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Authority record

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.

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.

James Simpson

  • Canada PEI SPCA
  • Person
  • 11 May 1853-29 November 1920

As outlined in Robert Tuck's entry for Simpson in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, James Simpson was born on 11 May 1853 in Maidstone, England, the son of James Simpson, a surgeon and dentist, and Marion Campbell. Simpson married Alice Maude DesBrisay in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on 29 June 1891 and had three sons and one daughter. Simpson died in Charlottetown on 29 November 1920. He was educated at Southsea Diocesan Grammar School in England and emigrated to Quebec in 1872. He studied for holy orders at Bishop’s College, Lennoxville, graduating in arts in 1876 (ma 1879) and then worked as a government surveyor. In 1882 he was engaged as assistant master at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario, and was then ordered deacon in 1882 and priest in 1883.

In December 1886, Simpson went to Charlottetown to take temporary charge of St Peter’s Cathedral, being inducted as "priest-incumbent" on 13 February 1887. He was made the first canon of his cathedral in 1907 and an honorary canon of All Saints’ Cathedral, Halifax, in 1915. He was a member of both provincial and general synods, a governor of King’s College, Windsor, Nova Scotia, and a delegate to the Pan-Anglican Congress held in 1908. In 1914 Bishop’s College made him an honorary doctor of canon law. Simpson also served on the committee that produced the first Canadian revision of the Book of Common Prayer in 1918.

Inglis Group

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1990-

The St. Peter's Cathedral Inglis Group was originally the senior branch of St. Peter's Anglican Church Women but was renamed in 1990 in honour of Bishop Charles Inglis, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia (with episcopal jurisdiction over Prince Edward Island). He was bishop from 1787 until 1816. Together with the St. Peter's Cathedral Binney Group, the Inglis Group provides "refreshments" at numerous parish events, meetings, etc.

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