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In addition to our coverage of events in the Stanley Bridge area and our twenty news feeds from major international publications, we are also offering CBC Prince Edward Island stories every day. We would welcome any feedback from our readers.
Have any comments on stories you’ve seen on the Stanley Bridge Centre’s website or have suggestions or submissions? Send your email to peijim@hotmail.com.



Feature Story

 
Community comes together for Stanley Bridge family after their historic farmhouse was lost to fire. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-stanley-bridge-community-rallies-for-family-who-lose-home-1.5029575


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Black History Month

Viola Desmond

 
Black History on Prince Edward Island
By Dale Amundson, Editor, SeniorsPEI.ca, February 2, 2019

Again this year there is a paucity of events related to Black History Month. A few related events at public libraries – one at each of 5 libraries and a second event at the Confederation Centre Public Library. The only listing related to Black History Month on the PEI Government website is of these events. Even the Black Cultural Society of PEI facebook page has nothing more to offer.

One wonders if there is a belief that there is no black history on Prince Edward Island. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Not only is there a black history, there is also a history of slaves and slave ownership. Some of Prince Edward Island’s most prominent residents were slave owners.

Under French rule, it was legal to own slaves on Île St.-Jean. However, the first record of enslaved Africans was in 1784 when 16 “negro servants” arrived with the Loyalists; by 1785 there were almost 100. After 1799, when the name was changed to Prince Edward Island, there were enslaved Africans in Charlottetown and Summerside. In PEI, perhaps due to the small number, enslaved Africans were allowed to be baptized and to marry legally. The wealthy owned enslaved Africans, including businessman William Shurman and the Lieutenant-Governor Edmund Fanning.

Many people are not aware that there were black people on Prince Edward Island in the 19th century, but there were. A black community known as The Bog, developed around Euston and Rochford streets in Charlottetown, near Government Pond, in the 1800s.

Most of the descendants of these black Islanders have been assimilated into the population and are no longer a visible minority. There are black people in thousands of families, from one end of the Island to the other.

In 2014, as part of the celebration marking the 150 anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, a stage production called Tales from the Old Stock: Stories and Songs of P.E.I Black History was performed at the 2014 Celebration Zone. It chronicled some of the missing pieces of Island history through skits and storytelling, as reported in the Guardian at the time.

Historian Bruce Ziff maintains that the first “abolitionist statute” in the Empire was Prince Edward Island’s 1781 act regulating slavery. The only statute in the post-revolutionary, second British Empire to regulate slaves explicitly. A detailed academic analysis of slavery on Prince Edward Island in the article Slave Life and Slave Law in Colonial Prince Edward Island, 1769-1825 by Harvey Amani Whitfield provides some compelling information, along with detailed footnotes and a bibliography. A list of known slave names or identities exists in the appendix of the article.

The 1781 act regulating slavery was abolished in 1825 by an act of the Legislature. By that time there were no slaves remaining on the island.

Those of us who care that the history of Prince Edward Island is represented honestly and inclusively look forward to the time when the Government is willing to commit resources sufficient to bring awareness of the meaning and importance of Black History Month, and black history generally to everyone on the Island.

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Parks Canada issues response to Resort Municipality concerns about heavy tree damage from recent storms

Story and photos by Jim Brown
Jim Brown can be reached at peijim@hotmail.com

For weeks Resort Municipality councilors expressed concerns about the fate of hundreds of fallen trees in the Cavendish area under Parks Canada’s jurisdiction in the PEI National Park.

On Jan 14 Parks Canada emailed a written statement following a request from the Stanley Bridge Centre website.

The full statement is provided below:

“Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world. We are aware of fallen trees on its properties along Highways 6 and 13 in Cavendish. Safety is always our number one priority and our trained Dangerous Tree Assessors have examined the area and have removed trees that have the potential for safety risk and exposure to persons. The determination on which trees to remove was based on industry standards and assessed exposure.
 
“Parks Canada takes wildfire risk reduction activities seriously and is taking the necessary steps to reduce the threat of wildfires in all areas of the park. In this regard, Parks Canada developed a fuel modification prioritization tool that utilizes national FireSmart standards to identify forest areas at risk based on scientific methodology. All fuel modification (forest thinning) work in PEI National Park is justified through this evaluation tool and the program resources are managed in accordance with this assessment. Most recently, in the Cavendish area, forest stands surrounding the Cavendish Campground and the Cavendish Visitor Information Centre have been treated. The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure and neighboring lands is always our number one priority.
 
