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Time to put your ideas into action …

The Pictou County 2020 Host team has released a video from their first meeting.
Below is a note from them and a link to the video. Just copy the URL into your browser. Please watch – and enjoy!

Hi everyone,
We hope this gets you as excited about next week’s conversation as it did us! VisionFire Studios created this fantastic video from our October meeting, and we wanted to share it with you.
Looking forward to seeing some of you next week – if you can’t make it, but you’d be interested in moving an idea forward, feel free to connect with someone in the community who shares your passion, and ask him/her to bring that to the meeting! Everyone is welcome!

Thanks for being a part of 2020 Ideas – a part of Pictou County’s success!

Susan, Sally, Nancy, Janice and Jaime

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Cherish the Ladies at the deCoste

Cherish the Ladies have become one of the most engaging ensembles in the history of Irish music. They will be in concert at the deCoste Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.
Taking their name from a traditional Irish jig, the group began in 1985 with a series of concerts celebrating the rise of female musicians in once a male dominated scene. They soon established themselves as musicians and performers without peer and have since won many thousands of fans of their music. Under the leadership of the dynamic and irrepressible Joanie Madden on flutes and whistles, recently named one of the top 25 most influential Irish Americans of the past quarter century, they have grown from a one-time concert concept to an Irish traditional music sensation and are the most successful and sought after Irish-American group in Celtic music.
With their unique blend of virtuosi instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and puts it forth in an immensely humorous and entertaining show.
They have shared the stage with such noted entertainers as James Taylor, Joan Baez, Emmy Lou Harris, The Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, The Chieftains and dozens of symphony orchestras. The “Celtic Album”, their collaboration with the Boston Pops Symphony led to a Grammy nomination. The Ladies have recorded 15 highly acclaimed albums which were all released to rave reviews including their Christmas Album, “On Christmas Night”, which was chosen as one of the top Christmas Albums of the Year by The New York Times.
Tickets are on sale at the deCoste box office at 902-485-8848 or online at

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Stellar club attempts to build membership

STELLARTON – It has been a while since Mindy Langley and Ryan Williams have curled.
So they took the opportunity to check out Stellar Curling Club during an open house the club offered last week.
Langley and Williams reside in Central West River. The open house took place from Nov. 10 to 14, and they arrived on Nov. 13 to see club president Roger Garby getting the ice ready.
“I went with a small group to pick up the basics, but I lost them,” Williams said.
Langley curled twice in the 2002-03 curling season but not since.
“There were no injuries the first time,” she said. “The second time, I split a knuckle but I got over it.”
Now they are thinking seriously of giving curling another try.
“I figured it would be something interesting to try out,” Williams said.
Stellar is a small club, with 25 to 30 members registering in recent years.
Curling is generally in the evenings, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We finished the ice (the previous week),” said Garby, who has two younger people like Langley and Williams working with him on the executive.
Tyler Day is the secretary and Kevin Smith is the secretary.
Jeff Gillin is the first vice-president.

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Naylor has had quite a career

I’m sure Bob Naylor won’t deny that he’s been writing letters to the editors of newspapers for a long time. Lots and lots of letters. For years and years.
I don’t believe for a moment, though, that it’s a case of the well-known Pictou resident not having things to do with his time. Far from it. He’s always been a busy guy, whether it’s to do with sports, business, politics or other matters in his community.
Naylor, a small businessman for much of his life, is simply interested in what goes on in Pictou County in general, in the town of Pictou in particular. Local affairs have always been at the top of his concerns, so much so that, a half dozen years ago, he became a town councillor.
While his name frequently appears on letters published in such papers as The (Pictou) Advocate, The Chronicle Herald and the New Glasgow News, my memories of him involve his activities in sports, especially hockey.
Bob and I grew up in the same era – just a year apart in age. He was born – not in Pictou as many might think – but in New Glasgow. But he soon left. He was only eight when his family moved to Pictou. So, yes, he’s a good Pictonian.
He got a taste of hockey in New Glasgow – at the old outdoor rink on the town’s west side. There was no organized minor hockey at that time. He enjoyed the sport, make no mistake about it, but he had no dreams, no visions of playing professionally. No big deal; not many local players made it that far in those days.
There wasn’t much hockey in Pictou either. He was a teenager before minor hockey arrived in the Shiretown, and he was almost 20 when the town got its first artificial ice surface. By then, his biggest achievement was helping a local team win a bantam championship.
In 1959, Bob strayed from Pictou for a couple of years – on a ship to the Canadian north, of all places. After that unique experience, he was smart enough to resume his education, first at Pictou Academy, then at the University of New Brunswick.
He was good enough to play for UNB’s hockey club for four years, helping the school win two championships. So you can’t say he never played some competitive hockey. Some big battles against St. Francis Xavier were among the memories of that time.
Don’t go away – his hockey adventures were just starting.
He got into refereeing, and got darn good at it. Then one day he was reading The Hockey News and saw an advertisement that Holland was looking for referees.
He made contact – by letter perhaps? — and was soon officiating over there.
That simply led to another unusual shift in his career. Holland needed a coach for its national team and, though he had never coached, Naylor applied. And yes, he got the job. That winter he coached and refereed. Just not the same games.
Of course things weren’t going to settle down, not for our ambitious Pictonian. Sure enough, he was reading The Hockey News again and came across another ad that grabbed his attention. A rink manager was being sought in Bedford, New York, of all places. Not exactly a few slapshots away from Holland.
Oh he got that job, too. He stayed in the New York position for a few years, branching out his wings. He ran a summer hockey school and, before you knew it, he was back refereeing – this time as a linesman in the American Hockey League.
In 1976 – at the age of 37 – Bob Naylor came home.
That wasn’t enough to slow down his career changes. He managed a Sobeys in downtown Pictou, ran a large lunch counter, managed a convenience store, operated a sporting goods store, working 18 hours a day. There was no slack time.
Then he got the best fit of all – managing the Hector Arena. It was ideal for him and he stayed there longer than in any other job.
He married a local school teacher, Lynn Wisener, and they raised four children. Their three sons played competitive hockey and followed their dad into university ranks. Their daughter played high school basketball. It was a sports family, no question.
I can remember an afternoon spent at the Naylor home – not far from the rink, naturally – and the conversation quickly turned to hockey.
Bob admitted that his boys had opportunities in the game that just weren’t there when he was growing up. But he had no regrets, none whatsoever.
The hockey world had changed a great deal in his lifetime – for the better – but he’s a perfect example of someone who took advantage of any opportunities that came along. For someone whose minor hockey was played on natural ice for the most part, he achieved some memorable experiences.
He was a happy dad when his own kids were getting into sports, but he would have been just as pleased if they had ventured into other things like music or the arts. As long as youngsters are active, they’re on the right path to adulthood. That’s been the Naylor philosophy and he enjoyed talking about it.
So that brings us full circle, back to letters to the editor.
Bob Naylor may have spent a lot of spare time writing to the papers, but his views have always been from the heart. He didn’t just scribble down personal thoughts, he expressed strong views on many subjects, a practice that drew him into local politics.
He didn’t write just to criticize others, he wrote to make valuable points. He had his opinions, and he found a platform on which to express them openly.
Any community would benefit from having a Bob Naylor in its midst.

