Cemetery designated as a PEI Heritage Place!!

2009-Heritage-Place-Award-250px highMaster of Ceremonies - Ray Malone -  welcomes everyone and introduce the Honorable Alan Campbell, who presents the Heritage Designation

Thank you Ray Malone ...  Members of the St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Restoration Committee, Father Doug MacDonald, St. Margaret's Parish members, honoured guests and visitors, ladies and gentlemen ...

I am pleased to be here this afternoon on behalf of the Honorable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour to be part of your commemoration of the St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Cemetery.  I am pleased to see so many people here today with an interest in St. Margaret's and its pioneer cemetery.  

The Cemetery Restoration Committee are to be commended for their interest and work in the restoration and maintenance of this historic cemetery.  I understand many volunteers and donors have worked towards the goal of restoring the cemetery and organizing for today's events.  You are all to be congratulated for your dedication and hard work.

It is always important to remember and honour the pioneers who ventured far from their homes in search of new beginnings and opportunities.  Pioneers, such as the early Scottish families who came to this area of our province in the 1770's, helped to settle and shape our province by clearing land, planting crops, building home, establishing communities, schools, churches, businesses, and more.

St. Margaret's is certainly a beautiful and unique location which adds to the charm and historical significance of the pioneer cemetery.  A church was built in the community in 1803 and shortly after the cemetery was established.  The cemetery was used until about 1895 when the church was relocated further inland to its current site, where we are this afternoon, and a new graveyard was established.  The pioneer cemetery includes 140 gravestones and the remains of many more of our early settlers and ancestors which have gone unmarked, or the markets have deteriorated over time.  The cemetery served a large area of the northside, from St. Peter's Bay to Eat Point.  Many of the early settler families commemorated in the cemetery are names still found in this community and area:  MacAulay, MacCormack, MacDonald, MacInnis, MacIsaac, MacKenzie, MacPhee, and others.

 

DSC00670I am very pleased to present to the St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Restoration Cemetery Restoration Committee, and to Father Doug MacDonald, Parish Priest of St. Margaret's, a Certificate of Designation and a Designation Plaque for the St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Cemetery.  This cemetery has been recognized under the provincial Heritage Places Protection Act as a Designated Heritage Place.  Any site or structure that has been researched and meets certain criteria such as age, integrity, landscape, condition, style, design, and historical associations may be eligible for registration.  It is important to note that some registered properties can also be considered for designation, which is the higher level of recognition.  By protecting the heritage of the place, designation provides legal restrictions on changes to the landscape or to the character-defining elements of the place.  This pioneer cemetery has been recognized as designated.  The heritage recognition of St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Cemetery is just one of the many properties reviewed by the Heritage Places Advisory Board.

Properties which are recognized as Heritage Places are added to the PEI Register of Heritage Places.  I am proud to say Prince Edward island has over 700 listings on the Canadian Register.  These listings reflect well upon us as a province, but they also say a lot about the individual property owners and local community organizations who know and understand the value of protecting the heritage of our communities.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to celebrate significance of this historic place with you - and the individuals who have worked to preserve it.  The pioneer cemetery is an asset to this community and to our province.  It teaches us about the history and accomplishments of our ancestors, and reflects your pride as caretakers.

I want to commend Anne Kells, Pat Malone, Helen MacDonald, Father Doug MacDonald, and all the Committee members and others who have worked towards and continue to work on the restoration of this historic cemetery.  The project would not have been possible without the Committee, local residents and others who shared their time, research, knowledge and stories, and helped contribute to this project and I thank you all.

Congratulations on the Designation of St. Margaret of Scotland Pioneer Cemetery as a Heritage Place.