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Frozen dinners served vets are only fit for campaigning NDP candidates

To the Editor:
It is interesting to see Ross Landry, Clarrie MacKinnon, Charlie Parker and the NDP Government are applauding themselves for finally listening to community members and reinstating home cooked meals to our beloved and well deserving veterans.
I suggest all remaining frozen dinners be served to NDP candidates as they campaign door to door during the upcoming provincial election.
Frozen dinners will certainly taste better than the crow they will be served on Nova Scotia doorsteps from disenchanted voters.

Mary Lloyd,
New Glasgow

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Taxpayers deserve better health care

To the Editor:
Over the past four years we have been led to believe that health care and education are a top priority with the NDP Government. I am not too sure about that as just about every week there is a newsflash that one or more emergency rooms in the province are closed for the lack of a doctor and people are asked to call EHS or another hospital.
Let me take you on a short trip to the ER at the Aberdeen Hospital. Oh, did I say a short trip? Sorry about that. When you first arrive in the ER you see a sign over an open window with a chair in front that says Registration. So you sit down and are then told NO you cannot register. But you must take a seat in the blue chair and you will be called. Then after 15-20 minutes you are called by a trauma nurse who takes all your information. Then you are told to go to the registration desk to register. What a joke, for all that happens there is you are asked for your name, birth date and telephone number that is already on the form that the nurse filled out. Then you are told to take another chair. If you ask how long it will be to see a doctor to be treated one is told a few minutes.
When you sit down again you find that the other people sitting there have been there for two to three and a half hours. So the wait continues. And after an hour and 40 minutes have gone by one goes to the window and asks what is happening. There has been one called to go in to see a doctor in that amount of time and I was told by the young lady that we are not to ask questions, that one would be called in time. So I sit and wait. One senior spoke up and said that we are being treated like cattle. After approximately three and half hours I was called to see a doctor who sent me to Xray, gave me a prescription and told me I would need a CT and I would be called at home when to come over.
If I thought the first day was bad, the next day was just as bad. I received a call early the next morning and was told to go to the ER registration desk and tell them I was there for a CT and they were to call the Radiation Dept. and they would come and take me for the CT. At this point the trauma nurse said there must be some misunderstanding on the part of the Radiation Dept. I was told once again to sit in the blue chair and I would be seen in time.
So I went all through that again. But this time I kept pushing to have them call Xray and when they finally did they were told they were waiting for me in the CT Dept. After that, I was asked to go back to the ER and wait for the doctor.
One and half hours later I went to the desk and asked what was going on after a long talk with no good results with a nurse, a manager was called. I went to her office and we talked about what was happening in the ER. She left me seated in her office and a short time later I saw a doctor.
Now that is only part of the story for I saw staff texting and using cell phones and, in a lot of cases I could not tell the staff from patients.
And, oh yes, people coming and going into visit like people going in and out of Walmart. Is that health care? I would say that we taxpayers deserve better than that.
Being a senior and an ex-service man I can tell you first hand we had better field hospitals overseas. There is a sign that says ‘Your Privacy and Safety is our top concern’ but how can that be when everything is conducted in an open space for others to hear?
Loyd Murray
New Glasgow

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Looking for the obvious

Horse and Train has been among the best remembered and most discussed of Alex Colville’s paintings, one week after his funeral and 15 days after his death at age 92.
The painting was eloquently referred to in a personal tribute by former Acadia University president Dr. James Perkin, who shared a story about how increasingly upset some children were as they kept looking at it in an art gallery.
It pictures a black horse galloping toward an oncoming train. Doesn’t the horse see the train? Why won’t it get off the track? Can the train engineer see it? Can he stop the train in time?
It is a classic example of Colville’s art: a calm scene altered by impending calamity. That was Colville, who saw civilization as a veneer disguising chaos and danger.
All those things the children saw were obvious to them.
In light of the horrible train wreck in downtown Lac Megantic, Que., those children have a message: See the obvious and deal with it accordingly.
Municipal councillor David Parker sees eerie parallels between Lac Megantic and the Westray coal mine disaster. One thing made each event possible. A multitude of mistakes made them a certainty.
A train with thinly-lined tank cars full of crude oil parked on top of a grade unattended with inadequate brakes applied – this a recipe for the devastation that followed.
So it was at Westray.
The inquiry that followed the disaster laid out a litany of things that led to it.
We can hope that an inquiry over the Lac Megantic tragedy will be similarly thorough and fair and lead to greater rail safety, as Westray’s legacy is greater mine safety – at least in some parts of the world. It will no doubt conclude that, despite the destruction of a downtown core, as well as countless lives and dreams, trains can carry dangerous goods safely if we take the right precautions.
It’s what a chemist understands, what a lineman realizes when handling electrical currents, what a physician realizes when performing surgery, what volunteers and health care professionals realize when attending a person with mental health issues.
It may be challenging, but it is obvious.
We can build anew. We can move on. But our lives can be free from bad thoughts and grave misfortune if we view life and situations for what they are.
One week after his passing, Alex Colville is still teaching us lessons.

Steve Goodwin

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Piper Sutherland preparing for trip to South Africa

RIVER JOHN – Sandy Sutherland figures now is the time to take advantage of a trip to Africa.
Sutherland was scheduled to leave on July 19 for five weeks of work conducting ecological surveys in and around Kruger National Park in northeastern South Africa. His specific work will deal with elephants and the destruction they are causing in the park.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while I’m still young and not tied down to anything,” said Sutherland, who has diplomas in forest technology and fish and wildlife technology from the Maritime College of Forest Technology in Fredericton, N.B.
The diplomas give a two-year equivalent total of credits he’s transferring to the University of New Brunswick’s forestry school.
What has made the trip financially possible for Sutherland is a Galen Weston Scholarship that paid his tuition and board over the past school year and gave him $3,500 to spend anywhere in the world on an extra-curricular summer project.
Sutherland chose to go to South Africa because the project is related to the fish and wildlife studies he has completed.
The basis of Sutherland’s research will pertain to the impact of elephants on the vegetation in the park.
Their population is nearly double the estimated 8,000 elephants the park is considered able to disturb.
The elephants’ over-population in certain areas of the park is butting against reduced plant life to the point that some of them have been uprooting trees to feed themselves.
Sutherland will spend a few days at home in River John before resuming his studies at UNB.