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Locals learn tips on next steps

Coaching can be tough. Selecting athletes for a team is tougher
A coaching clinic based on how to evaluate and select athletes on Nov. 12 provided some help for those who attended the clinic at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Nearly 30 people registered for last week’s clinic, as well as the introductory one on Oct. 7. Both of them were hosted by Mark Smith and Stephanie Spencer.
Smith is a past member of Canada’s men’s national softball team.
He is the current head coach of Canada’s men’s and women’s national softball teams and director of coaching for the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic and Sport Nova Scotia. He is also Nova Scotia’s Chef de Mission for the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Spencer is Sport Nova Scotia’s community sport development co-ordinator for the Highland Region.
Besides the two sessions in Pictou County, the same two sessions were also scheduled for Antigonish. The athletic selections and evaluation session will take place there on Nov. 27 in Room 209 at Oland Centre.
Spencer said the sessions are prototypes for what she said will be ongoing community development of coaching skills.
Smith said last week’s session was an opportunity for delegates to gather the important aspects of selecting athletes.
“It’s about communication, making sure the process is transparent and that everyone is aware of the expectations,” Smith said. “This is a pilot project in Highland Region that Steph and I have been doing. We have one stationed in Halifax, but a lot of people can’t drive an hour and a half to get to it.”

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Club marks 40th anniversary

NEW GLASGOW – More than 50 people gathered last Wednesday for the 40th anniversary celebrations for the New Glasgow Karate Club.
It was a time to demonstrate club members’ skills, welcome club leaders from the past and present awards.
The club has evolved over the years and has moved from its previous home on Archimedes Street to its current location in the New Glasgow Fire Hall. It is directed by Sensei Cherry Whitaker and has about 35 members of nearly all ages.
“I thought it went really well,” she said. “I was so pleased so many people came and so pleased with the demonstrations. The whole crew did really well, and it was nice to see the mix of members and coaches doing them. They were wholeheartedly involved.”
The students and accumulation of black belts to teach them is one of the club’s assets, Whitaker said.
“We have six black belts teaching,” she said. “We feel like a family. It’s a joy to see the improvement of the students over the years.”
Former Sensei Roch Lefebvre was among those who visited the club.
“It’s amazing to see what they have built and lasted for 40 years,” he said.
Lefebvre said he was glad to see the club has kept the basic kata, or forms, instruction known as Kata No. 1.
Whitaker said the New Glasgow club is the only one that continues to teach it.
“When they have Kata No. 1, everything flows from it,” Lefebvre said. “It’s the foundation. The rest is practice.”
Sensei Paul Donovan, who for years operated the Northumberland Karate Club in Pictou County, also returned or the event.
Donovan is originally from Cape Breton and is currently caring for his father, a 90-year-old war veteran, in Ingonish.
Awards presented included one for long-standing services as an original club member to black belt Ben Whitaker, as well as a plaque for most improved club member to Leah George and a plaque for outstanding achievement to Sebastian Turner.

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Group’s test results are unverifiable

To the Editor: Re: “Clean The Mill group submits test results” – The Advocate, November 13, 2014:
It’s time to put an end to the parade of amateurish efforts and theatrics of the Clean The Mill group. The story referenced above is a case in point. Serious damage could be done to fishers’ livelihoods in Pictou County because of these unverifiable and in fact unremarkable, but sensationalized test results.
The group hopes that “authorities will act soon to remove toxic chemicals they say are threatening local marine life and water quality.” Balderdash! What an irresponsible and unsubstantiated claim! Based on what? A credible testing regimen? No! An analysis by a credible ecotoxicologist specializing in marine ecosystems? No! Nothing but ‘Just take our non-expert word on it.’ Not for one second.
“Arsenic, cadmium, copper, chromium, iron, lead, mercury, nickel, vanadium and zinc were among the metals found in the samples.” News flash! These metals are regularly found naturally in Nova Scotian soils – even in Ian Fraser’s, Matt Gunning’s and Dr. John Krawczyk’s home backyards. A test of the saltwater in Northumberland Strait will also find these metals – all naturally occurring. I’m at an age when I take a multivitamin/multimineral tablet daily. Guess what minerals are in each tablet – calcium, phosphorous, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, chromium, molybdenum, selenium, zinc, tin, vanadium and silicon. Oh my God! Let’s get these toxic supplements taken off pharmacy shelves.
On my desk I have three volumes with hundreds of pages of results of soil, water and effluent tests done at Boat Harbour and surrounding area by credible, professional, third-party consulting firms (commissioned by the NS DOE). Simply consulting these documents would have saved the Clean The Mill group a lot of embarrassment.
The fear-mongering must end. Furtive water and soil tests that have banal results prove nothing but how inept the Clean The Mill group is. This ineptitude could lead to unintended negative consequences for individuals and/or businesses – I see legal action in the future.
Bob Christie
RR2, Trenton

