PROGRAMMING FOR 2017:
As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, we are featuring with displays in our museum the life of Mr. Edward Sharkey, 1867-1970, a well respected leader in the community.
Edward Sharkey (Ed) was a first class carpenter and wheelwright. He worked as an assistant with Edward Leard, a carpenter, who was building the Tryon Methodist Church, completed in 1882.
Mr. Sharkey’s work record book shows him starting to work with James Chisholm on Saturday, November 15, 1919, at $2.00 per day, board not included.
Accounts are also entered during the period of 1923 to 1937 for work completed for various other people including G. Callbeck, R. Dixon, C. W. Ives, A. Kehoe, George Ives, John Howatt, and E. Inman.
In his retirement Mr. Sharkey worked in his own shop making and repairing windows, doors, wheels, etc. He could be depended upon to set and sharpen a saw properly, or put a good cutting edge on a pair of lady’s scissors.
Mr. Sharkey was noted for his early morning walks in the fresh air.
Edward was born in the year of Confederation (1867), and lived to see the 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967.
His first wife, Victoria Thomas, 1860 – 1934, was a fine crafts lady weaving long panels of cloth for home spun blankets until her death in 1934.
PREVIOUS PROGRAMMING, 2016:
“Remembering Millie R. Gamble: Teacher, Nurse, Photographer”
The Tryon & Area Historical Society Inc. recently hosted a celebration to honor and remember the life and work of one of the Island’s foremost citizens, Millie R. Gamble, 1887-1986. The event was held on August 15, 2016, at Tryon Baptist Church, #21274 TCH, in Tryon.
At a time when women’s suffrage movement was into the decades-long struggle to address fundamental issues of equity and justice and to improve the lives of Canadian Women, Ms. Gamble, in her own quiet way, was actively making her mark as a leader in various fields in Canada.
Although there is little to support whether Ms. Gamble was officially involved in the suffrage movement, unwittingly, perhaps, her contribution to the fields of education, nursing and photography would earn her a place in the annals of women’s rights which we acknowledge and respect today. Millie was a strong believer in women being educated as exhibited in her life. It is especially fitting to applaud her accomplishments this year as we mark the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in Canada.
Millie Gamble was born in Alberton, P.E.I. in 1887. She was a school teacher in North Bedeque in 1905 and 1906, and also at Tryon from 1907 until 1919, at which time she left the Island to study nursing in Winnipeg. She returned to the Island in 1922 and did private nursing until 1949. Millie was one of the recipients of the King’s Silver Jubilee Medals in 1935. She lived at Tryon until 1974, then moved to North Tryon and resided with her niece, Adelaide Wood for the remainder of her life. Millie had a strong connection to the Tryon Baptist Church.
While visiting her uncle in Truro, NS in 1904, Millie Gamble was given a Ray No. 1 camera as a gift and began taking pictures “for something to do.” With the help of her younger sister she built a darkroom in her pantry and for fifteen years photographed life in and around Tryon, including camping trips, school activities, and the day-to-day life within the community. As there was no photographer nearer than Charlottetown at the time, Millie Gamble also filled the role of portrait photographer, taking pictures of the area children for their proud parents.
Gamble and her photography acquired a renewed appreciation in the early 1980s. Curator and historian Laura Jones included a selection of her work in the exhibition Rediscovery: Canadian Women Photographers 1841 – 1941, which she curated for the London Regional Art Gallery in 1983. Jones has also written about Gamble and her photography in Canadian academic journals.
From Sept. 20, 1998, to Jan. 10, 1999, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum displayed her work in an exhibition curated by Gil McElroy, Millie Gamble: Island Photographer. After the show the copies were purchased by family members and donated to the North Tryon Historical Association. The collection is now displayed at the Tryon Baptist Church, Millie’s former church at Tryon.
Millie Gamble’s photographic prints and 4” x 5” glass negatives are now held by the Public Archives and Records Office of P.E.I. As a collection, her images constitute a fascinating and invaluable glimpse of Island life at the turn of the century. These photographs, and the journals she left behind remain a legacy of her work.
In 2015, as a result of highway re-alignment at Tryon, a small section of the original TCH was re-named to Millie Gamble Road. As part of the August 15 celebration, people attended the official opening of the new Road, located a short distance just west of the church at the Junction of the Branch Road (Route 232) and TCH. The road was officially opened at 1:30 pm by Hon. Paula Biggar, Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Roads.
Returning to the church around 2:00 pm, a program emceed by John Robinson paid tribute to Millie’s life. Guest speaker was Kevin Rice, who was instrumental in presenting Millie’s exhibition at Confederation Centre. Also, Hazel Robinson spoke on Millie’s teaching and nursing careers, and presented an interesting exhibit on Millie’s postcards and journals which she and Fran Albrecht transcribed and digitized. A history circle, led by Paul H. Schurman, allowed family and other participants a time to reflect and offer glimpses of Millie’s life.
Materials related to the celebration are archived with TAHS, including pictures, videos, and artefacts.