The Founding of the Peninsula Pearls


On May 12, 1972 Mrs. Joseph (Helen) Smith, Long Reach attended a family life conference at the Villa Madonna, Torryburn, NB.  She was impressed with the conference that she later discussed with Rev. Ernest Howlett, rector of the Anglican churches of Kingston Peninsula, the possibility of forming a club for the senior citizens of the peninsula.

On June 12, 1972, a meeting was held at Trinity Church Hall, Kingston, with Mr. Howlett presiding.  Guest speakers were Herbert Neal and Mrs. Cormack, Saint John.  Seventeen senior citizens became members at this meeting.  They represent, as others who have joined since, an ecumenical group of the peninsula.

The officers elected at this meeting have continued to remain in office for the last two years.  The president is Mrs. Helen Smith, 1st vice president Mrs. Ernest Howlett, 2nd vice president Mrs. Ruth Lamb, secretary, Mrs. Alice Sleep, assistant secretary Mrs. Eva Richard(s), Treasurer Mrs. Aurora Stewart, assistant treasurer Mr. Clement.

Committees chosen were telephone Mrs. Muriel Giggy, ways and means Mrs. Grace Trecartin, recreation Joseph Smith, refreshments Mrs. Joseph Linton.

On June 21, 1972, the club was named “Peninsula Pearls Seniors Club”.  They have their meeting each month.  The membership of the club has grown.  In December 1972 42 members were enrolled and in 1974, 58 with the male membership in the minority.

Many Peninsula Pearls no longer feel confined to their homes but through their club have opportunities to meet and enjoy the friendship of others.  The meetings are usually held at the Trinity Church Hall land Bayswater Community Hall.

Sing songs at their meeting are a popular part of their recreation.  Mrs. Jessie Howlett or Mrs. Florence O’Brien accompany the songster on a piano, while Mr. Howlett and Joseph Smith are violinists.

Each member is remembered on their birthday, which usually consists of one celebration each month.  A birthday cake and other anniversary items are part of the celebration. 

In December of each year a Christmas party is enjoyed and gifts are exchanged.  Gifts are wrapped and sent to patients of the nursing homes at Sunny Acres, Torryburn and Mrs. Short’s in Kingston.  Christmas carols are always a part of the December meeting.

The month of October 1973 presented a challenge to the senior citizens, when a Halloween masquerade ball was planned.  On the eve of October 31st the Peninsula Pearls attended the ball in costume.  Marjorie Miller, Bayswater, was dressed as an Indian princess and won the prize for the most original and detailed costume.  Bingo parties are enjoyed each year.  They are held at Bayswater community hall.

On March 23, 1974 the Peninsula Pearls were guests of the senior citizen groups of Saint John.  A variety show was presented by the Saint John groups at Barnhill Memorial School.  A social evening followed.  Transportation was by a school bus.

In June 1974, at the Moss Glen Legion hall, the senior citizens from Hampton and Fair Vale were guests of the Peninsula Pearls.  They had for entertainment, the Beaus and Bells of Saint John who performed five sets of square dancing at one time.

 On October 9, 1974 they had a millinery contest at the Bayswater community hall.  The contestants were the members of the Peninsula Senior Citizens Club and they were decorated hats.  Music was supplied by Mrs. Myrtle Miller.  Games of 45’s were enjoyed and refreshments were served by the Bayswater members.

The next meeting was held at Trinity Church hall, Kingston on October 28 when the members enjoyed a Halloween masquerade.

Bus trips enjoyed by the Peninsula Pearls included those to the following centres:

St. Andrews, when the members enjoyed a tour of the historical town.  Reservations were made at the Algonquin hotel.

Kings landing were the group enjoyed a drive in a horse drawn wagon to the buildings in the area.  Impressions of this visit were varied.  Many noticed that the historical display of the life of the early settlers was a slower way of living than today.  Reservations were made for lunch at the Silverwood Restaurant.  Transportation by bus took them to Springfield to Jemseg and across the Princess Margaret Bridge to the Trans Canada Highway which took them directly to Kings Landing.

A nature tour to Evandale.  Reservations were made for lunch at the Eveleigh Hotel.  Music and songs were enjoyed with Mrs. Howlett at the piano.

A trip to Campobello Island via Calais was an outstanding event for the Peninsula Pearls.  They visited the summer home of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt.  He then joined a group of tourists who were enjoying a film in the main lobby.

A tour about the island was planned.  They passed by Welshpool, where a new branch of the Saint John Library was recently opened to the waterfronts and to Wilson’s Beach.  It was a sunny day for the picnic lunch.  On return they had reservations for dinner at Lobster Haven in St. Stephen.

On October 4, 1974 sunny weather favored their foliage trip to St. Andrews and St. Stephen.  Reservations were made for 44 at the Lobster Haven in St. Stephen.

Mr. and Mrs. John S. Knox and Mrs. Agnes Wade were chosen from the Peninsula Senior Citizens accept the annual trip to Ottawa which is sponsored by the government.

An annual financial project is that of their sale on Loyalist Days in Kingston.  The table has displayed many pieces of fine needlework, knitting and novelties.

A more serious part of their life is planned for Peninsula Pearls when they will have a corporate service at the following churches on the Peninsula Baptist, Anglican, roman Catholic and the United Church of Canada.

Prepared by Alice Sleep

Additional information from Aurora Stewart.

All present at the inaugural meeting held on June 12, 1972 were asked to suggest a name for the club.  At the next meeting names were given but the name suggested by Helen Smith was adopted as the most appropriate so Peninsula Pearls Seniors Club was born. 

First members were from:

Bayswater: Lottie Buckley   Marjorie Miller
  Joe and Lena Linton   Lucie Worden
  Mae and Lyle Stevens    
Reeds Point Ina Saunders   Ruth Lamb
  Aggie Stewart   Muriel Giggey
  Chris Marshall   Mr. Clement
  Alice Roberts   Aurore Stewart
White Head Alice Sleep    
Long Reach Hazel McKiel   Helen Smith
  Jean Jeffries    
Kingston Maggie Raddock    
  James Dann    


June 12, 1972  Elected Officers    
President   Mrs. Helen Smith
1st Vice President   Mrs. Ernie Howlett
2nd Vice President   Mrs. Ruth Lamb
Secretary   Mrs. Alice Sleep
A/ Secretary   Mrs. Eva Richard(s)
Treasurer   Mrs. Aurora Stewart
A/ Treasurer   Mr. Clement
Telephone Committee   Mrs. Muriel Giggey
Ways and means   Mrs. Grace Trecartin
Recreation   Joe Smith
Refreshments   Mrs. Joseph Linton


May 15, 1975  Elected Officers    
President   Mrs. Grace Trecartin
Vice President   Mrs. Marjorie Miller
Treasurer   Mrs. Hazel Reed
A. Treasurer   Mr. Joe Linton
Secretary   Mrs. Alice Sleep
A. Secretary   Mrs. Ruth Lamb
Refreshments   Mrs. Agnes Waddell
Telephone Committee   Chris Marshall and Betty Ring
Entertainment   Joe Smith, Helen Smith, Ruth Lamb


May  1978  Elected Officers    
President   Mrs. Grace Trecartin
Vice President   Mr. Ken Trecartin
Treasurer   Mrs. Hazel Reed
Secretary   Mrs. Helen Smith
A. Secretary   Mrs. Ruth Lamb
Refreshments   Mrs. Agnes Waddell
Telephone Committee   Chris Marshall and Betty Ring
Entertainment   Aurora Stewart and Joe Smith