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February 17, 2016
For immediate release

Island heritage celebrated through awards, exhibits

Education, Early Learning and Culture

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The Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Awards recognize Islanders who protect and preserve our heritage, says Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie.

“The PEI Museum Heritage Awards give us an opportunity to thank those who work hard to ensure our Island culture is preserved for future generations,” said Minister Currie. “Heritage Award winners include writers and publishers, event organizers, volunteers and youth who strive to preserve symbols of life in Prince Edward Island.”

The annual Heritage Awards were held Tuesday night in Summerside.

The PEI Museum Heritage Awards recognize Island architecture, heritage activities, and writing, along with recognizing volunteers. Wayne and Janice Trowsdale were recognized as Volunteers of the Year, and Reg “Dutch” Thompson received the Award of Honour. CBC’s Mainstreet received the Wendell Boyle Award. Knutsford Women’s Institute and the Victoria Historical Association were also recognized for work in their communities.

"The diversity of the awards presented this year reflects the importance of heritage to all ages and areas of interest of people across the Island,” said David Keenlyside, executive director of PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation. “It is a great opportunity to recognize their superb efforts and activities."

There are five newly designated heritage properties added to the Prince Edward Island Register of Heritage Places, which brings the total number of protected heritage places to 63. Each was presented with a heritage designation plaque for the exterior of the building. The newly designated heritage properties include three railway stations - O’Leary Railway Station, Emerald Railway Station, and Kensington Railway Station. Also recognized were St. Anne’s Church in Lennox Island and Lyle House in Birch Hill.

For more information on the Museum and Heritage Foundation and the seven museum sites, including event listings, visit or call 902-368-6600.

For a list of properties on the Prince Edward Island Register of Heritage Places, visit


List of award winners:

• Roy Campbell and Robert Gelineau - for Nathanial Wright House, Bedeque

• Geoff Hussey - for Charlie of Île Saint Jean

• Knutsford Women’s Institute - for programming and community history panels

• Peggy Hammill and Marlene Campbell - for More Than I Expected: The Story of Peggy McIver Hammill

• Geoffrey Paton - for his work on Samuel Cunard

• Reg Porter and Richard Campanaro - for Government House Guidebooks

• Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown - for 1843-1883 cemetery restoration/renovation

• Gretha Rose - for Bourke House, Water Street, Charlottetown

• SilverOrange - for 84 Fitzroy Street, Charlottetown

• Victoria Historical Association - for various activities

• Natural Heritage Activity - Robert Harding

• Volunteer of the Year - Wayne and Janice Trowsdale

• Publication of the Year - Earle Lockerby and Doug Sobey - for Samuel Holland, His Work and Legacy on Prince Edward Island

• Mary Cornfoot Brehaut Award - Port Hill Women’s Institute

• Irene Rogers Award - Sterling Stratton

• Wendell Boyle Award - Mainstreet

• Award of Honour - Reg “Dutch” Thompson

5 properties added to the PEI Register as designated heritage places:

Lyle House in Birch Hill - The Lyle House is an excellent example of early domestic architecture in rural Prince Edward Island. It was built in 1836 in the Georgian architectural style with Greek Revival details. Built for James Lyle, it remained in the Lyle family for 4 generations. After being vacant for 75 years, the current owners acquired the building in 2005, had it moved to its current location, and began to painstakingly restore it to its original condition. Rotted wood and materials that were beyond repair were replaced using salvaged original materials and, where necessary, new millwork replicated original architectural details. In 2009, the owners were acknowledged for their efforts with a PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Architectural Heritage Preservation award. The Lyle House is now a designated heritage place under the provincial Heritage Places Protection Act.

St. Anne’s Church, Lennox Island - This Late Victorian, Gothic Revival style church, was built in 1895. Designed by Summerside architect George E. Baker, it is a landmark in Lennox Island and valued for its historical association with the Mi'kmaq people of Lennox Island. This is the third church building on the site, replacing earlier structures from the 1830s, and an 1810 log chapel. Extensive restoration of St. Anne’s Church was undertaken to preserve its architectural splendor and in 2013, the community of Lennox Island was presented with the Irene Rogers Architectural Preservation Award for its outstanding efforts.

O’Leary Railway Station - The O'Leary Railway Station was completed in 1914. When the PEI Railway constructed its first “crossing” station here in 1873, there was no settlement. By 1881, O'Leary was a bustling business centre with a post office, cooperage, and several stores servicing several outlying rural communities. Because of the tremendous growth of the area, a larger railway station was needed and served the community until railway service ended. The Station was purchased in 1983 by the municipality with the assistance of the O'Leary Museum and Library Association. The building was renovated to house shops and office space, and a new foundation was added and the platforms were rebuilt. The Association was presented with an architectural preservation award for its efforts. Further updates were carried out in 2013. The O'Leary Railway Station continues to be an important landmark and reminder of the important role the railway played in the establishment of the town.

Emerald Railway Station - In 1917, with a new railcar ferry at Borden, all rail passengers travelled through Emerald to meet connecting trains to Charlottetown, Summerside or Borden. A new railway station to accommodate increased passenger traffic was constructed in 1923-1924. Emerald Junction with its rural location, surrounded by prime agricultural land was also a major shipping centre for potatoes to be loaded for off-Island export. In 1980, the community rallied to save the building and took over ownership after CN no longer required the Station. The Station has been a display and exhibition centre, and store, and is now occupied by the Bedeque Bay Environment Management Association. Located prominently in a quiet rural setting, the Emerald Railway Station continues to be a landmark, valued for its association with the province's rail transportation history and its role in the development of the community.

Kensington Railway Station – The Kensington Railway Station is a rare example of a "boulder station" built in the picturesque style. Located in the heart of the town of Kensington, the Station, designed by Island architect, C.B. Chappell, was built in 1905. This station was the third building built in Kensington for the purpose of a Railway Station, the first two proving inadequate for the size of the community and demands on its use. The construction of this beautiful and elaborate new building shows the rise of the community and development of the economy of Kensington. The Kensington Railway Station closed in 1969 following the end of passenger service. In 1976, the Kensington Railway Station was designated as a National Historic Site, recognizing its distinctive architecture and its significant role in the history of the PEI railway. In recent years, the station has accommodated a library, tourist information site, box office for the Indian River Festival, and to house a collection of railway memorabilia of the PEI Railway Heritage Association. Today the station is home to the Island Stone Pub.

Media Contact: Katie MacDonald
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