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High notes at annual Music Festival

The 76th annual New Glasgow Music Festival continues this week in New Glasgow.
Here are the results:

April 22, North Nova Education Centre

Class 3055: School Band Workshop
Winners: New Glasgow Junior High School Beginner Band, Gold
Second: Tamarac Education Center Junior Band, Silver

Class 3010: Title: Beginner Band, Non-Competitive
Tamarac Education Centre Beginner Band.

Class 3110: Stage Band, Intermediate
Winner: Chedabucto Place Jazz Band, Silver.

Class 3130: Jazz Combo
Winners: tied, Tamarac Education Centre Jazz Beginner Combo, and Combo #3, Gold
Second: The Buscemis, Silver.

Class 3100: Stage Band, Junior
Winners: New Glasgow Junior High School Jazz Band, Gold
Second: St. Andrew Junior School, Silver

Class 3130: Jazz Combo
Winners: tie, What’s the Beef? Alma, and North Nova Education Centre Jazz Combo, Gold

Class 3120: Stage Band, Senior
Winners: tie, North Nova Education Centre Jazz Band, and Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School Stage Band, Gold
April 23

Class 3050: School Band B100 – Any Grades Open
Winner: Pictou West Beginner Band, Gold

Class 3075: School Band Workshop B400
Winner: Three Oaks Wind Ensemble, Gold

Class 3070: School Band B300 Intermediate
Winner: Three Oaks Symphonic Band, Gold

Class 3080: School Band B400 Senior
Winner: Dr. J. H. Gillis Regional High School Concert Band, Gold

Class 3020: Community Band Workshop Open
Winner: Northumberland Regional High School/ Pictou Academy Concert Band, Silver

Class 3075: School Band Workshop
Winner: North Nova Education Centre Concert Band, Gold

Trinity United Church

Class 2340: Elementary School Choir Grade 6 and Under
Winner: G.R. Saunders Elementary, Silver

Class 2830: Traditional Folk Song Solo, 9 and 10 years old
Winner: William Austin, 88
Second: Annika Murray, 87
Third: Megan MacEachern, 86

Class 2930: Contemporary Folk Song Solo, 9 and 10 years old
Winner: Reese Richards, 88
Second: Jenna Helpard, 84

Class 2840: Traditional Folk Song Solo 11 and 12 years old
Winner: Leah McPherson, 88
Second: Rebecca MacKeen, 87
Third: Bailey Cameron, 84

Class 2940: Contemporary Folk Song Solo 11 and 12 years old
Winner: Cameron Osgood, 88
Second: Grayson Hudson, 85
Third: Marley Burge, 84
First Presbyterian Church

Class 3600: Woodwind Solo, Beginner, Elementary
Winner: Mary Henderson, 86
Second: Korinne MacDonnell, 85

Class 3610: Woodwind Solo, Beginner, Junior High
Winner: Sarah MacNeil, 89
Second: Victoria Dunn, 88

Class 3815: Recorder, School Group, Junior
Winner: Temperance Street Recorder Club, 88

Class 3805: Recorder Duet
Winners: Emma Oko and Chloe Hebb, 88
Second: Emily Dugas and Tsakane Thompson, 87

Class 3810: Recorder Trio
Winners: Emma Oko, Emily Dugas and Tsakane Thompson, 86
Second: Emma Oko, Emily Dugas and Chloe Hebb, 85

April 24, St. George’s Anglican Church

Class 4710: Strings Scottish Solo, Beginner
Winners: Amelia Parker, Katey Aucoin, Annika Murray, Gold
Second: Isabella Talarico, Rory MacDonald, Hannah Camero, Silver

Class 4730: Strings Scottish Solo, Junior
Winners: Ryleigh Sutherland, Eva Wornell, 86
Second: Claire Wilson, Mark Atwood, 85
Third: Allie Sutherland, Taliah Knight, 84

Class 4760: Strings Scottish Solo, Open
Winner: Allison Stewart, violin, 95

Class 4780: Strings Scottish Duet (two violins)
Winner: Klorissa Farnsworth, Ryleigh Sutherland, 86

Class 4740: Stings Scottish Solo, Intermediate
Winner: Luke Henderson, 89

Class 4750: Stings Scottish Solo, Senior
Winner: Kennedy Semple, 87

Class 4900: Strings Sight Reading, Elementary
Winners: Hannah Fraser, 87
Second: Willem Fraser, 86
Third: Amelia Parker, 85

Class 4770: Strings Scottish Ensemble
Winner: Colours of the Bow, 88

Class 4050: Strings Solo, 8 years and under
Winners: Amelia Parker, Gold
Second: Grace White, Silver
Third: Avery MacDonald, Bronze

Class 4055: Stings Solo, 10 years and under
Winner: Willem Fraser, 86
Second: Skye MacDonald, Haileigh MacLeod, 85

Class 4060: Stings Solo, 12 years and under
Winner: Hannah Fraser, 87
Second: Ben MacGillivray, 85

Class 4075: Strings Solo, 18 years and under
Winner: Allison Stewart, viola, 93

Class 4070: Strings Solo, 16 years and under
Winner: Luke Henderson, 87

Class 4065: Strings Solo, 14 years and under
Winner: Danielle McDonald, 85

Class 4110: Strings Concerto, Intermediate
Winner: Luke Henderson, 87

Class 4340: Strings Canadian Solo, 18 years and under
Winner: Allison Stewart, 95


Class 3010: Beginner Band, Non-Competitive
Winner: A. G. Baillie Beginner Band

Class 3065: School Band Workshop
Winners: tie, Pictou West Junior Band, New Glasgow Junior High School Concert Band, Gold

Class 3500: Percussion Solo Beginner
Winner: Clark Robertson, 86

Class 3510: Percussion Solo Junior
Winner: Kaitlin Kelly, 88

Class 3530: Percussion Duet, Beginner
Winner: Clark Robertson, Emma Martin, 88

Class 3535: Percussion Duet Junior
Winners: Kaitlin Kelly, Philipp Fulgencio, 86
Second: Lior Goldchtaub, Nicole Clements, 84

Class 3555: Percussion Ensemble, Junior
Winner: New Glasgow Junior High School Percussion Ensemble, Gold

Class 3560: Percussion Ensemble, Intermediate
Winner: North Nova Education Centre Percussion Ensemble, Gold

Class 3030: School band B100 Grade 6 and under only
Winner: St. Andrew Junior School Beginner Band, Silver

Class 3060: School Band B200, Junior
Winner: St. Andrew School Intermediate Band, Silver

Trinity United

Class 2270: Vocal Jazz Ensemble, 16 years and under
Winner: New Glasgow Junior High Jazz Choir, Silver

Class 2280: Vocal Jazz Ensemble, 19 years and under
Winner: NNED Jazz Ensemble, Silver

Class 2240: Small Vocal Ensemble, 19 years and under
Winner: NNEC Octet, Gold

Class 2450: Middle School Choir, 16 years and under
Winner: New Glasgow Junior High Concert Choir, Silver

Class 2510: High School Choir, 19 years and under
Winner: The Novatones, Gold

Class 2530: High School Mixed Voice Choir, 19 years and under
Winner: NNEC Concert Choir, Gold

Class 2390: Elementary School Boys Choir, unchanged voices
Winner: A.G. Baillie Boys’ Choir, Silver

Class 2360: Elementary School Choir, 12 years and under
Winner: A.G. Baillie Memorial School Choir, Gold

Class 2320: Elementary School Choir, Grade 5 and under
Winner: Pictou Elementary School Choir, Bronze

