Janet Kitz, ONS, MSM

An appreciation

Janet Kitz, a great believer in education and the power of history to shape a community’s identity, died on May 10. Best known for her work on the Halifax Explosion, Janet Kitz immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1971 and turned her interest in this great but terrible chapter of the story of her new home into an tremendous accomplishment in public history. In work that she frequently presented to the RNSHS, she began with artifact research, she moved on to museum exhibits, oral history, books and public commemorations that lifted a veil on the explosion and its impact on the people of Nova Scotia. Her work took an event that had been little explored and poorly recognized and paved the way of others to continue. Her contributions went beyond the explosion, writing the biography of Andrew Cobb, one of the most iconic architects in Nova Scotia and through her service on numerous boards, most notably, the Point Pleasant Park commission which led her to write and publish the history of the park.
   Profound in her influence and generous in sharing her knowledge with others, she will be greatly missed but left an impressive legacy for future generations seeking education on iconic moments that shaped the identity of Nova Scotia.


Halifax Chronicle Herald, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

KITZ, Janet Frame, ONS MSM

Janet Kitz walked bravely into the dark on May 10, 2019. She died of old age and pulmonary fibrosis, from which she suffered stoically for a decade. She died at home in her own bed as she wished, in charge to the end. Janet was born in Carnwath in the Scottish Lowlands on January 12, 1930, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Rankin) Brownlee. Her father was a noted horticulturalist and developed the Jenny Brownlee begonia in her name. She trained as a teacher in Glasgow and worked in that field for 20 years, first in London, then Davos, Switzerland, and then in the U.S. on the eastern shore of Maryland. She was teaching in Edinburgh when she was invited to attend a dinner as part of the Edinburgh Festival and was seated beside Leonard Kitz, who was there representing the National Arts Centre. They were married within the year and she moved to Halifax in 1971. Janet was a lifetime member of the Antiquarian Society of Halifax and a fellow of Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, often using that forum for lectures on her research before she went to print with her books on the Halifax explosion, most notably “Shattered City, The Halifax Explosion and The Road to Recovery”. Saint Mary’s University awarded her an honorary degree in recognition that sound research and authorship of accessible books for a wide public is vital for society. She was made a member of the Order of Nova Scotia in 2018 and in 2019 was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General. Janet was on a number of boards and commissions but a favourite was the Point Pleasant Park Commission which she chaired for many years. She wrote a book about the park with a final chapter of photos of dogs and their owners. Until her very last years she walked her beloved Brittany spaniels in the park twice a day in all weather and enjoyed chatting with her dog-walking friends and all the park staff. In the U.K., Janet leaves her cousin, Marjorie Brownlee; her niece, Anne Buchannan (Brownlee) and spouse, Alan; her nephew, Tom Brownlee and partner, Angela Perry; and her nephew, David Yule and spouse, Rachel. In Nova Scotia, Janet became step- mother to Leonard’s children, Hilary (Steven Janus), John (Ann), and Alan (Meredith Annett). She was the adoring Granny to their children, Sam Singer (Jeannette MacMillan), Nick Singer, Jeremy Singer, Alex Kitz (Laura), Robert Kitz (Paula McLaughlin), Hilary Kierans (Denis), Alice Kitz, and Duff Kitz (Alison Boros). Janet is also survived by seven delightful great-grandchildren with another expected in a few weeks. There will be a reception for family and friends on Thursday, May 16th from 5-7 p.m. at 1110 Rockcliffe Street, the house in which she lived so happily for 44 years. Donations may be made to PATH (Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization) Clinic, QEII Health Sciences Centre.

Terrence M. Punch, C.M., M.A., D.Litt., F.I.G.R.S., CG(C)

An appreciation

Dr. Terrence M. Punch, CM, has passed away. A long time champion of Nova Scotia’s heritage, Terry was active in many organizations including the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, and many others. He was President of the RNSHS and the Genealogical editor in the RNSHS Journal, and was awarded a Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from Saint Mary’s University in 2000. Terry championed the cause of family history and shared his encyclopedic knowledge of family names and backgrounds through books, presentations and workshops. Perhaps he is best known for his monthly presentations on CBC radio’s Radio Noon phone-in programme.