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Kudos to children who made quilts

To the Editor:
What a wonderful quilt the school children at West Pictou made for an injured soldier or veteran!
The article (published in the November 12 edition of The Advocate) was shared through a Facebook page for Quilts of Valour today – and it is truly humbling to see the way Quilts of Valour (with a U please), has inspired so many people across the country!
I am so happy to say I KNOW where Pictou is!!! My hubby and I were in Pictou in 2012, and stayed at the Evening Sail B&B, and toured the Hector and wandered the shops. What a lovely place! Our whole trip to the Maritimes was wonderful – but we sure took a lot of pictures in Pictou.

Continued on page 7
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If they wish to give the quilt to a veteran or a soldier who has come home with injuries visible or invisible, and is someone whom they know, they can!
The quilt does not have to leave Pictou if there is someone there who can receive it. Especially for the children – I think it would make a lasting impression to see the “thank you” in the eyes of the recipient. Whether it be though a visit to a veterans’ care facility or home, or a presentation at the school, or in the class. Whether it be someone’s mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or even friend… there are solders – retired (veteran) or almost retired or even still active who are working with their chronic injuries.
Please thank those children for me and for Quilts of Valour – Canada for making such a beautiful quilt!
Delivering quilted hugs from a grateful nation.
Lezley Zwaal, Founder,
Quilts of Valour – Canada

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Article brought back memories

To the Editor:
I look forward every week for my copy of The Advocate being delivered. However, the publication of October 22 was of particular interest to me.
The article, “First United Celebrating 124th Anniversary” was so interesting to me you must have heard me shouting from here in Mississauga.
I was baptized at Trenton United by Rev. Cecil R. Webber in the early 40s. I attended church there and C. G. I. T. I left Hillside in 1959 but still have many fond memories from Trenton United.
It’s also interesting to see that Father MacPherson was the guest speaker.
During this past summer I was at a lobster party and met Father MacPherson’s nephew Fred and his wife. Fred worked in New Glasgow for a period of time and was probably the only person at the party who actually knew where Hillside is! Small world, eh?
As I said I look forward to the weekly delivery of The Advocate, keep up the good work.
Catherine (Cahoon) Hackney
Mississauga, Ont.

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Positives of restorative justice

To the Editor:
An experience I had several months ago visiting the court house in Port Hawksbury left me thinking, “What if!”
My lawyer friend had told the presiding judge that he was going to attend her trial Restorative Justice Court to see how it worked compared to regular court which he attends on a regular basis. He asked me if I was interested in attending as a visitor and I agreed to go as a lay person.
Each person on the court docket came before the judge as ordered and was asked for a report on how they were and if they were following court instructions; each gave a report on how they were doing for the last 13 weeks as her restorative justice court was being held every 13 weeks.
Each person gave reports from how they were doing including everything from attending AA meetings, mental health meetings, social services meetings and, if a First Nation person, it could also include circle sharing, etc.
The judge then asked for reports from each department and listened intensely to how each was doing and reassured each one that they were doing well and to keep up the good work for court and especially themselves. You could see how pleased each one who was participating and given this opportunity to turn their lives around. It appeared this was the first time anyone had given them a chance to get to know themselves and learn how to master life’s problems. Each was asked to report back to her court in 13 weeks and continue following instructions.
We stayed at the court house for much of the morning. My friend asked me how I felt about this type of court and I told him I really liked it and how you could see each one appeared to be really trying to get their lives straightened our using the help of our various social services and mental health officials rather than just relying on police and the sheriff departments to do their thinking for them and there has to be a better way.
The recent terrible acts on Parliament Hill taking the life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial will forever be remembered by all of us.
That being said, we were told of some of the brushes with the law the accused had in B.C., including going to McDonald’s brandishing a sharp stick and asking for help and again when he was put in jail for a couple of days waiting for another infraction and the judge said for time served waiting for trial he was a free man.
Had they had a restorative justice court maybe he would have been referred to mental health and other departments to have his problems checked out and even referred to the RCMP ahead of what happened in Ottawa shortly thereafter!
Even Cirillo’s girlfriend Andrea Polko said Canadians should be talking about the dismal state of mental health in our country.
Yes, the Sgt. of Arms did his duty and shot the accused and he will receive the hero’s medal he deserves, yet two people died and maybe with a court of restorative justice both deaths could have been prevented. Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at our justice system for possible changes for the good of society.
It was the Sgt. of Arms who is responsible for security on the hill and you can be sure changes are already in place after this horrible event and with all the extra shots fired it is a miracle more were not killed by friendly fire.
Lloyd P. MacKay
New Glasgow

