Colville Manor remembers remarkable resident
SOURIS — Kay MacIsaac may be gone but her spirit for family and community will live on in a new “reading corner” created as a memorial here for the late teacher and author.
“Education was first and foremost in her mind,” said son Terry. “She pushed me hard and kicked me when I needed it ... and helped me along the way.”
The MacIsaac family were the special guests at a ceremony to officially open “Kay’s Reading Corner” in the Colville Manor here Monday afternoon.
It’s a project activity director Carol Anne Matheson has held dear to her heart; ever since the well-known MacIsaac died last spring at age 76 after battling Parkinson’s.
“We wanted to celebrate Kay’s life in some fashion and her love of education, literacy and reading inspired the idea for a reading room,’’ said Matheson. “Her spirit lives on through this reading corner.”
MacIsaac started her career in a one-room school house in Bear River. After 35 years of teaching in eastern P.E.I., the community pillar turned to writing and published six books to ensure young people knew the history and heritage of the region.
“She had a passion to write stories down so young people knew how their ancestors lived,” said Matheson. “And she always said reading was the key to all learning.”
When she retired from teaching, MacIsaac was off researching and interviewing elderly people from Fortune to North Lake to ensure yarns, tales and stories from another era were preserved. She published stories in local newspapers and her collection turned into half a dozen published books.
She wrote school plays, helped at her church, enjoyed cooking and baking, and helping out on Lily Pond Farm where she and her husband Joe partnered for 55 years and raised six children.
“We had a lot of happy days,’’ said husband Joe who resides on the Bear River farm. “Everything we did, we did together and always talked things over before making a purchase or a direction on the farm. We always tried to work things out and that’s not always easy when you are just starting out in life.”
Kay MacIsaac came to the Colville Manor in the summer of 2012 after dealing with Parkinson’s at home for 12 years. She moved in permanently just before Christmas and passed away this year on March 31.
“With the assistance of donated money in Kay’s memory, we were able to provide a reading corner,’’ said Matheson during the presentation before friends and family.
Memorial donations helped cover some of the costs for the small quiet area in the manor featuring a few chairs and a bookcase that will quickly fill up with an array of local Island books and reading material for children as well.
She was adamant about helping students learn to read and write and after retiring in 1992 penned half a dozen books about life and experiences in her region. Most of the proceeds from books like Fun, Frolics, and Forerunners to Lily Pond Memoirs went to scholarships and fundraisers.