Class 2400: Elementary Middle School Choir, SA
Winner: Chedabucto Education Centre, Silver

April 25, trinity united Church

Class 2860: Traditional Folk Song Solo, 15 and 16
Winner: Nicholas Higgs, 96
Second: Regan Keay, 86
Third: Rachel MacIvor, 84

Class 2960: Contemporary Folk Song, 16 and 17
Winners: Kaelan Schmidt, 87; Carleigh Halliday, 86; Meaghan Kettley, 89

Class 2870: Traditional Folk Song Solo, 17 and 18
Winner: Julie Munro, 86

Class 2970: Contemporary Folk Song Solo, 17 and 18
Winner: Sheumais MacLeod, 89
Second: Sarah English, 87
Third: Laycie Sutherland, 86

Class 2890: Traditional Folk Song Solo, open
Winner: Jennifer Johnson, 86

St. George’s Church

Class 4720: Strings, Scottish Solo, elementary
Winner: Taylor Austin, 88
Second: tie, Brennan Dalton, Kiersten Cahoon, Willem Fraser, 87

Class 4730: Strings, Scottish Solo, junior
Winner: Hannah Fraser, 89
Second: Klorissa Farnsworth, 88

Class 4600: Classical Guitar Solo, elementary
Winner: Hannah MacLeod, 83

Class 4240: Strings, Unac-companied, senior
Winner: Allison Stewart (Viola), 94

Class 4160: Strings, Sonata, intermediate
Winner: Luke Henderson, 88

Class 4150: Strings, Sonata, junior
Winner: Hannah Fraser, 87

Class 4300: Strings, Canadian Solo, 10 years and under
Winner: Amelia Parker, 87
Second: William Fraser, 86

Class 4580: School Ukulele
Winner: A.G. Baillie Ukulele Group, Gold

Class 4510: Strings, School Ensemble, elementary, beginner
Winner: A.G. Baillie Fiddlers, Beginner, Bronze

Class 4530: Strings, School Ensemble, elementary, intermediate
Winner: tie, Brown Street Fiddlers, A.G. Baillie Fiddlers, Silver

Class 4580: Strings, School Ensemble, elementary, novice
Winner: tie, Acadia Street Fiddlers, G.R. Saunders Fiddlers, Bronze

Class 4310: Strings, Canadian Solo, 12 years and under
Winner: Hannah Fraser, 88
Second: Chantelle Ramsey, 87

Class 4320: Strings, Canadian Solo, 14 years and under
Winner: Mark Atwood, 86

Class 4130: Strings, Concerto, open
Winner: Allison Stewart, 96

Class 4270: Strings, Concerto Group, open
Winner: Allison Stewart, 95

First Presbyterian

Class 2850: Traditional Folk Song, Solo, 13-14 years
Winner: Nicole Ross, 87
Second: Victoria Straub, 86
Third: tied, Miranda Goodman, Ben Coleman, 84

Class 2950: Contemporary Folk Song, Solo
Winner: Jesse Hemmings, 87
Second: Madelyn Vassen, 86
Third: Camryn Halliday, 85

The festival wraps up with the Stars of the Festival concert Sunday at the deCoste Centre at 2:30 p.m.

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Club gets ready for spring season

PICTOU – With the arrival of spring, the Pictou Soccer Club will be implementing new changes for its 2014 House League program.
The club intends to start its house league on May 10 (field conditions permitting) and it will operate through May and June.
The club is working under Pictou Recreation to provide a spring house league session that is more affordable to all families.
The program itself will not change from previous years regarding its mandate to provide a house league soccer program where all children of Pictou County regardless of their level of play, physical and social needs will have the opportunity to get outside and learn to play soccer.
The club’s preschool program allows the players to get on the field, touch the ball all while playing interactive games having lots of fun.
Its Under-5 to 14 players have half-hour drills and development sessions with their coaches and a half-hour scrimmage with other teams in their age group.
Throughout the season, local leaders of the community come out and play on the field with the players. Last year, Pictou town councilors and members of the fire department joined in on the field to play.
“It is great to see so much support in our community for the club and we look forward to continuing that partnership,” club spokesperson Judy Garland says.
This year’s registration includes many new players, as well as returning players from past seasons.
“Our volunteer team is working hard now to put the teams together, organize coaches and referees to get ready for the season,” Garland says. “We are looking forward to a great soccer season in Pictou.”
Those interested can call 485-6410 or email regarding registration and more information.
The club is also on Facebook where people can “like” its page to see updates and happenings as the season progresses.

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West Side season set to start Sunday

NEW GLASGOW – The tennis season will officially begin in New Glasgow with the opening of the West Side Tennis Courts on Sunday.
Time has been set aside from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the courts on 187 Lavinia Street.
The West Side Community Centre will also be hosting a fundraising barbecue during the event.
New Glasgow’s Community Development Department is offering free tennis for the month of May, starting Monday until May 31.
Scott Graham, Tennis Canada Certified Level One Tennis Instructor and National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Certified Coach, will be offering free instruction classes at the tennis courts for youth grades primary and up (Saturday mornings), as well as adult classes (Wednesday evenings).
Tennis racquets and balls will be available to anyone signing up for a free membership.
“Tennis is a wonderful way to stay fit, meet new people and have fun with family and friends, regardless of your age,” New Glasgow Recreation manager Norma MacLeod says. “We are hoping many new faces will come out this spring to pick up a racquet and try their hand at the game of tennis.”
Registration for the free month of tennis will coincide with the afternoon of tennis on Sunday.
Summer registration information will also be available, with early bird installment payment plan information.
The Town of New Glasgow offers summer day passes, student/senior rates, individual and family rates.
For more information please contact or 755-8363.
(Submitted by Norma MacLeod)

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Pictou County much like Cole Harbour

Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon. Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby. It really doesn’t matter which name comes first. Both of Cole Harbour’s hockey stars are known to fans wherever the sport is played.
Especially around Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, our adopted home of the past 45 years. It’s not just hockey followers who are talking about the two. When I’m walking our two dogs in the neighbourhood, browsing the aisles at Costco or Sobeys, or dining at a local restaurant, the names come up, with people I know, and people I don’t know.
Questions vary, but the subject’s the same. What’s the latest on Crosby? What do you think of MacKinnon? Will Nathan become as good as Sid?
I’m sure people back in my old home turf of Pictou County fully understand what I’m talking about. It happened there a decade or so ago. Again, for good reason.
They may not have become National Hockey League all-stars like Crosby has done, like MacKinnon will surely do. But they were local favourites nonetheless.
When Jon Sim played for the Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars in 1998-99, and very soon thereafter Colin White won Stanley Cup titles with the New Jersey Devils in 1999-2000 and 2002-03, I suspect the questions about the two New Glasgow players were like the ones I’ve been hearing. How’d Jon do last night? Did you see Colin hand out those bodychecks?
Cole Harbour, Pictou County or anywhere, a community becomes proud when its own do well in chosen fields, be it sports, the arts, business or whatever.
Heck, as I write this, the April 16 issue of The Advocate lies on my desk, a couple of Steve Goodwin’s photos prominent on the front page.
When I got my copy of the paper a few days earlier, I smiled when I saw the two generations of Olympians in one of the photos.
Westville’s Lisa Haley, the young woman who was an assistant coach of the Canadian women’s hockey team that won gold in Sochi, was pictured being congratulated by Stellarton’s Les (Babe) Mason, the boxer who captured the hearts of Pictonians 58 years earlier when he fought at the 1954 Olympics in Melbourne. (Good to see the old guy looking so good after all this time.)
Yes, Pictou County sports fans, and Pictonians in general, know what it’s like to see their athletes and sports officials do well. Sim, White, Haley and Mason are just four of the Pictonians who have excelled on the international stage. There have been others.
That’s the way it is around Dartmouth-Cole Harbour now, Crosby widely considered the best hockey player on the planet, MacKinnon providing he has NHL stardom ahead of him.
It’s amazing, I think, that the two came out of the same community and skated to the very top of their sport faster than anyone could have imaged a few years ago.
It’s such a short time ago they were kids in the novice, atom and peewee divisions in Cole Harbour Minor Hockey. Such a short time since those of us with our own sons involved at Cole Harbour Place were able to stick around and watch Sid, then Nathan, when they were so young, so promising.
First it was Crosby who fascinated us. I recall when he was eight and nine years old, flying end to end and scoring picturesque goals you’d never expect from a novice-aged kid. He was doing it well before NHL scouts heard his name.
Years passed and that little star from Colby Village became a household name. For him, it was a speed track to the top. In the process he put Cole Harbour on the map. The drinking water must have been something special, observers said.
As Crosby moved through the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins, lightning struck again back in Cole Harbour.
We were hearing about another little guy who was developing tremendous skills in the Cole Harbour association. Again we hockey parents started staying around after our own children played, to watch this new kid put on a show. Like Crosby before him, MacKinnon fascinated us.
In his junior years, we were fortunate to go to the Metro Centre to watch Crosby anytime his team came to Halifax. Then, with MacKinnon, it was even better since Nathan became a Halifax Moosehead, leading the team to the Memorial Cup last year.
Again like Crosby before him, MacKinnon improved quickly. After being the first pick in the NHL draft last spring, he was soon being heralded as the favourite to win rookie-of-the-year honours with the Colorado Avalanche.
Nathan, like Sid, is already living up to the hype. As the playoffs began, he was leading Colorado in post-season play. He caught the eye of the experts, just as Crosby had done before, and yes, again we heard TV analysts saying there must be something special in Cole Harbour’s water.
Let’s not forget Crosby and MacKinnon aren’t the first Cole Harbour youngsters to develop into big league material. Cam Russell, now the Mooseheads general manager, had an impressive career with the Chicago Blackhawks. And Joey DiPenta, almost forgotten in the shadows, helped win a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks.
Crosby, MacKinnon, Russell and DiPenta – not bad for a suburb like Cole Harbour. There really must be something in our water.
Again, Pictonians know what it’s like having future hockey pros develop in their own backyard.
Besides Sim and White, New Glasgow’s Derrick Walser went from the same background at the same time to a fine career in pro and European hockey. And, not long after, Pictou goaltender Joey MacDonald went on to a pro career that continues. Years before that, of course, the area had sent Thorburn’s Lowell MacDonald and Stellarton’s Trevor Fahey to the pros.
Maybe there’s something special in Pictou County’s water, too.

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Journalist and author Fung to speak at evening in support of Afghan women and girls

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan is planning a Return to Afghanistan evening at Trinity United Church on May 8.
This is the third event the local chapter of the organization has held to raise awareness and funds for education programs for girls in Afghanistan including women’s literacy classes, creating school science labs and creating school and community libraries in Afghanistan.
“Many girls can’t attend school in Afghanistan because there are not enough female teachers, so our organization has a program where we train female teachers,” explains Kelley Cavan, a member of the local chapter of CWFWA.
“We are one of 13 chapters across Canada,” she says noting there aren’t very many local members so they try to fundraise with one large event each year.
“This is the third year we have brought in a guest speaker,” says Cavan.
This year, the guest speaker is author Mellissa Fung, a former CBC journalist from western Canada who was in Afghanistan.
“While there, she was kidnapped and held in captivity for over a month,” explains Cavan. “She wrote the book Under the Afghan Sun to deal with that experience and recently returned to Afghanistan.”
Fung is currently on a book tour and is making this one of her stops.
“We always try to have a guest speaker with some sort of connection to Afghanistan,” she says.
Previous guest speakers ,included Deb Ellis, the author of several children’s books about Afghanistan such as “The Breadwinner” and “Parvana’s Journey,” who spoke the first year and last year’s guest speaker, Sally Armstrong, a human rights activist and author of two books about women’s lives in Afghanistan.
“Both of these women are founding members of CWFWA in 1996.”
The event will also include an Afghan market with crafts made by Afghan women. Money from the items sold go to the education program as well as to the Afghan women who made the items.
The fundraiser has brought in more than $4,000 in the last two years.
“Nationally the goal is to raise $700,000 a year,” says Cavan. “The cost to train a female teacher in Afghanistan for one year is $700, which compared to what we pay, is a good deal. A little goes a long way.”
Cavan says every year, more and more people attend the event.
“Afghanistan seems so far away, but if you can do something to help girls it matters. Canada has been so involved in the war in Afghanistan, trying to bring peace, this is our part to help.”
Since 1996, the organization has raised $4,800,000 through its 800 members in 13 chapters across Canada.
“We are a charitable organization so if someone wants to make a donation we can provide tax receipts.”
Tickets for the May 8 event are $10 each and refreshments will be served. For more information on CWFWA visit

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Simple steps can help make a difference to the health of many Canadians

To the Editor:
Did you realize that:
• Nearly 80 per cent of the over 4,500 Canadians on the waiting list for an organ transplant, are waiting for a kidney. Of those Canadians, 121 of them are right here in Nova Scotia.
• In 2011, nearly 35 per cent of the people who died while waiting for organs were waiting for a kidney (80 people).
• 35 per cent of kidney transplants are made possible by living donors, but…
• Donor rates have stagnated since 2006.
• The need for organs outpaces the supply.
• Kidney patients waited a median time of 3.8 years (2009-2011) for a deceased donor kidney transplant
That is why supporting education, prevention and early treatment programs for kidney disease; access to quality care and transplantation; and the Canadian Blood Services’ “Call to Action” recommendations for a nationally integrated system for organ donation and transplantation are vital.
During National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (April 20-25), you can make a difference to the health and well-being of Canadians by encouraging them to:
• get their kidney function tested
• sign their donor intent form and tell their loved ones of their wish to donate an organ.
Support awareness of Kidney disease and organ donation:
• 1 in 10 Canadians has kidney disease.
• In its final stage, known as End-Stage Renal Disease, kidney disease is costly.
• Healthcare costs, for dialysis alone, registered at $1.3 billion in the year 2000.
• When indirect costs are factored in, the total burden is $2 billion.
In January 2014, The Kidney Foundation of Canada will celebrate 50 years of service to an ever-expanding community of persons affected by kidney disease. On behalf of those individuals whom we serve and represent, we ask you help us increase public awareness and support of organ donation, particularly as a qualitative treatment – if not a cure – for kidney disease.
For more information, visit or contact Keri MacIvor, fundraising co-ordinator, at 404-8099 or by email at
Keri MacIvor
Fundraising Coordinator
Kidney Foundation of Canada, Atlantic Branch,
Nova Scotia

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Twinning is only part of the solution

To the Editor:
Over the past several days Highway 104 has been in the news, between exits 27 and 29 of the TransCanada Highway and about the number of fatal accidents. Fire Chief Joe MacDonald would like to see that part of the highway twinned.
Please do not take me wrong for I, too, would like to see it twinned. But many factors come into play as to the cause of these accidents.
Number one, drivers passing in No Passing Zones, tail gating, talking on cell phones, texting and not paying attention to oncoming traffic and the list goes on. There are many passing zones on this highway.
We have many twinned highways in the province and there are still fatal accidents on them. Why? Because drivers do not pay attention to the posted speed and road conditions. All they want to do is get there. So I say to all drivers: Leave early and drive the speed limit and according to road conditions. For I have never seen a highway do anything or cause an accident. It is the person driving the automobile that is at fault.
Yes, Mr. MacDonald, I would like to see the highway twinned. But that is the way I see it. Thank you and drive safe.
Loyd Murray
New Glasgow

