Andrea Shaw claims Centennial Quilt just in time for Christmas

Andrea Shaw with her new Centennial Quilt.

We have a winner!
The Stanley Bridge Centre’s (SBC) Centennial Quilt, designed and crafted by a talented group of quilters in Charlottetown in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, was won by Andrea Shaw of Covehead.

Shaw was joined by her husband David and one of their two daughters, 11-year-old Ashlyn, at the Stanley Bridge Centre on Saturday, Dec 16, to claim her prize.

“I never win anything,” said a delighted Andrea.

Her lucky ticket was one of approximately 700 purchased during the spring and summer months at the SBC’s farmer’s market. Money from ticket sales will go towards renovations at the SBC.

Quilt tickets, at five dollars each and three for $10, drew an enthusiastic response, with many purchased by visitors travelling to Stanley Bridge from as far away as the United States, China, the United Kingdom, several European countries, Japan and Australia.


From left Eliza MacEwen, a member of the Stanley Bridge Centre’s board of directors and Helen MacEwen, the SBC’s president, presented the Centennial Quilt to Covehead resident Andrea Shaw, right. One side of the quilt is filled with cascading maple leaves while the reverse side features a giant maple leaf.

Jim Brown Photos


Stanley Bridge gets early glimpse of Christmas spirit

It was festive time in Stanley Bridge Saturday, Dec 2, when the Sterling Women’s Institute (Stanley Bridge Hall) threw open its doors for the hall’s annual Christmas craft fair. It was a chance for Islanders from near and afar to shop for the perfect Christmas gift, to support local artisans and to greet dear friends. Bracing weather helped draw a strong turnout to this much-anticipated event on the holiday calendar.
Jim Brown photos. Jim Brown can be reached at


Large crowds at New London Community Complex Christmas craft fair


Jack Frost certainly wasn’t nipping at anyone’s toes, or noses or fingers on Sunday Nov. 6, when the New London Community Complex held its annual Christmas craft fair. Overflow crowds and a packed parking lot (cars were also parked on the side of the highway as far as the eye could see) greeted the approximately 60 vendors at the fair. Hundreds of people took advantage of sunny, warm weather to search for Christmas shopping bargains. Attendance likely bested last year’s total of 300 or so. It was a very merry start to the Christmas season. Jim Brown photos

It was a packed parking lot outside and a packed building indoors at the Christmas craft fair.

Hundreds of people visited the New London Community Complex’s annual Christmas craft fair on Nov 5.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

The people responsible for many of the delicious baked goods at the Christmas craft fair – the New London Community Complex’s cooks.

Something to tempt the taste buds, courtesy Maya Yammine of Viva La Crepe.

Viva La Crepe, from Summerside, was swamped with customers waiting to try their delicious offerings.

Clayton Smith with some of his beautiful landscape photos, which can be found at Kindred Spirits Crafts.                                                                                               

Members of the The Kensington Intermediate Senior High’s women’s volleyball team were raising funds through a raffle for a trip to Nationals in May, 2018.

Peggy Pineau (left) and Stephanie Peters, of Peg and Pins, show off some of their eye-catching merchandise.

It was so easy to satisfy a craving for something sweet, like maple syrup, at the Christmas craft fair.

Stunning paintings were on display at the New London Community Complex’s Christmas craft fair.

Mi’kmaq basket weaver Nora Richard (Nora’s Baskets) brought her granddaughter with her to help out behind the table.

From left Nora Richard and Debbie Millar (Ash or Reed Designs of Tyne Valley), surrounded by hand-made crafts, hoist a giant snowflake.

Grownups weren’t the only visitors looking for the perfect gift at the Christmas craft fair.

The New London Community Complex’s Christmas craft fair drew families from across the Island.

Michelle Johnson, of Merry and Bright Christmas Creations, in Summerside, had some festive crafts on hand.

Vendor Betty Wigmore takes a break from her knitting to flash a bright smile at visitors.


Jim Brown Photos


Blessing the animals

Anyone who owns a beloved pet is truly blessed.

So why not return the favor?

Rector Margie Fagan

Rector Margie Fagan blessed cats, dogs and even a bee during a Blessing of the Animals ceremony on the grounds of St Mark’s Anglican Church, in Kensington.

Several cats and dogs were blessed at a special ceremony, The Blessing of the Animals, in Kensington on Sunday, Oct 1. Even a bee.

“This is the first one and hopefully it will grow,” said the rector of the Parish of New London, Margie Fagan, who presided over the ceremony at the grounds of St Mark’s Anglican Church.

“The bee was the most exotic. I wasn’t expecting that,” she said with a smile. “I figured cats and dogs and maybe a rabbit.”

The bee had been captured in the church, which had been experiencing an infestation recently. After the ceremony it was released into the wild, as were all the other bees removed from the church.

Animal themed prayers and songs preceded the blessing.

Blessing a cat.

Margie Fagan, rector of the Parish of New London, blesses a parishioner’s cat.

“This a part of our initiative to get engaged with on a different level with the community. Everybody has pets these days and they’re just like children to us,” said parishioner Kim Gallant, one of the organizers.

During the ceremony adhesive cards were handed out to participants. They were to be attached to doors so that firefighters would know how many pets were in the home if animal rescues were necessary.

That way the odds of beloved pets being left behind to perish in a fire could be greatly reduced.

Story and photos by Jim Brown


Will Internet speeds go up in Stanley Bridge?

