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I just had a glorious three days in Ottawa. I went to the meeting of The Canadian Society for The Decorative Arts. Marion Bradshaw made me. Marion was the editor of The Canadian Collector in days gone by and I met her first when I co-ordinated the Island Issue in 1972. She was and still is a strong women. It was she who organized the three wonderful Symposiums that the McDonald Stewart Foundation funded in 19......... Irene Rogers and I went to them and we learned much and met many who helped us along our way. That part of my life made this trip rather a sentemental one since I renewed aquaintences that we had met back then. The program included a behind the scenes tour of Rideau Hall, a visit to the Museum of Man, and a fine informed tour of the Silver Collection at the National Gallery. That visit was made all the more significant for me because we visited the gallery where the Valentine painting of Samuel Nelson was on display. Samuel Nelson was the owner of this piece of land I live on now and was - it seems very sure - the builder of the first part of my little house. Valentine was an interient painter who came here from Halifax in the 1830's ... An ad from the Royal Gazette of August 13, 1833 reads "Mr Valentine. Portrait Painter intends to remain on the Island a few weeks and begs to inform the ladies and gentlemen of Charlotte Town of his design to practice while here in the line of his Profession and confidently hopes to give satisfaction to those who may favour him with theirpatronage. Profiles in oil colours 1.10 pounds, Portraits in do from 3 pounds to 7.10 pounds and full length portraits 100 pounds"!!!! It was nice to see Samuel Nelson in such a promenient spot. Our friend Marion and her team had arranged three fine lectures - one my our old friend Donald Webster from the ROM. He spoke on Fakes and Forgeries in the Canadian Antique world and it was an eye opener and an issue we must think alot more about. We joined forces with Members of Canadian Fund part of the time. The Canadian Fund committee looks after the public rooms at the Offocial Residences in the Country; Rideau Hall, 24 Sussex, Harrington Lake, The Citadel etc. Our friend Willie Elliot is on the committee. It was very nice to see old friends and make soom new ones. To add to my pleasure I stayed with Gary Carrol at his Aunt Kay's place and we had a wonderful time - even with me driving her car up to Meech Lake and coming back through Gateneau Park on an absolutely glorious autumn day. Islanders have to go away now and them or they get stale. Much inspired me on this trip so beware.

Written Monday, October 16, 2000 at 12:02 AM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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