Shannon and Tony Quinn to Play the Souris Show Hall and the Katherine Hughes Memorial Hall at the BIS
The Benevolent Irish Society – 2022 Winter Lecture Series
The Benevolent Irish Society 2022 Fall Lecture Series (Year 36) takes place at the Edward Whelan Irish Cultural Centre at 582 North River Road. The series is one of the longest running lecture series on Prince Edward Island. The purpose of the series is to provide the Irish in particular and the public in general with information about interesting subjects including Irish culture, history and heritage. In the course of the series the intention is to present one or more lectures on the Island’s Irish Community, on Ireland and the Irish, and on the wider Celtic community. This year’s November lectures, dates, and speakers are indicated below. There is no admission charge although donations to help with expenses are greatly appreciated.
Wednesday - November 30 at 7:00 pm
Speaker: Mary Jeanette Gallant
Title: “Glenaladale Estate: A 529 Acre National Treasure on a Small Island”
Glenaladale Estate history starts with the Mi’kmaq, continues with the Acadians, and then, in 1772, Capt. John MacDonald, 8th Laird of Glenaladale and 7th Laird of Glenfinnan in Scotland, brought the first Scottish Catholic settlers to what was then St. John’s Island, now Prince Edward Island. The current 529-acre Estate became Capt. John’s home, part of his 40,000-acre property, including the entirety of 2 of the Island’s 67 “lots”: initially Lot 36 and later Lot 35.
Many relatives and friends of The Glenaladale Settlers were to follow in the large settlements of 1790-91. Capt. John’s son, Father John, brought “the Glasgow Irish” to PEI in 1830, setting in motion the largest Irish immigration to Prince Edward Island, known as the Monaghan Settlers.
In 2012, Glenaladale Estate was put up for sale, and a small group of heritage and culture enthusiasts took on the challenge of trying to ensure this very important property would be protected from unsympathetic development and regenerated to its former glory. In 2015, Glenaladale Heritage Trust was incorporated, and in 2016 the trust received charitable status (reg # 819486325 RR0001).
This small group of enthusiasts has since grown into a small army of volunteers working under the umbrella of the Trust. In March 2018, Glenaladale Heritage Trust was finally able to purchase the Estate, with substantial grant support from Canadian Heritage Cultural Spaces Fund and financing from the Government of Prince Edward Island.
Mary J. Gallant and Aggi-Rose Reddin, along with Carolyn Pendergast, Margaret McEachern and Peter Hyndman were founding members of the Glenaladale Heritage Trust. This brave group of 5 made a bid to raise the funds to buy and restore the historic landmark estate. Currently, Mary J Gallant is Chair and Aggi-Rose Reddin is Vice-Chair of the Trust.
In 2022, the Estate celebrated a 250-Year Anniversary with a major 10-day celebration on PEI. This lecture will cover the cultural history of the estate as well as some of the highlights of the 250-Year celebration.
Mary J Gallant (nee MacDonald) a sixth generation Scots descendant of the 1772 Glenaladale Settlers. She was immersed in family lore & history early on. Mary learned to appreciate it through the eyes of the many people who dropped in from all across Canada & the USA to visit her father and find out their heritage.
As an active member of the PEI Scottish Settlers Historical Society, she took part in 1972 as an usherette for the 200th anniversary. Mary has held such positions as Secretary, Treasurer, Chair of Genealogy & Artifact Committee for the 225 anniversary and Committee Chair for the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Project.
As owner and care taker of the vast collection of Glenaladale Letters & Documents dating from 1771, Mary has a passion for saving the Glenaladale Estate and is currently Chair of the Glenaladale Heritage Trust.
Society objectives have remained consistent, with perhaps changing emphasis, since its founding in 1825. They are:
1. To preserve and promote Irish history, culture, and heritage and, in particular, its Gaelic, Celtic traditions.
2. To carry out acts of charity and benevolence.
3. To promote friendship and unity among the Irish and their descendants.
The Benevolent Irish Society is one of the oldest organizations in Prince Edward Island. Established in 1825 the Society was incorporated by an Act of the Legislature in 1882 .
Originally established to meet the needs of Irish immigrants and the poor of all denominations, today the Society places increasing emphasis on preserving and promoting Irish history, culture, and heritage, and in particular its Gaelic, Celtic traditions.
Check out our Friday night Ceilidhs, Irish Heritage Lecture Series, “Ceol Agus Cairde – Music and Friends” Winter Concert Series, and other events. There’s always something happening at the BIS Irish Hall!
THE SOCIETY WISHES TO ACKNOWLEDGE WITH THANKS FUNDING SUPPORT FROM THE EMIGRANT SUPPORT PROGRAM OF IRELAND'S DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN THE CREATION OF THIS WEBSITE.