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Authority record

Anglican Church Women of Prince Edward Island

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1897-2017

The following background information is adapted from the Anglican Church of Canada Archives website at

The constitution for the Anglican Church Women outlines its mission as follows: "Anglican Church Women of Canada is a loosely knit fellowship of all women of the Anglican Church of Canada and others who agree with and support the purpose of the Anglican Church Women of Canada. The purpose is to give the women of the Anglican Church the opportunity to unite in a fellowship of worship, study and service which will lead them into Christian service in the parish, community, diocese, nation, and world."

The Woman’s Auxiliary was founded in April 1885 “for the promotion of missionary effort”. The first president was Margaret Medley, wife of the Bishop of Fredericton and Archbishop of the Province of Canada. Roberta E. Tilton of Ottawa was the major force in organizing both diocesan and parochial branches and in promoting the affiliation of existing groups and societies.

The “Letter Leaflet” was a monthly publication first produced in the Diocese of Toronto. It expanded and became the W.A.’s official publication and in 1923 it was renamed “The Living Message”.

The W.A. was reorganized in 1908 following the founding of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada (MSCC) to conform to the structure of General Synod. Caroline M. Patterson Hall was elected president and the first meeting of the General Board was held in Winnipeg.

Initially the work of the W.A. included mission education among Girls; Juniors and Little Helpers (Babies) branches; support of women working as missionaries and assistants in Japan (later China and India) and on Indian Reserves; Dorcas work and financial support for the education of missionaries children. A pension fund for women missionaries was established in 1910. In 1912 after several years of discussion the W.A. agreed to assume responsibility for work with women and children overseas. This included additional budgeted expenditures for evangelism, schools and hospitals. This agreement was extended to the Canadian mission field in 1919.

In 1928 the general meeting became annual. Recognizing an expanded social service role in 1931 the W.A. added a clause to its Constitution governing its cooperation with the General Board of Religious Education (GBRE) and the Council for Social Service (CSS).

In 1966 the constitution was amended and the Woman’s Auxiliary became the Anglican Church Women (ACW). Integration with General Synod was agreed as a national goal and took place in 1973. Since that time the organization exists by choice at the diocesan and parish levels.

According to E. M. Malone and Major T. E. Mcnutt, The Church in the Island Province (1932), p. 118, the first branch of the Women's Auxiliary in the Maritimes was established in 1897 at St. Peter's Cathedral.

As noted in the Anglican Church Women archives, the Prince Edward Island branch of the Anglican Church Women was dissolved in June 2017. Since then St. Peter's Cathedral has maintained the Binney Group and Inglis Group as active women's groups within the church.

Edward Jarvis Hodgson

  • Canada PEI SPCA
  • Person
  • 29 July 1840-1911

Edward Jarvis Hodgson was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, 29 July 1840. After studying law, he became a barrister in 1862 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1879. He completed work for the Prince Edward Island railway and other federal government departments between 1882 and approximately 1889. From 1891 until 1910, he was Master of the Rolls and an Assistant Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Prince Edward Island, and from 1896 until his death in 1911, Chancellor of King's College University.

E.M. Malone

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1881-22 November 1975

Elwin Mortimer Malone served as priest incumbent of St. Peter's Cathedral from 1921 to 1952. He was born in 1881 in Antigua and immigrated to Canada from Barbados to take up the post at St. Peter's in 1921. His first wife was Lucille LaBeet. She apparently died before Canon Malone came to Prince Edward Island. on 20 July 1936, Malone married Margaret Hegan in Charlottetown at St. Peter's Church. Malone died on 22 November 1975 and was buried at St. Peter's Cathedral graveyard on 24 November 1975.
Elwin Mortimer Malone served as priest incumbent of St. Peter's Cathedral from 1921 to 1952. He was born in 1881 in Antigua and immigrated to Canada from Barbados to take up Records suggest that Malone's son from his first marriage, Edward Mortimer Malone, married Rita Ann Larkin in Sussex, New Brunswick, on 17 April 1938.

Peter Westin

  • Canada
  • Person
  • [1900?-2020?]

H. M. Peter Westin is the second born son of the Reverend Canon H. M. D. Westin, who served as Rector of St. Peter's Cathedral from 1974-1990, and his wife Margaret. Peter completed high school in Amherst, Nova Scotia and received a B.A. in history and B. Ed degree from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. He later earned an M.A. in history and an M.Ed degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and worked as a school teacher for many years, including in Manitoba and Zimbabwe.

Peter Westin is the author of An Act of Faith: The First Fifty Years of St. Peter's Cathedral (Charlottetown: St. Peter Publications, 1994). Westin and St. Peter's Cathedral received federal funding to support the research and writing of this book in 1984 and again in 1985.

Walter Aidan Cotton

  • Canada
  • Person
  • c. 1878-1960

The following biographical sketch is taken from the authority record prepared by the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, UK, at

Walter Aidan Cotton was born 13 March c. 1878 in Canada. He was educated at King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia and was ordained deacon in 1902 and priest in 1903. Cotton began keeping a diary in 1893 while he was still at high school, and this practice continued, with some gaps, until 1960.

In 1907 Cotton moved to England to take up the curacy of St Michael's in Croydon. In 1908 he resigned his position to take up permanent residence at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, an Anglican religious order for men founded in 1892.

In 1911 he joined the Community's South African Mission and was based in Johannesburg, becoming Prior of the suburb of Rosettenville in 1915 and principal of St Peter's Theological College there in 1917. In 1924 Cotton became Prior of Penhalonga, in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Cotton remained at Penhalonga for five years but felt increasingly isolated and later returned to Johannesburg and resumed his position as Prior of Rosettenville. In 1942 he left Johannesburg to work at Jane Furse Hospital in Sekhuniland.