Terry Punch had a profound influence on the way we see our past both personal and public. He will be sorely missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to Terry’s wife Pam and her family.


Halifax Chronicle Herald, Tuesday, April 18, 2017

PUNCH, Terrence Michael (CM)

Terrence Michael Punch died on April 11, 2017. He was a son of the late Michael and Edythe (Little) Punch (of Halifax), and father of the late Jill and Sara Punch. He is survived by his loving wife, Pamela Beaulieu; his beloved son, Sean (Bonnie), Montreal; and caring sister, Carolyn Smedley of Halifax. He was a retired educator, and active in history and genealogy circles. He was a regular columnist, book reviewer, and author of several books in his fields of interest. He was a regular guest of CBC Maritime Noon for many years. Details of these and his other activities may be found in recent editions of ‘Who’s Who in Canada’. Terry wished to thank his family for their love and support over many years, and his many friends and colleagues who rallied around during his fight with cancer. Without those prayers and favours, the struggle would have been unbearable. His remains have been cremated. A memorial service will be held in J. A. Snow Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Dr. on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate in his memory to Feed Nova Scotia or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made by visiting: www.jasnowfuneralhome.com

Allan “Bunny “Dunlop, B.A., M.A., FRNSHS

An appreciation

Bunny was a familiar face to so many of us in the history and heritage field. A long serving and well respected member of the Nova Scotia Archives staff for over 27 years, Allan, always friendly and avuncular was forever helping us follow the “paper trail” with his extensive knowledge of archival holdings. Allan was a Fellow of our Society and he will be well remembered and greatly missed by us all.
~ James Morrison, President


Halifax Chronicle Herald, Saturday, May 9, 2015

DUNLOP, Allan Currie “Bunny” 

Born in Halifax October 22, 1944; dies May 5, 2015 in his 70th year, from liver cancer. Allan was the son of Douglas MacDonald “Doug” (died 1975) and Dorothy Agnes “Dot” (Driscoll) Dunlop, (died 2002).; grandson of David Shannon and Melinda (MacDonald) Dunlop, Lyons Brook; great-grandson of James David and Ellen (Shannon) Dunlop, Midlothanshire, Scotland; great great-grandson of David and Julia (MacKinnon) Dunlop, East Lake Ainslie, circa, 1841. He is survived by brothers, Douglas Gregg, Halifax; Grant Watt, Abercrombie; as well as numerous relatives on the Driscoll side of the family. Allan Attended schools in Truro, Bedford, and New Glasgow before graduating from Dalhousie University, B.A. 1967; M.A., 1970. He joined the Public Archives of Nova Scotia and retired 27 1/2 years later on May 31, 1997 as Associate Provincial Archivist. From 1997-2015 he served as Historian for the Nova Scotia Golf Association as well as he was active in many historical, genealogical and archival associations. Thank you to the following medical teams – Hepatologist, Dr. Peltekian; Oncologist, Dr. Alwayn; Palliative Care Unite, Dr. MacIntyre, the VON home care services, and the nurses on 8.4 for their care. Funeral Services will be Saturday, May 16, at 2 p.m. in United Memorial Church, Kaye Street with a reception to follow in Ashburn Golf Club (Old Course) at 3 p.m. Donations to a charity of one’s choice. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.jasnowfuneralhome.com 


Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Becomes Honorary Patron of the Society


The Emblem of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is very pleased to announce that His Honour Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant, CMM, ONS, CD (Ret’d), Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia has agreed to be named the Honorary Patron of the Society effective 1 January, 2015.

On the recommendation of the Council of the Society, President James Morrison recently extended an invitation to the Lieutenant Governor to become the Society’s Honourary Patron, which His Honour accepted. A native Nova Scotian, His Honour has a long-standing interest in the history of the province and recently attended a monthly lecture offered in the Society’s public lecture series.

