For a province of little more than a hundred and thirty-five thousand people, P.E.I. sure has a lot of big churches.
St. John The Baptist in Miscouche was built under the direction of Father John MacDonald in 1891-92. It not only has twin 100-foot spires, the woodwork is amazing.
Father John was responsible for so much (including the founding of the
community band which still performs) that when we saw the huge Mont Carmel St. Mary’s (1924) not too far up the coast, we joked he must have been transferred.
On another day, we saw the Princeton United Church of Canada church in Malpeque. The weather vane on top was so huge, Iasked a mechanic in a garage across the street about it. “I made it,” he replied. He didn’t keep the measurements, but he said the letters were each about a meter high. He had several interesting stories, too long to relate, but he said when they tried to move it on a long truck, the front wheels tipped up. The ball on top was reconstructed from one on the original weather vane which was hit by lightning and set on fire. An old one-armed neighbor shot it off with a pistol because he was afraid it would set the church on fire!
North of Malpeque, the fog came in so thick we decided to go into the capitol Charlottetown where we visited Province House (1843-47), their parliament and yet another church, the Basilica. Province House was the site of the 1864 meeting of delegates which led to the 1867 creation of modern Canada.
Close by was a house that once held a convent and is now the Gahan Brewery and restaurant. They make a good beer, and more importantly, serve a great hot corn-chicken-almond soup on a cold day.