UPEI Retirees Play Key Roles in New History of Home Economics

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Contact Person: Anne McCallum
Department: Media Relations and Communications
Phone: 902-566-0760
Email: aemccallum@upei.ca
Posted on Friday, 5 January 2007

The PEI Home Economics Association donated copies of its new book today to all Island schools that offer home economics courses. The 350-page book documents the evolution of home economics in Prince Edward Island during the past century. Entitled "Who We Are: Our Heritage and Horizons," it includes stories of home economists and over 260 photographs. The book was written by members of the Home Economics History Committee: Estelle Reddin (editor), Heather Henry-MacDonald, Helen Bartlett, Doris Anderson, Irene Burge, and Dr. Jean Halliday MacKay (deceased).

Heather Henry-MacDonald, who served as chair of the UPEI Home Economics Department (now Family and Nutritional Sciences) until 1996, said the book is a comprehensive account of the tremendous contribution that home economists have made to Island life. The story begins in the early 1900s when the first domestic science class was offered at the Macdonald Consolidated School in Mount Herbert and continues through to the development of the vibrant Family and Nutritional Sciences department that exists today at UPEI.

"Home economists made a tremendous contribution to life in Prince Edward Island over the past century and we felt it was important to share their stories," she said. "Our book highlights their activities throughout four eras: the pioneer days of early North America, the two world wars and the great depression, the years between 1950 and 1969, and today's modern technological era."

She added, "Although the term home economics is rarely used today, people trained in the profession, whether they are teachers, dietitians, researchers or consultants, continue to make a tremendous contribution to Island families and communities."

Education Minister Mildred Dover said students will benefit from being able to access the rich information contained in the new book. "We are very pleased to add this book to our school library collections. It is not just an excellent history of the home economics profession, but it is also a wonderful account of Island life which is beautifully told by some very esteemed Island women," she said.

For more information on the book, contact Heather Henry MacDonald at 902 569 2391 or bpd@pei.sympatico.ca