Official opening of Millie Gamble Road recognizes pioneering artist and educator
An early artist, nurse and school teacher in Tryon was honoured today with official opening of Millie Gamble Road, says Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar.
“Millie Gamble was a pillar of the Tryon community – a leader in an era when men were very dominant in Island society and women’s leadership had to be exercised very carefully. She was a teacher and a nurse, but today we recognize her as an artist who used the emerging technology of photography to document her neighbours and her students and, in doing so, to create a record of life here in rural Prince Edward Island.” said the minister.
Minister Biggar joined members of the Tryon Area Historical Society in remembering Millie Gamble and her work. Millie Gamble was born in Alberton, P.E.I. in 1887. She was a school teacher in North Bedeque in 1905 and 1906, and also at Tryon from 1907 until 1919, at which time she left the Island to study nursing in Winnipeg. She returned to the Island in 1922 and did private nursing until 1949.
While visiting her uncle in Truro, NS in 1904, Millie Gamble was given a Ray No. 1 camera as a gift and began taking pictures “for something to do.” With the help of her younger sister she built a darkroom in her pantry and for fifteen years photographed life in and around Tryon, including camping trips, school activities, and the day-to-day life within the community. As there was no photographer nearer than Charlottetown at the time, Millie Gamble also filled the role of portrait photographer, taking pictures of the area children for their proud parents.
“Millie Gamble was a well-liked and respected member of the community. Today as family and members of the community we celebrate her life through the sharing of memories and the enjoyment of the artefacts which she has left behind, particularly her journals, post cards, and photographs” said Jack Sorensen, Chair of Tryon & Area Historical Society Inc.
“With present day technology it is an honour to continue her example and tradition of documenting and preserving materials for the use and enjoyment of future generations.”