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Cultural connection

Spending a year in Handan, China ended up being more rewarding than Kathy and Wayne Cock could ever have imagined.
The Cocks taught in Nova Scotia for more than 30 years and had discussed teaching overseas, but the time never seemed to be right, since they have three children.
“When we retired (and the children were leading their own lives) we said, why not? The timing seemed to fit,” explains Kathy Cock.
The Cocks spent a year in China teaching 11 Grade 10 students in a Sino Canadian Program. Handan has a population of eight million and there are seven schools in all of China that offer this program which teaches Nova Scotia curriculum.
“This was the first year for the program in Handan which is southwest of Beijing,” explains Kathy. “The students will graduate with a Nova Scotia High School diploma. It is all regulated by the Nova Scotia Department of Education just like the schools here are.”
There are few words that can explain the Cocks’ experience in China.
“It was amazing, truly amazing,” she says. “I couldn’t say too much that wasn’t good about it. Even the cultural differences were enjoyable.”
There were a lot of different foods including duck head and chicken feet, however, there were always so many dishes that Kathy says there was always something to eat.
“It’s hard to put into words the experience,” says Wayne. “These young people opened their homes and their hearts to us in China and we fell in love with them. Now we have opened our home and hearts to them.”
Seven of the 11 students decided to visit Nova Scotia this summer for a three-week Chignecto-Central Regional School Board ESL Summer Camp. While here, they took part in English classes, swimming, rafting and a dance party, among other activities.
Selinda (Xing Yidan) became involved in the program because she wanted to learn. “I wanted to learn some new knowledge and I had taken English before,” she says. “I liked it.”
She says that the course with the Cocks wasn’t too difficult and she very much enjoys Nova Scotia. “It’s beautiful here. My favourite part was Magic Mountain.”
Wendy (Wen Yang) took the course in China because she, too, wanted to learn more English. “I liked it very much,” she says, “it was not very difficult because I was learning English before.”
Wendy is also a fan of Nova Scotia and enjoyed her time rafting in Shubenacadie.
As did Cathy (Yuan Ruixin). She took the course because she is planning on studying in Canada.
“I would like to study abroad and I wanted to know more English,” she says. “I enjoyed the course. At first it was a challenge, but after a while it was better.”
And she thinks Nova Scotia is beautiful. “The greenery here is very nice. It’s beautiful and fresh, very different from my home. There are a lot of trees and grass and the buildings aren’t as tall.”
All of the girls plan to study abroad once they graduate.
In China, the students attend school from very early in the morning to very late at night, for both English and Chinese schools, so visiting Nova Scotia was a treat.
“We will miss Kathy and Wayne and the environment here,” says Cathy. “The trip is amazing.”
Kathy says she and Wayne enjoyed their time with the students in China and in Nova Scotia. “The students are very dedicated, hard-working, wonderful people and the people in China were so wonderful and helpful.”
Wayne adds, “I think they now have a home here and we there. They weren’t just our students, they became our friends and they were like a family among themselves and with us. It was beautiful cultural sharing.”
“I liked meeting the foreign teachers again and the activities and physical activities we did here,” says Bruce (Han Kuo). “And the music, I like to sing.”
The Cocks says it was a real treat to have the students come to Nova Scotia and see how they live.
“It’s like it has come full circle. We got to see them twice, once for a barbecue and bon fire (with marshmallows) at our cottage and again for a day of kayaking, shopping and a nice meal,” says Kathy. “It’s a truly wonderful experience, it’s like a dream having them here.”

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Trap and skeet club has limited noise remedies

RIVERTON – A member of the Pictou County Trap and Skeet Club says there is little the club can do to quell the noise during its shooting sessions.
Erik Christensen says he has heard complaints off and on over the years he has shot at the range in Riverton. But he says he’s not concerned about them and the club has no means of reducing the shotguns’ noise.
Moving the range is also out of the question, he said.
“There’s a handful complaining but I’m not going to get too excited about it,” he said.
Members of Pictou County Municipal Council recently discussed the matter after receiving complaints about the noise from nearby residents.
“I have nothing against (the shooters),” Coun. Chester Dewar said. “They take care of the property. It’s just everyone moving in around them.”
But Christensen said regulations mean the club is limited to where it can locate.
By law, new ranges need to be fenced, he said. That alone discourages the club to move elsewhere.
“It’s impossible to get another (location),” he said. “You have to build a big wire fence around it.”
He also refuted suggestions at county council that the guns be muffled or silenced in some way.
“I wish we could, but it’s illegal to put silencers on guns,” he said.
The club has been in Riverton for more than 50 years and is registered with Amateur Trap Shooting Association as a facility with four trap fields, three skeet fields and one “five stand” field. It’s listed as not being for sporting clay shooting or archery or for having bunkers or “ZZbird”, rifle or pistol ranges.
In the longer days between spring and fall, shooting is for two to three hours from about 5:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Shooting the rest of the year is from 1 p.m. on Sundays.
“That’s a gentlemen’s agreement,” Christensen said, referring to shooting time well after church services. “We weren’t forced into it. We’re very obliging people.”
He said membership is around 70, with 20 to 25 shooters showing up regularly.
“Most of the guys are 50 or older,” he said. “We get a few young people, including some girls, but we don’t know if they’ll stay.”
Regarding the noise level, Christensen said shooters already take precautions to reduce the noise level and conserve ammunition by reducing their shot loads.
Christensen also said the land where the range is located has little agricultural value, except perhaps for vineyards or orchards. That would require the use of propane cannon – which he said are noisier than gun shots – to ward off birds.