By Jim Brown

Slow, slower, slowest. The speeds at which a junkball pitcher without a good fastball throws to fool a batter.

It also describes the frustration many residents in rural PEI feel about their so-called “high speed” internet.

Stanley Bridge and North Granville residents packed the North Granville Community Centre on Sept 19th to hear proposals to improve internet service.

Crowd at North Granville Community Center

It was almost an overflow crowd at the North Granville Community Centre to hear proposals for improving high speed internet access in the Stanley Bridge area. Jim Brown photo.

Of course nothing comes for free.

Among the five or so proposals discussed at the meeting, led by area resident Wayne Carew, the cost would range from $500 to $1,000 per household, which would paid off within a year through savings.

Not exactly small change.

Areas included in the proposals for upgrading included much of the Rattenbury Road, Ward Lane, Taylor Road, Judson Lane, Kellie Lane, Gary’s Lane and Maple Ridge Road.

The Province is offering to cost share new internet service with providers such as Bell Aliant and Eastlink, with residents contributing towards the cost. It is believed the Province will cover up to half the cost, but there is no firm commitment.

Carew and government representatives wanted to gauge the level of interest, to see if there is enough to hold a second meeting. Apparently there was.

Cutting and trimming trees to put in new lines is expensive, residents were told.

It can cost approximately $35,000 per kilometre to install distribution fibre or cable. Poles in rural areas are often spaced far apart, which adds to the cost.

As for those who wanted the lines installed underground, that likely wasn’t going to happen since the cost would be several fold more costly than above ground lines.

The federal government is getting into the high speed internet game in a big way – committing as much as $750 million for internet improvement over the next few years, with PEI expected to get about $23 million.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will likely get involved with internet upgrading across the Island.

“The only reason we are all here is because we are not satisfied with our internet service,” said Carew.

“It’s not time to get up and raise our individual beefs…The fact is we have to take some initiative on our own and determine whether or not we want this to happen,” he said.

Carew warned residents who are considering waiting for governments to take action to boost high speed internet access could be waiting a long time.

Carew said he and his wife had lived in the area for 15 years “and it hasn’t happened. So again I think we have to take a little bit of responsibility onto our own shoulders.”

Caption: It was almost an overflow crowd at the North Granville Community Centre to hear proposals for improving high speed internet access in the Stanley Bridge area. Jim Brown photo.


Surveillance cameras for Cavendish in the works?

By Jim Brown.

Be careful if you get up to mischief in the Resort Municipality of Cavendish in the near future. Somebody, actually, something, could be watching you and that could lead to a visit from law enforcement officers.
The resort municipality’s councilors have had enough of theft and vandalism and are planning to install surveillance cameras.

The issue was addressed at Council’s regular monthly meeting on Sept 18.

Graham’s Lane, Resort Municipality of Cavendish, where 145 solar lights were stolen.

Back in the spring 145 solar light fixtures were stolen or vandalized, of the 244 that were installed on Graham’s Lane. The solar lights served double duty – providing safety markers and also enhancing the appearance of the area where they were installed. Now there are just empty poles where the lights were, including the remaining lights that hadn’t been stolen.

The lights cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 to replace.

When they are installed, a number of them will likely include cameras.

Council will seek quotes but hasn’t authorized the cameras yet, said Chair Matthew Jelley.

“I think cameras are the way to go,” said a councilor, adding solar lights can be programmed to have cameras switch on at certain times. They can also be set for motion detection.

“Cameras can be a wonderful thing,” she said.

Councillors were also concerned about the increasing prevalence of graffiti in the municipality.

The favored targets of graffiti artists were sewer lift stations and on highway electrical boxes. Much of the damage was done in the spring.


River Days Festival coming Aug 25

Three days of fun and excitement are about to start along the shores of the Stanley River in Stanley Bridge. The 15th Annual River Days Festival kicks off on Friday, Aug 25 and runs till Sunday, Aug 27.

Look for many beloved events and activities to return, including the boat parade and bridge lighting Saturday night, accompanied by fireworks and entertainment. Come down to the Stanley Bridge wharf as darkness descends and watch boats lit up like floating Christmas trees drift past the bridge.

River Days features a full lineup of outstanding events that includes live bands, the Stanley Bridge Centre’s Saturday farmer’s market, Mussels on the Wharf (Friday), bridge jumping (Sunday) and a barbecue hosted by the Trout River Environmental Committee (Sunday) . TREC is also hosting a “Find the Fishes” event on Saturday to help participants learn more about lives in the area’s rivers and bays.

Several dignitaries will officially open the festival on Friday at 5:30 pm at the Stanley Bridge Marina and Shops. Lots of cake, mussels and music will be on tap for the celebrations.

Carr’s Oyster Bar will be rocking during the festival and Sutherlands is hosting a special Sunday breakfast. The New London Community Complex will host a pancake breakfast (Sunday) and the Inn at the Pier has kayak rental specials and para sailing during the festival.

Other events include the Tommy Gallant Memorial Big Catch competition (and awards) on Saturday, a presentation led by Dr. Irene Novaczek discussing the environmental history of PEI called “Time and a Place” (Sunday at the WI) and a potato stamp art free workshop for kids and kids at heart, held at the newly opened Lupin stores at the wharf (Sunday). For more details visit or call 902-886-3355.

Photos from the 2016 River Days Festival

Story and photos by Jim Brown.
Jim Brown can be reached at