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Sam Roberts Band will be rockin’ the river

Earthy, indie and bearded Sam Roberts and his eponymous band have clocked a fair share of klicks since the Undergrads days of the early 2000s.
Six albums into his career and currently on tour supporting his latest album, Lo-Fantasy, The Advocate caught up with Roberts living the glitz and glam of rock and roll while in the back of a van somewhere between Washington, DC and Annapolis, Maryland. While long distance travelling can wear anyone down, the process can become accelerated for those in the back of vans somewhere on the eastern seaboard.
“It’s an acquired taste for a way of life, that’s for sure,” said Roberts.
“(There are) times when you have to dig into your bag of tricks to find ways to keep your head screwed on straight so that you’re not just glossing over the cities and not taking anything in,” Roberts said. “And that to me is the real danger; you’re travelling to all these places and they become names on the map instead of cities full of people and things to do.”
The key, Roberts has learned, is to seize the day (off) and venture out into whatever land one’s van rolls into and try and connect with it, “because it’s so easy to just coast in and play your show and leave the same night without ever feeling like you’ve been there at all sometimes.”
While shows such as the Jubilee and its rock-ready crowds are highlights in any touring schedule, Roberts said there’s been plenty of odd days in his group’s back pages.
“Each (gig) has their own character, that’s for sure. We’ve played some pretty weird shows in towns and clubs in the US,” Roberts said. “And that’s the thing with us: one day you find yourself at a roadhouse type place with chicken wire around the stage and people throwing bottles at you like in Blues Brothers and the next day you’re in front of 10,000 people at a festival and they’re singing along to the music.”
With a career born just on the cusp of the new millennium, Roberts and his band bore witness to the changing landscape of the music industry and have come out relatively unscathed.
“We were there to witness the shift from bands selling records to bands and labels scrambling to stop the bleeding, so to speak. Since then it’s undergone so many changes that every time you put out a record the landscape is totally different. I think you just have to learn to think on your feet and not get too accustomed to one way of doing things.”
Roberts said things don’t look to be settling into a comfortable routine anytime soon. “We’re still doing it so obviously you can still survive as a band, you still can go out and make music for a living. You just have to think on your feet all the time.”
Whatever challenges the industry faces, Roberts said there will always be an importance placed on producing new albums, even it’s only matter of re-charging ones creative batteries. “The live show becomes very stale and predictable if you don’t feed new music into it,” Roberts said. “Whether you sell records or not is not necessarily the point; the point is live performance requires new fuel from time to time and that’s what a new record provides.”
The Sam Roberts Band, powered by fresh new fuel, will be headlining the Jubilee Saturday night, August 2.

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Solo Page taking Sunday’s stage

Former Barenaked Lady, one-time camp counsellor and Jubilee virgin Steven Page will be taking the riverfront stage Sunday night, August 3.
Catching Page during a brief break from recording his upcoming album, the singer explained that although he’d toyed with the notion of leaving the BNL nest as far back as 2004, and did venture outside of it with 2005′s The Vanity Project, his decision to leave the band in 2009 was a weighty one.
“Oh it was really hard,” Page said. “You might think about stuff like that but when it actually happens, no matter how much you prepare yourself, it’s just difficult. It’s nice to know you have lots of options and opportunities that you might have had to say no to in the past; but in general, I lived in that band for 20 years. Our tour manager would tell me when to get up, where to go, and all of a sudden I was walking on my own which became quite empowering, but in the beginning quite daunting for sure.”
Those opportunities included the A Singer Must Die collaboration with the Art of Time Ensemble and the resumption of his songwriting relationship with Stephen Duffy (with whom Page co-wrote the BNL hit Jane) for this first true solo album, Page One. That album also saw Page work with and write with Craig Northey of the Odds. The Northey-Page songwriting partnership, Page said, will be responsible for the bulk of the current album in progress.
Page said he doesn’t look at his leaving BNL as a break, a reset, or starting over but as a continuation. “I learned so much from being in Barenaked Ladies and that’s what I take with me,” Page said, “that’s a big part of myself. That’s how other people identify myself, that’s how I identify myself as well.”
While enjoying the freedom of being solo, it took some getting used to and Page found himself missing some of the security and familiarity of his old band mates. But having been with his current live band for the past five years that pleasant feeling is starting to return. “When we were all in the studio recording it was just so easy and fun and laid back but incredibly professional,” Page said. “We just felt like family. It was really nice to feel that again.”
The difference now, however, is not having to answer to anyone or putting ideas aside for the sake of friendship and compromise.
“Sometimes when you’re in a band you get suggestions from other band members and they see things in a way you would have never seen it,” Page said. “Sometimes there’s a suggestion and you don’t agree with it but because it’s a band you have to take those concerns seriously. At this point in my career I know what I’m trying to do so I can recruit people and befriend people who can help me realize that.”
As for what a Steven Page show is like, the singer said you definitely get a bit of the Steven Page you’re used to from “the day” and you’ll get a selection of those classic BNL songs as well.
“They’re a part of me,” Page said.
“I sang those songs and wrote those songs and they’re part of my catalogue but we rearrange them a little bit. The instrumentation of my group is different, and it gives us an opportunity to tailor them to our sounds without losing the essence of the song. You can still sing along with them. I think people didn’t know what to expect after I left the band, was I going to be serious all the time. It’s just a part of what Barenaked Ladies always was too. We had serious stuff and funny stuff. The live show is about enjoying yourself and entertainment and the power of music.”
“You get some solo stuff,” Page said, “but I know you didn’t come just to hear that.”

