Mother would be proud
Tignish’s Antoinette Perry is the Queen’s next representative in P.E.I.
Prince Edward Island’s 42nd lieutenant-governor missed her routine morning walk on Thursday. Instead, retired teacher Antoinette Perry waited in her Tignish apartment for the announcement she knew was coming.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Perry Tuesday evening to inform her she had been selected to succeed Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis as the Queen’s representative as provincial head of state and the announcement would become public on Thursday.
She would have had time for the morning walk, though, as the announcement wasn’t made until shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday.
And then the phone calls started.
Friends and neighbours called to express their congratulations Antoinette Perry keeps a picture of her late mother, Anne Marie Perry, prominently displayed. Prince Edward Island’s 42nd lieutenant-governor says it was her mother who nurtured her respect for the monarchy and role-modelled her interest in public service. Perry’s appointment as the Queen’s representative as provincial head of state was announced on Thursday.
and media were on the line requesting interviews.
In an interview with the Journal Pioneer Thursday evening,
Perry admitted she is still unsure of the transition process. Lewis did call her on Thursday to extend his congratulations, and she will be making arrangements as early as Friday to meet with him to discuss the process. A Heritage Canada official will be briefing her on protocol, she said.
Perry said she first learned she was being considered for the position on Aug. 4.
“It is not a position you apply for,” she said. “Someone presents your name.”
She had let it be known, though, she was interested in the position.
The Queen’s representative was also a role her mother, the late Anne Marie Perry, aspired to, she said.
“She nurtured in me a great respect for the monarchy and for our system of democracy, for government. She was always interested in that, and I went to many gatherings with her.”
She said her mother rolemodelled her own interest in public service.
Perry taught French and music at Tignish Elementary School for 32 years until her retirement in 2009. She is a church organist in Tignish, a role she hopes to be able to continue. She became guardian of the church’s pipe organ with the passing of J. Henri Gaudet in 2000 and spearheaded a restoration of the instrument in 2011.
She has been active with the arts in West Prince, helped establish the West Prince Music Festival and directed Tignish’s Bicentennial Choir for the first recording of Ave Maris Stella, the Acadian National Anthem, with the official French verses.
Perry, who is fluently bilingual, becomes Prince Edward Island’s 42 lieutenant-governor and the third from Tignish, succeeding Sir Charles Dalton, 1930-33, and Joseph Alphonse Bernard, 1945-50.
She said she began thinking more of the role after retiring from teaching. “I knew there was something else I wanted to do, and that it had to be connecting with people,” she said.
Details of the swearing-in and her move to Fanningbank, the lieutenant-governor’s official residence had not been discussed with her by Thursday evening.