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New Br un sw ick Histor ical Society

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Kathy W ilson speaking at Heritage Recognition A w ards

On August 27, 2013 an awards ceremony was held at Loyalist House to honour individuals who have supported and contributed to heritage sites in Saint John and beyond. Eli McNeill, our research student, discovered an award certificate used by the NBHS in the past to recognize persons who preserved history in one way or another. At his suggestion the Mayor Mel Norton and Kathy W ilson NBHS board agreed to renew the practice of recognizing those who work to protect, preserve and promote heritage. Eleven people were selected for recognition representing a wide spectrum in the preservation and support of historic places. The recipients are: Mayor Mel Norton, for promoting heritage; councilors Susan Fullerton for preserving Chipman Hill Suites and Donna Reardon for her work on the Heritage Board; Deputy Police Chief Bruce Connell and Fire Chief Kevin Clifford in their roles of watching over and protecting heritage properties; Heritage Planner Jim Bezanson; Provincial Archivist Marion Beyea; New Brunswick Museum CEO Jane Fullerton; Natalie Bull, Executive Director of the Heritage Canada Federation; John McAvity, Chairman of the Canadian Museums Association and Fawn Wilson White, International Chairman of the Friends of the Certosa di Capri. Jim Bezanson, who has been involved in over 3,000 restoration projects in his 23 year career, spoke about creating a culturally vibrant city with a combination of the arts, culture and heritage. These create activities for family participation and a positive environment in which to raise their children. Thus families prefer to remain in the region. John McAvity echoed Mr. Bezansons comments when he stated that supporting for the creative arts and heritage can lead to a renaissance for Saint John. He feels we are on the edge of an exciting time for our city. NB Historical Society president Kathryn Wilson noted most tourists are charmed with the citys predominantly historic architecture in part because of its authenticity. Tourists comment frequently on the interesting buildings in the area and on their beauty. Mayor Norton commented on the scope of recipients being recognized. Their influence on heritage and its preservation ranges from local to national and international projects. This impressive group of individuals who hail from this region has made a huge impact to the world of heritage preservation. It is hoped that further awards ceremonies will be held in the near future.

New Brunswick Historical Society Heritage Recognition Awards


Defining the Modern Museum: A case Study of the Challenges of Exchange by Lianne McTavish (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013). The New Brunswick Museum, which opened in Saint John in 1933, is often described as Canadas oldest continuing public museum. Its collections include the 19th century specimens of Abraham Gesner and the Saint John Mechanics Institute (1849-90). The iconic building on Douglas Avenue, with its neo-classical faade, starting in the 1930s housed not only collections and exhibit space, but also an archives and research library and administrative offices. In 1996 the exhibit space was moved to leased premises in Saint Johns redeveloped waterfront complex, Market Square. The immediate predecessor to the provincial museum was New Brunswick Natural History Society, (NBNHS) founded in the 1860s, which collected plants, insects, fossils and geological samples. Lianne McTavish, formerly of the University of New Brunswick Department of History, is now a member of the Department of Art and Design of the University of Alberta. Defining the Modern Museum, as the author explains, is not a standard history of the development of the provincial museum, but a selective examination of specific themes in the relationship of the museum to the community, and in the ongoing tensions between amateurism and professionalism. The author explores how the community, as well as factors such as class and gender, affected the collections and overall running of the museum and its predecessor, the Natural History Society Museum which was located on Union Street in Saint John. According to McTavish, who has carried out extensive archival research, the NBNHS was innovative for its day, reaching out to schools and the community. In the late 1880s it began to publish a monthly newsletter for teachers, the Educational Review, and in the early 20th century it operated summer natural history camps. Women were permitted to join the NBNHS as associates in the 1880s and they played a crucial role in fundraising and community involvement. This was the age of the gifted amateur, and for many years the museums curator was William MacIntosh (1867-1950). The society was well connected in terms of the larger international network of museums and natural history societies, exchanging fossils and other samples with organizations across North American and beyond. The New Brunswick Museum, whose first director was MacIntosh, relied on wealthy patrons such as John Clarence Webster and Alice Lusk Webster. Alice was appointed head of the Art Department in the 1930s and continued an earlier tradition of collecting Chinese and other Oriental art objects, which had little to do with New Brunswick but which fascinated the public. The issue of professionalization was raised in the 1930s by disputes between MacIntosh on the one hand and John Clarence Webster on the other. The latter favoured a more academic orientation and university-trained curators such as Alfred G. Bailey whereas MacIntosh supported the traditional practical, amateur approach. Defining the Modern Museum, with its theoretical framework and occasional discussion of the larger academic literature on natural history societies and museums, is not always an easy read but those who seek insights into the complex role between communities and museums will not be disappointed.


