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.


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