial board of the Society’s Journal. Dr. Sutherland’s published obituary is below and available online via the Chronicle Herald.   

It is with great sadness that we announce David’s death on July 10, 2022 at the family cottage in Upper Cape, N.B., with his wife and son holding his hands. David was born in Halifax on December 19, 1942, the only child of George and Georgie Sutherland. Having grown up in Shubenacadie and Truro, he went on to graduate from Mount Allison (BA), Dalhousie University (MA) and the University of Toronto (PhD in Canadian history). David joined the faculty at Dalhousie University’s Department of History in 1972 and spent his entire teaching and research career there. His teaching / research specialization was the history of Atlantic Canada, the city building process in 19th century Halifax, and patterns of race relations in 19th century Halifax, which resulted in a number of publications. He also supervised four doctoral and 15 M.A. dissertations, along with numerous honours theses. He was a member, president, and Fellow of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society [RNSHS], member of the editorial board of the Journal of the RNSHS and the Canadian Historical Review, Dalhousie Society for the History of Medicine, and the Tantramar Heritage Trust (New Brunswick). Manuscript reviewer for publications such as Acadiensis, Canadian Historical Review, and Journal of Canadian Studies. Former service and consultation with the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada; and the CBC. Member for Nova Scotia of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (2008-2013); member and Sunday School teacher of St Andrew’s United Church, Halifax. He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Betty (Elizabeth Cragg); his much-loved son, Iain Alexander Cragg, Halifax; his wonderful cats, Abraham and Isaac (Abe ‘n Ike); and several cousins, nephews, and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents and a number of cousins. There will be no visitation. A celebration of life service will be held in St. Andrew’s United Church, 6036 Coburg Road (corner of Robie St), Halifax on September 30th at 2 p.m. Masks are recommended. In lieu of flowers, donations in David’s memory can be made to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, St. Andrew’s United Church Benevolent Fund, PEDVAC, or to a charity of your choice.