Saturday, July 30, 2016

Parish of Port Hill celebrated 175th Anniversary

     Last evening friends were telling me about the wonderful service they attended last Sunday at the Old St. Jame's Anglican Church, Port Hill.  Here's the story in the West Prince Graphic this week.
Above: Photo by C.W.Jeffery, Nov. 2099
Parish of Port Hill celebrates Milestone
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:00 am
     Through song, prayer and worship members of the Anglican Parish of Port Hill came together to celebrate the parish's 175th anniversary.
The hour and half combined service held on July 24 at the Old St James Church in Port Hill meant no pew was empty in the small church.
     “We are celebrating the parish and all its people down through the generations who have made this parish what it is and brought their hearts, love, compression, fun and laughter and shedding tears in time of death and mourning. It’s all those things that have come and strengthen it,” said Reverend Ann Bush, who has been leading the parish for the last four years.
     The parish is made up of three churches. While Old St James was built in 1841, known then as the Old Shipbuilders Church, and the cemetery at the church being in use at least since the 1851, the perish built the New St James Church directly across the road from the former in 1885 and now serves as the main church in the area.
     In 1851, a small church was built at Foxley River just behind where the present day St Peter’s Church was later constructed in 1914. Then after 10 years of planning and construction, St John’s Church in Ellerslie was built in 1899.
     “In this day and age where everything is instant and transiency … to think of something that’s lasted this long simply because of people’s willingness to serve and care, that’s why I think it’s important and that’s what it means to me,” said Rev Bush about the parish and its milestone.
     When concerns grew in the early 2000’s about the safety of the original church and the parish not in a financial position to do the necessary repairs, Old St James was deconsecrated as a sacred building in order to access government grants.
     Old St James Church is now run as a heritage and genealogy centre, but Rev Bush said she tries to have at least one service a year at the church.
     “People appreciate just being able to come into this church and still sing to the glory of God and feel they are sharing divine worship,” said Rev Bush.
      Among those attending the service was Marnie Noye, who has a special connection to Old St James.
     Ms Noye was born and raised in the house next door to the church and its cemetery.
     Ms Noye told the congregation when she got up with her husband Harold to play some music for everyone how she remembered the doors to the church were never locked and as a child she used to play in the building.
     “We were very dedicated members. We never miss going to church. That was just a given on Sunday morning,” said Ms Noye about her family later on, adding she only knew the old church as the place where she attended Sunday school.
      Ms Noye said the anniversary service was special.
      “Both the old and new St James are very dear to my heart,” she said.
During her reflection to her parishioners, Rev Bush expressed that churches are more than just their wooden structures.
     “Often there is a lot of worry and concern in fundraising to keep buildings maintained and we have to remember those things will rot away, but God wants us to put most of our efforts and attention building up our lives and lives of other people and the spirit will of course go on for eternity… We are the church,” explained Rev Bush after the service.

     After the service was concluded, a lunch was held outside in front of the rectory located next to the New St James Church.

Corpus Christi Church, Glenwood / MacNevin House, Brae

     I was out for a drive last week with my 97-year-old grandmother Empress MacNevin-McDowell and parents.  We drove through Milo and surrounding communities where she grew up.
     Here's a photo of the little catholic mission church on a side road in Glenwood ( between the Milo and West Point ).  I'd never been here before. 
     The following information comes from Historic Places website...
     The church is valued for its Gothic Revival design elements, for its association with the early Roman Catholic settlers of Glenwood, and for its contribution to the heritage character of the area.  Parishioners originally worshipped in the local homes of "Big Philip" Stewart in West Point and Neil MacIsaac in Glenwood. The closest churches were located at Brae and Tignish. By the early 20th century, parishioners began raising funds through community picnics and other means to construct a new church in Glenwood. It would serve the spiritual needs of parishioners from the communities of Hebron, Milburn, Glenwood, Dunblane, West Point, Brae, O'Leary, and West Cape.  By 1902, land was secured and the foundation and body of the current building was constructed by John MacIsaac. Other parishioners who assisted in the project included: Nicholas Bulger, David Stewart, Steve Stewart, Jim Stewart, Philip A. Stewart, Alexander Stewart, and James MacIsaac.  The church was completed in 1905 and by 1913 was dedicated as "Corpus Christi" to serve as a mission church in the area.  The interior of the church was completed in the 1930s by John Noble Ladner with the assistance of Harry Stewart among others.  Over the years, the church has had several improvements including the addition of electric lights and improved heating. Several stained glass windows have been added in memory of former parishioners. New pews and the tabernacle were obtained from the former Canadian Forces Air Base chapel in Summerside.  Today, the building is well maintained and is associated with St. Anthony's Parish in Bloomfield.
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     Also on our travel we went by this relatively recently abandoned home - the home of Horace Adams MacNevin.  Horace was a bachelor and the last surviving son of Alan and Lulu (Adams) MacNevin.  He died on January 1, 2013 at the age of 89.  The old farmstead is located on the corner of Rte. 15 and the Beaton Road.  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cape Traverse Church & Ice Boat Memorial

     I was up this way recently and took these photos of the Cape Traverse United Church and the Ice Boat Memorial across the road.   I always find it strange why the websites of the United Church on Prince Edward Island generally don't tell their history.  Anyhow, this church plaque states it was dedicated in 1890 - likely as a Presbyterian Church.
     Across the road is the Ice Boat Monument - I was last here in 1974 on a school class trip!
      Here's the monument to the "Ice Boat Service" to Prince Edward Island - the boat has been removed.
     Here is a plaque located under a tree to the right of the memorial dedicated to the "First Submarine Telegraph Cable" to Prince Edward Island. 
     I just found this photo and note on the Journal Pioneer's website from September 16, 2015 by Colin MacLean.
     Prince Edward Island’s monument to the ice boat service got some tender loving care this week. Crews working on the historic site, which is on Route 10 in Cape Traverse, said that the structure had been sinking slightly and they were in the process of righting it and installing braces.
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     Here's an image of how it originally looked from by NoWin.