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United Way drives home message of family fun with Cars for Change

Cars from across Nova Scotia gathered in the parking lot of the local FutureShop in New Glasgow for the United Way of Pictou County’s second annual Cars for Change event.
“Cars for Change is a partnership with the United Way of Pictou County and the New Glasgow FutureShop to help raise funds for the United Way here in Pictou County,” explains Jessica Smith, executive director of the United Way of Pictou County.
Last year, the car show raised approximately $4,000 for local United Way programs.
“We had hundreds of people out last year with cars from across Nova Scotia and we have cars from across the province out again today,” says Smith.
There was no monetary goal in mind for the fundraiser which included the cars, a barbecue, the New Glasgow Regional Police Service Cougar as well as remote control cars in an inflatable track. In addition there was a face painter and remote control helicopters.
“The car show is for any type of car. We have antique, new and all makes and models,” says Smith. “We also have awards for people’s choice that people could vote on like best interior, best paint job and many more.”
Smith says the aim of the day is to get more people out and involved so that the event continues to grow annually.
“We want to see it get bigger and better every year.”
It’s also about providing some family fun.
“Something we always try to do is have a free family event and this is a unique opportunity to have some family fun and raise funds for the United Way.

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Life on Pictou Island shown in 25 squares on quilt

Enjoy life on Pictou Island without leaving home.
Six women from the island have worked for the past several years on a quilt showcasing life on Pictou Island, and they are raffling off the piece of art.
“The women of Pictou Island always make a quilt as a winter pastime,” explains Corinne Cameron, one of the women who helped create the quilt.
“Six years ago, we discussed making … a unique quilt with scenes from the island to show what life is like on the island.”
The design took one winter and the remaining five were used to create the panels. The group took a year off before quilting it all together.
“We have panels of summer and winter, day and night, wildlife, transportation, sea life, fishing scenes like herring, scallop and lobster,” explains Cameron. “There’s also a panel of the old ice boat that is on permanent display at the Fisherman’s Museum in Pictou.”
There are recreations of scenes from the beach and seals on the rocks. “There are also buildings in the panels like the Sutherland Harris Presbyterian Church,” explains Cameron.
There are 25 squares in total surrounded by a blue border to represent the ocean with waves and starfish quilted by hand, as well as a green border on the outside with Celtic knots to represent the Scottish/Irish background on the island, according to Cameron.
“We are very proud of it,” she says. “It was a labour of love and a great community effort.”
The women will be selling tickets on a raffle for the quilt, to be drawn in November 15.
“We wanted people to have a chance to see it before it belonged to one person,” explains Cameron. “So we had it on display at the Fisheries Museum and it is on display at the Museum of Industry until August 2. After that, we are hoping it will be on display at the deCoste Centre during the Northumberland Quilt Guild’s show in August.”
Tickets, at $5 each, are available from island residents and on mainland at farmer’s markets. Dates and times can be found on at
Cameron contributed panels of her grandchildren playing on the beach, kayakers, the ice boat, the ferry in the summer and the mail airplane in the winter.
“Maureen Hull did four squares on sea life images; Melinda McDowell did four houses more than 100 years old; Nancy MacDonald created panels of the church and three light houses; Gretchen Maguire made four fishing boat squares and Anne Chaldecott did a panel of winter seals, sea gulls on the beach, the moon from mainland and a garden view path on mainland.”
The women are also in the process of creating a 2014-15 calendar with each of the squares as a different month and posters as well as post cards of the images.
There is also a Facebook page with photos of the squares.
Funds raised will go toward the Pictou Island Community Association for things like painting the church and school, equipment and repairs.

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Food, fellowship and fun all part of West River celebration

Culture, food, heritage and entertainment. What more could anyone want in a weekend event?
You can have it all this weekend at West River Celebrates Past and Present.
A variety of events is in store Saturday and Sunday in the Durham and Loch Brook areas of Pictou County as residents prepare to celebrate what made the area great, and what continues to draw people to it today.
Enjoy food, fellowship and fun at the Family Ceilidh on the Riverbank, taking place Saturday, Aug. 3, in the grassy area adjacent to the Loch Broom Log Church, 4 to 8 p.m. Lots of music and a good old-time country gathering are in store. Follow the signs for the Select Nova Scotia IncrEDIBLE picnic.
Robert Parker, who is helping organize the event, says the area is one of 16 sites across the province for the picnic this year.
“There will be local food on site for purchase, with 4-H clubs assisting.”
Picnic-goers will also be treated to a performance of an historical play which Parker is writing himself.
Bring your lawn chair and a blanket and prepare to enjoy a “good rural celebration,” he encourages.
Entertainment will include performances by Jim Dorie, John Spyder Macdonald, Fleur Mainville, Trevor Stanley, Tommy and Sheila Gottschall, Dave and Katie Gunn, George Spaulding aka Pumpkin Patch and Youth Performers.
There is plenty of free parking and facilities on site and no admission fee will be charged to the intergenerational, non-alcoholic event; however, a freewill offering will be taken as a fundraiser for the upkeep of the historic log church.
“It’s not just a fundraiser for the church,” Parker explains. “But we do want to draw awareness to the church.”
On Sunday afternoon, the annual Gaelic-English service is taking place at the picturesque log church. Step back in time and celebrate in both English and Gaelic on the same site when Rev. James MacGregor first preached to his flock in 1786.
Hosted by the Durham Heritage Society and the Loch Broom Log Church Committee, West River Celebrates Past and Present will begin Saturday morning with historical displays at the Durham Community Hall/Kiosk 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will also be narrated cemetery tours, guest speakers and more.
For additional information visit and look under events.

Saturday, August 3
●10 a.m.-4 p.m. – historical displays, Durham Community Hall/Kiosk
●11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – narrated cemetery tours, Durham Community/Durham Cemetery
●1-3 p.m. – Speakers on local history: Rev. Dr. Glen Matheson, John Ashton, Gordon MacKay Haliburton. Unveiling of plaque honouring Rev. Duncan Ross and commemorating the bicentennial of the establishment of a church in Durham – Durham Kiosk
●4-8 p.m. – Family Ceilidh on the Riverbank featuring local entertainers, adjacent to the log church, Loch Broom
●5:30 p.m. – Historic play with special guest from the past, Rev. James MacGregor. Select Nova Scotia IncrEDIBLE picnic, adjacent to the log church, Loch Broom

Sunday, August 4
●10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – historical displays, Durham Community Hall/Kiosk
●2 p.m. – Gaelic-English Church Service, Log Church, Loch Broom

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Kids n’ Kop create special bond