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Remembrance has meaning

Communities last week in Pictou County and throughout Canada observed Remembrance Day.
It has taken on new meaning as we remember those who served in past wars and mark the loss of two comrades in separate incidents on Canadian soil.
Royal Canadian Legion members noted a larger than usual volume of poppies was picked up by the public in Pictou County this year. But there is an undercurrent of unease. Fewer volunteers to stand beside the poppy displays and fewer Legion branch members, active or otherwise, have been a growing cause of concern.
The 79th Pictou County Memorial Day celebrations took place at its usual time on the Sunday before Remembrance Day. It was a rather pleasant November day, and a good crowd of several hundred rimmed the cenotaph and stood on the rise across the street.
Guest speaker Jim Johnson’s remarks were poignant. Of special note was how Armistice Day eventually became Remembrance Day to tilt the emphasis more toward those who served and away from the actual combat.
Old quarrels not settled and allowed to fester need to be remembered too. It was called Armistice Day because an armistice was all it was that ended the First World War. Our leaders at the time didn’t get much right regarding the war, or the peace. The Second World War resulted. It is ironic what a reviled enemy Germany was in two world wars and how respected, visionary and prosperous it has become in nearly 70 years. The country and the world were also celebrating a significant 25th anniversary – the tumbling of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall and an open Brandenburg Gate.
Only an armistice and a border separate North and South Korea from conflict. North Korea is particularly menacing, while South Korea has experienced a growing enlightenment. Consulate officials this year lauded the values that South Korea shares with Canada and can’t thank our country enough for its abiding care and help over more than 60 years since the Korean War ended.
Remembrance Day has meaning. It reminds us to value freedom every day, not only when it is imperilled. It compels us to seek justice and apply it here and around the world.
It shines a light on events like those in St. Jean de Richelieu, Que., and Ottawa. However we describe those incidents – criminal acts or terrorist acts – we are compelled to remember those who fell.
We are also bound by our common values to remember those who serve who are lost in non-combat activities, such as Pte. Steven Allen, who was killed in a recent training incident in Alberta.
While understanding and action are opposite indifference, so is remembrance.
Steve Goodwin

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Campbelljohn, Ghostrider will be singing the blues

Musicologists are reporting a heavy blues warning for this Friday, Nov. 21.
This blues storm will be made of sizable doses of both John Campbelljohn and the Ghostrider Blues Band with experts predicting a mixture of both. It will take place at 8 p.m. at Glasgow Square
A shared bill between the Cape Breton singer songwriter John Campbelljohn and the Pictou County/Halifax rooted Ghostrider Blues Band, the show will consist of sets from each and a set seeing the two join forces.
On paper there may not be a huge overlap between the rootsy and smooth blues of Campbelljohn and the overdriven blues of the Paul Morse-led Ghostrider but Campbelljohn said the two have a bit of common ground between their mutual respect for each other’s craft and their admiration for blues guitarist Albert King.
“I like to crank my amp and let it rip as well as play my dobro,” Campbelljohn said. “I’m looking forward to playing with the guys.”
Campbelljohn explained that he and Ghostrider frontman Morse have been friends for a number of years, having crossed paths many times, but only recently witnessed the GBB.
“(They) really impressed me,” Campbelljohn said. “ I was backstage at the Smoke and Blues fest down in the Valley and I got to hear his band, they were smoking along with the festival.”
Known as much for his bare bones solo work as he is for electric-slide trio blues, Campbelljohn is at once a blues-purist and a blues-alchemist, freely mixing other flavours in an organic, natural sort of way.
“When I was a kid,” Campbelljohn said, “I would hear bands playing Allman Brothers tunes amongst other secondary generation white rockers from the 60s and I was always attracted to the shuffle groove. I sort of went back to the source and I got excited about BB King and all the other great blues artists that came out of the Mississippi Delta and, of course, Chicago and through the years I discovered new artists.
“If you want to play the blues you have to go a little bit deeper than Led Zeppelin,” Campbelljohn said of his blues journey. “Led Zeppelin was a fantastic band but they didn’t invent blues so if you’re going to play blues like Led Zeppelin, you’re going to sound like Led Zeppelin.”
For Campbelljohn it was a matter of digging a little deeper, finding the source and seeing what sticks. He links current blues music to current country music in that both genres seem to freely borrow from other styles while still representing something of their traditional core.
“I’m interested in a lot of different styles as much as I have a passion for Chicago and Delta blues,” Campbelljohn explained. “I’m from Cape Breton so I was raised on Celtic music so that’s rubbed off a little bit here and there. When I was learning blues I was also a fan of rock music. Reggae, Bob Marley I’m a fan of. I’m fine with the diversity of the blues. Other people may prefer a more traditional sound, that’ll always be there I hope but variety is the spice of life.”
Where many channel the blues by way of Stevie Ray Vaughan or ZZ Top, blues songs by times become guitar solos occasionally interrupted by verses and while there’s a time and a place for that, Campbelljohn’s music seems to be a bit tighter.
“Blues, like jazz, is all about improvisation, and you can improvise a solo for a very long time or you can do a solo to add to the song,” Campbelljohn said. “When I write songs myself or with a co-writer there’s more to the song than a solo. My view usually is when I’m singing a lyric with a topic and a theme then it’s not all about the guitar solo. The solo sort of enhances the song.”
It’s important to keep it simple and not over play or make a big production out of a three chord song, Campbelljohn said. “It’s really easy to over play and fly off the handle. Blues is a very simplistic, almost primitive style. To get the feeling across my advice would be just to keep it simple.”

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The impossiblist coming to town

It is hard to know which venture Tyrone Reveen may be more famous for: continuing his father’s legacy as an impossibilist, or his creation of the confetti and streamer cannon. But it is obvious which brings him the most joy.
Exactly 50 years after his father first performed his hypnotist act in Pictou, his first maritime performance, Tyrone Reveen is coming back to town. He will be performing at the deCoste Centre on November 20 at 7 p.m. with his one-of-a-kind act, and more enthusiasm than ever before.
“I was brought up on the road,” said Reveen, about how he really got into the business. But it was a conversation he had with his father as a boy that made him really think about taking his knowledge to the stage.
“He turned to me and said, one day you are going to take over the show my son,” said Reveen.
As Tyrone grew up, he took his own path in the entertainment industry and designed stages and special effects for famous entertainers.
During his time working in special effects, he also invented the confetti and streamer cannon.
Reveen eventually ended up in Las Vegas training for years with his father.
“I spent a couple of years in Las Vegas with him going over his mountain of work,” said Reveen. “He had very big shoes to fill and that was intimidating.”
After extensive auditioning for his father, he was taken to a prestigious magicians club in Las Vegas to perform, where he got a standing ovation.
“In October 2011 he passed his show on to me.”
Now living in Salisbury, N.B., Reveen continues on his father’s legend.
As for the show itself, Reveen continues on many of his fathers acts as well as adds in some of his own.
“I’m going to do some high speed memory demonstrations,” said Reveen. During the show he will also call volunteers up on to the stage to help out.
The show is one that Reveen said is one of the few shows that is appropriate for all ages and entertaining to everyone.
“I tour because I want to, not because I have to,” said Reveen.
Although he has received many compliments about his show, the ones likening him to his father are his favourite.
“I take that as the ultimate compliment,” said Reveen.

