Dr. Ed, Dutch and Dau-Schmidt named to the Order of P.E.I.

Kathryn Dau-Schmidt, Dr. Ed MacDonald and Dutch Thompson will receive the Order of P.E.I. during a ceremony this fall. (Government of P.E.I. website - image credit)
Kathryn Dau-Schmidt, Dr. Ed MacDonald and Dutch Thompson will receive the Order of P.E.I. during a ceremony this fall. (Government of P.E.I. website - image credit)

A fiddler, a historian and a storyteller are the latest inductees into the Order of Prince Edward Island.

Kathryn Dau-Schmidt, Dr. Ed MacDonald and Reginald "Dutch" Thompson were selected for the province's highest civilian honour from a field of 49 nominees.

First awarded in 1996 as the Medal of Merit, the Order of P.E.I. insignia recognizes Islanders "who have shown individual excellence or outstanding leadership in their community or in their chosen profession," according to a news release from the province.

The three will receive the insignia from P.E.I. Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry during a ceremony at Government House this fall.

Kathryn Dau-Scmidt

Kathryn Dau-Schmidt has spent decades teaching young people to play and love the fiddle.
Kathryn Dau-Schmidt has spent decades teaching young people to play and love the fiddle.

Kathryn Dau-Schmidt has spent decades teaching young people to play and love the fiddle. (Submitted)

Dau-Schmidt moved to the Island from the U.S. in 1978, becoming a member of the P.E.I. Fiddlers' Society and Queens County Fiddlers within months of settling here.

She's since dedicated herself to preserving the tradition of fiddling and teaching the younger generation about the instrument.

"Her music students both present and past describe Kathryn as diligent, resourceful, encouraging, and fun, and credit her with deepening their love of music, instilling in them life-long skills that contributed to their successful careers in teaching and in the entertainment industry, including touring and Juno award-winning musicians," the release says.

Dr. Ed MacDonald

Over the course of Ed MacDonald's career, he has written, compiled, edited or co-edited 11 books and produced several dozen scholarly articles.
Over the course of Ed MacDonald's career, he has written, compiled, edited or co-edited 11 books and produced several dozen scholarly articles.

Ed MacDonald was also named to the Order of Canada in 2023. (Laura Meader/CBC)

MacDonald is a researcher of Island history "whose work has significantly added to the understanding, preservation, and appreciation of Island culture."

"Dr. Ed" has served as editor of The Island Magazine and curator of history and collections.

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.

He's also a prolific producer of books, conference papers and lectures about P.E.I.'s history, and was invested into the Order of Canada last year.

Reginald "Dutch" Thompson

Dutch Thompson is an award-winning historian and storyteller. He has published a book about P.E.I.'s bygone days.
Dutch Thompson is an award-winning historian and storyteller. He has published a book about P.E.I.'s bygone days.

Dutch Thompson is an award-winning historian and storyteller. (Pat Martel/CBC)

Best known for his features for The Bygone Days on CBC Radio's Mainstreet, Dutch Thompson is an oral historian and broadcaster, "specializing in the stories of Islanders born in the late 1800s through to the Depression years of the 1930s."

The Bunbury resident's fascination for life on P.E.I. eventually led to a collection of 800 hours of audio accounts from Islanders.

"Dutch's research has been referenced by scholars and amateur historians around the world and is currently undergoing digitization in order to ensure its preservation for future generations," the release states.

"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."