Learning a healthy respect for law enforcement and what they do is something that is key to becoming a good citizen.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County recognizes this, and has partnered with New Glasgow Regional Police Service for more than 15 years to provide an outlet where children can interact with police officers on a friendly level.
“The partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and New Glasgow Regional Police Service is trying to foster more of a relationship with children and police,” explains Const. Ken MacDonald with NGRPS. “Youth are our future.”
The relationship is enforced through team building activities and leaning as well as allowing the children the opportunity to see what it is that police officers do and ask questions.
“We host the children for a week at the police department and provide a variety of activities,” explains MacDonald. “Some of these children are also involved in our DARE – Drug Abuse Resistance Education – program in the schools so this is another way to reinforce that.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County and New Glasgow Regional Police Service are bridging the gap with activities that include a K-9 demonstration, a tour of the police department, learning about and playing with the police vehicles, as well as a tour of the Cougar, the military vehicle obtained by NGRPS.
The program also took the youth to One Tree Park in Windsor, NS on the Tim Horton Camp bus as well as the Lismore Sheep Farm and Trenton Park among other activities.
“This is an opportunity most of these children have never had before,” says Karen Chapman, program manager for BBBSPC.
“It’s an opportunity to get them out and help them create a better attitude toward law enforcement through more contact. It’s also a great way to get to know the new children in the program and build that relationship as well.”
In fact for one child, this was his first outing with BBBSPC. After the first day he said he “likes Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
And that is what makes it all worth while.

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Velsoft receives funding for expansion project

Velsoft is looking toward the future, which will be much brighter after a federal funding announcement was made.
Justice Minister Ross Landry announced on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Graham Steele, that Velsoft Training Materials would be receiving 80 per cent funding for an expansion project up to $35,000.
“I am excited about Velsoft,” said Landry. “It’s a great opportunity available to Nova Scotia businesses (referring to the funding).”
The funding was through a new pilot program, Global Business Accelerator Program which helps businesses acquire the knowledge and expertise they need to sell goods and services throughout the world.
“Velsoft is a leader,” said Landry. “Last year they were awarded the Top Innovative Company in Nova Scotia for Exports…”
Velsoft was one of 12 companies that received the funding, the remaining nine from Halifax and two from Cape Breton.
“Our vision as a company is to reach every learner on the planet,” says Jim Fitt, CEO of Velsoft. “We use the Internet to market our product and now have more than 10,000 corporations in 160 countries using our products that were created right here in rural Nova Scotia.”
Fitt said that in many countries education is the great equalizer and their newly opened office in South Africa is an opportunity for Velsoft to propel its recent growth and target neighbouring counties with the fastest growing economies.
“We have plenty of potential,” says Fitt. “A key to building relationships and programs like these help local businesses expand and compete on a global scale.”
The new funding program consists of applications from prospective businesses looking for funding. There were 12 companies awarded the funding of 66 applicants for this initial round, however, another application process began last Thursday with funding being awarded in the fall.
“This funding will fuel our expansion into Africa, with work we are currently doing,” says Fitt.
Marcel West, CFO for Velsoft added, “This will allow us to bring in experts who have already worked in that market to help us make sure that we go in successfully.”
Velsoft has many projects on the go, however, this funding provides a huge opportunity.
“If we do well in Africa, it’s a sign we could expand the operation again. We have good relationships with companies around the world.”
The funding has provided a better way to reach more markets with their industry leading, innovative and customizable training, eLearning software and blended learning solutions materials.
“This is a step forward toward our goal of reaching every learner,” said Fitt. “It would have taken a lot longer and we easily could have been distracted along the way so this helps keep us focused.”
Landry added, “We have to let our community know that these attributes and skills are here. We live in a global economy and we have to attract people here.”

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Ceremony honours Korean War veterans

Korean War Veterans have finally been officially recognized after many years.
A large crowd gathered at the Westville Civic Building on Saturday to recognize the many men who risked their lives to fight for freedom in South Korea. They were presented with certificates of recognition for their service.
Justice Minister and Attorney General Peter MacKay, along with retired General Walter Natynczyk attended the ceremony.
“I want to express a profound thank you and gratitude to all of the veterans among us today and sadly those that are not… your efforts have been anything but forgotten,” said MacKay.
This year, 2013, has officially been designated and declared the Year of the Korean War Veteran and will be marked by numerous activities and events throughout the country to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice and the Year of the Korean War Veteran.
“The first time we recognize these veterans is marked today here in Pictou County and across Canada and it will not be the last,” said MacKay. “This day will remain dedicated for decades to come as Canadians have a duty… to pay tribute to those who, in the prime of their youth, sacrificed and made that commitment.”
From 1950 to 1953, more than 26,000 Canadians served in Korea – working to restore peace and stability to the area. On July 27, 1953, the Korean War Armistice was signed, ending three years of fighting. Some 7,000 Canadians continued to serve there between the signing of the Armistice and 1955 with some remaining until 1957.
“There were 560 Canadians who made the supreme sacrifice, two of which were from Pictou County, Lance Cpl. William Edward Johnstone and Private Lloyd Standing Roach,” said Vincent Joyce. “The Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, but the war did not end, it continues right up to today with North and South Koreans manning the border, sometimes only 50 feet apart. It was 1991 before Canada recognized the soldiers in the Korean War and today we honour 17 of those soldiers.”
Natynczyk added, “There was a lot of talk about what that conflict was… (it doesn’t matter what it was called) it was combat… these (veterans) set the highest professional standard for those who wear the uniform today.”
All of the certificates for the veterans came from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“I’m very pleased with the turnout today, I’m very happy,” said Vincent Joyce, organizer and creator of the Pictou County Military Museum.
Joseph Robert Boardway, a Korean War Veteran said, “It feels like a big welcoming home. This should have been at the beginning, but now it has come and I still appreciate it. It feels like I’m sailing into New York Harbour all over again. My ship was the last to leave after the signing of the armistice. I went to Korea at 17, you grow up very fast. We received awards, but very little recognition or appreciation when we returned. Now we are getting it.”