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Celebrate Doctor’s Day with stories

To the Editor:
Every day in communities across Nova Scotia, doctors make a positive difference in the lives of their patients. On May 1 we’re celebrating Doctors’ Day, a day for all Nova Scotians to recognize the unwavering commitment of our province’s doctors.
I’m proud to work on behalf of the approximately 2,500 physicians that work together to keep our province happy and healthy. I see the commitment our doctors make, not only to patients in doctors’ offices, but behind the scenes working tirelessly to advocate on behalf of patients and to transform health care for the better.
And I’m not alone. I’ve been reading hundreds of stories being shared by patients across the province that shed light on the great work of Nova Scotia’s doctors.
Doctors Nova Scotia is encouraging all Nova Scotians to celebrate Doctors’ Day with us by sharing positive stories about the physicians who care for their communities. We’ve already received hundreds of inspiring stories through our ‘Your Doctors. Your Stories.’ interactive website, as well as Doctors Nova Scotia’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Each day, our doctors perform more than 28,000 services on patients. On May 1, I will proudly join my colleagues, physicians and their patients, and many other partners in care to recognize the unique role physicians play in delivering high-quality care in Nova Scotia. I give gratitude to Nova Scotia’s physicians who dedicate their lives to improving the lives of those in our province!
I invite all Nova Scotians to celebrate with us by sharing a story on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MyDocRocks. You can read the stories already shared at
Nancy MacCready-Williams
CEO, Doctors Nova Scotia

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May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

To the Editor:
Another year has passed by and Lyme disease awareness month has arrived; in my opinion every month should be Lyme disease awareness month.
Elizabeth May’s Private Members Bill C-442 had a second reading in March and a second reading debate in April. On April 10, Tim Houston introduced a mirror bill to the Private Members Bill C-442 in the Halifax Legislature and it had second reading on April 16. The province of Nova Scotia has proclaimed May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
The problem has been growing each year yet there are many who still do not know about and continue to say Lyme is not here. A doctor recently told me she knew nothing about Lyme disease, yet our provincial minister of Health has said our doctors are educated about Borellia.
The One Health initiative that is working to unite human and veterinary medicine has said that 70 per cent of the emerging and re-emerging infections are vector-borne or zoonotic. This aspect of the disease must be examined more closely.
There will be a free Lyme Awareness event on Thursday, May 22 at Summer Street Industries from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with a showing of the Canadian documentary ‘Ticked Off’ along with a Q & A time. For more information feel free to contact me at 752-0547 or email
Nova Scotia is endemic for Lyme and the co-infection with some areas of the province having higher concentrations of the blacklegged tick. It is time to increase awareness as we enjoy the beauty of our province. Education is key!
Brenda Sterling-Goodwin
New Glasgow

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Alternatives to oil needed

It is said that oil has made life too easy for too long. At a certain point it was bound to make life harder.
That time has come.
If we don’t like the latest spike in pump prices for the diesel and gasoline that power our vehicles, we’ll like what’s ahead a whole lot less. It is pointless either to complain about it or to pressure governments to reduce the taxed portions of the pump price. Let’s pressure governments, yes, for a better way.
As it is, we can only marginally ease the suffering higher pump prices inflict on those of us who drive. We can drive less, drive slower, drive more fuel efficient vehicles and keep them properly tuned. We can car pool. We can trade in the trophy truck mentality for anything that consumes less fuel.
We can look at the internal combustion engine as something that really hasn’t changed that much in a century. In relative terms, the automobile industry has made enormous technological strides, but it only shows how much more it could do. No-idle mechanisms on every vehicle built now would eventually drop fuel consumption by as much as 20 per cent. Hybrids have already demonstrated that.
The builders can do it. They resisted safer vehicles, thinking padded dashes were enough, until they were pushed. The result is items – such as seatbelts, crash zones and air bags – that represent an essential part of design and construction.
But all these things only nibble at the problem. Our problem is how much we depend on oil and gas.
The solution is getting off our petroleum kick. The options are electricity and hydrogen, and the network of refuelling for those options that already exist for gas and diesel.
Initially, those vehicles cost more. Eventually, the unit price drops, just like it does for other gadgets.
It’s about need and opportunity.
Depressing the price of oil and gas has subsidized globalization. But a case can be made that oil’s barrel price should be three to four times more than it is once we factor in subsidies for exploration and recovery.
The North American auto industry flexed its industrial mite and its capacity to adapt by turning out military hardware that helped win the Second World War – without building a car for five years. All we’re asking the auto industry to do now is to build different vehicles powered by energy sources we have in abundance.
We won’t have pump prices to complain about, we’ll still get around and we’ll also be physically and economically healthier.
Who has a problem with that?
Steve Goodwin

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Joe Earle Memorial Day races reaching 50th anniversary

TRENTON – The Earle family will have a day in their honour to celebrate the 50th running of the Joe Earle Memorial Day road races on May 19 in Trenton.
Each year someone is honoured with a day for community contributions in sports and other pursuits as a volunteer or participant.
This year it’s Earle Family Day. Members of the Earle family took over organizing the races after race founder Joe Earle was no longer able to do so,.
It was Debbie MacDonald day last year in tribute to the local distance runner.
The race program starts at 9:30 a.m. with the Baxter MacArthur men’s open mile race, followed at 9:40 a.m. by the Hartling Family Memorial open mile race for girls 15 and under, the Gloria Clark Memorial open women’s mile at 9:50 a.m. and the Carl MacDougall Memorial one-mile race for boys 15 and under at 10 a.m.
Four more races include the Boyles Memorial one-eighth mile at 10:05 a.m. for boys four and under, the Elda Earle Memorial one-eighth mile for girls four and under, the Donald Gabby MacDonald Memorial quarter-mile for boys six and under and the Mackie Jenkins Memorial quarter-mile for girls six and under.
A series of half-mile races will follow. The Doug McInnis Memorial half-mile at 10:30 a.m. will be for girls 13 and 14 years old, while the Jim MacArthur Memorial five minutes later will be a half-mile race for boys aged 13 and 14.
Ten other half-mile races are scheduled, beginning at 10:40 a.m. with the Bobby Gill Memorial for boys seven years old and followed at 10:45 a.m. by the Cromwell Memorial for seven year old girls.
The races will be followed by the Paul MacDonald Memorial for eight year old boys at 10:50 a.m., the William Tanner Memorial for eight year old girls at 10:55 a.m., the MacNeil Family Memorial for nine year old girls at 11 a.m., the Johnny Cooke Memorial for nine year old boys at 11:05, the Burton Luddington Memorial for 10 year old girls and the Charlie Stevens Memorial for 10 year old boys at 11:20 a.m.
The other half-mile races include the Andre Roussy Memorial for girls 11 to 13 at 11:40 a.m. and the Jock Wilson Memorial for boys 11 to 13 at 11:50 a.m.
All races are run on the ash track at Scotia Park if conditions permit, or at Steeltown Park if the track is unsuitable.
The five-mile race in six categories starts and ends with laps at Scotia Park, and along a course on Park Street and out to Pictou Landing and back.
They include the Joan Carrigan Memorial for women 14 to 35, the Raymond Pentz Memorial for women 36 and over, the Nonnie Morgan for men 14 to 35, the Doucette Family Memorial for men 36 to 49, the Dennis Lawless Memorial for men 50 and over and the Douglas V. MacDonald Memorial for the Canadian Armed Forces award.
The Earle family will be recognized during the dinner and trophy presentations that will start a half hour after the conclusion of the last race.
Awards will also feature the Courtney Malcolm Award presented to the school in Pictou County that achieves the most points from its students based on top-three finishes in each race.

