His suspicions proved prescient later that day when Schurman unexpectedly started reading that biography during the annual general meeting of the Summerside and Area Historical Society.
Cooper said Schurman was to be the recipient of the group’s second annual Gerard Gallant Award for his efforts to record and preserve the history of the community.
“He has provided sterling support to our society as well as to the Wyatt Heritage Properties, conducting interviews with seniors, veterans, and other area people. (This has) resulted in a rich living history to be enjoyed by those who follow as citizens of our area.”
Cooper grew up in Australia and trained as a journalist. His career took him all over the world while working for news organizations such as the BBC, CBC, ABC, CBS and CTV.
When he retired to Summerside about a decade ago, he combined his interest in history with his professional experience and started recording interviews with community members from various walks of life.
Cooper said he has enjoyed his time volunteering with the society and very much appreciated being recognized.
“I really am very surprised at this and I am delighted with this,” said Cooper.
“I’m somewhat at a loss for words, which is funny for someone who tries to write about 2,000 words a day in a journal – but there you are.”
Also during the meeting, Peter Holman was reaffirmed as president of the society for another year and Jean MacKay, with Culture Summerside, gave a brief history of the first Summerside Lobster Carnival.
Holman also delivered his president’s report and expressed concerns regarding the loss of some Summerside historical properties.