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Garrett’s owner traces memories of town icon

NEW GLASGOW – All that remains is remediated land where Garrett’s By the Bridge once stood.
Owner Ed MacArthur has hardly had time to track the sudden events as he scurried with the help of others to empty the building before it was razed and its materials were taken away.
“I took the building down at my own cost,” he said, once he knew there were no buyers for it.
The remaining land it stood on is now listed at $139,000, and he hopes it can be sold quickly.
“I think it’s a prime riverfront property,” he said.
MacArthur became associated with the business in 1958 and took it over in 1985.
“I have a lot of good memories,” he said.
The building appeared doomed for demolishing earlier this year when a fire inspection report questioned the building’s integrity. The options were to make the building safe or demolish it.
Demolition started about 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 10 and the building was down before noon.
Over the summer, MacArthur found items tied to the famous Bluenose Hooked Rugs of Nova Scotia that he was able to save as part of the enormous amount of stock that had to be moved.
The rugs became well-known in the first half of the 20th century. The Garrett family ran the business, adopted the word Bluenose as its trade name for the rugs in 1926.
“Garretts never threw anything away,” he said.
Much of the rug hooking has gone to a museum in Queensland, N.S.
“There are hundreds of sample patterns,” he said.
The discovery means original colours for the rugs remains so that new ones don’t need to be devised.
MacArthur said he appreciates those who helped him empty the building before it was torn down, including Peter Seitl, who has an antique shop in Pugwash.
“He helped me get stuff out of the building and sort it,” he said. “A lot of friends helped me out. I finally got everything out before they tore it down. I still have a lot of material to sort out.”

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Heritage Gas keeps expanding

STELLARTON – Heritage Gas has activated its new pipeline to supply natural gas to New Glasgow and Stellarton.
Homes and larger buildings have the option to use natural gas, which is deemed cleaner and more affordable.
Anchor Motors, which moved from Westville Road in New Glasgow to the Albion business park earlier this year, was hooked up to the recently installed gas lines and began receiving natural gas last week.
“Heritage Gas is working hard to help more Nova Scotians heat their homes and businesses with natural gas,” Heritage Gas president Bill Swan said.
“We’re pleased that Anchor Motors has chosen to be our first small business natural gas customer in Stellarton. We appreciate their choice to use natural gas in the new dealership and their commitment to reducing the operation’s environmental footprint.”
Anchor Motors owner Marc Comeau said he welcomed the opportunity to build natural gas use into the design of the dealership on Lawrence Boulevard. He said it’s preferable to other fuel alternatives.
“We are pleased to be a partner with Heritage Gas through our choice of natural gas for our new dealership,” Comeau said. “The efficiencies we will gain by no longer using waste oil will be a significant benefit. In addition, we’re making the right choice for the environment.”
Heritage Gas starting natural gas service to Pictou County is welcome news to local leaders.
New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan said Anchor Motors’ connecting to the natural gas lines represents a turning point as more homes businesses and institutions commit to using natural gas.
“The natural gas pipeline activation in New Glasgow and Stellarton is good for the growth and development of this region and a sustainable future,” MacMillan said.
“We are very pleased to work with Heritage Gas to help provide businesses and families with more options for energy sources and efficiency. This is wonderful news for Pictou County and this significant new infrastructure and resource will strengthen our region’s competitive advantage in the business market place.”
Stellarton Mayor Joe Gennoe said he recognizes natural gas as an important part of the town’s community energy plan.
“The arrival of natural gas is an important step towards having more affordable, sustainable energy options for homes and businesses,” he said.
Heritage Gas has committed to expanding its natural gas distribution system within the community. Over the next two years, it will lay approximately 15 kilometres of pipe, providing natural gas access to 600 potential residential and commercial customers.
Heritage Gas Limited was formed in 2003 to operate a regulated natural gas distribution franchise in Nova Scotia. The company provides natural gas service to more than 5,500 customers in Halifax, Pictou County, Amherst and Oxford.
It’s owned by AltaGas Utility Group Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of AltaGas Ltd., based in Calgary.

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Striker protects his kingdom