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Nighthawk girls capture U-13 title

STELLARTON – The Northumberland Nighthawks have made their mark in provincial volleyball.
The Nighthawks captured the Volleyball Nova Scotia Under-13 girls’ championship last weekend in Halifax after a season full of tournaments playing an array of mostly U-14 rosters.
They won all 12 games they played, including eight games during the preliminary round.
The Nighthawks defeated the Armview Storm 25-11 and 25-10 to reach the finals and won the division by defeating Bedford 25-14 and 25-16.
“All 10 girls contributed and all 10 played well,” coach Keith Melanson said. “We’re very pleased. They deserved it from the hard work against the U-14 teams and the experience they gained from that. It paid off.”
Jessica Trevors was named tournament most valuable player, while teammates Maia Green and Leah McPherson were named tournament all-stars.
“The great thing about these girls is that we’ve played eight tournaments and got through preliminaries every time,” he said. “There are 40 Under-14 teams and we’ve played 30 of them. We didn’t win any tournaments but we got silver once and bronze three times. You know you’re doing pretty good.”
The Nighthawks’ final games before last weekend’s provincial championships were four morning games and four afternoon games the previous weekend against the Antigonish U-14 Storm. The Nighthawks won all eight games.
“Our strength is our 10 players and they get equal time,” Melanson said. “We have an all-round team. Everyone is playing well.”
That proved valuable due to the odd scheduling that had the Nighthawks playing back-to-back games late Saturday evening and early on Sunday morning.
The team began its VNS season in January and worked out Mondays and Fridays at the G.R. Saunders gym and on Wednesdays at the Dr. W.A. MacLeod gym in between tournaments and in preparation for the provincial championship.
Melanson is a well-known volleyball coach from his days of coaching the East Pictou Eagles boys team while he was on staff there.
Since retirement, he has come back to coach girls from Grade 9 to 12 at the Northumbrland Regional High School in Alma.

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Hall of Fame honours Bill Dimock’s exploits

NEW GLASGOW – Bill Dimock is known locally as an outstanding curler, like his wife, Jessie Dimock.
What is not so well-known is Bill’s exploits in hockey, something the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame officially recognized during a series of presentations to the Dimocks last Thursday at its location in New Glasgow.
Bill Dimock received several plaques, a series of gifts and a binder containing records and information from his time in hockey that was compiled by hall of fame volunteer Corey Hartling.
Of particular note was Dimock’s membership on the Sudbury Wolves, which represented Canada 65 years ago in February at the 1949 world hockey championship won by Czechoslovakia in Stockholm Sweden.
“I never regretted it,” he said of his time with the team and its trip to Europe. “It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good you think you are. You need a good team.”
The Czechs’ 3-2 victory over Canada proved to be the difference as they won the gold medal and Canada settled for silver. They finished with a 4-1 record, their only loss a 2-0 shutout against the U.S.
Canada beat the U.S. 7-2 and Austria 8-2, but tied Sweden 2-2 and Switzerland 1-1 to finish with two wins, two ties and one loss.
“Were were from Canada,” Dimock said. “We were supposed to be rough and tough, but we didn’t play like that.”
What gained the most attention that year was Canada’s preliminary win by a score of 47-0 over Denmark.
Dimock recalled that the Canadians wanted to let up on the Danes but were pushed to break the previous one-sided record result of 40-0.
Every member of the Canadian team scored at least three goals, including Dimock. One player scored eight goals and another scored six goals.
“The first time (Denmark) played that year was in that game,” he said.
Hartling presented Dinock with two frames gifts. One of them is a menu on the Empress of France, the ocean liner the team returned on. The menu was signed by the hockey team members.
The other was a certificate citing Dimock’s “extraordinary distinction and contributions to sport.”
The binder Hartling put together also offers a retrospective of the Dimock families that can be traced back to the 13th century.
One of Dimock’s forebears was from Windsor and played in 1906 for the New Glasgow Cubs, who challenged for the Stanley Cup that year in Montreal, where they lost two games by scored of 10-3 and 7-2. Four members did not accompany the team.
Dimock’s family eventually moved to Trail, B.C. where he was born in 1923. His time with the Wolves was part of an eastward journey that included stop in Quebec before ending up in Pictou County.

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Inking his place in history

“He has had an amazing life, he has so much to say about tattooing and about life. He’s just an incredible human being.”
This was the first thing Tyson Carlson said when asked why he wanted to make a documentary on local tattoo artist Jerry Swallow, Sailor Jerry.
Carlson met Swallow, an internationally-known tattoo artist, in North Bay, Ont. about two years ago and they developed a friendship.
“A lot of people respect Jerry for his tattoos, but Jerry as a person is even more interesting,” says Carlson.
So he set out to do a documentary detailing Swallow’s past and his career, his life experiences and what has brought him to his level of success in tattooing.
“In talking with people in Ontario and in Canada, I began to get annoyed at how much of a lack of knowledge there is about Jerry,” says Carlson. “Here’s a man that started tattooing 55 years ago and paved the way for everyone, especially the new group of tattoo artists, and I feel like he’s being forgotten about.”
That was the driving force behind making the documentary. He began filming while Swallow was still living in Ontario, and has come here to complete his filming.
“I applied for a grant about two years ago through the Ontario Arts Council and didn’t get it; this was after I initially started filming. So I changed a few things and brought Eric Boissonneault, a well-known North Bay filmmaker, on board and reapplied and that’s when we received the grant.”
Carlson says Swallow was very receptive to the idea, although he’s a humble man.
“I’m just so perplexed, especially here in Nova Scotia, because you have this wealth of knowledge in Jerry and he’s not a bigger deal. The East Coast, as far as Canada is concerned, is where tattooing got its start. There are great tattooers from the East Coast and Jerry is one of the last; but yet he’s such a humble guy.”
In terms of footage for the documentary, Carlson has two month’s worth filmed in North Bay and two week’s worth filmed here in New Glasgow.
“It’s not enough. He’s got such an incredible back story.”
Swallow was born in Halifax but his father’s family are from the Pictou County area, so this is where he has made his home.
Over the years, he moved away, to British Columbia and Ontario, and took a lot of what he calls ‘working vacations’ in the US, Europe and beyond. But this was always where he wanted to create his works of art.
“I missed it here,” says Swallow. “I wanted to come back.”
Swallow first entered a tattoo shop when he was 11 or 12 in Halifax.
“They wouldn’t let you in back then, the doors were always locked, but there were a few that had their doors open. I started out running errands for the shop and I would see all the sailors coming in and out; that’s something I’ll never forget.”
His father was a bus driver and Jerry would sit on the bus and when it stopped at the tattoo shop on the bus run, he would get off and just stare at the shop.
“I always wanted to be a tattoo artist,” he says. “I didn’t think I could do it but I guess I did.”
Swallow got his first tattoo at 13, a little anchor that cost him 50 cents. He got another tattoo right after that at a cost of $1.
“They wouldn’t give me any more after that,” he laughs. “Back then, $5 would put gas in your car, buy a pack of cigarettes, dinner and a movie and you’d still have change left over.”
He has more than 100 tattoos and he says there was only one that he really wanted, the rest was practising on himself or others’ practising.
Swallow says the tattoo industry was a lot different 55 years ago than it is now.
“Tattoos were pretty simple and it was about getting people in and out. All the tattoos looked the same. I thought if we changed the style and had new designs it would draw more people in, but back then they (tattoo artists) didn’t want people hanging around the shop. I did it anyway and they were cranky at first, but they got used to it.”
When Swallow first started tattooing, he says there was some colour, but it was mostly black and red.
“There was some kind of green colour, but it was horrible stuff to work with and not long after that there was green, red and yellow. The yellow used to burn though, especially out in the sun.”
Swallow tattooed for 30 years in Halifax and 20 years here in New Glasgow.
“Jerry is one of the most important cultural phenomena in the past 50 years in terms of tattooing,” lauds Carlson, which is why he felt it was important to interview him on his own turf.
“I wanted to get Jerry’s life here and get the chance to interview his family.”
Boissonneault adds, “He’s more comfortable here.”
Carlson says the most amazing thing he has learned about Swallow through all of this is how amazing he is as a person.
“He is one of the old timers; he started about 55 years ago and stuck with it for all these years. Now he’s in his golden years when he should be retired but he doesn’t have a ton of money and a ton of recognition and he’s totally disillusioned with something he should be basking in. I want Jerry to get that recognition that he deserves in his life like any other great Canadian artists because his work is amazing folk art. I want the Canadian government and the Canadian people to realize what an important artist he is.”
Swallow says he was a bit nervous to make the documentary, but was willing to give it a try.
“Sometimes it’s hard to talk with the cameras there. I’ve done quite a few TV interviews, but I always get a little nervous,” he notes, adding he didn’t expect the documentary to delve into his past as much as it is and, although there are stories that are difficult to share, he’s willing to be a part of this.
Swallow says over the years he has really lost an interest in the industry because it’s “not what it was when I got in. They used to call it a dying art because no one did it, but now, what I am doing, that is the dying art. I feel like some of this stuff isn’t tattoos.”
Carlson and Boissonneault’s goal is to get the documentary in the film festival circuit and go from there.
Swallow is now working in New Glasgow again, tattooing at Vintage Tattoos with his former apprentice, Brian MacKenzie.