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Mariners end season with awards

PICTOU – The Pictou County Mariners wrapped up their season in June at their annual swim banquet following an eventful year with awards given out for both Nova Tech swimmers and Aged Group swimmers.
The Nova Tech awards included rookie of the year awarded to Grace Hendshaw, Nova Tech most promising swimmer to Samantha Reid, and Nova tech MVP award to Jamie Scott-Barter.
Aged group awards included most improved swimmer that went to Samantha McNeil and the spirit award went to Aaron Day.
Top awards were handed out to the age group swimmers as well. Top 12 and under swimmer went to Myla Briand, Top 13-14 swimmer went to Noah Joudrie, Top 15 and over swimmer and MVP of the year went to Shania Wong.
Brian MacKinnon, past president for the past seven years with the team, was also acknowledged. His dedication and hard work over the years has been much appreciated and the team.
Four graduating swimmers will be leaving the Mariners.
Emily Cyr, a graduate from Northumberland Regional High School, will be attending Dalhousie University for sciences, and was a member of the team for the past 10 years.
Tim Ferris, a graduate from North Nova Education Centre, was a member of the team for seven years and will be attending the Skill Link Employability Program. Ferris is also a member of Canada’s Special Olympics swim team and recently competed in Vancouver where he received seven medals.
Shania Wong , a graduate from North Nova Education Centre, will be attending Acadia University for kinesiology. Wong was a member of the team for the past six years and will be continuing swimming as a varsity recruit with the Acadia Axewomen.
Kristin MacKinnon, a graduate from Pictou Academy, will also be attending Acadia University for kinesiology. MacKinnon was a member of the team for the past 12 years and is also a varsity recruit continuing swimming with the Axewomen.
Both Wong and MacKinnon were recruited in November by head coach Chris Stone. It has been a number of years since the team has had a varsity recruit.
The four graduating swimmers presented their head coach Ed Stewart and coaches Tara Fanning, Laura Roper, and Graham MacLeod with a graduation group photograph of the four of them, which was organized at the start of the year.
Stewart and Fanning presented each of the graduating swimmers with a custom Mariners towel that included the number of years each swimmer had been on the team as a parting gift.
The four graduating swimmers will be missed, but the team wishes them all the best of luck with their future plans and hopes they come back to visit.
The 2014-15 season for the Mariners begins in September, there will be a 10-week free trial for anyone who is interested in joining the team.
For more information contact Mariners club president Shaun Briand, 485-8349.

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More information on Ches Gregory

A few years ago, I wrote a column in The Advocate on long-ago hockey player Ches Gregory, one of the early athletic heroes on the Pictou County sports scene.
I explained how he used to sit in the church pew directly behind us every Sunday morning. It wasn’t until his death that I began to really learn what a great player he had been. I knew then that it was an interesting story missed.
Well, Pictou County statistics wizard Corey Hartling has filled in a lot of missing information on the old player who certainly got around in his lengthy career.
We have to go a long way back to pick up the start of the Gregory story. In fact, we have to go back more than a century – to the 1905-06 hockey season to be precise.
The New Glasgow Cubs were a part of the Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League in those days and they had experienced two consecutive last-place finishes in the league. As Hartling relates, team executives knew there weren’t enough skilled local players to compete in the very competitive six-team league, and they decided to import players if the club was going to improve.
Ches Gregory, a native of Charlottetown, was one of those brought in. He was 19 years old at the time. Hartling wrote that the Islander was “a relentless worker and a talented goal scorer.” New Glasgow could definitely use someone like him.
From that time on, he had quite a career in senior hockey, a career that lasted for 24 years. It was a career that saw him play for the Cubs, move on to three years with the Moncton Victorias, on to the Renfrew Creamery Kings for a single game, a return to New Glasgow, then in order, time with the North Sydney Victorias, back to the Cubs again, a season with the New Glasgow Black Foxes, a year with the New Glasgow Bluenoses, appearances with the Sydney Millionaires, Glace Bay Miners, four more seasons back in New Glasgow, then years with the Stellarton Professionals and Stellarton Oaklands before hanging up his gear after the 1928-29 campaign. Yes, he got around.
According to Hartling, Gregory enjoyed four consecutive Maritime championship seasons between 1905-06 and 1908-09, made all-star teams several times and, when all was said and done, he was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame.
One of the interesting developments in his career occurred when he was declared ineligible for the senior league. The ruling Maritime hockey body explained that it had “entire jurisdiction in the Maritime provinces over amateurs, and in case of wilful violations of its rules the offenders will be dealt with by suspension and will not be allowed to compete with or against clubs who have not offended any Maritime or provincial trophy.”
So what did Gregory do? He organized the Maritime Pro Hockey League. Obviously nothing was going to stop him from playing the game. It was his stand, more than anything else, that brought pro hockey to Nova Scotia.
As most fans are aware, it was in December 1906 that New Glasgow, as champions of Nova Scotia, went to Montreal to play the Wanderers for the Stanley Cup. That was “a deliberate defiance” of the Maritime association’s rules, that the moment the team played, the players would be recognized as professionals. The games, of course, did go on.
Hartling reproduced newspaper coverage of the Montreal-New Glasgow games. It wasn’t the first time I read those stories, but I always find it intriguing to read them again. It was certainly a key part of Pictou County’s hockey history.
During many of the seasons Gregory played and starred at centre, he was also coaching and managing teams. He was a vital fixture in many ways.
Needless to add, the New Glasgow Cubs were a pretty popular franchise after Gregory and other newcomers turned them into championship winners. The team played out of the old Arena in downtown New Glasgow where crowds packed the facility.
It certainly wasn’t expensive to support the Cubs. For example, an advertisement that Hartling reproduced in his publication said admission to a Maritime playoff match between Nova Scotia champion New Glasgow and New Brunswick champion Moncton was 25 cents. To sit in “the gallery” cost an extra dime.
Year by year, Hartling lists league standings, team rosters and individual stats, but there is so much information that it’s impossible to list all the facts here. It does, however, make for some very enjoyable reading. As I mentioned in a column a couple of weeks ago, Hartling must have spent an enormous amount of time compiling the arithmetic behind Gregory’s career and the outcome of games during that long-ago era.
As I said at the outset, to have had an opportunity to interview Gregory in those years he was “a neighbour” in church every Sunday would have been a highlight of my career.
It was in late 1966 – more than 60 years after he was first brought in to play for the Cubs – that Ches Gregory died in his adopted New Glasgow. He was 80 years of age.
Someone once asked me if I had interviewed many top hockey stars in my career. He began to laugh as I started giving him some names.
Gordie Howe, Maurice (Rocket) Richard, Jean Beliveau, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mark Messier, Frank (Big M) Mahovlich, Terry Sawchuk, Doug Harvey, Guy Lafleur, Johnny Bower, Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, Ken Dryden – that’s just off the top of my head; the list could go on for quite a while. But I think I answered the fellow’s question.
It would have been so nice if Ches Gregory’s name had been in that list.

