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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

 
Iranian immigrant makes new life as a PEI farmer. Click on the link for the CBC story https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-farm-aman-sedighi-vegetables-herbs-immigration-1.4826362


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Helen MacEwen and the new resort municipality council: How our past has become our road-map to the future.

By Mike Duffy

Senator Mike Duffy

On Monday, Sept. 10 the new, post-election Resort Municipality council was to hold its first monthly meeting.

Mayor Matthew Jelley was acclaimed on July 27 and so were all the councillors seeking election. Bill Drost, Chris Robinson, George Clark Dunning, Lee Brammer, Linda Lowther and Kenny Singleton will steer the development of this growing community over the next few years.

It is an interesting mix of older, experienced councilors and new people with new ideas for the future of our community.

These are critical years for the municipality, as we see a new generation of visitors and retiring baby-boomers come home from years spent “away”, bringing with them new ideas about housing, zoning and culture. It will be a challenge as the tried and true learns to live with the new.

Our past is our road-map to the future. That certainly is the credo of Helen M. MacEwan, who is finishing a decade as President of the Stanley Bridge Memorial Society.

Charlottetown gets most of the attention when it comes to discussions of Island history. After all that was where the Fathers of Confederation met in 1864, to begin the process of creating Canada.

But if you ask Helen M. MacEwen, you’ll quickly learn our Island history extends far beyond Charlottetown.

Until 1865 Stanley Bridge was known as Fyfe’s Ferry, named for the ferry which carried traffic across the Stanley River. The name changed after the bridge was built.

These were the days before motor cars and paved highways linking rural areas with the capital City. Water was the key means of transport, and Stanley Bridge with its access to New London Bay was a busy port with schooners lining the wharves.

Farmers used the schooners to send their produce to market, and merchants used the ships to receive supplies which they sold to local people. The community truly was the hub of our small universe, with a busy blacksmith, a harness maker, tailor and millinery shop, and a shipyard.

All of this is documented in the Stanley Bridge Memorial Society’s richly illustrated book, the History of Stanley Bridge, Hub of the Universe. It was published in 1997, and as the older generation passes on, the book remains a valuable resource for those interested in our past.

The Stanley Bridge Memorial Society, a group of local history buffs, led by Helen MacEwen, volunteered the countless hours that were required. Now after a lifetime of work, and a decade as President, Helen MacEwen is moving into the past-president’s role. She is being replaced by Clayton Smith.

In recognition of her hard work, I was delighted to present Helen M. MacEwen with a Senate of Canada Certificate of Appreciation.

The citation reads: “In Recognition of Your Lifetime Commitment to the Preservation of the History of Stanley Bridge”

Helen M. MacEwen is a community leader, and this certificate of appreciation is a well-deserved thank you from her countless friends, fans, and neighbours.

Never one to rest, Helen’s latest community project is the 100 by 100 campaign.

The Stanley Bridge Centre, a former United Church decommissioned in 2009, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020. The Memorial Society’s latest project is to raise $100,000 for renovations to make the building accessible, to repair the roof, and add a kitchen and washroom.

This community centre needs the support of our caring community. Your generous donation can help the Stanley Bridge Centre thrive for another 100 years.

Cavendish resident Mike Duffy represents PEI in The Senate of Canada. Your comments are welcome. Please submit them to peijim@hotmail.com..

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Parading the boats on River Days

Hundreds of people assembled at the Stanley Bridge wharf the evening of Aug 25 for what many consider one of the marquee events of the River Days Festival – the parade of boats. More than a dozen illuminated vessels passed under the bridge at the Stanley Bridge wharf and then glided back in the gathering darkness to loud cheers. Fireworks lit up the sky shortly after 9 pm.

Photos by Jim Brown

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Stanley Bridge area packed with fun events weekend of Aug 24-26

Story and photos by Jim Brown
It turned out to be double the fun for local residents and visitors this weekend in Stanley Bridge under sunny, cloudless skies. The River Days Festival ran Friday to Sunday and the 50th anniversary bash of the New London Fire Company was held Saturday, drawing large crowds of children, their parents and friends and family members of volunteer firefighters, past and present. It was a weekend that will not soon be forgotten.

At the Stanley Bridge Centre Saturday youngsters learned how to paint sunflowers in an outdoor tent setting, while the bridge at the Stanley Bridge wharf was a magnet for daredevils of all ages, bravely diving dozens of feet into the water.

A group of youngsters waited several long moments before diving off the bridge at the Stanley Bridge wharf.

Seven-year-old Hudson Thoy, from Stratford, got to shoot out a stream of water from a high pressure fire hose outside the New London Fire Company.

Volunteer firefighters use the jaws of life to dismantle a wrecked car at the New London Fire Company's 50th anniversary celebrations.

Meredith O'Dea, 7, was one of several participants at the flower painting workshop held at the Stanley Bridge Centre.

Devynn Wakelin, 4, and her mom Dorothy, from Rainbow Lake, Alberta, collaborated on some beautiful artwork at the Stanley Bridge Centre.

It only took a moment for this woman to plunge feet first from the bridge.

Anna O'Dea, 4, and Meredith O'Dea, 7, daughters of Jonathan and Jamie O'Dea from St. John's, NFLD, were at the Stanley Bridge Centre's sunflower painting workshop. Above, Anna is all smiles after a few brushstrokes .

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New London Fire Company holds memorial service

The 50th anniversary of the New London Fire Company was celebrated Saturday, Aug 25 and a big part of the day’s impressive slate of events was a memorial service honoring members who had passed away during the fire company’s five decades in the community. The memorial service included a bell ceremony, the laying of evergreen, the Fireman’s Prayer read by Bill Pidgeon, the roll call of honor led by New London Fire Chief Allen Cole, and remarks from PEI Lieutenant Governor Antoinette Perry, Malpeque Liberal MP Wayne Easter, and provincial MLAs Matthew MacKay and Brad Trivers. Juliana Elsinga sang the national anthem.
Story and photos by Jim Brown

Sheila MacMurdo and her daughter Caedyn were two of the attendees at the Aug 25 memorial service, who have several friends in the New London Fire Company.

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River Days opens Friday, Aug 24

From left, Trudy MacLeod, representing the Trout River Environmental Committee, Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers and Malpeque Liberal MP Wayne Easter were on hand to officially open the 16th Annual River Days Festival, Aug 24-26, at the New London Community Complex. Phyllis Carr, on behalf of River Days, presided over the opening. The event also featured mussels and a cake celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New London Rural Community Fire Company.
Photos by Jim Brown

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SBC launching major fundraiser to celebrate former church’s 100th anniversary

The Stanley Bridge Memorial Society is launching an ambitious campaign to raise $100,000 for renovations to the Stanley Bridge Centre by 2020, dubbed the ‘100 By 100’ campaign.

The Stanley Bridge Centre, a former United Church decommissioned in 2009, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020. A lot has happened since the building became an iconic community landmark, including its successful transformation into a multi-purpose facility that has hosted many entertainment, history and cultural events over the past several years including the more recent Father Bolger history circle.

The campaign will help pay for much-needed renovations including a new kitchen, washroom and roof.

Come help us thrive for another 100 years. Be part of the “100 by 100” campaign.


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