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Ashton appointed to federal board

PICTOU – Churchville resident John Ashton was appointed as the Nova Scotia representative on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC).
The announcement was made Friday by Minister Leona Aglukkaq. Ashton’s mandate will be for three years.
“I’m thrilled,” Ashton said of his appointment. “It’s an incredible opportunity, especially as it relates to history.”
Ashton is a businessman, graphic designer and historical researcher. He is the coordinator of the Historical Community Kiosk Project, aimed at promoting tourism and the history of rural municipalities using interpretive panels.
A volunteer who is active in his community, Ashton has numerous years of experience leading historical and touristic projects.
Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the minister of the Environment on the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada’s history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that these subjects of national historic significance are recognized appropriately and shared with Canadians and visitors alike.
Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that make up the rich tapestry of Canada’s cultural heritage offering visitors an opportunity for real and inspiring discoveries.
“There is certainly lots of work to do (on the board)… but I truly feel honoured.
“The opportunity to share my insight about history across Canada is unbelievable, especially with Canada’s 150th birthday coming up.”
Based on recommendations from the HSMBC, to date, the Government of Canada has designated more than 2,000 national historic sites, events and persons.
Peter MacKay, regional minister for Nova Scotia, minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada said, “Having known and worked with John for years on numerous projects, I know the Board will benefit from his knowledge and his experience. He brings a passion and perspective on history that is truly impressive.”

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Hundreds attend Culloden service

KNOYDART – The annual service on Saturday to commemorate the Battle of Culloden at the cairn beside the Northumberland Strait had special meaning.
It had the refreshing, humour-tinged work by master of ceremonies Elliott Anderson, whose brother Michael helps organize the event each year. There was the customary laying of wreaths at the cairn and the refreshment and entertainment at the reception at nearby Lismore hall.
Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant also arrived for the service and spoke at the reception.
As organizer Bill MacVicar noted, Grant has attended the service many times as a civilian, but this is the first time a lieutenant-governor has attended.
Grant praised the capacity of smaller communities to remain strong by honouring their heritage.
“Communities such as this allow us to celebrate our heritage,” he said. They deepen our relationship to the land and to each other.”
The cairn was erected in 1938 to honour survivors of the Battle of Culloden who left Scotland to settle in this part of Nova Scotia.
Elliott Anderson noted how attendance at the service at the cairn has increased over the more than 30 years that it has taken place.
“In 1982 two men came, and here now we have upwards of 300,” he said.
Arisaig resident Lewis MacPherson, whose ancestry traces back to those original settlers, was one of the sentinels guarding the cairn’s four corners. He stood with a musket of a kind used at Culloden, although it’s still uncertain if it was used there.
“I’ve been here almost every year,” he said. “Sometimes I just watch the service, but I like the ceremony and what it means.”

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Buy Local event in Lyon’s Brook

Lyons Brook provides locally brewed beer, building supplies, visual art, professional photography, doggie daycare, fine dining, locally raised beef, handcrafts, home baking, and much more. It is a community rich in quality local goods and services.
On Saturday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Lyon’s Brook Women’s Institute invites you to Buy Local in Lyon’s Brook where goods and services from “The Brook” will be available for purchase at the community hall.
If rural communities are to thrive, it is up to us who hold them near and dear to make it happen, so says the Ivany Report “One Nova Scotia: Shaping our New Economy Together”. It is a steep path to travel to economic sustainability, but we also have impressive assets and opportunities – we simply need to decide what to do with them.
Doug Griffiths, a motivational speaker featured at the Georgetown Conference held in PEI last summer where “redefining rural” was the focus, asserts that every dollar spent passes through at least seven hands, so “buying local” becomes a powerful way in which to enrich our community and its economy.
Lyon’s Brook is not just a secondary highway from here to there, but a community rich in a wide diversity of goods and services – impressive assets and opportunities. Lyon’s Brook Women’s Institute encourages local residents to take this opportunity to do some shopping, grow the local economy, and get to know the community better.

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Pictou native honoured as Canadian medical hero