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Crushers’ pre-season schedule

NEW GLASGOW – The Pictou County Weeks Crushers have released their 2014 Training Camp Schedule.
The camp opens on Aug. 28 and has four exhibition games.
Thursday, Aug. 28
6 p.m. Camp Check In
7 – 745 p.m. Team A Practice
8 – 8:45 p.m. Team B Practice
9 – 9:45 p.m. Team C Practice
Friday, Aug. 29
8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Intersquad #1
10 – 11:15 a.m. Intersquad #2
11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Intersquad #3
5 – 7 p.m. All Rookie Game
7:30 – 9 p.m. Family BBQ
Saturday, Aug. 30
10 – 11 a.m. Practice
7 p.m. Crushers @ Summerside
Sunday, Aug. 31
10 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Session
3 p.m. Summerside @ Crushers
Monday, Sept. 1
10 – 11 a.m. Practice
4 – 5:30 p.m. Pracitce
Tuesday, Sept. 2
1 – 3 p.m. Practice
7 p.m. Crushers @ Truro
Wednesday, Sept. 3
10 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Session
4 – 5:30 p.m. Practice
Thursday, Sept. 4
10 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Session
7 p.m. Truro @ Crushers
Friday, Sept. 5 TEAM BUILDER
Saturday, Sept. 6 10 – 11 a.m. Practice, TEAM BUILDER

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Doherty wins top honours

NEW GLASGOW – Matt Doherty is the festival of the Tartans overall Scottish heavyweight events champion for 2014.
Doherty took first place among 11 contestants on July 19 during the annual festival events at the Tartan Field in New Glasgow by winning five of the six events.
He won the open stone toss, 22-pound hammer throw, the 28-pound weight for distance, 56-pound weight for distance and the 56-pound weight for height.
He was third behind Greg Hadley and Derrick Smith in the caber toss, where a pole weighing 105 pounds and 20 feet, six inches long was used.
Hadley and Danny Frame were tied for second place in points, with the least points winning based on top finished in each event.
Adam Ogilvie, Terry McKay, Scott McHugh, Brian MacLean, Duncan Kennedy, Liam Walsh and Jessie LeBlanc also competed.
Meagan Kennedy won the rolling pin toss ahead of Valerie Taylor-West and Margaret Walsh.
Mairinn Kennedy, was first, Ethan Snell was second and Digby Taylor-West was third in the Wellie (boot) toss.

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Previous cuts end Brody Blair’s bid

LYONS BROOK – Brody Blair’s dream of a Commonwealth Games medal has ended.
The Lyons Brook boxer was disappointed Monday evening in Glasgow, Scotland when his second bout at the Games was stopped because of a previous fight injury. Cuts he sustained above both eyes from a head-butt in his first bout on Saturday night reopened, forcing the stoppage.
Blair was leading on all judges’ score cards with 1:32 remaining in the third round, but Benny Muziyo of Zambia was declared the winner and advanced to the quarter final.
“He’s pretty disappointed,” Blair’s father Robert Blair said. “I was surprised the fight went that long. He had the judges in his corner. Now he’s going to cheer on our other boxers.”
Blair won his opening bout by defeating 30-year-old Abdul Bangura from Sierra Leone.
He won the bout by split-decision after the fight was stopped at 2:15 of the first round due to accidental head butt which resulted in Brody receiving cuts over both eyes.
Canada sent seven boxers to the Games. Blair was one of five men and there were two women on the team.
Blair, 23, faces a future of qualification bouts in a bid to represent Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
He earned a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan Ams in Mexico.

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AA locked out of Wentworth school

To the Editor:
On July 13, 2014, members of the Wentworth and Area AA group attempted to enter Wentworth Elementary School where they regularly hold their Sunday evening meetings. Their key would not open the door – the locks had been changed. For the first time in approximately 20 years, they were denied access to the building.
AA has held its meetings in the school as part of the Wentworth Community School program which has scheduled the after-school use of the building for 30+ years. The Community School Council had been notified that no activities were to be held in the school for the month of July as cleaning was taking place. On Sunday evening, the AA group was to collect their materials and supplies and take them to the Wentworth United Church where space had been secured for them until the cleaning was completed.
Meanwhile, in its wisdom, staff of Chignecto-Central Regional School Board had decided that a community presence in the school building was a threat “to safety and security of students and staff at the school” (as stated in a letter from CCRSB staff intended for the Wentworth Community School Council) and had informed the Council their keys would be confiscated and locks and security codes changed. Volunteers for the Council were not informed when the work was to take place or contacted and given a time to remove their belongings.
Wentworth Elementary School has been an important site for community meetings and activities since its opening in 1959. A community presence in the building has never before been considered a risk to the safety and security of students and staff.
For the foreseeable future, the AA group will have to conduct their meetings in the church basement without their supporting devices.
Carol Hyslop
Wentworth Valley NS

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Accident rate will decrease if drivers slow down and pay attention

To the Editor:
After reading last Saturday’s local paper with the Letter to the Editor, I sat in amazement at what was written about wanting the highway twined from Sutherlands River to Antigonish because it was stated that statistics do not lie.
But wait a minute; statisticians do not always tell the whole story.
Yes, the highway in question is a two-lane highway but it also has passing lanes and was well put together by a highway engineer that did the plans for the highway. Now stop and ask yourself, when was the last time you read your drivers’ hand book or paid attention to the rules of the road? I see it all the time on our four-lane highways: people driving too fast, using cell phones, texting, passing on the right hand side…
And in our city and towns, stop signs and red lights do not mean anything to a lot of people that drive – and young ladies seem to be the worst.
So just who is at fault: The highway or the driver? For I would say the driver wanting to get somewhere before they left home.
So folks, just stop and ask yourself: Is it the highway at fault or is it the driver?
Yes, I would like to see more twinned highways but I also see many accidents on them as well. So folks, read your hand book and drive the way you are supposed to and the accident rate will go down, you can be sure of that.
Now in closing, I sure hope that no one asks to have our side walks twinned for I am not sure what we would do then. Thank you and drive safe.
Loyd Murray
New Glasgow

