Supply and Services

Archives to celebrate Women's History Month with display of treasured diaries (08/10/08)

NB 1467

Oct. 8, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The treasured memories and personal writings of a notable New Brunswick music teacher will be the focus of an open house at the Provincial Archives on the University of New Brunswick campus at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The event will be held in conjunction with Women's History Month.

"Within our collection, we have a number of diaries that describe the life and times of New Brunswick women," said Marion Beyea, provincial archivist. "Their stories not only record history. They capture the cultural atmosphere of their time and provide personal insights into the province's people and past. We are now very pleased to celebrate the acquisition of the diary of Mrs. F.P. Lister."

Lister (Anna May McAdam) was a well-known music teacher and community volunteer who lived in Fredericton during the 1950s and early 1960s. Lister's diary, European Trip 1913-14, is being donated to the archives by Barbara J. Gill, a former music student. Gill received her teacher's memoirs as a gift from the late Rev. Lance McAdam, a nephew of Lister.

The Lister writings introduce the reader to the travels of six young women and their chaperone, who journey by land and sea from Canada to Germany to study music at Conservatory Leipzig in 1913-14. The women voyaged to Europe on the cruise ship Laurentic (White Star Line) just a year after the sinking of the Titanic. During their journey, they discerned political tensions were leading to the outbreak of the First World War.

The travelling party consisted of Lister; her aunt, Nan McAdam (chaperone); Ida McAdam; Queenie Tabor; Helen Vanwart; Edna Baird; and Gladys Grant. During a stop in England, the women visited Lady Maria Ashburnham, a telephone operator from New Brunswick who married the British lord, Thomas Ashburnham. The distinguished couple eventually made their home in Fredericton.

Along with her journal, Lister's community work is well-documented. She was involved with the Fredericton Art Club and the Community Concert Association. She was a charter member of the IODE (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire); and the Golden Rule Circle, International Order of Kings Daughters and Sons. She was also a life member of the Fredericton Music Teachers Association and the New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers Association. She was an ardent supporter of the Fredericton Music Festival.

Lister's former students and members of the public are invited to attend the open house at the archives to mark the acquisition of her diary. A selection of women's diaries will be on exhibit.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Marion Beyea, provincial archivist, 506-444-4021; Judy Cole, communications officer, Department of Supply and Services, 506-457-7903; Barbara J. Gill, 506-453-7702.