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Clare, Sister Rita (Sister St. Clare Maureen)

  • Person
  • 1933-2017

Sister Rita (Sister St. Clare Maureen) CND Clare was the eldest child of Donald and Mayme (Briand) Clare and grew up in Sydney, N.S.. She showed an interest in music from a young age and took private piano lessons as a child. Sister Rita continued her musical education while attending St. Joseph's School and then Holy Angels High where she was a choir member under the direction of Sister Mary Frederick. After her studies at St. Francis Xavier University, Sr. Rita received her diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Between 1965 and 1969, she also received a BSc in Music and Music Education and MA in Music and Music Education from Columbia University. She continued her studies in voice and music at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, the Saratoga Potsdam Choral Institute, New York, and the Voice Care Network, Collegeville, Minnesota.

She entered the Congregation in Montreal in 1952, returning to the Maritimes following her profession. She served in Mabou, Inverness, Antigonish, Newcastle, NB and Holy Angels Convent, Sydney. As a member of the Congregation of Notre-Dame (CND), Sister Rita Clare dedicated her life to service in the form of education and arts promotion and advocacy. For most of her professional career, she was an outstanding educator and administrator in Music and Fine Arts with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. Sr. Rita Clare is well-known for her role as director of the Holy Angels Chorale, Cape Breton Youth Choir and was founder and director of the Cape Breton Chorale. Under her leadership, the Cape Breton Chorale has been recognized nationally and internationally for its artistic excellence.

In 1972, Sr. Rita was named Woman of the Year by the Professional Women's Club of Sydney and in 1985 she was made an honorary citizen of Sydney. A few years later, she was recognized by the Province of Nova Scotia for her work during the Canada Games and in 1991, Sr. Rita Clare was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa from the University College of Cape Breton (now Cape Breton University). This honourary degree identified Sr. Rita as a "leader in the Arts in Cape Breton and a foremost promoter of music education in Nova Scotia." Through the years, Sister Rita Clare has been recognized by various levels of government for her commitment to excellence and the cultural life of her community. In 2005, Sister Rita Clare was presented with the Jubilate Award of Merit presented by the Canadian Music Educators Association in recognition of significant contribution to Music Education in Canada.

Sister Rita Clare died May 30, 2017 in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Clark, Bruce A.

  • Person
  • 1982-1988

Bruce A. Clarke was the mayor of the Town of Glace Bay from 1982 until 1988.

Coleman, James Thomas

  • Person

James Thomas Coleman was raised by his grandmother, Catherine Coleman, in the Klondyke Hotel. Mr. Coleman retained ownership of the building after Mr. McKay died.

Congregation of Notre Dame

  • 1726-2011

The Congregation of Notre Dame (C.N.D.) have lived and worked in many Cape Breton communities including Louisbourg, Arichat, Port Hood and Sydney. Their first school was opened at the Fortress of Louisbourg in 1726; the Sisters were taken prisoner during the first siege of the Fortress in 1744 and sent to France. They returned in 1748 to continue their work and were forced to leave for a second time in 1758 during the second siege of the Fortress. In 1856, nearly one hundred years later, the Sisters of the Congregation returned once again to Cape Breton but this time they settled in the remote Acadian village of Arichat, on Isle Madame (Scott, p. 74). The C.N.D. taught school in Arichat from1856 to 1900 when the school closed, and had a presence in Port Hood beginning in 1884.

The building of the Sydney convent was financed by the contributions of parishioners across eastern Cape Breton and built by a local contractor, John Morely. On November 23, 1885, three Sisters arrived in Sydney and took up residence at Holy Angels Convent. The Superior-General of the Congregation de Notre-Dame responded to a request by local pastor Fr. Quinan for help to begin educating local youth and sent Sister St. Domitilla as superior, St. Helen of the Cross as the music teacher, and Sister St. Mary Alexis to Cape Breton. The three Sisters were joined in December by Sister St. Margaret of the Cross, the first English speaking teacher at the school, and instruction at the new private institution began in early 1886, after the first boarders arrived on January 2nd. The attendance grew steadily during the first few years of operation, yet the school suffered from financial instability at times.

In December of 1892, Holy Angels opened as a public school due to a need for financial support from the province and municipality to keep the school open. As a result, the administration of the institution shifted and Mr. MacKeen, Principal of Sydney Academy, School Inspector MacNeil and Protestant School Commissioners were appointed. The school continued to grow in the early years of the twentieth century, both in terms of student enrollment and curriculum development. In 1906, the foundation of the new building began, located on the northern part of the property. In September 1907, the superintendent of Sydney Schools declared that all senior students of Holy Angels would have to transfer to Academy to finish their instruction. The convent school would no longer offer senior courses. As a result, Holy Angels was again designated a private institution. By the year of its golden jubilee, Holy Angels had grown from four Sisters to twenty-eight. Sister St. Margaret of Scotland was installed as principal in 1936.

The school fluctuated between being a public and private institution during the first half of the twentieth century, but with the opening of the high school in 1953 it became a near-permanent fixture in the local public school system. From 1959 on, Holy Angels High School, as a part of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board (CBVRSB), accommodated Grades 10 to 12 and serviced female students from across Cape Breton Island. All courses offered at Holy Angels High School were developed by the Nova Scotia Department of Education and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board leased the school building from the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame. Some of the programs at the school included the Nova Scotia International Student Program, a French Immersion Program, the Duke of Edinburgh Program, the Options and Opportunities Program, and the Creative
Art Certificate Program. The CBVRSB announced on October 28, 2010 that it would close Holy Angels High School, as the Sisters of the C.N.D. had decided to sell the school and convent properties. The last class was graduated in Spring of 2011 and remaining students were transferred to other CBVRSB schools. The Convent and School buildings were sold to New Dawn Enterprises Ltd., and the Sisters relocated from their Convent home.

Coronelli, Vincenzo

  • Person
  • 1650-1718

Coronelli was a 17th century cartographer and globe maker based in Venice. In 1678 Coronelli was commissioned to make his first major globes. He also published maps and atlases including the "Atlante Veneto". Coronelli was also based in Paris between 1681 and 1683 as official map maker to King Louis XIV. Coronelli founded the world’s first geographical society, the Academia Cosmografica degli Argonauti and was awarded the official title Cosmographer of the Republic of Venice.

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