Three people connected to UPEI to receive Order of PEI

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Kathryn Dau-Schmidt, Dr. Edward MacDonald and Reginald “Dutch” Thompson
Kathryn Dau-Schmidt, Dr. Edward MacDonald and Reginald “Dutch” Thompson

Three people connected to UPEI have been named to the Order of PEI, the province’s highest civilian honour.

Kathryn Dau-Schmidt, Dr. Edward MacDonald and Reginald “Dutch” Thompson were selected for the Order of PEI from a field of 49 nominees. They will receive the insignia from Her Honour, Lieutenant-Government Antoinette Perry during a ceremony at Government House this fall. 

Dau-Schmidt is a lab coordinator in the UPEI biology department. She has been selected to receive the Order of PEI for her dedication to preserving the tradition of fiddling and teaching the younger generation about the instrument. She is described as “diligent, resourceful, encouraging, and fun,”  and is credited with deepening her students’ love of music. 

She moved to the Island from the US in 1978, becoming a member of the PEI Fiddlers’ Society and Queens County Fiddlers within months of settling in the province. 

MacDonald is an award-winning professor emeritus of history at UPEI whose work as a researcher of PEI history has significantly added to the understanding, preservation, and appreciation of Island culture. “Dr. Ed,” as he is affectionately known, has served as curator of history and collections of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and editor of its popular publication, The Island Magazine. In 1997, a secondment as director of research at UPEl's Institute of Island Studies led MacDonald to embrace his love of teaching through a full professorship with the University. 

A prolific writer and researcher, MacDonald has written, compiled, edited, or co-edited 11 books as well as over 50 scholarly articles. He was named to the the Order of Canada in December 2023.

Reginald “Dutch” Thompson was named a UPEI honorary degree recipient during UPEI’s Convocation ceremonies in May. He is a retired theatre lighting designer and technician and a passionate oral historian and storyteller. He is best known for his CBC Radio program, “The Bygone Days,” which has aired for 34 years with more than 1,200 broadcasts.

Thompson has amassed 1,100 hours of interviews with people born between 1894 and 1932, 900 hours of which have been digitalized and preserved by the UPEI Robertson Library in the “Dutch Thompson Collection.” His research has been used by scholars and amateur historians all around the world and has been the basis of or used in countless MA and PhD dissertations, refereed journal articles, and family and local histories. He has also donated his research, time, and storytelling skills to a wide number of community organizations and published two books, Bygone Days and More Bygone Days.

Congratulations to all three Order of PEI recipients!

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