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LORDA eyes better weather to draw crowds

LANSDOWNE – LORDA is counting on better weather to draw more visitors, David Leese says.
Leese, who operates the Lansdowne Outdoor Recreational Development Association’s facility in Lansdowne with the help of volunteers and part-time staff, says recent wet, humid weather has reduced summer visits.
“It’s not as big a season as we would like,” he said.
With fewer visitors, Leese said one plus factor is the four summer students who have helped him get the facility in good repair. Two are working until the end of August, while the other two are leaving before that.
“I have excellent students,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of maintenance done. I’m really pleased with the park.”
Leese is a member of the Leese family of Westville that created what is considered a treasure trip for the disabled, seniors and mentally challenged people who experience the park’s serenity within its 300 acres of forest. Its services are based on a recreational and wilderness theme and include fishing, tenting, picnic tables, gazebos and indoor areas that include a barn where maple syrup is made.
“The maple syrup is doing very well,” Leese said.
Because LORDA does not charge admission, it relies on government funding, donations and special projects to cover expenses.
Besides the $12,000 taken in from maple products, the park’s biggest fundraiser is called Music LORDA, which this year runs from 1 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 18.
Leese is optimistic LORDA can thrive, despite recent reports about its financial woes.
“It’s a place where people can come and enjoy themselves for free,” he said. “A lot of people put in donations but we can’t expect everyone to do that. It’s not a business. It’s a charity. We can’t have a profit, but we’re trying our best. We have a good board of directors. We’re still in trouble financially, so we can certainly use a little help.”
Leese revealed that financial difficulties are due partly to a $25,000 gap between the cost and the $96,000 ACOA granted for LORDA’s most recent building project.
“We’re far from bankrupt,” he said. “Our assets are three or four times the best we have.”

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Dragons breathe $137,000 into Race on the River

Mother Nature interfered with wind for the first time in 12 years during the 12th annual Race on the River Dragon Boat Festival.
Aside from an approximate one-hour delay, the day went on without a hitch and organizers were very pleased by the total of funds raised.
“We raised $137,222,” says Kim MacLaren of the organizing committee. “That is great. We have to consider, too, that we had 45 teams last year and 37 this year, so that is excellent and we are thrilled.”
Last year’s event raised approximately $160,000, which brought the total raised over the past 11 years to more than $1.3 million, not including the money raised this year. Funds raised go to three beneficiaries: Women Alike Breast Cancer Support Group, Special Olympics Northern Region and the Pictou County Prostate Awareness and Support Group.
“This was the first year in 12 years we had the wind not co-operate with us,” says MacLaren. “Safety comes first and we delayed the races for about an hour, but we were able to make that time up.”
MacLaren says only one preliminary race was cancelled because it was running too far behind.
This year, things were sped up by the awarding of medals directly after the races.
“We did it that way this year because teams often leave throughout the day because they have other commitments and it gets everyone out a bit earlier.”
The winners of the Advocate Cup were once again Abreast A River, the Women Alike Team, while the Bruce F. Murray Memorial Cup went to Peter MacKay’s Crashers.
The Sobeys Cup was awarded to the Westvillians, and the Michelin Cup went to the Cobequid Fire Eaters.
The Northumberland Nighthawks won the Grant Thornton Cup and the East Coast FM Cup was also awarded to the Peter MacKay Crashers.
The Goodlife Gunrunners were awarded the Travel Our Way Cup and the Scotiabank Cup went to Mac Attack.
The top Individual pledge earners were Freddy MacKay with the Riverview Rebels with $9,137 raised and Florence vanVeen with the Advocate Printer Devils with $4,764.
Top team pledge earners this year were Glen Hynes with Crombie Crushers, raising $24,250 and Aaron Bryant with Crombie Crushers raising $8,400.
Honorary chairman Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant says, “This is a wonderful example of community spirit… through celebration and a healthy amount of competition… The dragon signals strength and goodness, which is a good symbol for the Race on the River.”
MacLaren says, “We are very pleased with the day. Our volunteers and teams stuck it out with us and it can get frustrating for the teams, so we thank everyone who came out.
“Things ran extremely well considering the circumstances and we are ready for next year.”

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B&E, vandalism at Maritime Steel

The New Glasgow Regional Police Service is hoping information from the public can lead them to the person or persons responsible for a break and enter that resulted in thefts and acts of vandalism.
Sometime early Monday before 9:30 a.m , one or more persons broke into the Maritime Steel building In New Glasgow, by entering through a rear door.
Several pieces of office equipment were stolen. In addition, several offices were spray painted and several offices were sprayed with fire extinguishers
“The person or persons responsible for this break and enter also took spray paint and fire extinguishers and vandalized the offices,” says Const Ken Macdonald.
“It is a serious irresponsible act of vandalism that will be a substantial cost the business owner.”
New Glasgow Regional Forensic identification Unit and New Glasgow Regional Police continue to investigate.
Information can be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by calling the New Glasgow Regional Police Service 902 752-1941.

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Car crash on Highway 106

Pictou County RCMP are investigating a single vehicle crash that occurred on Highway 106 late Thursday afternoon. The female driver of the compact sedan and two other female passengers and one male passenger sustained what Pictou County RCMP called non-life threatening injuries. The car was heading south when it crossed the highway and slid into the ditch on the other side. Should charges be laid, they will be done under the Motor Vehicle Act, say RCMP. (Goodwin photo)

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Leo Fahey named to hall of fame in his hometown