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Thanks for support to War Amps

To the Editor:
I was born missing my left arm, my right leg and part of my right hand. I’m also a member of The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program. On the weekend of July 11, I had the opportunity to attend The War Amps 2014 Atlantic CHAMP Seminar in Halifax as a Junior Counsellor (JC).
As a JC I acted as a role model, showing younger Champs how to adopt the seminar theme, “Set the Bar High.” I helped out with the seminar during the many sessions and talked to the parents of new child amputees.
It was my third year in this role and each time has been such a wonderful experience. I remember when I was very young and attending a seminar in Halifax. I was a little shy and a junior counsellor came over and played with me throughout the weekend, introducing me to some Champs who I am still friends with to this day. That junior counsellor was a role model to me and I was certain I wanted to have the same impact on other Champs as I got older.
I would like to thank all of you who support The War Amps Key Tag Service, which has made programs such as CHAMP, possible for young amputees like me.
Siobhan MacDonald, 16
Junior Counsellor,
Mabou, NS

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Tick prevention: know the risks

To the Editor:
Nova Scotia is endemic for blacklegged ticks that can carry Lyme disease and co-infection. There are areas with higher concentrations of ticks increasing the risk of being bitten. Not all blacklegged ticks carry the bacteria but risk is risk.
It is important to be aware of the possibility of getting bitten by a tick and to do what you can to decrease the risk.
It is recommended to cover up with light-coloured clothing to spot ticks more easily and to wear closed-toed shoes.
Tuck your pant legs in to your socks to prevent ticks from crawling up your legs and tuck your shirt in to prevent ticks from getting on to your skin. Tuck long hair in under a hat.
It is recommended to use insect repellents that contain DEET. According to Thomas Mather, a public health entomologist at the University of Rhode Island, evidence suggests that the more common bug spray chemical N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), isn’t useful against ticks. According to Mather, it’s not toxic to the ticks, they still can scurry across a DEET-treated surface and get to places where the DEET is not, such as a warm human leg.
Connie Cameron, herbalist who can be found at the New Glasgow Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, sells natural tick repellents that are very effective.
It is important to do tick checks in your children, your pets and yourself. Ticks can often hitchhike on a pet into the home and crawl onto people. A pet hair roller can be helpful when rolled over your clothing to pick up ticks while checking your clothes for ticks. Placing your clothing in a hot drier for five minutes will kill any missed ticks. Ticks do not drown and can survive washing.
Taking a hot shower after returning indoors is also a good idea. People who are in the habit of showering immediately after outdoor activities are less likely to get Lyme disease, perhaps because they can catch any biting ticks before they’ve transmitted the disease.
If you find a tick don’t put anything on it or use your bare hands to remove it. People can become infected by handling or crushing an infected tick. Wear gloves, or even better, use fine point tweezers or a tick-removing tool. Pharmacy First in Stellarton has a device called the Tick Key to aid in removal. The veterinary clinics have tools to assist with tick removal from your pets.
Ticks tend to congregate in long grass and wooded areas in shady, humid environments, so sticking to sunny areas can reduce tick exposure. Most ticks around homes stay within a few yards of the interface between the yard and a wooded area. Ticks won’t cross a barrier of wood chips or fine gravel placed around the yard’s perimeter, perhaps because the dry material makes them dry out too much.
It is thought that a tick has to be attached for 36 hours before it can transmit the disease. You cannot say how long a tick has been attached as they do not have a watch. In some current research, the bacteria can transfer within a very short period of time, a few hours. The bull’s-eye rash is a sign of Lyme disease and it was thought that 70-80 per cent of people get the rash. In some current research here in Nova Scotia only about 18 per cent of people get a rash. Watch for symptoms such as flu like symptoms, head ache, shifting achy joint, fatigue and others. Consult with a knowledgeable health care professional regarding treatment.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
Education is key!
Brenda Sterling-Goodwin
New Glasgow

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Busy weekend shows lessons

When we assess what Pictou County has going for it, events like the list from the past week represent good examples.
The annual Race on the River dragon boat festival and related events occur this time of year, usually to coincide with an ideal tide. Thirty crews paddled the three dragon boats this year and raised $125,000 for the event’s charities of choice. More important than the money is the camaraderie generated from being there in the moment. Pictou County comes together in a very special way at this event.
Stellarton Homecoming took place last week and wound up with a rousing fireworks show. Any program that features a musical artist of Frank McKay’s range and stature adds a different dimension to it, as indicated by the large crowd that watched him perform last Wednesday at Allan Park. Some events don’t change year-to-year, but a special effort made it a memorable week to help the town mark its 125th year of incorporation in 1889.
That was also an important year for the YMCA. The result was a 125th birthday celebrated last weekend at Big Cove YMCA Camp along Merigomish’s inner harbour. The camp’s supporters have sustained some tough times when it faced possible closure, but support for it has rarely been so strong and organizers introduced a plan on Saturday that suggests the camp is poised for an even brighter future.
One of Northumberland Strait’s treasures is the selection of camping experiences available along its shores. Big Cove Camp has endured and built anew.
River John Festival Days also took place last week. For the most part, the weather co-operated and events were generally on schedule. More than the festival, the community learned what the province’s hub community model for schools looks like as it tries to make a case to keep River John Consolidated School open. There are plenty of good reasons. Hopefully, the hub model will help its stakeholders make their case.
The Melmerby Triathlon also took place last weekend and drew about 150 people to the water and roads in the area for the swimming, biking and running disciplines that comprise triathlon races. While it was a success, the most critical note for the event is that it’s back. Road safety issues that could not be resolved in time to conduct the event last year appear to have worked well this year. Often, a year’s absence for an event dooms it. Success graced the event on Sunday and it has a bright future, too.
These events speak to how much we have to be thankful for in Pictou County, which is why we cannot let anything threaten their wellbeing or ours. Let us resolve the current air quality issue at Northern Pulp so that we live together, live well and enjoy these treasures for years to come.