120 Union Street, Saint John, N.B. Canada E2L 1A3 n

Januar y 201 4 Newsletter

Telephone (506) 652-3590

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Guest speaker: Professor Debra Lindsay, Department of History and Politics, University of New Brunswick Saint John. At the Mary Oland Theatre of the NBM, Market Square, Saint John. The evening begins at 7:30 pm and all are welcome.
Loyalist House

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Debra Lindsay has spent the last twenty-five years working on (one of the few remaining complete sets is owned by the the history of nineteenth century science in North America. province of New Brunswick)and the Ornithological Beginning with an examination of how Hudsons Bay Company Biography, containing descriptions of the birds he painted, he came to New Brunswick employees and Dene while working on The people (men, women, Birds of America. His first and children) participated visit occurred in August in the natural history 1832, and his second was collections program of a year later. It is the Smithsonian unsurprising that he made Institution, after his way here as he went to completing her doctoral Maine expecting to see dissertation on northern birds not found elsewhere; science she moved on to if he considered Maine an study the role of wives unfrequented part of and daughters in America, who knew what advancing both science he might find in the and the careers of husbands and/or fathers. Plate 352, American Woodcock, from John James Audubon, Birds maritime provinces of Since her arrival in New of America, Octavo First Edition, circa 1839. Avail: online Joel Britain? Travelling overland Brunswick in 1997 she has Oppenheimer Inc to the St. John River, he made his way to also published on the debates taking place among scientists who studied Devonian Fredericton and Woodstock before returning via Houlton. plants discovered along the Gaspe. Now preparing a Spending only two to three weeks in New Brunswick, manuscript on Maria Martin, a woman from Charleston, South Audubon decidedperhaps with too little data at handthat he would find more birds farther north, and he resolved to go Carolina who was one of the many assistants who painted to Labrador as soon as practical. The following June found him backgrounds for Audubons Birds of America, she will present again in Eastport, Maine and while he awaited the arrival of a an illustrated talk arising out of research done for that project: ship and crew to take him to Labrador, he visited Grand John James Audubon in New Brunswick. Manan and other nearby islands. Fascinated by the region, he revisited the area on his way home from Labrador in August. It could be said that the famous artist-naturalist John James Although Audubon spent but a few weeks in New Brunswick, Audubon was one of the first tourists to pass through New his experiences and work are of interest as this talk will Brunswick en route to other places. Known for the elephant demonstrate. folio publication containing engravings of his exquisite paintings