Often a family’s dog has that one special person to whom he or she is especially attached. The one person they rely most on and are totally devoted to, almost as if they had imprinted upon them when puppies and believe that person is their mother. It is the, “I would follow you anywhere”, kind of loyalty. Striker, on the other hand, has his love and dedication clearly divided among three.
My husband Barry is Striker’s go-to guy for daily walks, meals and is unquestionably his favourite pillow. Striker likes to drape himself over Barry’s lap whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself. It does not matter if it is a small chair or a big couch. Striker curls up or spreads out over his master, making the most of every situation. It is as if Barry is his favourite mat or bed.
When Striker is in need of extra hugs and even kisses, as he has been known to have been seen with red lipstick on his snout or ears, I am the target. If he needs a brush, cleaning, trim, treat or cuddle, I am his girl. Striker takes over my side of the bed until the time comes for me to crawl into it, then he slides down only far enough to lay his head on my feet. As I am a night owl, Strikes also stays downstairs with me in the family room until it is bedtime as he believes he is on guard.
Our son Darcy on the other hand, is Striker’s source for fun, play and nourishment. Tugs of wars, playful wrestles, games of fetch and the presentation of a coveted bone are all things he can count on or even sometimes demand from his “brother”.
Striker is very much in tune with his family of three and he is most content when all of us are at home or with him in tow on a road trip. Of course, any of these roles are interchangeable and are not restrictive, rigid or binding. Striker is very happy to have a walk with Darcy, some extra pats from Barry or a run on the beach with me.
During family travels, if I happen to wander off to take a photo or enter a store or gallery while Barry and Darcy are entertaining Striker, he makes his displeasure known that I am not in viewing distance. If Striker has been home alone, as we enter the house from work or an outing, he does the three pronged check. Check one, check two, check three – yes, all present and accounted for. While we have meals in our kitchen, Striker curls up under the table with his head resting on the rungs of my chair and if any one of us happens to be alone with him and at the computer, Striker positions himself either on the love seat beside the computer or at our feet beneath the desk.
When the three of us happen to arrive home together he rushes from one to the next to the next, not knowing who to greet first. He paces back and forth, snorts and sneezes, dives in between legs and circles the wagons. He is at his happiest – there is a lilt in his gait, his tail swishes with glee and yes, there is even a smile on his handsome canine face. All is right with the world.
Visits to the beach are tops on Striker’s list of things to do and drives to St. Francis Xavier University to pick up Darcy are met with as much anticipation. Both trips make Striker incredibly happy. He preens in the back seat with his nose up to the window and when the weather permits, his ears are blowing in the wind. As Barry drives on the return trip home, Darcy then becomes Striker’s chosen cushion in the back seat. It does not matter how much room there is, Striker finds a way to stretch out and be close.
It is Strike’s life mission to protect and to keep us together whenever possible. Striker of Newcastle protects his kingdom with great devotion and we, in turn, as his people are fiercely loyal subjects who love him without reservation.

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Lawand seeks to represent citizens’ concerns on council

Governance, business and environmental issues are ones Simon Lawand says he wants to champion on town council.
Lawand is one of two candidates seeking to fill the vacant council seat when selections take place on Nov. 29.
He said he wants to be a voice for citizens in the municipal Memorandum of Understanding process that he feels is flawed and leaves too many questions unanswered. He said he also wants the Albion business park to continue to expand and is taking a keen interest in whether or not the province grants blasting at the surface coal mine in Stellarton.
“I don’t think (the MOU) is a true partnership,” he said.
“I’m not against one voice in Pictou County, but if we don’t think we’re being heard, we’re out of the process. It has to be done right. We don’t like the process and don’t know what it means. If we don’t feel like a partner, it’s not going to work.”
The MOU is what Lawand says compelled to run for council.
“This is what really pushed me,” he said.
A long-time resident of Stellarton, Lawand is a category manager for Sobeys Atlantic in Stellarton. He’s also a member of the Stellarton Fire Department, president of the Rotary Club of New Glasgow and volunteers at the Shepherd’s Lunch Room.

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Muir calls for council to work more like a team

Linda Muir says she hopes she will be elected to a town council that exercises teamwork.
The Stellarton resident and nursing professional is contesting the vacant council seat in a by-election taking place on Nov. 29.
“What I want is to be part of a strong team,” she said. “Stellarton is a great place to live and a town I hope we can move forward as a team. I believe decisions should be made based on correct information and evidence.”
Muir said she has no set agenda but decided to offer her skill sets when the by-election was scheduled.
“About mid-October, I decided to put my hat in the ring,” she said. “I’ve been out ever since campaigning. The reception I received at the door has been very positive for the most part. The thing that disturbs me is that it was said to me by a person, ‘We don’t need another woman on council.’ I thought in 2014 that we were past that sort of thinking, but apparently I am wrong.”
Besides her 40 years as a nurse, Muir has also spent time as a board member for the Pictou County Health Authority.
“I’m an experienced person and I like dealing with people,” she said. “If I can make a positive difference in the town, that’s what I’d like to do.”

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Coping with PTSD

A former paramedic is leading a path through the fog of uncertainty for other first responders dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome.
For those with demanding jobs, like paramedics, it can often be thought that some of the effects of the job are what you signed up for; something not to be complained about. Similar occupations include military personnel, doctors, nurses, law enforcement, fire fighters and other first responders.
John Garth MacDonald is speaking out now in hopes that he can reach out to others who may be going through a similar experience he dealt with far longer than he should have.
In December 2010, MacDonald attended what was to be his last call as a paramedic.
Not knowing the impact the call would have on him, he arrived like at any other call. But he left as a ticking time bomb.
“After 23 years I finally had that one call,” said MacDonald.
As a paramedic, MacDonald was taught to disassociate himself from incidents that he encountered, so as to not become shaken by the things he may have seen. Because of this, it was not until the next day that MacDonald really noticed the impact of what he was feeling. For others who may have PTSD, it can be much longer than a day for symptoms to really take hold.
“It took me six months to find the help I needed, and if it wasn’t for my wife and my peers I wouldn’t be here today,” he said.