Steve Goodwin

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Watering trough to become registered town heritage site

NEW GLASGOW – A familiar landmark is being dedicated on Friday.
A ceremony at 2 p.m. will mark the official declaration of the 1913 New Glasgow watering trough at the intersection of MacDonald Street and East River Road.
While there are no indications of a horse-drawn wagon of the kind that was popular a century ago being available, officials have assured a horse will be present at the ceremony.
Albert Williams of New Glasgow was one of the last to water his horses at the trough. It was one of three water troughs being recalled in Chapter Nine of the latest book written by retired judge and New Glasgow resident Clyde Macdonald.
The one being dedicated is one of three that existed at the time, although it also has 1913 marked on its side. The others that no longer exist were on what is now called George Street in front of Carmichael Park and between the New Glasgow fire station and Laurie Park on Dalhousie Street.
According to Macdonald’s book, the one at Laurie Park was identified in 1956. The one at Carmichael Park was featured on post cards in the early 1990s but was taken out in the 1960s. Reasons reported in the book include the lack of horse traffic and the high incidence of motor vehicles striking it.
Supplying water for the troughs was expensive enough for the Town of New Glasgow to adopt a bylaw listing the presumably annual cost of $2 to either water a horse or wash carriages.
For his part, Williams, who operated a trucking business using horses, was the last person to use the watering trough on East River Road, which was made possible under a grandfather clause.
New Glasgow actually had the trough registered last year as a town heritage property under the province’s Heritage Act.
Cheryl Young, New Glasgow’s project co-ordinator for community economic development, praised the town’s heritage committee that has made the preservation of the remaining water trough possible.
“As a staff resource on New Glasgow’s Heritage Committee I am grateful to work with such a dedicated and knowledgeable group of individuals, helping to beautifully preserve and celebrate New Glasgow’s history,” she said.

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Songs for PA scholarships

Pictou United Church will be swaying along with the tunes of the Pictou Academy Benefit concert on August 3.
Singer Roslyn MacDonald, accompanied by Karen Crowley, will be headlining the show.
MacDonald and her husband Bill, a Pictou Academy graduate, live in Florida but spend summers in this area. MacDonald is an opera singer. After not being able to make it to Pictou to do the concert before, MacDonald decided that this was the year.
“I feel that it’s such a worthy cause,” said MacDonald, “I’m happy to do it.”
Despite not being from Pictou, MacDonald was able to get a lineup together of friends such as Ann Holton and John Spyder MacDonald, who she had met at previous music events in the county.
MacDonald will also be joined by the Pictou group ECHO. She had not had the opportunity of hearing ECHO until her friend, Beth Henderson, sent her information on the group.
“Oh, they would be a good addition to the show,” thought MacDonald.
Tickets are $10 each, with the show beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds will be going toward the Pictou Academy Scholarship Education Fund. “Anything that comes in will be going to the school,” said MacDonald.
For the concert, she will be performing some vintage and classic songs. “I just hope we’ll get a good crowd,” said MacDonald. “It’s to help some students further their education.”

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County seniors getting ready for big weekend

Planning for the Pictou County Seniors festival is coming along smoothly with a little under a month left to plan.
This year marks the 27th year for the festival that brings those over 50 together for a weekend of entertainment and activities.
“It seems to be coming along very good,” said Betty Cooke, the chairperson for the festival committee. The only snag that the committee seems to be having so far is hearing back from donors in time to get everything straightened out.
“People wait till the last minute,” said Cooke. “It makes it hard for us.”
The committee is nevertheless very grateful for the donations and was thrilled as a few more were presented at a recent meeting.
The toughest part of the festival, said Cooke is, “getting the food and entertainment.”
Each year they have local acts perform at various parts of the festival such as the dance.
It’s not just seniors from Pictou County who attend the festival though, in the past they have seen people visiting from all over the country.
“We have them from B.C., Ontario, the Valley, P.E.I., we have them from all over,” said Cooke. There is also a group that comes every year from Lake Echo in HRM, just for the festival.
Activities for this year’s festival will include cards and crib, darts, bowling, washer toss and bingo among other things.
The price of admission this year has gone up from previous year’s $12, to $15 in order to make up for rising prices, and allow some room in the budget.
“The cost of things has gone up so high,” said Cooke.
With the festival being held from August 7 to 9, the committee promises a good time with Allen O’Brian and the boys playing at the Saturday dance.
“We have entertainment until the time it starts until it’s over,” said Cooke.
Events include:

Thursday, Aug. 7
•Auction 45s at the rink, 7-9 p.m.

Friday, AUg. 8
•Bowling 9-11 a.m. at Heatherlanes
•Opening ceremonies, 11:30 a.m. at the rink
•UCT barbecue, 12-1 p.m.
•Entertainment 1-2 p.m.
•Bingo 2-4 p.m.
•Cribbage 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 9
•9-11 a.m. walkabout; darts at the Steeltown Friendly Group on Main Street
Entertainment, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the rink
Kinsmen dinner, 12 p.m.
2:30 p.m. washer toss
7-11 p.m. social dance

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Friendships formed from act of kindness

Judy Carruthers has made a friend for life with a simple act of kindness.
In March, her husband Ron discovered a handwritten note attached to a mylar balloon that was stuck in the branches of frozen bushes near their Caribou River home. The note was from a family living in Middlefield, Ohio, USA, who was grieving the death of a loved one.
The balloon contained a personal message that asked its finder to please call the telephone number provided when the item was found.
This is what Judy did.
“I called them as soon as I read the note,” Judy said.
After having a phone conversation with Joyce Miller’s son and husband, Judy learned that the family released a number of balloons at Miller’s gravesite. One pink balloon was released by Miller’s husband.
That is the balloon that made the journey from the centre of the world’s fourth largest Amish settlement to this coastal community on the Northumberland Strait.
Judy felt a sort of kindred connection to the Millers after the initial phone conversation so she sent them some pieces of Pictou County: 18 pieces of sea glass for the 18 members of the Miller family, pictures of the Carruthers family and of the their property, a bit of Nova Scotia tartan and a Canadian flag pin. And a copy of The Advocate with the story of the balloon’s discovery on the front page.
She received a package from Joyce Miller’s husband, Bob Miller Jr., and family in return. It contained a number of items from the Middlefield area and tourism information from Ohio as well as Miller family photos.
It also contained a newspaper, The Middlefield Post, which had a story with the headline, “Middlefield balloon lands in Nova Scotia” about the balloon and its journey northward.
But Judy feels she received much more than a package of information about a community she has never visited. She feels she has received an even greater gift – that of a friendship forged from grief followed up by an act of kindness.
Would she do it all again? In a heart beat!
“I am happy to have done it,” she smiles. “I think it helps him feel a connection to his departed wife. And I am happy to be a part of it.”