WESTVILLE – Count one more hall of fame induction for Leo Fahey.
Fahey, who is also an inductee in three other sports halls of fame, was among initial inductees on July 8 into the New Waterford Sports Hall of Fame.
The town inaugurated its sports hall of fame venture to mark 100 years of incorporation as a town.
“This is well-earned recognition,” his son Gus Fahey said. “Leo Fahey was an all-round athlete. My good friends and athletes from Antigonish have mentioned to me on so many occasions: ‘My God Gus, your father was a great athlete.’”
Leo Fahey, who turns 89 in August, grew up in New Waterford and at age 16 represented the Mount Carmel Boxing Club and won the Maritime featherweight championship in 1941 and won the lightweight title the following year.
In 1945-46, he scored the winning goal in the longest recorded amateur hockey game, after 83 minutes of overtime hockey, giving the New Waterford Strands a 5-4 win over the Sydney Millionaires before more than 4,000 fans at the Sydney Forum to claim the town’s only championship in the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League.
Fahey was the leading scorer on a forward line that included Mel Gadd and another linemate who finished 1-2-3 in league scoring.
Fahey was the scoring champion in three different leagues. Besides the CBSHL, he also played in the APC league and the Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League. He received the New Glasgow Rangers’ most popular player award vote on by fans in Pictou County.
As player-coach, he led the Stellarton Royals and New Glasgow Rangers to APC and Nova Scotia Senior titles and coached the Rangers to the Maritime title. The Rangers advanced to the Allan Cup quarter-finals in New Glasgow.
He also played with the Fredericton Capitals in the New Brunswick league and the Brookfield Elks in the Nova Scotia league.
He was among few players who are ambidextrous, meaning he can shoot both right and left.
In baseball, Fahey played for New Waterford’s team that won the Cape Breton Senior Baseball League championship. He played for the Kentville Wildcats in 1947 and for the next three years and part of 1951 played for the Stellarton Albions.
He co-founded the Pictou County Twilight League in 1959 and was a player-coach as the Albions won the first league title. He completed his baseball career after the Albions lost to New Waterford, who claimed the Maritime championship.
Leo’s son Trevor Fahey, then 15, played against New Waterford. Gus was a bat boy.
As a builder, Leo has received three Queen Elizabeth II medals for his contribution to coaching hockey, baseball, rugby and track and field in Stellarton. He was honoured by students and athletes in 2003 for his contribution to Stellarton High School sports and in 2005 was similarly honoured by the Town of Stellarton.
He started oldtimers baseball and hockey teams in Stellarton in the 1970s and more recently started moms hockey and ball programs that continue to operate.
He instructed at Coach International hockey schools run by Trevor and Gus in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Florida.
He also coached the Stellarton Lions to the 1973 Nova Scotia Midget AA baseball championship and was assistant hockey coach with the Pictou County Midget AA Mavericks.
Besides the New Waterford induction, he is a member of sports halls of fame for Pictou County, Cape Breton and Nova Scotia, as well as the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame.

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Distressed swimmers rescued

BLACK POINT – Five swimmers are safe after being pulled out into deep water by the outgoing current off Black Point late Wednesday afternoon.
At approximately 5:35 p.m. a 911 call was received about distressed swimmers off the shoreline. The Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) as well as the Pictou County District RCMP and the Little Harbour Fire Dept. responded to the area immediately.
With the assistance of people in the area, two swimmers were returned to shore safely.
People in the area assisted the remaining three swimmers by getting flotation devices to them and they were able to hold on until the JRCC inshore rescue boat arrived.
The three swimmers, between the ages of 48 and 86 and believed to be from the local area and Montreal, were returned to shore. Once on shore, the swimmers were transported by EHS to the Aberdeen Hospital for assessment.
There were no reported injuries at the time. The RCMP reminds the public to be mindful of the strong currents off the Northumberland shorelines.

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Big Cove canoeists rescued at sea

Adventure on the high seas for some YMCA Big Cove Camp staff and campers has ended happily.
On Tuesday afternoon, four canoes were out on the water, and three of the four could not make it back to shore.
“The situation occurred during a YMCA Big Cove Camp leadership outing,” explains Benjamin Davis, chief operating officer of the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth.
“Two staff and seven campers between the ages of 14 and 16 experienced weather conditions due to an offshore breeze which made it difficult for three of the four boats to make it to shore.”
The boats were on the fourth day of a 12-day leadership canoe trip and were near Malignant Cove, east of New Glasgow, when they drifted about 1 km offshore according to Coast Guard personnel, says Davis.
When the boats couldn’t make it to shore, one of the staff members initiated the emergency procedures, contacting the Coast Guard and the Big Cove Camp.
“There were no injuries,” explains Davis. “One of the staff and a camper were picked up by the Coast Guard helicopter while the remaining campers were picked up by the Coast Guard boat.”
Davis says this is certainly not a typical situation and is a significant event.
“We are taking this situation very seriously,” explains Davis. “The safety and well-being of the campers and staff is the utmost importance to the YMCA so we are in the process of a full debrief and examination with the campers and the staff to determine and learn what took place so that we can prevent this from happening in the future.”
The boats were offshore for what is estimated to be 30 minutes to one hour.
“The emergency team, the Coast Guard, was fabulous and we are very grateful.”

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Shack, locals grace event

ABERCROMBIE – It was another successful year for the annual Weeks Celebrity Golf Tournament.
Items commanded some high bids during the auction last Thursday at the Bluenose Curling Club, while 38 teams helped the event raise more funds for the organization’s bursary program and other items for the following season.
Tournament co-chairmen Marty Malcolm and Ed MacLaren said it was a successful golfing event despite rather cool weather and one stretch of mist near the end of play in the scramble format.
Pictou County pro hockey contemporaries Derrick Walser, Colin White, Jon Sim and Joey MacDonald – as well as former star Lowell MacDonald – were joined by former pro and senior stars that graced each team.
Walser, who turned 35 in May, is rejoining Rapperswil-Jona of the Swiss National A League for two more seasons and hoping to stay healthy enough to once again join Team Canada for the Spengler Cup in December. He helped Canada to the gold medal last year.
“I’d like to be there if I can stay healthy,” Walser said.
He missed the start of last season due to a herniated disc but managed to play two games before joining Team Canada.
“I played two league games and felt ready to go,” he said.
White and Sim are among players working out once again this summer with former pro Dave MacIntyre, who also played in the tournament.
White and Sim were unable to stick with NHL teams last season but are staying in shape in an effort to catch on with a team this fall.
MacDonald is contemplating a late August return to the Calgary Flames for their pre-season camp.
Eddie Shack, known as The Entertainer who played parts of 17 seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs and four other NHL teams, neither looked nor acted 76 years of age as he mixed with golfers and volunteers over the two days.
Shack began his career with high potential after two productive junior hockey seasons with the Guelph Biltmores, then sponsored by the New York Rangers.
He was dealt to the Leafs for the 1960-61 regular season and collected 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points. He added 16 goals in 1962-63.
After two indifferent seasons, Shack collected a personal-high 26 goals in 1965-66. His seven seasons with the Leafs were the most with any one NHL team, but Shack ended up with the Boston Bruins for two seasons, played two more seasons each with the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins before returning to the Leafs.
He has the rare distinction of scoring at least 20 goals with five different NHL teams.
The tournament will mark its 20th year and has already been scheduled for July 17 and 18, 2014.
“We’re looking forward to it,” MacLaren said. “We’re thinking of something special for it.”

