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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Thirty years ago this month we were busy at the Heritage Foundation putting the final touches on Beaconsfield. It was to be officially opened on July 2nd by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. We were working down to the wire. The phone rang and it was a lady from New Zealand who was in New York and "wanted to come over" because her great grand father had spent time on the Island and was in government here. I said by all means "come over' and inquire who her great grand father might have been. "Robert Poore Haythorne" she announced. I expressed my feeling of his importance in our history and she was amazed that we knew of him.
She came and I took her to see the ruins of his old home in Marshfield and and then back to town to show her his house on the corner of Hillsborough and Dorchester Streets. She was thrilled and it certainly made the time away from preparing for a Queen, worth it.. Unfortunately the Foundation seems to have lost her address and I can't remember her name. What a shame.
Our connections with New Zealand have been brought to my mind this week because of two things. The island is reviewing electral reform and the Institute of Island Studies brought in three speakers to review the issue. Dr. Helena Catt, a professor of political science at the University of Auckland was one of them. She gave a very convincing presentation on proportional representation that she believes works so well in New Zealand. There is much to think about on that whole issue.
Back to New Zealand. I have friends in town whose daughter will be marrying a New Zealander this summer and his parents are coming for the wedding. I gave my friends and Dr. Catt a great article published in an New Zealand historical journal in 1981. It is an article written by H.M.Rodewald those great grand-father had captained the "Prince Edward", one of three ships that had left Charlottetown with migrants for New Zealand between 1856 and 1863. So you can imagine that we have many connections in New Zealand. They are stories that I want to enlarge upon in the next little while. I'll do my best.
Written Wednesday, June 04, 2003 at 11:35 PM