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Blues for all ages

The Jubilee is not all about rock music; for the fifth year Blues in the Park will be taking over Carmichael Park for a Sunday afternoon of soulful songs.
The event, run by the Pictou County Blues Society, seems to only be rising in popularity since it began.
“The park is pretty full, it’s all around the gazebo,” said Katie MacDonald, chairperson of the blues society.
The concert is not just for any one age group, either. Over the past few years, MacDonald said she has been seeing more parents take their children to dance along to some of the tunes.
“We see a lot of seniors as well,” she said, noting that the volume not being overly loud and the option to sit in a shady spot are draws for this age group.
“We get all ages, that’s why we try to get a mix of bands.”
The lineup for this year includes The McCready Brothers, and Mac and Mac’s Harp Attack consisting of Dylan and Sandy MacDonald.
Pictou County’s own Full Circle Blues Band will also be playing this year.
“It’s exciting to have Full Circle because they are a new blues band in Pictou County,” said MacDonald.
Besides the music, Blues in the Park will also be boasting a Pictou County Blues Society information table where you can become a member for free, enjoy refreshments as well as Sweet Surrender Hammocks, which will be visiting from Antigonish.
The concert takes place Sunday, 2-5 p.m.
“I just think the combo of the three different acts, there is going to be something for everyone,” said MacDonald.

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Memories of war

It is no secret that Pictou County has its military ties. The Museum of Industry is showcasing those historical ties in a new exhibit that will be on display until September 28.
Courage and Commitment: Pictou County in the World Wars will be showcasing the influence the county had in the First and Second World Wars, and even a few well known Pictou County residents. It also highlights the industrial contribution Pictou County made during the wars.
“I became aware that it was the 100th anniversary of the First Word War and the 75th anniversary of the Second,” said Debra McNabb, the director of the Museum.
The collection they have on display is quite different from any other military display you may have seen before though. Although the museum collected items from various Canadian war museums, McNabb says that about 80 per cent of the artifacts are from residents of the county.
“People will see things that may have never been seen by the public before,” said McNabb. Some of the items are also from local museums like Carmichael- Stewart House, and the McCulloch museum.
“Curating this exhibit has been a humbling and rewarding experience,” said co-curator Judith Hoegg Ryan. “Learning of the courage and dedication of Pictonians on both the battle and home fronts has left me with refreshed appreciation of the personal sacrifices made for our freedom, yesterday and yet today. I trust Pictonians and visitors will leave the exhibit with renewed gratitude and pride in their past.”
On August 10, the Stellarton museum will be holding an event to thank all those who contributed to the display and anyone else who would like to see it. The event will include the Sentimental Journey band that will be playing war tunes, as well as refreshments that are reminiscent of the era. Tours of the exhibit will also be given along with a reading from John Ashton.
Although the Pictou County Military Museum did not donate anything to be on display McNabb hopes that people will take them into account if they are curious to see more.
“Were hoping that by talking about the wars here it will draw people more to the military museum if they want to know more,” said McNabb.

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Little girl has big heart

Pamela Hamilton found her daughter London up at midnight drawing blue prints one night.
London, 6, was drawing blueprints for a very special project—her lemonade stand.
Not long before this London decided that she would like to sell lemonade to raise money for cancer research.
“My dad was diagnosed with it,” said London.
At $1 a cup, London set up shop at the dragon boat practices that began July 21. By Thursday evening she had managed to raise $204 dollars for her cause.
When she first told her parents, when she was 5, that she wanted to make a lemonade stand to raise money they thought she wanted to buy a special toy or another treat for herself, but London had bigger plans.
“It’s not for me, it’s for cancer, Mommy.”
She was asked if she was trying to raise the money for the type of cancer her father had been diagnosed with, but her reply was: “There’s more types of cancer than Daddy’s, I want to cure all cancer.”
When the West Pictou student sells lemonade she says her favorite part is pouring it for her customers.
“They’re happy,” she said about the people who buy her lemonade and water.
London was at rowing practices from Tuesday to Thursday, despite the rain Thursday evening. She did not, however, sell her lemonade during the weekend of the races.
Her mother shared that there will soon be a trust fund set up at Scotiabank for anyone who wishes to make donations to London’s cause.
The Seafoam girl has also been collecting bottles to raise even more money that will go toward cancer research as well. So far, she has a few bags from walking about 15 km down the road collecting the bottles that she finds.
”Her daddy; that’s what’s giving her – her drive and ambition,” said Hamilton.

