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Guest Post: Carolyn Strom Collins: The Friends of the L.M. Montgomery Institutes at UPEI’s Fourth Annual Silent Auction

This week the LMMI Blog welcomes longtime friend, Carolyn Strom Collins who helps organize the Silent Auction for the L.M. Montgomery conference attendees. Over the past few conferences, the Friends of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI put together the Silent Auction to raise funds for the Institute. Not only does the Silent Auction have collectible items to bid on, but also lead to some interesting conversations about the items and their connection to Montgomery and Prince Edward Island. This year, Carolyn is also going to be the tour guide for one of the highlights closing the conference, the Bus Tour. I asked Carolyn to give us a sneak peek of some of the items that will be up for auction, as well as what conference attendees can expect on the bus tour.

The Friends of the L.M. Montgomery Institutes at UPEI’s Fourth Annual Silent Auction

By Carolyn Strom Collins

The Friends of the L. M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI will put together our fourth Silent Auction for attendees of the 2018 Conference. Our purpose is to raise funds for the Institute to help maintain their large collection of Montgomery books, periodicals, and artifacts, as well as to purchase items that may become available that would add to their collection.

Apple Leaf Quilt
Apple Leaf Quilt
Apple Leaf Quilt
This year, one the highlights of the Silent Auction will be an apple-leaf “quilt” of the same type that “Mrs. Rachel Lynde” was fond of knitting. Sandy Wagner donated this vintage quilt (also known as a bedspread or coverlet) to the Silent Auction. (L. M. Montgomery herself knitted one which is now part of the Confederation Centre collection in Charlottetown.) The rather complicated pattern is knitted in squares and the squares sewn together to complete the quilt. In Anne's House of Dreams, Mrs. Rachel remarked that “I don't there is anything prettier for a spare-room bed than a nice apple-leaf spread.”

We also have donations of books, vintage and new. Since this year's Conference topic is “L M. Montgomery and Reading,” we hope these volumes will find especially welcoming homes. For example, there are some early editions of Montgomery novels as well as vintage copies of works of some of her favourite authors – Tennyson, Scott, etc. There is a copy of Ben-Hur of the vintage Anne herself would have been caught reading in school; several copies of various Royal Readers that Anne would have studied and learned some of her favourite poems from.

 

And there are several signed copies of Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables-related books donated by authors attending the Conference Melanie J. Fishbane, Lynda Leader, Catherine Reid, and many more.

Some of the more unusual items that will be available are a vintage Green Gables tray, some coffee mugs with illustrations of Prince Edward Island scenes, and Anne of Green Gables Christmas ornaments donated by Holly Pike. Also included in the Silent Auction are posters of Prince Edward Island and some of Anne of Green Gables events, as well as stickers, key chains, Anne paper dolls, and a wide variety of other Montgomery or Island-related items, including unique "Anne" earrings, designed and made by Jane Cornelius. As you can see, there should be something (or many things) for everyone attending the Conference.

A Celebration During the Bus Tour

The Conference will end with an optional tour of some of the Montgomery sites on Prince Edward Island – “Silver Bush” (the Anne of Green Gables Museum) in Park Corner; the L. M. Montgomery Birthplace in New London; the Site of L. M. Montgomery's Cavendish Home where we will celebrate the installation of a Bookmark featuring Montgomery's poem “The Gable Window.” Afterwards, we will go across to Green Gables itself, a National Historic Site that is the centrepiece of the Prince Edward Island National Park. You will want to have your cameras fully-charged and with plenty of capacity as there are so many wonderful photo opportunities on this tour!

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Carolyn Strom Collins is the author of The Anne of Green Gables Treasury, After Many Years: Twenty-one "Long-Lost" Stories by L. M. Montgomery, An Annotated Bibliography of L. M. Montgomery's Stories and Poems, and other books and articles about "Anne" and L. M. Montgomery. She is the founder of the Friends of the L. M. Montgomery Institute as well as the L. M. Montgomery Literary Society. She will present "Cutting and Pasting: What L. M. Montgomery's Island Scrapbooks Reveal About Her Reading" at the 2018 LMM Conference to launch the Institute's display of sources of items in Montgomery's scrapbooks.