Pictou native Dr. Thomas John (Jock) Murray, was recognized as a Canadian medical hero with induction into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
The Halifax-based world renowned leader in multiple sclerosis and care, was inducted at a gathering of more than 575 Canadian health care and business leaders in Kingston, Ont., on April 24.
One of six inductees, Murray joined the ranks of 101 laureates before him in receiving this prestigious national honour. Nominated for his passion, innovation and visionary leadership that has improved health worldwide, Murray was selected for this honour by a selection panel comprising national health leaders and chaired by Dr. Alain Beaudet of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Following two years in general practice, Murray trained in internal medicine and then in neurology in Halifax, London, and Toronto before joining the Dalhousie medical faculty in 1970. He became Professor of Medicine, head of Neurology, Dean of Medicine, and Professor of Medical Humanities.
As a general neurologist, he found that there were places in Nova Scotia that had higher numbers of multiple sclerosis patients than others.
In an interview with The Advocate last fall, after learning about his upcoming honour Murray said, “It struck me that a lot of people in Nova Scotia with MS felt abandoned, nobody really wanted to see them and doctors had no knowledge or treatments to help. I wanted to help these patients, explain the disease to them, help them manage the disease and provide care.”
That is when he created the MS Clinic in Halifax.
“We created a computerized program to collect information on patients with MS and it is one of the longest running databases on MS that is still going since the 1970s when we created it.”
The database collects information on all MS patients who visit the clinic. The information has accumulated over the years with hundreds of new patients attending the clinic each year since its inception, reaching more than 3,000 patients.
“We brought in more scientists for research on how to care for and educate the patients, their families and the public,” explains Murray. “From there our next step was to develop a concept of a multi-disciplinary clinic.”
This meant incorporating nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, neurologists and more.
“I started by contacting friends in US clinics doing this kind of thing and it grew from five clinics to more than 100 in North America.”
Murray also created an organization to bring all of the MS clinics across Canada together to share information meaning, any research or trials were now done internationally.
“I always knew I would learn more about the disease and hope to find therapies to alter the outcome, but I wanted to change the course of the disease which happened in 1993,” explained Murray.
“I was very surprised,” he said after hearing he would be honoured.
“I was pleased for the recognition of the work I have been doing. It’s partly in recognition of the work on MS and partly for my contribution to neurological medicine and also for my work in medical humanity.”
Murray established the first medical humanities course in Canada which teaches history, philosophy, ethics, art, music and how it all relates to medicine.
“In the first days of caring for MS patients, I learned they needed not just a physician with a knowledge of science, but a physician that cares for them, has compassion, can communicate and understand their fears.”
When Murray was the Dean of Medicine at the Dalhousie School of Medicine, he wanted the doctors to have this broader approach and take care of the whole person. During these 27 years, he also performed neurological consultations in Pictou every month, continuing his connection to his home town.
He is retired, but continues to give lectures, do research and write for text books on MS.
Of the induction ceremony, Murray says, “I am honoured to receive this award.”

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Hundreds support Walk for Reese

Spirits were high Sunday with nearly 300 people braving the chilly air to take part in this year’s third annual Walk for Reese.
The walk is partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s Light the Night Walk.
The event took the form of a fun run, or walk, of five kilometres on the Jitney Trail along the Pictou waterfront.
Reese Hawkins, now 4, was 10 months old when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Her battle against the disease ultimately culminated in her receiving a bone marrow transplant in 2012.
“Reese got her new blood on April 13th in 2012,” Reese’s mother Kora Hanrahan said, “so we try to keep the date around that time just to honour the day and how fortunate we are.”
Hanrahan said her daughter is doing well health-wise, currently in remission and just having passed her recent check up. “I remember her doctor saying… the further we get from the transplant date the better chances are it’s not coming back, that it’s gone for good,” she said.
“Two years is a big milestone.”
To date, support for Reese has amounted to more than $50,000 being raised and each walk typically sees donations of around $5,000.
Hanrahan said she isn’t sure if Reese is fully aware of the support and generosity she has inspired in the community but the youngster has displayed flashes of insight.
“She’ll say things that make us think she’s aware,” she said, “things like ‘people are happy I got my new blood, aren’t they?’ And she knows the celebration is to raise money to help, as we put it in perspective for her, to help find ways for scientists to find better ways, easier ways for people to get new blood and so that it works for everybody.”
Reese, her mother said, is also learning to accept the necessity of the frequent treatments she receives. “She came up from her last appointment where she had extensive blood work done and she said when we were leaving, ‘Mommy, I really don’t like getting those IV needles but I know they’re the reason I have my new blood’,” Hanrahan said. “She’s starting to accept that she has to go. It used to be every six weeks but now it’s every three months – we just graduated – to have her blood checked and make sure she’s still strong.”
As with previous years, the walk did not have a formal registration and no set donation amounts or goals. The Lobster Bar served as the event’s home base and Sobeys and Tim Hortons both stepped up and offered food donations.
Reese’s family also took steps to reward the community’s generosity by awarding door prizes which were donated by local businesses. “We try to give back with the door prizes, food, and celebration,” Hanrahan said, “but we are just happy to accept any donation people make to help support a cure.”

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‘Tis the season… for lobster

Today is the day traps were to be set for lobster fishing season.
Ronnie Heighton, president of the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association, says the local season will run through June 30, when the traps have to be out of the water.
“The traps will be set on April 30, provided the ice is clear,” says Heighton. “The wind has been blowing which helps break up the ice, so we are hoping it will be clear.”
Last May, just before Mother’s Day weekend, lobster fishermen across Atlantic Canada tied up their boats in hopes of garnering a higher dollar for their catch. That led to the formation of a panel with the three fisheries ministers from PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Heighton says, however, that has not led to talks of a set price for catch this fishing season.
“It’s a reality that with the increased cost for bait and fuel among other things, it takes near $5 a pound just to break even.”
Heighton says he’s not sure whether the water will still be too cold for the lobster when the season starts.
“We won’t know until we get out there. I think the water will be colder than last year being as we were walking around in T-shirts and shorts this time last year. So there may be a slower start to the season than we had last year,” he says noting that can be made up on the other end when the water gets warmer.
As for whether Heighton predicts a good season, he laughs, “I’ve been in the business near 50 years and I wouldn’t venture to comment on the seasons; there are so many unknowns.”
Fisherman Jeff Rankin is hoping for a better price this year.
“Five dollars is fair; anything lower, you can’t do.”
In fact, Rankin found a sales slip from 1984 belonging to his father who was also a lobster fisherman. It shows the $3.60 price paid per pound for market-sized lobster. That was the same price fishermen were receiving for their catch last year, 30 years later.

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Ship fit for a prince

PICTOU – The Ship Hector’s three masts are scheduled to be installed today.
Work crews have been preparing to drop the masts through the ship’s decks for the past few days to get the ship ready to visit and view for this year’s tourist season.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Anne Emmett, who chairs the Hector Quay Society. “Once our ship is back in good shape, we can make plans for the future.”
The ship will feature three Douglas fir masts. The foremast and mizzen mast are new, while the main mast is a replacement from 2007. It will be rigged to the first level this spring and to the top over the summer.
“It will look like a ship again,” she said.
Preparations for the ship and the Quay are more important due to the Royal visit in May. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will be visiting Pictou during the late afternoon on May 19 as part of their spring tour of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.
The Quay opens to the public on Victoria Day weekend and would normally open this year on May 17. It will open on May 20 instead.
The Royal Couple’s visit to the Quay will celebrate Scottish migration to Nova Scotia and will be hosted by the Canadian government.
The Hector will form the backdrop for musical performances, a tour of the museum, which commemorates Scottish immigration to Nova Scotia, and a plaque unveiling.
“The visit by the Royal Couple is an amazing opportunity for the Town of Pictou and all of Pictou County,” said Darlene Mac-Donald, secretary of the Hector Heritage Quay Society. “We have a unique chance to showcase our Scottish culture and heritage, our music and talent.”
After the events in Pictou, the Royal Couple will leave for Prince Edward Island and then on to Manitoba where they will wrap up their tour on May 21.