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Elvis is still ‘The King’

On August 16, 1977 the world received the shocking news that Elvis Presley had passed away at home in his Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn.
Many people can tell you exactly where and what they were doing when they heard the news. Also known as the King of Rock and Roll, Presley changed the face of 20th century pop culture. He left a huge legacy of music and movies and is still loved by millions of people worldwide to this day.
To commemorate the 37th anniversary of his death, International World Champion Elvis tribute artist Thane Dunn and his new Cadillac Kings will be celebrating the life and music of Presley with their all new “Remembering Elvis” show at the deCoste Centre on that exact date, August 16.
The new show will feature your Elvis favourites plus many new songs never before performed by Dunn.
“We never do the same show twice but we have gone all out this year to make this our best show yet,” said Dunn whose first and only apprearance at the deCoste Centre was completely sold out.
He is widely regarded as the very best in the business and has been called the full Elvis package from his natural resemblance, uncanny Elvis voice, the moves, etc. But its his ability to create the illusion of Elvis onstage that seperates Dunn from the crowd. His interaction with the audience is second to none and even people who saw Elvis live have said it was like watching him all over again. All of Dunn’s stage suits are exact replicas of the elaborate jumpsuits popularized by Presley.
His newly revamped eight-piece Cadillac Kings consist of three ECMA winners, the Shai Gospel winner of recording of the year and even a new female soprano singer from England.They have Elvis’ TCB band’s sound down.
One lucky concert goer will win a pair of authentic Elvis sunglasses made from the same mold and made by the same maker from Hollywood ,California who made the originals for Presley.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at the deCoste box office, by phone at (902) 485-8848 and online at Check out

Win tickets to see Thane Dunn’s all new Elvis show! August 16 at the deCoste Centre

Answer this question:
How old would Elvis be if he was still alive today?

Email your answer to:
or drop it off to our office on George Street, Pictou,
or mail it to PO Box 1000, Pictou, NS B0K 1H0
for your chance to win.
Draw date is August 13.

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Albions win Homecoming tourney

STELLARTON – Youth is serving the Pictou County Molson Canadian well this season.
More evidence was in force last weekend as the Albions captured the Stellarton Homecoming intermediate baseball tournament championship at the Albion Athletic Field.
Wesley Moser, one of the many younger players inserted into the lineup over the past several seasons, tossed a one-hit shutout and struck out eight batters as the Albion completed a weekend sweep of four games with a 4-0 victory over the Eastern Passage Schooners.
Moser was helped on offence by Tim Chaisson’s solo home run in the second inning, while Tyler Day delivered a two-run single and scored on Matt Purdy’s double in the fourth inning.
It was the second one-hit win the Albions enjoyed during the weekend.
Craig Murray hurled a complete-game, one-hit shutout and fanned nine over five innings as the Albions blanked the Pictou County Cardinals 11-0.
Chris Priest led the offence, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and two singles.
Nathan Furler also had a complete-game win as the Albions opened with a 4-3 victory over the Schooners on Chaisson’s two-run, walk-off homer.
Chaisson singled in the Albions’ first run in the fifth inning and scored on a double by Shane Dupuis.
Cory Baird also recorded a complete-game win over four innings in the Albions’ 16-1 win over the Halifax Outlaws. The lone run he allowed was unearned.
The Albions have three more regular-season scheduled games in an effort to secure first place in the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League standings.
They host the first-place Noel Road Blue Jays at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9 and visit the defending champion Hantsport Shamrocks on Aug. 10 for two games.
The Jays have a 13-4 record and 43 points, while the Albions are 12-5 with 41 points and the Yarmouth Gateways are 12-4 with 40 points.
The Albions’ Brad Hurley is third in the league with a .472 batting average, a second-best .595. on-base percentage and a league-leading .806 slugging average helped by his two home runs so far this season.
The Albions’ Matt Noyles has a .417 batting average and also has two homers, while Hayman has a .379 average and Priest is hitting .361.
Justin Campbell of the Blue Jays has won his six starts and boasts a league-low .41 earned-run average.
Furler is 3-1 with a 1.04 ERA and a league-leading 44 strikeouts, while Mosher is 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA.
Their standing is based having pitched a minimum 20 innings this season.

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County hosts dirt bike event

UPPER MOUNT THOM – The Pictou County line was a bit more noisy and lot more dusty than usual on Sunday with CMRC Atlantic Motocross action taking place at the Mount Thom MX track.
Local cycle-hero Luke Penney took part in three events during the course of the day, finishing second in his first competition and feeling confident going into his later heats.
Between races the 11-year-old Penney played spectator and soaked in some of the excitement for himself. The racer explained that the Mount Thom MX course is his favourite track, and not just because it’s his local course.
“Well, first of all it’s close to my house, and I just love the sand and all the jumps,” he said.
An uphill step up bevel hill his is favourite jump and he said he prefers the uphill jumps generally to the downhill ones.
While the downhill jumps come with a certain fear factor and there’s always the risk of a crash the only thing that truly scares him is the idea of losing points- and that’s terrifying.
The July 27 schedule included practices starting at 8:30 a.m. and racing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Penneys have been at various tracks this year, including Ontario on an outdoor track and an Arenacross event last April in Springhill.
Their schedule also includes races that took place in June and to be scheduled for Aug. 31 in Malden, near Port Elgin, N.B.

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MacDonald rules Olympic race

