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P.E.I. historian to kick off Tuesday Talk lecture series

Doug Sobey will be the first speaker in the 16th edition of the Tuesday Talks series, which gets underway Sept. 22 at Eptek Centre in Summerside.
Doug Sobey will be the first speaker in the 16th edition of the Tuesday Talks series, which gets underway Sept. 22 at Eptek Centre in Summerside. - Contributed

The 16th edition of the Tuesday Talks series, organized by the Acadian Museum of P.E.I., will be launched on Sept. 22. 

The series, which did not take place during the summer due to the pandemic, will include four talks, two in French and two in English. The French talks will take place at the Village Musical Acadien in Abram-Village, and the English talks at the Eptek Centre in Summerside. 

The first speaker will be Prince Edward Island forest historian Doug Sobey. Entitled The forests of the Island 300 years ago, and their use during the French Period, the talk, which will be given in English, will focus on what the records of the French period say about the Island's forests at the time of settlement. Sobey will also describe attempts by French authorities to exploit the Island's pine resources, and he will talk about the destructive effects of two major forest fires that occurred in the northeast portion of the Island during the French period.

Sobey, a native of Summerside, has had a 30-year career as a university professor in Northern Ireland, including at the University of Ulster in Belfast. Since 1996, he has been studying the history of the Island's forests as revealed by historical documents, in particular their composition at the time of European settlement and the factors and processes involved in their exploitation and destruction.

"Découvrir les établissements et les habitants de l’île Saint-Jean" will be the theme of the Sept. 29 talk presented in French by Georges Arsenault. The historian will discuss the place names on the Island during the French regime, some of them having survived to today. He will also tell stories about the men, women and children who lived in some of those communities.

Geographer Samuel Arseneault will be the guest speaker on Oct. 6. In his presentation in French, entitled Ce que les cartes géographiques nous disent sur l'histoire de l'Île, he will go back in time to discover maps of the Island covering more than 400 years. 

Georges Arsenault will be back on Oct. 13 for the final talk, in English, entitled The Gallants and the Martins: the Island's two first Acadian families. The historian will tell the story of these two pioneer families whose descendants are numerous on the Island.

The talks begin at 7 p.m. The event will follow public health during the pandemic. Register in advance as seating is limited to 50 people Call 902-432-2880. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

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