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Bishop continues winning ways

It was young blood meets ancient sport as 16 year-old Scott Bishop competed in the junior division of the Ancient Scottish Heavy Events at the Festival of the Tartans.
Last year at the same event, the Perth-Andover, NB resident set a new Canadian junior record in the 28 pound weight over bar with a height of 17’ 7”.
In 2013, Bishop set a new record in Moncton in June with a height of 17’8”, which was as high as the bar would go.
The Festival of the Tartan’s height standards had no such restriction so on Saturday when Bishop won the event at 17’ he asked that the bar be raised to 17’9”. On his third and final attempt he cleared it with ease, breaking his own record. He then asked the bar to be raised to 18’.
He cleared it on his first attempt.

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County athletes test Atlantic meet

STELLARTON – Two upcoming events are among dates members of Pictou County Athletics are focused on.
Up to 20 members have registered so far for the Atlantic track and field championships taking place this weekend at the University of Moncton facility.
“We have about 37 in our summer program,” club coach Peter McLean says. “We have some good athletes competing.”
Kaelan Schmidt, who was first in his events last year at the Atlantic meet, is considering participating, depending on the competition he faces.
“It’s a beautiful facility in Moncton,” says Marjorie Schmidt, Kaelan’s mother.
Three members – Reed MacDonald, Lauren Quann and Kaelan Schmidt – are also taking part in the annual Royal Canadian Legion meet that takes place Aug. 9-11 in Langley, B.C.
The Legion’s national meet attracts athletes in the midget and youth categories and is considered the largest event of its kind in North America.
It’s fully sponsored by the Legion,” Marjorie Schmidt says. “It’s absolutely splendid.”
Meanwhile, 21 club athletes participated in the recent Highland Games in Antigonish.
Kaelan Schmidt won in long jump, high jump and triple events in his category, while Sally Bates won both of her 100-metre and 200-metre races.
Reed MacDonald was first in javelin, third in discus and hammer throw and fourth in shot put.
Tatum McLean was first in both shot put and discus, while Jordan Landry was first and Olivia Pretty was second in the 80-metre hurdles.
Dave MacLennan won the 3,000-metre race in his division, while Ian MacDonald was first in his 3,0000-metre race and second in 1,500-metre distance.
Aliyah Fraser won her 200-metre race and was also first in high jump and second in the 100-metre dash.
Brooke McVicar was first in javelin and third in discus, while Mariah Linehan was fifth in the 100m race and sixth in the 200-metre distance.
Ellen MacDonald won her 300-metre and 1,200-metre races and was third in the 2,000-metre race.
Hannah Fraser won in hurdles and was third in her 1,200-metre race, while Lauren Quann was second in the 1,200-metre distance.
Mack Moraze was second in his 200-metre race and third in the 100-metre and 300-metre distances, while Peter Corbin was second in the 800-metre distance and third in his 1,200-metre race.
Brady Walsh was third in his 100-metre sprint and fourth in the 400-metre race, while Aldo Orsi won his javelin event, was fourth in his 100-metre race and fifth in his 200-metre and 400-mtre races.
Dakota Garneau was fourth in the 200, fifth in the 100 and sixth in the 400. Scott Langille was fourth in both the 1,500-metre and 800-metre distances.
Tyler Swain placed second in shot put, third in javelin and fourth in his hammer throw.

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The Stanfields returning to Jubilee stage

This has been a banner year for the Stanfields, releasing their newest and second album, Death and Taxes which has brought them acclaim throughout North America and overseas.
The Stanfields’ Jon Landry says he is pretty stoked to be having this success.
“Death and Taxes took us to Europe,” he says. “I’m OK with that. It’s fun to think I learned to play a G chord 15 years ago and now I get to do a lot of fun things in different places.”
The Stanfields were in Germany in April performing at a few festivals with Billy Talent, the Hives and Rammstien.
“I get to travel with my friends and play music for people who seem to care,” says Landry. “We were only in Germany for about five days but we signed a label over there and will be releasing Death and Taxes in September. It was really cool.”
Laundry says it was like their ‘Crocodile Dundee moment’ with boys from small-town Nova Scotia playing for thousands of people.
The group will be returning in September for a proper release of Death and Taxes.
“It’s exciting for sure and we plan to be there at least two times a year to give the album proper backing. It breaks my heart to have to go overseas,” he laughs. “I like it.”
The band has been steadily playing shows since their performance at the Jubilee last year, marking their fourth Jubilee appearance in the five years they have been releasing albums.
“We are always steadily playing shows here at home and across Canada. We toured Canada a couple times since the last Jubilee. We are always touring.”
But they have also been working on a new album, For King and Country, recorded acoustically at a cottage in Guysborough County.
“It’s a beautiful place,” explains Landry. “We sat in a circle, set up a bit of percussion and did some old-school traditional recordings off the floor. It was awesome and a great experience.”
They went into the studio two weeks ago to put the final touches on the album which has been sitting on the shelf waiting for some down time.
“We are looking to release it in September or October,” he says.
“It’s all new material, which we are pretty excited about. I think it’s our favourite thing so far, I mean it’s only our third record, but we are excited and terrified for people to hear it.”
In the five years since their first album, they have recorded two rock records, so this will be something new and completely different.
For Landry, sometimes the writing process comes easily, sometimes it takes more effort.
“It’s something I’m not conscious about,” he says. “I am always writing in different ways, sometimes the words or ideas come first and sometimes its more calculated. Some of the songs for the new album took 10 minutes to write, some a year. I guess that’s the fun of it, not knowing where your next good music will come from.”
As for particular favourites, Landry says it’s almost impossible to choose just one.
“It all depends on the time and place, the frame of mind. If we are playing for an audience that is sitting in lawn chairs, maybe we don’t play Death and Taxes that night, but if we are in a club with everyone ripping each others’ heads off, Death and Taxes is the favourite to play. Songs are like children, maybe there’s one that licks the wall, but you love him the same.”
Landry and the remaining Stanfields are looking forward to the Jubilee on August 3.
“Jubilee is one of the marquee events in Nova Scotia,” says Landry. “It’s for sure one of the best.”
He says the Stanfields don’t do a whole lot of touring during the summer, so they are usually around to perform the Jubilee.
“We keep getting asked and we keep showing up. It’s one of the best crowds we have all year. The crowd’s great, the production is great, it’s a well run event and we look forward to playing it every year.”

