Buddy MacEwen, joined by moderator Joyce Phillips, regaled attendees at Stanley Bridge’s first ever history circle earlier today at the New London Community Complex. Buddy and others shared stories about two room schools and long walks to class every day, digging potatoes by hand, growing up in homes without running water and electricity, eating lobster sandwiches for lunch (and trading them whenever possible for more valuable peanut butter sandwiches), travelling vast distances across the Island in winter on horsedrawn sleighs and playing competitive hockey for the “Stanley Cup.” When Buddy was growing up Stanley Bridge boasted thriving shoemakers and blacksmith businesses as well as three general stores, a butter and cheese operation and a veterinarian. More history circles are planned in the months ahead featuring other guest speakers sharing their memories of the community’s early history. One event alone might focus on the story behind the discovery of the world-famous Marco Polo, which ran aground off Cavendish.
By now everyone’s heard of the infamous Stanley Bridge traffic circle (aka “roundabout”). Shortly, Stanley Bridge will be famous for another circle – a “history circle.” Launched by the Stanley Bridge Historical Society, the first meeting of the circle will be held at the New London Community Complex at 1.30 pm, Monday Feb 15, featuring two people with long memories about the area. Residents are invited to join the circle and contribute to the region’s oral history. The Stanley Bridge history circle will be launched during Heritage Week, Feb 15-21.
A large crowd was in attendance on Aug 21 at the Stanley Bridge Centre to view a wide range of hand crafted products made by many volunteers.
Quilts, both hand and machine-quilted, occupied the centre of the room. Hand-knitting, wood crafters, home baking, mat hooking and beautiful paintings covered most of the wall area. Our local painter, Karen Slater, was on hand to give demonstrations of her work.
On the raised platform Louise Lowther displayed her hand-painted dishware. What beautiful artwork! In the opposite corner were articles that brought us back to the 1800s.
We are currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of the naming of the village of Stanley. To help celebrate this occasion the Hon. Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, brought greetings from the federal government. Also on hand were The Hon. Alex Campbell, who with Rev. Dr. F. Bolger, historian, Stanley Bridge Memorial Society President Steve Dimond, Gracie Findlay, from Arts PEI, Phyllis Carr, from the River Days committee and Chairperson Helen MacEwen, brought us back to what actually took place in 1865.
Gracie Findlay brought greetings from the arts community and read a poem which had been written by her grandmother, who had resided in Summerside, entitled ‘Stanley Bridge.’ Each described a small part of what Stanley Bridge looked like in its early history.
Lunch was served outside, as would be the early custom for a party. The remainder of the day was enjoyed by the volunteers at the tables as well as the shoppers. The successful event ended about 1:30 pm.
Guardian reporter Sally Cole visited the Stanley Bridge Centre Sept 9 to interview volunteers involved with the restoration of the Stanley Bridge cemetery, across the road from the SBC. Many of the century-old cemetery’s stones and grave markers had fallen into serious disrepair. Her article will appear in the Guardian shortly.
Chad Robinson, from Ottawa, brought his young daughter to the Stanley Bridge Centre’s farmer’s market on Wednesday, Aug 26. The market regularly draws many visitors, young and old, and all ages in between, from across the Island, the country and even as far away as Australia. The market runs 9 am to 1 pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays.