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Vista Regional Heritage Fair
An Island Blessing
My project is about St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. St. Patrick’s was one of the oldest churches in Prince Edward Island and was established by a group of settlers from Barra, Scotland.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
I find it interesting how deeply intertwined St. Patrick’s is to the genealogy of families within our community. Almost all of the settlers from Scotland have descendants within the community, including myself. My own great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather Roderick Gillis was one of the men from Scotland who helped establish the church in 1810.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
A lesson that I’ve learned through the course of this project is that beauty and heritage need to be preserved. St. Patrick’s is one of the oldest churches in Prince Edward Island, but to learn more about it is difficult. Spending time learning and researching about what we can right now is well worth the reward. After all, if we don’t, who’s to say we still can fifty years down the road.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
Compared to the lives of settlers circa 1800 my life is much simpler. Back in those times people travelled by canoe, lived in small log homes, and didn’t have access to things like medicine or good education. The settlers from Scotland also couldn’t speak English so they had to learn from the few that could. Church and the worship of God however is something that I do have in common with the people I’ve studied.