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Hot vehicle no place for loved family pets

This summer, so far, has brought hot and humid temperatures along for the ride.
What shouldn’t be along for the ride, however, are animals.
New Glasgow Regional Police Service has received numerous reports of animals being left in vehicles on extremely hot days.
“We have had at least a half dozen reports of animals being left in vehicles as well as a report of a child being left in a vehicle,” explains Const. Ken MacDonald with New Glasgow Regional Police Service.
With that can come numerous criminal code charges including cruelty to animals or endangering the life of a child.
And that’s not all, you may also risk your child or pet’s life.
“If an animal is left in a vehicle on a hot day it can get heat stroke,” explains Dr. Kathryn Finlayson of the East River Animal Hospital. If an animal’s body temperature exceeds 39.4 degrees Celsius, it is considered abnormal or hyperthermic. Body temperatures above 41 degrees without previous signs of illness are most commonly associated with exposure to excessive external or environmental heat. The critical temperature where multiple organ failure and impending death occurs is 42.7 degrees.”
And Finlayson says that doesn’t take very long, in fact this summer she has seen three cases of heat stroke in dogs, one of which was outside for a mere hour, not in a vehicle.
“Of course senior animals are affected more,” explains Finlayson, “but owners need to keep an eye out.”
Dogs cannot control their body temperature by sweating as humans do because they only have a small number of sweat glands located on their footpads. Their primary way of regulating body heat is by panting.
“Signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, no energy and one of the dogs I saw this summer collapsed,” explains Finlayson. “They may also have a difficult time breathing.”
It is important to remember too that certain breeds of dog may be more susceptible.
“Dogs with restricted airways (flat faced dogs) such as pugs, boxers and bulldogs are at a greater risk. And dogs that are muzzled for any reason can be at a greater risk because they ability to pant is restricted.”
These conditions can occur outside as well, not just in a hot vehicle where on a 30 degree day the temperature inside a car could be as high as 70 degrees in a matter of minutes.
“The biggest problem is a lack of education,” explains MacDonald, “of how dangerous it can be. Even if you crack a window, that doesn’t cut it.”
Finlayson says if you are concerned, the first thing you should do is try to cool your pet down.
“Cool water can be poured over the head, stomach, underarms and feet or a cool cloth applied to these areas,” she says. “Rubbing alcohol may also be applied to the footpads to dilate the pores and increase perspiration.”
The trick, however, is to make sure your animal’s body temperature does not reach that level.
It is a crime to leave a pet in a vehicle on a sweltering hot day. Even local Sobeys stores are reminding customers not to leave pets in their vehicles and if one is seen, to report it to management.
For more information on heat stroke visit or visit their Facebook page.

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Crouse leaving McCulloch Centre

The McCulloch Heritage Centre is getting a facelift, and to the chagrin of many, a new curator.
Dayle Crouse, after six years as curator, has decided to move on and pursue life in the west.
Her last day is July 26.
“It’s (the centre) like a baby now,” she says. “I am going to miss it.”
During her time here, Crouse spent her days working to make the McCulloch Heritage Centre what it is today.
“One of the things I like most and feel I finally have achieved is a good reputation with the school programs,” she explains. “I feel like we have grown with that. The Christmas program is my favourite.”
Crouse has always worked at showing people that the McCulloch Heritage Centre is not just a building filled with old items, but rather a connection to the past.
“I worked at connecting the old with the new like our movie night or Ray’s Reptiles,” says Crouse. “Some people may think what do reptiles have to do with anything, but McCulloch was a lover of nature, it was his passion back then and people still have that passion now.”
She also built on programs already in existence.
“I liked getting to know the community; the more I learned, the better ideas I had. Each year I would try to introduce something new or enhance something we already offered to create that sense of presence.”
In fact, this year they participated in the Festival of the Tartans with information on genealogy.
“I tried to grow the genealogy program. We offer one called Family Roots that a lot of people don’t really take advantage of,” explains Crouse. “Especially kids. It’s neat to show them they have some traits that came from the past in a fun way.”
That has always been a personal goal for Crouse, to get in at the student level because, as she says, “students can become proud of their heritage and see how it can fit in with their current life.”
Crouse also helped with the creation of a walking tour book for sale at the centre and walking tours to accommodate.
“I’m sad to be leaving, very sad,” she says. “I feel like we’ve been very lucky because Pictou County is so unique. I love my home county of Lunenburg, but people here always are willing to help. For example, with the diabetes thing (the rally to have government cover insulin pumps for children in Nova Scotia after Crouse’s daughter with diabetes had to get a new pump),” she says.
As for who the replacement is, Crouse is uncertain.
“The board is working very hard to make sure things stay consistent. There will be change as with all things, but it can be a good thing. They are going to make sure things stay tip top.”
Museum work is something that is in Crouse’s blood and there are many things she will miss about her post here.
“I love the historical part,” she says. “Particularly with the Scottish history because it’s my history. I am going out west blind because I don’t know about the history there. It’s something I will miss because I really identify with it.
“I also have such a great relationship with the other local organizations throughout town and that networking, that’s what makes this a great place. I will miss the people.”
Crouse loved her time here and her job greatly.
“I love the job so much, I just hope that I made a positive impact and I hope that when people think of the site they have a positive reaction. That is what I wanted to create, that connection with the community.”
Crouse has a husband and three children and the move was based solely on financial decisions. As to whether she will return, the hope is there.
“The reality is my youngest will become an Albertan so that may create a divide in the family. We plan to stay where our children are, but I will miss Nova Scotia; it’s always going to be my home. I will miss the ocean.”
She jokes that she will harass all of the museums in Calgary until she either gets a job or gets arrested.
“I don’t want the McCulloch Heritage Centre to disappear. My hope was to always offer something to do with history and have that public presence. I’m just so thankful for my time here and grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great board, community and great staff. I will be lucky to find another position as great as this.”
The McCulloch Heritage Centre is under construction for renovations, however, anyone wishing to stop by and say good bye to Dayle Crouse is welcome.

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