A V I E W F R O M C H A R L O T T E T O W N , P R I N C E E D W A R D I S L A N D
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To preserve the heritage of a precious space like ours takes dedicated people who have in their very veins the very "stuff" that makes up this space. Back in 1972 when we where struggling through the shaping of the heritage sites, we met for many long hours at Orwell Corner. High on our priority was to create a gentle place - a rural cross roads - where the activities of another time could be relived. Landscape and buildings, and the way they are treated, are so important, but they are only the setting. Without people heritage house, sites, villages etc are meaningless. They are just frozen settings.
Orwell Corner opened in the summer of 1973. It was a more abstract site than Basin Head or Green Park that were both anchored on a specific issue: fishing and ship building. At Orwell we were talking about a rural cross roads. A site that had to commemorate rural life of another time. The board understood and were patient while we struggled to make it work.
Enter Wendell Boyle in 1981 and in the last 20 years he brought to Orwell Corner the very essence of what that rural cross roads was about. He looked the part and he acted the part. A Ceilidh under his direction brought out, and together, the roots of that community for the enjoyment of many. Wendell's vision for the site blended with the very soul of the community. It did not lose its dignity to tourism but welcomed its visitors on the community's terms. He gave his all to achieve that.
Wendell died at his home in Charlottetown this week and I join the heritage community in offering my sympathy to his family and friends. He was a great worker for the cause. We remember him dearly.
Written Thursday, February 01, 2001 at 10:32 PM