“We acknowledge the community’s concerns regarding the aesthetics of the senescent white spruce stands visible from Highway 6. Forest stands in PEI National Park are identified for management actions (i.e. stand thinning/restoration) based on Parks Canada’s priorities of ecological integrity, visitor safety, and fire risk. This type of forest provides valuable habitat for many species of animals and is an important part of a forest ecosystem. Should it become necessary, we will consider these stands in the future as opportunities for forest restoration programs arise.”


In an earlier interview Resort Municipality CAO Brenda MacDonald and Mayor Matthew Jelley, among others, voiced their frustrations about the slow progress made dealing with hundreds of fallen trees in early December.

Brenda MacDonald stated recently area residents had approached her and Council seeking action. Some had offered to help cut and clear away the fallen trees, which could become a fire and safety hazard in the spring and summer months.

The issue first surfaced at planning board meeting in December in which the spectre of California-style wildfires was raised.

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Times of India News Feed – India

MSNBC News Feed – Latest News

  • State charges considered against Manafort; would be pardon-proof
    on February 24, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Rachel Maddow about the legal ins-and-outs of charging Paul Manafort for state crimes when he is already charged with federal crimes. Convictions at the state level would not be subject to pardons by […]

  • Trump eagerly anticipates meeting with North Korean Leader
    on February 23, 2019 at 5:02 am

    President Trump has made it clear he’s looking forward to meeting with Kim Jong-un, to secure what he predicts will be another victory. Yet there’s been little progress with North Korea since the leaders’ last summit in Singapore. Retired U.S. Army four […]

  • Trump breaks silence on terror plot, defends rhetoric
    on February 23, 2019 at 4:58 am

    President Trump finally spoke about the Coast Guard Lieutenant who plotted to kill politicians and the media, calling it "a shame" but the president seemed to defend his own rhetoric condoning violence. Meanwhile Democrats moved to block Trump's wall.... […]

  • Cohen talks Trump "family business" with prosecutors
    on February 23, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Less than a week before his public testimony before the House Oversight Committee, the New York Times is reporting that Michael Cohen has given even more information to federal prosecutors about the Trump Organization. NBC's Ken Dilanian Trump... […]

The Jerusalem Post – Front Page

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Winners announced just in time for Christmas

The names of two lucky winners were picked from hundreds of tickets at a draw during the Dec 10 monthly meeting of the Stanley Bridge Memorial Society (SBMS). The meeting was held at the Kensington home of vice-president Helen MacEwen. St John’s NFLD resident Chris Pearsey won a beautiful painting of the Stanley Bridge wharf by acclaimed Margate artist Karen Slater. Stanley Bridge area resident Marilyn Simpson won a stunning mural sized photo of the Confederation Bridge, shot by North Granville photographer Clayton Smith, who is also the SBMS’s president. The Stanley Bridge Memorial Society would like to express its gratitude to everyone who bought a ticket for this important fundraiser.

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Morrison cottage to be demolished on December 14

By Jim Brown
A mysterious building on Clark’s Lane in Cavendish that few Islanders ever get to see, but has been a favored haunt of visiting dignitaries and eight of the past 12 premiers, will be demolished on Dec 14.

Parks Canada officials made that decision some time ago, despite a letter from Resort Municipality Chair Matthew Jelley urging them to spare The Morrison Cottage.

According to Brenda MacDonald, the Resort Municipality’s CAO, Parks Canada staff have already been to the building several times removing items of importance and perhaps even the windows.

There has been significant interest by business and residential owners in the resort municipality in acquiring the building, including leasing it or moving it.

The three bedroom bungalow’s fate was brought up at the Resort Municipality’s planning board meeting on Dec 5. It will surface again at the monthly meeting of Resort Municipality Council on Monday, Dec 10.

The Morrison Cottage, built in the 1950s, is owned by Parks Canada but managed by the Province in a deal struck in the 1970s. The Province also handled bookings. Over the decades it’s served as an upscale bunk for visiting dignitaries as well as premiers.

According to a Charlottetown Guardian article in 2016: “Little has been done in the way of major upgrades to the property. It has a garage, hardwood wall interiors, a stone fireplace and chimney and typical cottage-style furniture.”

An internal Parks Canada report, prepared by KPMG, is investigating the feasibility of unloading “non-core” Parks Canada assets to earn hundreds of millions in revenues, perhaps more than a billion dollars.

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The most wonderful time of the year for shopping

There were lots of beaming smiles on the faces of vendors and holiday shoppers alike on Saturday, Dec 1 at the Christmas craft fair held at the Stanley Bridge Hall (Sterling Women’s Institute). Many lucky shoppers came away with the perfect gift to slide under the tree or into a Christmas stocking.
Jim Brown photos

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