In November the announced that it was NB Historical lessening the sentences of all Society was treated provincial jail prisoners. to a lively and Citizens were encouraged to informative clean up their properties and presentation on a to apply a fresh coat of paint signature memory to buildings and fences. They for a generation of were also advised, to steal New Brunswickers: from the title of the the visit, on the eve well-known novel, to put of World War II, of our more flags in order to King George VI and show their patriotism. The Queen Mary. This speaker, sometimes was part of an resorting to humorous Harold Wright, Barry MacKenzie, Greg Marquis e x t e n s i v e examples, explained how coast-coast tour that marked the first visit to Canada by a civic boosters expected the royal tour to revive the retail reigning British sovereign. UNB graduate student Barry economy and attract tourists. On this note there was evidence MacKenzie effectively captured the sense of excitement shared that much of the surrounding farm population flocked to the by children and adults alike by the arrival of these celebrities in cities to see the monarch and his spouse and that tourists also Newcastle, Fredericton and Saint John. The royals arrived at arrived from Maine. In each community the official program was Quebec City on the Empress of Australia in May and eventually somewhat formulaic, with activities geared towards military travelled to British Columbia by train. After stops in veterans, youth groups such as Cadets, Scouts and Girl Guides Washington, New York and President F. D. Roosevelts summer and school children. The tour was well covered by the media residence at Hyde Park, NY, they toured the Maritime and local newspapers sometimes resorted to hyperbole when provinces. The CNR and CPR were heavily involved with the assessing the significance of the royal visit. A Saint John tour. As the Maritime provinces leg of the tour ended, the king newspaper, for example, concluded that the event was no less and queen sailed from Halifax in June, escorted by the Royal than the greatest day Saint John has ever known. On Navy and Royal Canadian Navy, on their way to Newfoundland. unfortunate glitch occurred when the official motorcade This well organized and well publicized tour was credited for bypassed waiting veterans at the Lancaster military hospital (the boosting support in Canada for the monarchy. Queen later wrote a note of apology to the appreciative veterans). In Saint John George VI and Queen Mary were Each community visited had active organizational committees, greeted by thousands of school children assembled on Barrack whose tasks including recruiting large numbers of volunteer Green. After leaving Saint John the royals made a five-minute parade marshal or guards to line the road as the royal stop in Sussex and had a short stay in Moncton prior to motorcade passed by. Guards were provided with a yellow departing for PEI. For many New Brunswickers the tour lived in armband to signify their status. In what would now be regarded souvenirs, mementoes, scrapbooks and memories. This was as a breach of security, specific details of the visit were true for a number of the members of the audience at Barry publicized in newspapers and printed programs well in advance. MacKenzies talk, at least four of whom remember being In homage to an ancient tradition of the Crown granting involved as children or youth. pardons and amnesties, the New Brunswick government

A Vibrant Part of the Public Memory of New Brunswick: The 1939 Royal Visit

Maggie Vail and Ella May
Interest in the story of Maggie and Ella May has not waned since their deaths on October 31, 1868. The case will be discussed in at least two forthcoming books and has been featured on CBC radio. It was noted that while Munroe had a tombstone, neither Maggie nor Ella May had this recognition. Constable Scott Gogan of the Saint John Police Painting of Maggie Vail and daughter by Mike Boudreau Force, wanted to correct this omission. He contacted Mary Ellen Henderson-Martin, Victims Services Co-ordinator and member of the Domestic Violence Community Action Group. Thus, one hundred and forty five years after their deaths, Maggie and Ella May received a tombstone at a moving ceremony at the old Cedar Hill cemetery. A memorial service was held at Cedar Hill Cemetery on Saint Johns West Side on November 1, 2013, for Maggie Vail and her four month old infant daughter Ella May, both victims of homicide. They were victims of domestic violence at the hands of Maggies lover and father of her child. John A. Munroe, an architect, married man and father of two was, found guilty of this crime. Mr. Munroe wrote out his confession and signed it before he was hanged but failed to make an apology for his actions. He was buried in Fern Hill Cemetery with a headstone which does not state his crime.

The Local 711 Saint John Firefighters Pipe Band marched to the cemetery where costumed actors lead by David Goss, re-told Maggies story. Reverend Robert Salloum of St. Georges-St. Judes Church gave a short eulogy and the Saint John Police Force had an Honour Guard. Descendants of the Vail family were present including Geoff Vail who helped design and approve a portion of the gravestone. Geoff, a teacher at Barnhill Memorial School, brought his class to the event. A reception was held at nearby Hillcrest Baptist Church where Domestic Violence displays were displayed. Two You Tube videos of the memorial service are found by typing in these words: Maggie Vail memorial and Vail Memorial Nov.1.

Mike Boudreau painted this image of Maggie and her child which he has donated to the Domestic Violence Community Action Group. Sales of the reproduction of the picture will benefit this organization. Mike is a Saint John resident who has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick. A member of the Saint John Art Club, he is mainly a self-taught artist and uses acrylics and water colour media on canvas and paper. His subjects range from landscapes to nature based on his experiences from our Maritime region.

Mike Boudreau, Constable Scott Gogan and Geoff Vail

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