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P.E.I. lecture series to feature iconic Canadian poet

Simon Lloyd will give a talk of the friendship between Islander Sir Andrew Macphail and poet Lt.-Col. John MacRae at the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead Sunday Brunch Lecture Series July 21.
Simon Lloyd will give a talk of the friendship between Islander Sir Andrew Macphail and poet Lt.-Col. John MacRae at the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead Sunday Brunch Lecture Series July 21. - Contributed

Flander’s Fields lecture by Simon Lloyd next in Macphail Homestead Sunday Brunch series

ORWELL, P.E.I. —

The Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead Foundation invites the public to the second Sunday Brunch Lecture Series on Sunday, July 21, at 11:30 a.m.

Simon Lloyd, research librarian and archivist, will deliver a talk entitled “Calling in Bell-Like Tones – Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae’s Poem and its connection to Sir Andrew Macphail.”

The poppies still grow in Flander’s Fields and McCrae’s words still evoke remembrance. One hundred years after Macphail wrote “John McCrae: Essay in Character”, the Macphail Homestead lecture will discuss the friendship of two extraordinary men and the various ways their brilliant careers intersected. 

Admission to the lecture, including the brunch, is $25. 

Macphail and McCrae were accomplished writers, physicians and soldiers. Each, in his own way, can now be regarded as an iconic figure in Canada’s First World War legacy. 

On Nov. 11, 1918, the day an armistice finally silenced the guns of the First World War, Macphail, finished a remarkable writing project. 

“John McCrae: An Essay in Character,” was a lengthy appreciation of the life and career of his close friend, who succumbed to illness and exhaustion in January 1918. 

In Flanders Fields by Lt.-Col. John McCrae was published with An Essay in Character by Islander Sir Andrew Macphail in 1919.
In Flanders Fields by Lt.-Col. John McCrae was published with An Essay in Character by Islander Sir Andrew Macphail in 1919.

Macphail celebrated McCrae’s character and many accomplishments, the most famous of which was the short poem, “In Flanders Fields”. 

When the book “In Flanders Fields and Other Poems” was published in 1919, it contained just over 40 pages of McRae’s verse. The bulk of the volume’s 141 pages were given over to Macphail’s essay. 

Lloyd first visited the Macphail Woods and Homestead shortly after relocating to P.E.I. in 1999 and has been fascinated with Macphail’s legacy ever since. He was pleased and honoured to be invited to join the Macphail Foundation executive earlier this year.

Proceeds from the lecture will go to support the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead Foundation in its mission to provide pertinent programming that fosters learning about the Island’s unique forms of cultural expression and heritage.

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