Two Islanders were recognized at the recent annual general meeting of the Community Museums Association of P.E.I. (CMAPEI).
The two educators were honoured for their efforts in preserving heritage with the association’s annual awards.
Retired Charlottetown high school history teacher Gordon J.A. “Gordy” McCarville was presented with the Willie Elliot Research Award for his book, “Ginger Beer, Soda Water and Soft Drink Bottlers of Prince Edward Island since 1852.” The book, edited by Jannah McCarville Toms, contains additional contributions from Francis E. Dockendorff, John W. Stewart, John Moore and J.R. Reid.
McCarville’s research in several aspects of Island history has led him to writing or contributing to seven other books and he continues his enthusiastic pursuit of stories from the Island’s past. The Willie Elliot Award was established to honour the late Elliot by recognizing special dedication to historical research particularly through the collections of members of CMAPEI.
The CMAPEI annual Award of Merit was presented to Douglas Sobey, originally of Summerside who now divides his time between P.E.I. and Ireland. This retired university professor began his interest in collecting and heritage as a boy and has continued his passion throughout his life to his current involvement with the Bedeque Historical Society. As one of the founding members, Sobey was instrumental in the establishment of their museum in the former Callbeck’s Store in Central Bedeque.
The award is presented annually to an individual who has dedicated years of service to preserving and promoting Island heritage.
Preceding the awards ceremony at the CMAPEI’s annual general meeting, attendees were treated to a presentation by McCarville on not only soft drink bottles but also tobacco-related products. In addition, the program included an illustrated talk by P.E.I. Museum curator and conservator Linda Berko, who led a community project some years ago devoted to the restoration of a side altar at St. John the Baptist Church and was able to bring the group next door to view the altar now in place.
The CMAPEI is a not-for-profit organization with membership from across the province. It provides training and co-ordination for the institutions and individuals who are members of the group working to preserve and promote the heritage of this province. For further information, go to museumspei.ca or call executive director Johanne Vigneault at 902-892-8837.