The West Prince region was well represented at this year’s Rural Beautification Awards, with roughly 10 entries from around the region receiving recognition for their efforts.

“I think it shows that we’re definitely proud of where we live,” said Garth Davey, president of the Rural Beautification Society. “It takes a lot of community endeavours to fall through on this that we can actually show where it is we live and it’s a good showcase for the rest of the province.”

Winners include Floyd and Yvette Gaudet, who received third prize for Prince County Home Owner Flower Garden Award, MJ’s Bakery, third prize  Prince County Commercial Flower Garden, the Tignish Heritage Inn for second prize for the Prince County Commercial Flower Garden along with second prize for the Provincial Tourist Accommodation Award, St Peter’s Anglican Church Cemetery for provincial first prize for the Cemetery Competition, and was this year’s winner for the Pickard Award for Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Town of O’Leary won first prize provincially for their commemorative garden, while the Town of Alberton won the provincial first prize for Community Improvement. Other categories include Farm Home Improvement, Dairy Farm, Home Improvement, New Home Completion, Rural Cemetery, Community Building Improvement, Potato Warehouse, and many more.

The Rural Beautification Society was formed 74 years ago following the Second World War after it was noticed that a lot of homes in the province, particularly in the rural areas, were becoming a bit run down. 

“The idea behind it was to assist people and encourage people that their homes would look better,” said Mr Davey. “We have a large tourism industry here, and one of the things you always hear from tourists is how beautiful, how neat and clean PEI is, and part of that is because of the Rural Beautification over the last 74 years.”

The provincial program is voluntary. Mr Davey said it’s all about promoting pride in where a person lives, along with promoting the various sections of the province.

The award ceremony took place at the Rodd Royalty in Charlottetown, with about 225 in attendance.

“What I really found interesting was the oohs and aahs when they saw a caboose in Tignish (MJ’s Bakery) flashing up on the screen, simply because they didn’t realize it was there,” said Mr Davey. “When we explained that it was actually a dining cart that you could go and have a meal in, and sit around the beautiful garden and things that are up there, it definitely generated some interest, so there’s economic benefits to doing this as well.”

Mr Davey said he hopes there are more entries from West Prince next year. 

“I think we were very well represented and I hope next year we get even more entries from West Prince, because we love to showcase our pride of place.”

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