Special year of commemoration
Two-hundred-fifty years later and Samuel Holland’s work still influencing Island
Celebrations to mark the 250year anniversary of Samuel Holland’s survey of Prince Edward Island have been going on all year, but this week has been a busy one for fans of the 18thcentury surveyor.
Holland’s original map, detailing everything from designating Charlottetown as the capital city to plotting out 67 townships, was put on display at the Confederation Centre of the Arts art gallery, where it will be exhibited until January 2016.
Earle Lockerby and Doug Sobey launched their book, Samuel Holland: His Work and Legacy on Prince Edward Island, this week.
And a commemorative weathervane was presented at namesake Holland College.
During the book launch, Lockerby noted that Holland went on to become a noted surveyor of other regions in the world.
But, he said, “I don’t think there is any other place where the impact of his work has been more dramatic than on Prince Edward Island.”
Holland’s outline of the Island was very accurate for its time and was used until the mid 1840s as the definitive outline of P.E.I., he said.
“That is not to say it is as accurate that people have perceived it to be, it’s not, and that is dealt with in our book,” said Lockerby.
“One area in particular in West Prince that is less accurate than elsewhere.”
Lockerby feels it’s important to recognize Holland for his work because his contributions to the Island were so immense, he said.
“The orientation of many of the roads, fields, farm boundaries directly reflect Holland’s laying out of townships, parishes and counties on the Island,” said Lockerby. “His designating Charlottetown as the capital of the Island has resulted in Charlottetown being what it is today in many ways.”
The new weathervane will be mounted at the top of Holland College’s CAST building later this summer.
Michael O’Grady, Holland College vice-president, says the weathervane will be visible from land, air and sea.
“Once it is installed at the top of this building… It will be about 55 feet in the air.”
The weathervane depicts an eighteenth century surveyor holding an octant, a tool Holland would have used to measure latitude.
Constructed entirely of copper, brass and stainless steels, the weathervane will be resistent to corrosion.
“We wanted to build something that would last a century or more,” said O’Grady. “I think it is a significant statement for the college and for our city to recognize Samuel Holland, who has been so influential in the history of our province.”
Lockerby hopes after reading the book, people will have an appreciation for Holland’s strong legacy and his lasting imprint on the Island.
Books are being sold at all major book retailers including Bookmark, Indigo and Coles. For more information visit www.samuelholland250pei.ca.
George Dalton, dressed as Samuel Holland, and Fran Albrecht, dressed as Marie Josette Rolette, stand by Rolette’s headstone at the South Shore United Church in Tryon for one of the Samuel Holland celebration events recently.