MELMERBY BEACH – Normalcy has returned to Melmerby Beach.
The annual Melmerby Triathlon that was cancelled last year, returned in style, and New Glasgow’s Ryan MacDonald once again captured the Olympic event in less than two hours.
It was the fourth win for MacDonald, whose pacesetting time was one hour, 46 minutes and 55 seconds. That’s much faster than his 2:05:57 recording in 2012 and 2:09:31 in 2011.
Shawn Nuftall of New Glasgow was a distant second by 11 minutes on Sunday but also finished in less than two hours with a time of 1:57:55.
MacDonald was first out of the water in 22:33. He was well clear of competitors doing all three Olympic distance – the 1,500-metre before the 40-K bike route and 10-K run. But his swim was just 11 seconds faster than Emily Morton of New Glasgow, who combined with Abbey Shaw to capture the team event in 2:33:06.
“It was hard today,” MacDonald said. “There was no one to pace with and I was all by myself. This is my first triathlon, so I’m happy with the result.”
MacDonald had some difficulty negotiating the altered courses for the cycling and running events. During a practice, he and his father pedaled the opposite way from the posted diagram of the route through Little Harbour, Trenton and back to the transition point at Little Harbour Presbyterian Church.
He also plied the wrong roadway while completing the last running loop before the finish line. on Sunday.
Two other Olympic competitors swam to shore prematurely after they missed the outside buoys and had to backtrack.
Race director Terry Curley was unmoved despite the swimmers’ glares. “Forty of the swimmers got it right,” he said.
Ideal weather conditions graced the start of the races with a high tide that prevented swimmers from having to wade through the shallower part of the swim course and few reports of jelly fish. But the wind increased and created more wave action and made biking and running more of a challenge sometimes.
“The water was a little choppy and it was a little windy,” MacDonald said.
Morton, who did both the swim and cycling events before Shaw ran the remainder, in the team event said she was glad to participate.
“It was a great course,” Morton said. “Everything was awesome. It was actually Abbey who wanted to do the triathlon but was nervous about doing the bike, so we signed up together.”
Michelle Works swam, Mary Cantrell biked and Debbie MacDonald ran to place second in the team event.
They were among six teams that completed the event.
Among locals, Hugh Munroe was sixth in the Olympic triathlon, while New Glasgow’s Kevin Tulloch was eighth overall and had one of the more exuberant finishes, crossing the line while draped in a Canadian flag.
“It’s always great when you do a triathlon,” he said. “You have a good time or a great time. I had a great time. It’s great to have the race back.”
Thirty-seven triathletes completed the Olympic event, while 149 completed all the races.
In other events, Adam Aldred of West Pubnico won the sprint triathlon, whose distances are half of the Olympic ones. Jon MacDonald was 17th and top local male, while Cindy Fraser was 24th and top local female; 65 competitors completed the distance.
Ryan Hutchinson of Enfield won the super sprint featuring a 300-metre swim, 8-K bike ride and 2-K run for the 18 finishers. Bailey Fraser of Merigomish was third.
Anita Isenor won a the try-a-tri race and had 12 finishers.
Curley felt all the events went well, from the Olympics to the sprint, try-a-try and teams events on Sunday and the kids’ events on Saturday.
“We’re happy to be back and the beach,” he said. “There were a few little hiccups but despite the logistics we had to go through, it went very well.”
Besides being overall champion, MacDonald earned the Fred Lays award as the youngest Olympic triathlete on Sunday, while Fred Hampton was honoured with the volunteer award presented annually in memory of Verna van Bommel.

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MacKenzie protesting pulp mill’s emissions

PICTOU LANDING – Alexander MacKenzie has found a novel way to protest the emissions coming from the stacks at a local pulp mill.
It doesn’t exactly solve the problem by shooting fireworks out of homemade cannon on board his rough-hewn but solid 32-foot schooner. But he feels better.
“It’s invasive,” he said of the plume of emissions that often blows from Northern Pulp in the direction of his home in Pictou Landing. “(The cannon) is a little stress relief, to get it out of my system. I’ve tried everything else I can think of, but you can only take so much. I’m sick of it.”
MacKenzie has lived in his current residence since 1968. He has protested the stench he and others have associated with air emissions and effluent sent to the Boat Harbour treatment facility.
The way the smog sat throughout Pictou Harbour on July 20 on a calm morning moved him to act, he said.
“You couldn’t see Pictou,” he said.
His “pirate ship” is modeled after a schooner in terms of the familiar two-mast rigging and dimensions used. Its beam is eight feet to complement the schooner’s length.
The two cannons, like the gesture, are largely symbolic. He offered rides to anyone who wanted to join him offshore to explode some fireworks, besides family members who accompanied him on his first sail.
MacKenzie recalled a trip to check out emissions from a pulp mill in Ontario before the pulp mill at Abercrombie was built.
“I couldn’t believe how people lived there,” he said.
He also remembers when the mill at Abercrombie was being proposed, accompanied by assurances that emission from it would contain no odour.
“Here, they said, ‘It’s a modern mill. There will be no smell.’”
He said people need to pressure the province to resolve the smog issue.
“There’s always a question of who to bless and who to blame,” he said. “It’s the government that allows them to push the envelope. We’re responsible for electing these governments, so we have to point the cannon back at us in a way.”
MacKenzie said the pulp mill has disrupted life daily, well beyond the inconvenience he acknowledges by having been arrested in celebrated fashion for stealing ballot boxes.
“I bother people for a day with a peaceful act of disobedience, and the pulp mill – day after day, year after year – causes that intense abuse of air space.”

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TICKLED PINK: Race on the River raises $125,000

“We were thrilled. We really were,” said Meghan Brophy, marketing director for the Race on the River.
“It was a great day, teams from away came, the weather co-operated, the amount raised surpassed all our expectations.”
Brophy and her fellow committee members have every right to be thrilled: This year’s Race on the River raised pledges totalling $125,000 to support the event’s three charities.
The top team pledge earners were the Crombie Crushers and Glen Hynes of the Crushers was the top individual corporate pledge earner. Freddy MacKay of the Riverview Rebels was the top community individual pledge earner.
This year’s event saw many returning teams and Brophy said she was pleased to see new teams from outside the county taking part.
“We had a team from Amherst, the Y Nots, which actually won the final overall,” Brophy said. “We had the Sydney Harbour Dragon Flies. We had a lot of teams from away which is great to see for a local event. Having teams from away always boosts morale.”
In all, 30 teams took part in the 2014 Race on the River and, whether local or from elsewhere, their contribution of time and spirit was noted and very much appreciated.
“The whole day is really a high because as a community we really work so hard to achieve the common goal,” Brophy said.
“The whole day is such a high and knowing the day is here and morale is high starting in the morning and right through. I’m still on cloud nine, everybody as a community just worked so hard for this. It couldn’t have gone better.”
Thirteen years into the event community participation and donations have yet to waver.
“It’s continued support,” Brophy said. “No matter what the community faces we can still expect such a great turnout from the community, through our sponsors, through the day of, through our pledges… I feel like every year it’s just better and better.”
Cup winners were Scotia Dragon Slayers winning the Scotiabank Cup, the Y Nots winning the Town of New Glasgow Cup, Peter MacKay’s Crashers winning the East Coast FM Cup, the North Nova Gryphons winning the Grant Thornton Cup, the Cobequid Fire Eaters winning the Michelin Cup, the Michelin Defenders winning the Sobeys Cup, the Y Nots netting the Bruce F. Murray Memorial Cup, and A Breast A River winning the Advocate Cup.

See more photos on page 4

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