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Jubilee announces first contest of the season

The New Glasgow Jubilee has announced the first contest of “Jubilee season”.
With only several days left to take advantage of Early Bird pricing, the Jubilee wants to reward those who purchase Early Bird passes.
Everyone who has purchased their tickets already or by May 2 will be entered to win a VIP upgrade. This includes entrance to the VIP tent all weekend and a one-night stay of your choice at the Travelodge in New Glasgow during Jubilee weekend.
Early Bird Passes are on sale until May 2 and prices are:
►Adult Weekend, $60 Early Bird
►Adult VIP Weekend, $120 Early Bird
►Youth Weekend (13-18, ID may be requested), $30 Early Bird
Prices shown include HST and applicable fees. Quantities are limited at this price.
Jubie fans can also buy their tickets online now at: or

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Top five acts ready to go for Sound of Youth event

Five acts have been selected from the three high schools in Pictou County to compete in The deCoste Sound of Youth Music Competition.
These young musicians will compete for votes online and for “real” votes from three celebrity judges at a live concert to be held at the deCoste Centre on Thursday, June 5 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is just $5 and all proceeds will go to The Pictou County Roots for Youth Society. Tickets will be available from the deCoste Centre and all three high schools.
The prizes to be awarded include two recording sessions – one produced by Dave Gunning at Wee House of Music and the other by Gord Stensrud at Sea Level Sound. Gift cards from H&R Music totaling $600 will also be awarded.
Ann MacGregor, Jason Brushett and Ashley George will select the winning acts at the concert on June 5. Videos of the top five will be posted soon for online voting on the deCoste site and facebook page.
The five acts competing for these prizes are as follows: from Pictou Academy, “Echo,” from Northumberland Regional High School, “The Third Step” and a duo featuring Maddie Fleming and Mallory MacDermid; and from North Nova Education Centre, a duo featuring Joel MacNeil and Jenna Duggan and a four-piece band featuring Sarah English, Cassie Mann, Evan Curley and Justin Kellock.
A special guest performance will be by Markus MacDonald, winner of the 2012 deCoste Sound of Youth Competition. Emcees for the concert will be Emily MacDonald and Isaac Young from Pictou Academy. The concert poster was designed by Morgan Baillie from NRHS. Students on the planning committee are Rayelle Canam and Isaac Young from Pictou Academy, Christine Ingham from NRHS and Hilary MacInnis from NNEC.

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Cancer research benefits from Reason for Hope

The Reason for Hope Society will be donating $10,000 to The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute to aid Metastatic Cancer Research, on Friday, May 2.
The presentation will take place at Glasgow Square Theatre at 7:30 p.m.
Reason for Hope Chair Jim Stewart says, “This donation has been made possible due to the tremendous support of sponsors, local businesses and the general public of the sixth annual Reason for Hope Concert held November 1 at Glasgow Square Theatre.”
The evening will also feature a performance by Toronto-based New Glasgow native Mary Stewart. She is the daughter of Reason for Hope founder, the late Emma Lee Stewart.
Mary Stewart is currently on tour in Atlantic Canada in support of her CD “Chances Are I Like You” and is laying the groundwork for her third CD to be released in 2015.
“It seems only fitting that we make our donation for cancer research when Mary is in the area,” said Jim Stewart.
“She performed at all of our past events and played an instrumental role in creating the Reason for Hope CD Project. It’s our way of saying thank you to all who have made this donation possible.”
Doors will open at 7 p.m. and seating is cabaret-style. There will be no tickets sold for the event; donations will, however, be accepted at the door with proceeds to the Reason for Hope Society.

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Guthro bringing acclaimed Songwriters Circle to deCoste

Bruce Guthro is back in his element, for now at least.
The globe-trotting, uber talented, multi-award winning musician will be in the centre of the circle, literally, on Friday when he hosts his Songwriters Circle for the first time at the deCoste Entertainment Centre.
And the best thing about it, at least for the charismatic and down-to-earth troubadour, is it’s right where he feels most comfortable. And better yet, he will be surrounded by three talented artists who he admires and considers friends.
“We wanted to make sure the first Songwriters Circle at the deCoste started off with some great entertainment,” Guthro said. “And I think we’ve done that.”
Dave Gunning, Laura Smith and Kim Dunn will share their talents, enjoy some laughs and tell some stories while Guthro hosts and tells a few stories of his own.
Guthro, whose talent for writing songs from the heart that go straight to the heart of his audience, is quick to praise the talents of others.
“Dave and I have been friends for a very long time,” Guthro said. “He engineered my last two records and co-produced my son Dylan’s. I’ve been doing the Songwriter’s Circle quarterly for the past nine years at the Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax and Dave has been there every year, at least once a year, and he’s one of my most favourites to have in the circle.”
Of Laura Smith, Guthro praises: “I’ve been a fan of hers for 20 years. I did one of my first CBC interviews with her; she is so accommodating and helpful. I think she’s one of the best female voices in the country.”
He is just as enthusiastic about musician Kim Dunn. “Whenever I do a circle, I try to include someone who people may not know about. Kim Dunn has played with every musician who’s ever come out of this area. He’s an amazing player and singer – a real “up and comer.” He’s a great backbone in the musical landscape, but the light never shines on him.” Guthro hopes after the May 2 event, that will change.
Of the Songwriters Circle, Guthro says simply, “It brings me great pride and great joy.”
That’s a pretty humble statement from a musician who has every reason not to be humble. The Cape Breton-born Guthro has a worldwide reputation in two separate musical identities. As a solo artist on the East Coast, he has captivated audiences with his honest storytelling that is both earnest and passionate. As the lead singer of the Scottish folk/rock band Runrig, he is accustomed to playing to crowds of tens of thousands. In both personas, Guthro plays sold-out shows.
Despite this success, it is the Songwriters Circles that hold his heart.
“It really is my favourite live show to do. I get to be a fan, a performer, and a host all at the same time. What’s not to like about that?”
It’s the intimacy that Guthro enjoys, and the story, and the stories behind the songs.
Like Guthro’s ‘Falling’, from 1998’s album, Of Your Son. “I was in a Halifax train station people watching and I saw an old man pick up a phone to make a call. It looked like he had a tough life, like he grew up on Ocean Street, Sydney Mines,” Guthro laughs about a particularly difficult neighbourhood near where he grew up.
Of the format, Guthro explains, “It’s like we’re all in one big living room and the audience will experience what it’s like to be with artists and hear their conversations … It’s a free forum; it’s all spontaneity, non-scripted.
“It’s the spark, the idea behind the song. We’ll hear a little more in-depth as to how the song came about.”
Guthro is happy to be back on the East Coast, focusing on the Songwriters Circles “because I enjoy them so much. It’s such a diversion from what I do in Europe with Runrig. Playing rock shows with 10,000 fans it’s hard to reach people. The Songwriters Circle takes me back to where I started. There is no gig I enjoy more than the Songwriters Circle.”
In fact, Guthro would love to make a quarterly series of his Songwriters Circle in Pictou. He has been working with the deCoste’s Troy Greencorn to bring his highly successful show to the Pictou stage. It is something the deCoste would love to see happen as well.
“When I first started the Songwriters Circle I had to choose the people, then go to work on them to try and convince them to join me; now, pretty much every artist I know is ready and willing. It’s very successful,” he laughs, “because it’s a lot of fun.”
It is still uncertain if the Bruce Guthro Songwriters Circle will be a regular event at the deCoste. “I’d love to see it grow into the regular thing, but we’ll have to see how the community embraces it. Ultimately, it’s always up to the ticket buyers. We’ve been running them nine years in Halifax, we have a built in audience of repeat customers. If the community of Pictou supports it, I hope to do the same. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.”
Guthro’s son, Dylan, has appeared at a couple of the events. “Now he’s continuing to build his own solo career and I’m very proud of him. I always love having him as a guest; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at one soon.”
Friday night’s show, Guthro said, will offer a good time with good music. “It’s a lot of laughter, joking and picking on each other.” And his favourite part is simple: “I get to sit in a circle of my peers and be a fan; be myself and not worry about exactly how it’s going. There’s gonna be some magic that comes out of it and I want people to leave saying, Omigod… when’s the next one?!”
Tickets are available at the deCoste.

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