PEI’s Georgina Pope subject of new book:
Called to Serve: Georgina Pope: Canadian Nursing Military Heroine


Thursday, May 24, 2018 | 7 p.m. | The Carriage House, Beaconsfield, Charlottetown
Launch of Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Nursing Military Heroine


Sunday, June 24, 2017 | 2 p.m. | Eptek Art & Culture Centre, Summerside
Launch of Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Nursing Military Heroine


Island Studies Press will launch its newest book, Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Nursing Military Heroine, by Katherine Dewar in both Charlottetown and Summerside. The Charlottetown launch is Thursday, May 24, at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield, while the Summerside launch is Sunday, June 24, 2 p.m., at Eptek Art & Culture Centre.

Called to Serve documents the life and times of Prince Edward Island’s Georgina Fane Pope (1862-1938), daughter of William Henry Pope and Helen Desbrisay Pope. Her journey takes us from Charlottetown, where, inspired by Florence Nightingale, she developed a “burning desire” to become an army nurse; to the Boston States where she trained; to the battlefields of Africa and Europe where she served as a nursing sister and Superintendent of Nurses―and helped establish the nursing corps of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Matron Pope was the first Canadian Nurse decorated with a Royal Red Cross, 1st class, by Queen Victoria.

In 2007 Georgina Pope’s bronze bust became one of the 14 heroic figures forming a part of the Valiants’ Memorial in Confederation Square, Ottawa. She also appears on the Canadian $5 coin.

Katherine Dewar is the author of the award-winning book, Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War, 1914-1918. Katherine is retired from a career as a nursing instructor at the PEI School of Nursing, and is now committed to researching PEI’s colourful nursing history.


Those Splendid Girls was shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, won the Publication of Year award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and the City of Summerside’s Heritage and Culture department, and Katherine herself is the recipient of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Award of Honour for her outstanding contribution to Prince Edward Island Heritage.


The launches are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Laurie at iis@upei.ca or (902) 894-2881. Books will be on sale for $27.95 in bookstores in mid-May.


The Folklore Studies Association of Canada / L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore Annual Meeting
May 25-27 2018 | UPEI Main Building 

OPENING REMARKS: Friday, May 25, 5-6:30 p.m., Main Building Faculty Lounge, followed by LECTURE: “Recueillir, conserver et partager la chanson traditionnelle acadienne de l’Île-du-Prince- Édouard” by Georges Arsenault

LECTURE: Saturday, May 26, 5-6:30 p.m., Carriage House, Beaconsfield, 2 Kent Street, Charlottetown: “The Witch & the Song Maker as Law Givers in Island Farming & Fishing Communities” by John Cousins

ROUNDTABLE AND READING: Sunday, May 27, 11 a.m. to noon: “A Tribute to Sandy Ives,” with Laurie Brinklow, John Cousins, Pauleena MacDougall, and Rob MacLean of The Homestead Players


Two pre-eminent Island folklorists receive prestigious Marius Barbeau Medal

From 25-27 May 2018, The Folklore Studies Association of Canada / L’Association canadienne d’ethnologie et de folklore will be holding its annual meeting at the University of Prince Edward Island in collaboration with the Institute of Island Studies.

This year’s theme, “Carried on the Waves: Contemporary Currents in Folklore and Ethnology / Porté par les Vagues: Courants Actuels d’Ethnologie et de Folklore,” inspires researchers to explore the flow of expression among various groups over time and place.

Prince Edward Island has long served and continues to serve as an integral hub for multicultural contacts. As Marius Barbeau, widely acknowledged as the founder of Canadian folklore, observed in the Journal of American Folklore in 1918, “Prince Edward Island and some other parts of the Maritime Provinces are very conservative centers in which folklore still flourishes.” To this day the Island’s resilient communities continue their long legacy of offering key insights into the expression and transmission of communally maintained knowledge. Whether it is farming and fishing communities redefining their relationships to the land and sea based on the present realities of climate change, the digital construction of narrative in videogame design attracting new Canadians forging their own pathways, or the composition of a fiddle tune for commercial production within the music industry, all of the Island’s groups contribute to our understanding the ebb and flow of human experience.