Whilst in South Africa, Cotton wrote several books and pamphlets addressing race. In 1926 he published 'The Race Problem in South Africa,' in 1931 he followed this with 'Racial Segregation in South Africa,' and in 1945 he published the 'Sepeli Prayer Book.' His works advocated complete territorial segregation for whites and black Africans whilst approving of 'occasional mixed marriages' as a bridge between the races.

He also produced a number of unpublished theological works, including 'Priesthood and the Reformation,' and 'The Sublimation of Life in God's Sacramental Universe.'

In 1946 he returned to Mirfield. Dissatisfied with the Community, Cotton disputed the practice of private masses and criticised the Community's work in South Africa. In 1952 his strong views led him to attempt to establish a new community in his native Canada called the Society of the Servants of the Church. The Society was unsuccessful and in 1954 Cotton returned to Mirfield.

Walter Aidan Cotton died at Mirfield in February 1960.

Diocesan Church Society

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1840-?

In the late 1700s, as the Church of England became established in Canada, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (S. P. G.) supported clergymen, providing funds to support living costs and to assist with other expenses. in the early 1800s, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S. P. C. K.) took on the task of supplying books for use of churches in different parts of the country, working alongside the S. P. G.

A "Church Society of the Archdeaconry of New Brunswick" was formed in 1837 to take over the duties of the S. P. G. and S. P. C. K, such as to carry out missionary visits, establish scholarships for study, provide aid for Sunday Schools and other schools, supply books and tracts, and aid in the building and expansion of churches. In 1847, that society was renamed "The Diocesan Church Society of New Brunswick" and expanded its mission to provide support for the construction of parsonages and to create a fund to help with incapacitated clergy, widows and orphans of clergy, and the children of clergy. A comparable society was founded in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 1840, and incorporated in 1852. Other societies were formed in other parts of Canada, apparently often in response to diminishing financial support from the Church in England. The Society was still in existence as of 2007.

Lawrence W. Watson

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 2 May 1860-17 July 1925

Lawrence Watson was born Laurence White Watson on 2 May 1860 on Queen Street, Charlottetown, and baptised at St. James Church in Charlottetown on 11 July 1860. His father was William R. Watson and his mother Sarah Ann Watson (nee Sarah Ann Croskill). (The official baptismal record shows his name as Laurence but the spelling changed from Laurence to Lawrence at some point.) Watson dies in Charlottetown on 17 July 1925, age 65. According to the obituary in The Charlottetown Guardian newspaper on 29 July 1925, Watson received his B.A. at King's College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, and then studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He ended his medical studies on the death of his father and returned to Prince Edward Island to continue his father's business.

Watson directed musical services at St. Peter's Cathedral Church for many years, and carried out numerous other duties for the church.

Watson composed the music for The Island Hymn, with lyrics by Lucy M. Montgomery.

Watson was married to Eleanor Massey Desbrisay. According to census records he had two children, Ruth (born ca. 1893) and Norman (born ca. 1899), but The Charlottetown Guardian newspaper indicates he had a daughter and two sons.

Bishop Hibbert Binney

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1819-1887

The following is adapted from the Wikipedia entry for Herbert Binney, which is an abbreviated version of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography entry. Hibbert Binney (12 August 1819 – 30 April 1887) was a Canadian Church of England bishop. He was the fourth Bishop of Nova Scotia from 1851 to 1887. Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the son of the Reverend Hibbert Binney and Henrietta Amelia Stout, Hibbert Binney Sr. was the rector of St George’s Church in Sydney. In 1823, Binney Sr. returned to England with his family to become rector of Newbury, Berkshire. Binney Jr. was educated at King's College London, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Worcester College, Oxford, in 1842. He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Oxford Richard Bagot in 1842 and was appointed a fellow of Worcester College. In 1844, he received his Master of Arts and was appointed tutor in 1846. In 1848, he became bursar of Worcester College.In 1851, Binney was named Bishop of Nova Scotia and was consecrated in London by Archbishop John Bird Sumner of Canterbury and assisted by Bishops Blomfield of London, Wilberforce of Oxford, and Gilbert of Chichester. He was married to Mary Bliss (1829–1903), the daughter of William Blowers Bliss and Sarah Ann Anderson. Binney lived for years in what is now known as the Black-Binney House, which is now a national historic site.

Mothers' Union -- Prince Edward Island Chapter

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1982-1995

The Mothers’ Union was founded in England in 1876 by Mary Sumner, who wanted to create an organization for women that built a network of rich and poor to support mothers to raise their children in Christian faith. By 1909, the Mothers’ Union had become the largest voluntary women’s organization in Britain. In 1952, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted her royal patronage to the Mothers’ Union. In 1996, some 125 members of the Mothers’ Union became priests in the Church of England, following the Synod’s approval of the ordination of women.

The Prince Edward Island chapter of the Mothers’ Union was formed in March 1982. Among the activities undertaken by the local group included: hosting pancake breakfasts on the first day of Sunday School in early September; baking simnel cakes (a form of fruitcake) as part of Mothering Sunday; participating in the annual Christmas pageant; stitching needlepoint covers for church kneelers; organizing “Winter Games” events (evening gatherings of parishioners and others to play card games and board games in the church hall in winter); and holdings prayer sessions and meetings for members. The Mothers’ Union also provided support for refugees and newcomers to the Island and created a “link letters” activity comparable to “pen pals”. An Island-wide renewal meeting was held in November 1988. A major project for the Prince Edward Island chapter was the creation of a Mothers’ Union banner, which was unveiled on 24 May 1992. The banner still hangs in the church, as of 2020. Mothers’ Union activities began to decline as the Binney Group and Inglis Group became more active, eventually ceasing operations around 1995.

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