Being the change
According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD can be defined as: “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”
This and how to get help are what have brought MacDonald to hold a Coping and Dealing with PTSD workshop at the SAERC Auditorium in Port Hawkesbury. The workshop will take place November 29 from
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a $10 admission for cost recovery. The event will have limited seating with registration by email. To register you can email
It will feature speakers such as Dr. Jane Howard, an emergency department physician, Cpl. Kate MacEachern, founder of the Long Way Home Walk for vets with PTSD, as well as Vince Savoia who is known nationally for the Tema Conter Memorial Trust he founded after being a first responder who has developed PTSD after attending the scene of model Tema Conter’s death.
The day will be focused on education, those wondering about PTSD and how to find help for those that may have developed it as a result of being a first responder, in the military or similar careers where employees are sometimes exposed to brutal circumstances.
“The whole goal of the day is we don’t want people to suffer in silence,” said MacDonald.
The idea for the seminar came from MacDonald’s own struggles and eventual success of dealing with PTSD.
MacDonald is somewhat of a success story when it comes to PTSD in first responders.
“People are seeking him out because they hear by word of mouth,” said John MacKay, a former paramedic from Pictou County. Other first responders who have heard about MacDonald’s defeat of the crippling mental illness have been contacting him asking where to begin on their path to recovery. MacDonald is not trained to help those who call him, nor is he soliciting that he can help those with questions. Yet he still receives calls.
“It’s not just the people that have PTSD, I’m getting calls from people’s family members saying, ‘My parents are now split up because my mother or my father refuses to go get help or are scared to ask for help,’ so it’s just a huge issue,” MacDonald said.
It was this that made MacDonald want to bring together experts and advocates for the cause to formally educate those who may not know where to turn for help.
He stresses that this mental illness not only affects the person who is dealing with it, but everyone around them, in big or small ways.
“It doesn’t just affect me. My wife became primary care giver of our household,” MacDonald said. “What my kids went through was nothing short of a horror movie, especially with my flashbacks and hallucinations.”
By the time MacDonald found the help he needed he was heavily medicated, which took some time to come off of in order to begin real treatment and healing.
If you ask him today about how he is doing MacDonald will say, “I’m a success story, I guess.” Although he may never escape PTSD completely, he is able to manage the symptoms he does still have well enough to continue with his life, almost as before.
“His willingness to be vulnerable is an inspiration for others,” said MacKay.
“Got myself back, not 100 per cent but pretty close. I still have my wife, and I still have my children; but I can’t say that about a lot of my peers,” said MacDonald. “I’m definitely one of the lucky ones; hopefully a testament that you can get better.”

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Popular Christmas market returning

This year marks the second annual West Pictou Holiday Market at the West Pictou Consolidated School in Lyons Brook.
This year’s holiday market will feature more than 40 local artists and vendors.
“There’s a bit of everything there,” said Tanya Cahoon of the West Pictou Home and School committee. As well as some non-homemade items, there will be crafts such as pebble art, and pysanky, also known as batik eggs. There will also be a café sponsored by the home and school committee that will include a bake sale table as well as lunch items like chili and hot dogs.
“The whole thing we try to promote with it is to shop local and buy local,” said Cahoon. “All the proceeds go toward the children.”
Beside the annual spring fling, this event is one of the two major fundraisers for the home and school committee. The money from the event is allocated wherever some extra funds may be needed. The home and school committee takes requests from the teachers who can submit something that they may need to help in and around the school.
Last year, the event raised about $2,000 for the home and school committee to put toward items big and small at the school.
Even though this is only the second year for the event, tables are in popular demand.
“I found this year, even after one year, people heard about it through word of mouth,” said Cahoon. “People were asking me about it.”
This year the group is hoping to raise $3,000 from the event.
The holiday market will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Pictou Consolidated School on November 29, with admission being by donation to the committee.

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Lobster carnival hosting events galore

The Pictou Lobster Carnival committee is “revving up into high speed before Christmas.”
The group, says publicist Kent Corbett, has a few fundraisers planned through the months of November and December to help raise money for next summer’s event.
The first fundraiser planned is ticket sales for a gift basket worth more than $500 that includes about $300 in oil gift certificates. The tickets are to be sold at Scotiabank in Pictou, which has agreed to match the funds generated through ticket sales at their branch, the Pictou town office, Herron Chevrolet in New Glasgow as well as Fulmore’s Pharmacy and Indigo Blues Café in Pictou. Members of the Lobster Carnival committee will also be selling tickets at the Sobeys in Pictou on November 21 and 27.
The draw for the basket will take place on December 12.
The next fundraiser for carnival will feature a lot of mustaches at The Palace Theatre in Pictou on November 21.
“Show us your best ‘stache,” said Corbett about the event. The Movember dance will take place 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. to promote prostate cancer awareness month. Performers for the event will be Nikki Veniot, Ashley George and Albert and Friends.
There will be a $5 donation to get in the door, with ‘mustaches’ sold at the door for those who do not have one. There will also be 50/50 tickets available at the event.
In December, the carnival organizers will also be hosting gift card bingo on the 14th beginning at 2 p.m. in the Pictou Legion. “All the prizes for the games will be multiple gift cards,” said Corbett. Book prices will be $10 for a six up book and $5 for a three up bingo book, with 13 games played all together.
To finish off the year, the Lobster Carnival committee has one last event for this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Held in conjunction with the Hector Arena, the carnival will hold a New Year’s Eve family skate at the arena from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission will be $12 for a family, but single entries will also be allowed.
“For the 12 dollars you will get the two hours of skating, we will have hot chocolate and cookies and a few more surprises,” said Corbett.

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Pictou County 2020: Action to meet on Nov. 26