The executive of FSAC/ACEF are very pleased to announce that both Georges Arsenault and John Cousins, two of Prince Edward Island’s most esteemed folklorists, will receive the association’s Marius Barbeau Medal. The medal is given in recognition of remarkable individual contributions to folklore and ethnology through teaching, research, and communication―activities in which both Arsenault and Cousins have excelled. Previous recipients of the Barbeau Medal with fieldwork links to PEI include Dr. John Shaw and the late Dr. Edward “Sandy” Ives.

As Dr. Edward MacDonald, Chair of UPEI’s Department of History notes, “In the year when the Folklore Studies Association of Canada is meeting on PEI, it seems entirely appropriate to recognize two giants of Prince Edward Island folklore for their career contributions to the collection, study, dissemination, and popularization of folklore within this province and beyond: Georges Arsenault and John Cousins. Both Georges and John were born into the communities they have studied, giving them the unique perspective that comes from being at the same time both outsiders and insiders in their research. Both live a conviction that scholarship has a responsibility to speak to the general populace, a duty to help us all better understand the culture that forms our mental and physical landscapes.”

Both Arsenault and Cousins will be giving free lectures open to the general public as part of the conference. Arsenault will present a lecture in French on traditional songs with examples from his fieldwork in PEI’s Acadian communities, entitled “Recueillir, conserver et partager la chanson traditionnelle acadienne de l’Île-du-Prince- Édouard” on Friday, 25 May, 5:00-6:30PM at the Faculty Lounge, SDU Main Building, UPEI. Cousins will present a lecture from his fieldwork and historical research in West Prince communities and beyond in “The Witch & the Song Maker as Law Givers in Island Farming & Fishing Communities” on Saturday, 26 May, 5:00-6:30PM, at Beaconsfield Carriage House, PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation, in downtown Charlottetown.

All are warmly welcomed!




Our vision:

  • to be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy, and engagement.

Our mandate:

  • To encourage a deep knowledge, understanding, and expression of Prince Edward Island;
  • To serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities;
  • To contribute to the formulation of public policy in Prince Edward Island;
  • To undertake and facilitate island studies research and education at local, national, and global scales.


UPEI book on Owen Connolly chosen PEI’s Publication of the Year

The book Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy was named PEI’s Publication of the Year at the annual PEI Museum and Heritage Awards ceremony held February 20, 2018, in Summerside. The book tells the rags-to-riches story of Irish immigrant Owen Connolly, who is best recognized today as the man whose bust sits atop the Churchill Arms building on Lower Queen St., Charlottetown.

Upon his death in 1887, Owen Connolly was one of the wealthiest men on Prince Edward Island, and he dedicated his fortune to bursaries for young Islanders of Irish heritage, so they might gain a higher education and achieve career success. To date, his estate has provided over $3 million in bursaries, and benefitted countless thousands of Islanders. The bursary program continues today.

Eight of those Islanders, including contemporary entrepreneurs Regis Duffy and Danny Murphy, are featured in the book’s color section, crediting the importance of the Connolly bursary to their early careers. Their families, like so many others, couldn’t afford higher education so the Connolly bursaries were a godsend.

This award-winning book is written by Leonard Cusack, and co-published by Island Studies Press at UPEI and the estate of Owen Connolly. The book is available at Island bookstores, including the UPEI bookstore.

Author Leonard Cusack and researcher Lori Mayne receive their citation for Publication of the Year for the book Owen Connolly: The Making of a Legacy, from Lt. Gov. Antoinette Perry, at the recent PEIMHF annual awards in Summerside.

Photo Courtesy Gov’t of PEI / Brian L. Simpson



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