His Honour was appointed Nova Scotia’s 32nd Lieutenant Governor  on 16 February,2012, after a distinguished career in Canada’s  Armed Forces. His Honour first joined as a soldier with the Pictou Highlanders Pipes and Drums in 1951 and retired at the rank of Brigadier-General in 1989. He has served on a number of Boards of Directors and has a number of Honourary appointments including most recently Honourary Colonel, 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders [North] and 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders [Cape Breton], 2004-2009. He has received the Order of Military Merit (OMM), Commander of the Order of Military Merit (CMM), the Canadian Forces Decoration with 3 clasps (CD) and the Order of Nova Scotia (ONS).

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society was founded as a historical society in 1878 and is the second oldest such society in Canada. It is a voluntary organization whose monthly meetings feature a guest lecture on Nova Scotia history. Many of these contributions have appeared in the yearly JOURNAL of the Society. The two major goals of the Society are to preserve and promote the history of the province.

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society is honoured to have as its Patron the Viceregal representative in Nova Scotia of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It is a position that has deep roots in our province  stretching back to Confederation and the Society is pleased to have a new relationship with this important long standing link with the Crown in Nova Scotia.

Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Presents Brief to Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Libraries and Archives

L&A Cover_0

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society presented a brief to the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Libraries and Archives on Friday, 8 November 2013. Bertrum MacDonald (President) and Ross Langley (Member of Council) presented the brief, which led to an hour-long discussion with the members of the Panel.

The brief outlined several anxieties and concerns about the status of Canadian archives and libraries as well as opportunities prompted by rapid changes in today’s digital and highly networked society that have been pursued in Nova Scotia. Through this brief, the Society presented five recommendations for the Expert Panel’s consideration:

(1) The fate of information should not be politicized. Discarding library and archival collections or allowing information to be lost should not occur due to political expediency or ideology.

(2) The benefits of collaboration among libraries and archives as well as other cultural heritage institutions should be emphasized. Financial pressures alone warrant further attention be given to this point. Greater rationalization of efforts and synergies of collaborative ventures will be a primary outcome. Collaboration requires leadership and, at a national level, Libraries and Archives Canada should be empowered to provide pan-Canadian leadership.

(3) Continued emphasis should be placed on digitization of historical records. Today, amateur as well as professional historians wish and expect digital access to the holdings of our repositories. The value of the original holdings must not be misunderstood, though. Digitization does not provide a license to discard the originals. Experience with previous inadequate digitization has proven that originals need to be retained.

(4) Technological innovations need to be encouraged and supported to overcome the problem of loss of historical evidence due to technological obsolescence. This matter is a societal problem of considerable urgency.

(5) Greater effort be placed on increasing awareness of Canadians about the resources available to them through libraries and archives.

The Royal Society of Canada established the Expert Panel, chaired by Dr. Patricia Demers, FRSC, University of Alberta, in response to nation-wide concerns about the status of Canadian libraries and archives given the immensely important role they fulfill in society. The Panel is conducting public consultations across Canada seeking input from Canadians “about the value they place on libraries and archives, the services they receive and expect from these institutions, and the ways digital technology is transforming our knowledge universe.” The Panel will publish a major report on its findings for wide distribution in 2014.

In addition, to the chair, Dr. Demers, the panel includes Dr. Guylaine Beaudry, Concordia University; Pam Bjornson, National Research Council; Michael Carroll, American University Washington College of Law; Prof. Carol Couture, Université de Montréal; Charlotte Gray, FRSC, Carleton University; Judith Hare, recently CEO of Halifax Public Libraries; Ernie Ingles, FRSC, University of Alberta; Prof. Eric Ketelaar, University of Amsterdam; Gerald McMaster, Art Gallery of Ontario; and Ken Roberts, Hamilton Public Library.

Further details about the mandate of the Panel can be found at http://rsc-src.ca/en/expert-panels/rsc-reports/status-and-future-canadas-libraries-and-archives

Click here to download the full-text copy of the RNSHS brief to the Royal Society.