More than 200 people gathered last month to have a positive conversation about the future of Pictou County, and organizers are hoping a meeting next week will draw even more participation.
The organizers of the event, entitled Pictou County 2020: Ideas, have spent the time since then compiling the evening’s results, meeting with provincial organizations and planning the next conversation. It will be held Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Community College gymnasium where the first event was held.
Participants in the Ideas meeting were asked to work in small groups to provide answers to the following questions: What is our vision for Pictou County in 2020? How do we nurture success in our community? What do we need to move forward? The collective responses were positive and forward-thinking, and showed a clear desire for success in the county. The vision of the county is a community that is healthy, united, thriving and bold.
Not only did participants overwhelmingly support the idea of a collective vision for a united region, but they also saw the area’s future as one of diverse, sustainable communities with growing populations. They envisioned a community where people want to live, with a booming economy and hope for youth.
They defined nurturing success as working in collaboration with each other, sharing and embracing differences and sameness. In addition, success will be nurtured in striving to find ways to foster a positive attitude, celebrating successes and drawing on the wisdom of others in mentorship opportunities.
The final question had a broad range of responses, as people have many ideas about moving forward. Some of those include: the community motivating and supporting each other to embrace change and take action; building a cohesive image for the community; creating a unified voice with a collective vision; co-operating and communicating to encourage a positive attitude; and innovating to meet the needs of our community.
The group that initiated this conversation – Jaime Smith, Janice Fraser, Nancy MacConnell-Maxner, Sally O’Neill and Susan MacConnell – have had many comments and questions since the event took place.
“The majority of comments have been positive,” says MacConnell-Maxner. “People really liked having the opportunity to participate, to help rethink the future of our county. And now they are ready for action.”
The next meeting, Pictou County 2020: Actions, will take those ideas generated in last month’s conversation and create actions to move the ideas forward. The conversation will be facilitated using an open space concept, which puts the participants in charge of creating action groups. While the Ideas meeting called for people to dream, the Actions meeting is intended for those who will “do”.
To RSVP to the event, email, or visit the Facebook event page ( For information about the Open Space Concept visit

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Crowd watches Santa parade

Hundreds of spectators lined the streets of New Glasgow on Sunday to watch the Santa Claus parade.
The New Glasgow Christmas Parade Committee selected the trophy recipients who may pick up their trophies at the town hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
The following is a list of Christmas Parade 2014 trophy winners:
Most Festive Entry – Dewolf’s Autobody
Creative Costume – North Nova Education Centre
School Spirit Award – Northumberland Regional High School
Best Musical Entry – Hector Building Supplies with Truro Brass Band and Pictou County Brass and Reed
Best Community Entry – 4-H
Best Commercial – Sobeys
Best Youth Entry – Trenton Steelers
Best Horse Entry – Central Supplies
Best Marching Band – Heatherbells Pipes and Drums
Danny MacLeod Community Spirit – Subway Girls Hockey
Best Overall Entry – Playtime at Dodie’s

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DSTN mum on wind tower order

TRENTON – Officials at the DSTN wind tower plant in Trenton are saying little about the prospects of making towers for General Electric next year.
A spokesperson for DSME Trenton Ltd (DSTN) was less forthcoming about the order.
“I can confirm that we have an order for early 2015 but, at the customer’s request, no further details are available at this time,” project manager Scott Covey said in a statement.
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism was also saying little about the impending deal.
“We cannot confirm that DSTN will be making towers for GE,” media relations advisor Sarah Levy MacLeod said. “What we can confirm is that when DSTN successfully completes the certification process, the company will be in a position to accept orders from GE – as are all the qualified vendors. It is an important step towards manufacturing for GE. “
GE is supplying engines for the arctic offshore patrol ships being built at the Irving shipyards. It’s part of their commitment spend on Nova Scotia businesses as part of Canadian content requirements.
It also follows an announcement by Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson that the government is partnering with GE Canada and GE Ventures Licensing to allow Nova Scotian entrepreneurs easier access to GE’s intellectual property and help bring their new technology, products and services to market more quickly.
The partnership is fraught with irony.
U.S. based GE and DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. based in South Korea) are two giants among industrial companies in the world. While GE is one of the biggest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, DSTN is still trying to gain a substantial foothold in the wind tower market four and half years after the announcement in March 2010 that it was converting the former TrentonWorks railcar plant into a wind tower manufacturing facility.
The former Dexter government injected $60 million in a 49-per cent stake in the operation that employs less than 200 people despite a goal to employ up to 500.
DSTN is completing an order for 34 wind towers to be installed at the South Canoe Wind Farm in Lunenburg County.
The 102 MW project was developed as a partnership with Oxford Frozen Foods, Minas Basin Pulp and Power, and Nova Scotia Power. Once completes it’s purported to be the largest wind farm in Nova Scotia capable of supplying electricity to 32,000 homes.

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Westville gets funds for new trail

WESTVILLE – Stakeholders are upbeat about the possibilities of building a trail in Westville that will encourage more activity and connect other trails in the area.
“We are excited to help promote sustainable, environmentally friendly transportation,” said Coun. Bernie Murphy, who also chairs Westville’s recreation committee. “A lot of people don’t have an option to get where they have to go.”
Murphy was responding to an announcement on Monday by MLA Lloyd Hines, on behalf of Energy Minister Andrew Younger, of $10,000 in provincial funding toward the $80,000 cost of constructing a 2.8 kilometre gravel trail in Westville. It will provide greater access between a residential area and the downtown.
It will upgrade an already existing path and will be called the Black Diamond Trail.
“Contributing to the trail’s construction increases travel choices for Westville residents,” Hines said. “When residents decide to go for a walk, ride a bike, or run errands downtown, they’ll be able to consider using the Black Diamond Trail as a healthy, safe and sustainable option.”
The Black Diamond Trail will run parallel to Cowan Street, between Whitman Drive and Diamond Street. The construction is part of a four-phase project to connect Westville to Stellarton via the Trans-Canada Trail, whose foundation is also helping to fund the project.
“The Black Diamond Trail is an important link in the development of the Trans Canada Trail in Pictou County,” said Mayor Roger MacKay. “The trail has been in the planning stages for quite some time. We look forward to getting started and completing another section of beautiful trails in Pictou County.”
Previously, the Department of Health and Wellness contributed $20,000 and the Department of Seniors $5,000, to the trail construction.
Sally O’Neill, trails co-ordinator for Active Pictou County, said the trail will be a boost for the area.
She said a community building day is being planned as soon as possible to start work on the trail if weather permits.
The finished trail will feature crushed gravel and signage to make its use safer, she said.
Community donations and volunteer labour form part of the work and are factored into the value of trails for community use, she said.
“We’re hoping to have at least the surface done before the end of the year, but it may be bumped to spring,” she said. “When you build something with you own hands. You take bigger ownership.”

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