Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead

Heritage, its in our nature.

Month: July 2017

An Leabhar Liath or The Light Blue Book

500 Years of Gaelic love and transgressive verse‘.

We are delighted to welcome Iain MacPherson back to the Macphail Homestead! A lecturer in Irish and Celtic Studies at the University of Ulster and a Scottish Gaelic speaker with strong roots in Prince Edward Island.

Harry Baglole, Iain MacPherson & Dr. Tiber Falzett

Iain recently co-edited “The Light Blue Book” subtitled  ‘500 Years of Gaelic love and transgressive verse‘.  The book ‘offers poems that are erotic, rude, seditious and transgressive; that deal with love, sex, the body, politics and violent passion; and that are by turns humorous, disturbing, shocking and enlightening.’

Iain is an entertaining speaker and the topic promises to be interesting! The poems are in Gaelic but Iain will translate and explain so a knowledge of the Gaelic language is not necessary but will add to your enjoyment if you are.

“The Light Blue Book is ‘Exuberant, unapologetic… a triumph of scholarship and translation!'” David Wheatley of the London Times Literary Supplement (16 June 2017).

Iain MacPherson also a documentary film maker, having presented, produced, written and co-directed three hour-long Gaelic docs for BBC Scotland/BBC Alba; and, a published poet and translator in English, Gaelic and French.
Of his ‘island connections’ Iain says the following: My mum, Barbara Ann MacKinnon, was born and raised in the Murray Harbour train station. All my maternal side of the family are from PEI. My maternal grandmother was Grace Bell LeLacheur from Guernsey Cove who married my grandfather Ern MacKinnon from Hunter River. High Bank is where my parents have their house but we’ve no real High Bank connections. It’s all Guernsey Cove, Murray Harbour, Hunter River, Canoe Cove and Desable. Before PEI my mum’s side came from the Isle of Skye, the Isle of Mull and Guernsey.”
“I’ve scores of cousins all over our end of the Island, though all my great-aunts and great-uncles and indeed my beloved gramma MacKinnon are all now no longer with us.”
His Island roots certainly run deep although he was born and raised in Alberta.  So please join us on Friday evening August 18th at 7:30. The Veranda Cafe is open all day for meals. The lecture will commence at 7:30. Please make reservations for both.




Island-history Sunday-brunch Series

Deirdre Kessler, “Sir Andrew Macphail and L.M. Montgomery: The Emotional Textures of the Lives of Two Distinguished Islanders,” Deirdre, our Island’s current Poet Laureate will provide glimpses into the lives, poetry and the writings of Macphail and Montgomery. Both authors were of Scottish descent, and many parallels can be drawn from their upbringing, Montgomery by her strict Presbyterian grandparents, Alexander and Lucy Woolner Macneill and Macphail by his schoolmaster father William and his mother Catherine Moore Smith McPhail.


Sunday, August 27th: Dr Ryan O’Connor will present, “The 1971 National Farmers Union Highway Demonstration.” 
On August 12, 1971, hundreds of PEI farmers boarded their tractors and proceeded to bring traffic to a halt on the province’s major roadways. Held during the peak of the tourism season, the demonstration continued for ten days. This talk examines the highway demonstration’s inspiration, context and consequences. Ryan’s PhD is in Canadian history, with expertise in the history of environmental activism in Canada and the United States.

We will start with a nutritious and delicious brunch (a  loaded Island Breakfast with ham and bacon from Taylor’s meats, home-made baked beans, eggs etc. We can accommodate dietary restrictions.) Serving will begin at 11 am. Once you have dined, the talk will commence. The meal will be served in the room that once hosted Steven Leacock, Earl Grey, Lucy Maud Montgomery and John McCrea at the same time, as guests of Sir Andrew Macphail.

The cost is $25.00 ($20 for members and residents of Orwell and Kings County).
Please call the Macphail Homestead at 902-651-2789 to make your reservation.