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Clyde River announces three speakers from P.E.I. for 2020 lecture series

Riverview Community Centre, Clyde River
Riverview Community Centre, Clyde River - Facebook photo

The Clyde River History Committee has announced that its eighth annual Clyde River Lecture Series will begin on Jan. 25, focusing on genealogy, news media and aging.

“When we pick the three topics for a series, we try to pull out an overall theme,” says Vivian Beer, chairwoman of the Clyde River History Committee. “This year, as we move into a new decade, these presentations will offer us a chance to reflect on where we've come from, how we make sense of the world we live in and how we can grow old well." 

The series is held at the Riverview Community Centre, 718 Clyde River Rd. All presentations are 1:30-3:30 p.m. and will be followed by refreshments and a social time. The museum will be open to view the community’s collection of over 200 artifacts and heritage photos. 

On Jan. 25, Linda Jean Nicholson will present Genealogy and Serendipity: Crossing the Pond. In September of 2019, she travelled to England, Scotland and Norway to search for distant relatives in archives and ancient cemeteries and, if time allowed, visit some local historical sites. She also found ovely people, beautiful scenery and unexpected connections. Nicholson will share stories about her trip and the serendipity she experienced while walking where her ancestors once lived.

The executive director of the P.E.I. Senior Citizens’ Federation and a past president of the P.E.I. Genealogical Society, Nicholson is a certified genealogist. A researcher for over 40 years, she has authored several articles and books on Island history and genealogy. She was born and raised in suburban Boston, but all four of her grandparents originated from P.E.I. She is currently working on her thesis for her masters of arts in island studies from UPEI on the development of the poor relief system on P.E.I.

The series continues on Feb. 8 as Gary MacDougall presents The News Media: A work in progress, touching on a history of The Guardian on Prince Edward Island, the issue of fake news, then and now, and the impact social media plays in news consumption. MacDougall will also discuss some of the more unusual questions he fielded during his time serving as managing editor of The Guardian.

MacDougall, a retired P.E.I. journalist, had a 47-year career in the newspaper industry, with over 20 of those years serving as managing editor of the Charlottetown Guardian. In 2017, he received an Atlantic Canada Journalism Award in the Lifetime Achievement Category. In 2013, MacDougall was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to journalism on Prince Edward Island. He has recently published his second book, Wayne Gray: A Man of Vision. His first book, Forbie, was published in 2018 and has become an Atlantic Canada best seller. MacDougall and his wife, Ola, live in Cornwall. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

The series concludes Feb. 22 as Olive Bryanton presents Pioneers in Aging. Combining her lifelong interest in older adults and lifelong learning, Bryanton graduated with her PhD in educational studies at UPEI in May 2019. Her study topic was Pioneers in Aging: Women Age 85 and Older Living in Rural Prince Edward Island. Bryanton will talk about the 10 women in her study and their experiences and continued contributions to rural communities. Because these women consented to participate in her study knowing they would not be anonymous, she has their permission to make them visible. By telling some of their stories people will learn why they are fortunate to have these “pioneers in aging” living in Island communities and how their voices contributed to a new program for older adults living in this province.

Bryanton grew up and spent the early part of her married life in Malpeque and Summerside before moving to Hampshire, where she and her husband, Harold, raised their five children. She began her university educational journey as a mature student and continued her studies into older adulthood.

For more information on the Clyde River Lecture Series, contact Vivian Beer,

For more information on Clyde River’s history and events, visit

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