If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

It’s time to call Blayre Turnbull what she is, what she affectionately became as a member of Canada’s gold medal women’s hockey team at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Every springtime, for almost half a century, my thoughts focused back on my native Pictou County – and it has nothing to do with my personal memories of warm weather and walking barefoot on the sands of Lighthouse Beach in Pictou Landing.

There’s a tantalizing question I’ve had on my mind for most of my life. Why do certain memories remain far longer than others?

I can remember it was a bright sunny spring day in 1999 when I drove into the parking lot at the Heather Motel in the north end of Stellarton.

I was having lunch recently with a group of old hockey fanatics when one of them asked a question that got me laughing to myself. I didn’t want to laugh in his face.

There’s an annual custom in the sports writing fraternity that, in the final days of any given calendar, you place your reputation on the line by casting a vote for the year’s best sports team.

  • Updated

People are living longer than ever in history and life expectancy keeps improving, better in some countries than others, but better worldwide. Life expectancy has doubled in the last century. That’s great if you remain healthy.

  • Updated

International Women’s Day By Dr. T. Jock Murray and Janet P. Murray Happy International Women’s Day! And what is that exactly… In the late 19th century women were beginning to speak out against suppression, unfair laws and negative attitudes. Too often, their roles were central but regarded as secondary. The first major national and international […]

  • Updated

I can relate to the movie titled The Perfect Storm. Judith Reeves based this movie on her actual accounts. Ms. Reeves was based on a Japanese fishing boat and was monitoring the tuna catch some 275 kilometers off Nova Scotia on the night of Oct. 29 1991. Three weather systems came together on that night […]

  • Updated

A ways South to the Keji Petroglyphs When someone carves something of themselves into rock, something at once insignificant and profound, we call it graffiti, but when we are separated from the artist by centuries, and the thing they carved has been largely lost to time, we call it a petroglyph. This is rock art, […]

  • Updated

I was very fortunate to have met Hilton McCully from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Hilton had taught school on Pictou Island 1944-46 and provided me with old newspaper clipping from that era. The following is taken in part from an article written by Roland H. Sherwood for The Pictou Advocate 1952 and is entitled, Lobster Fisherman […]

  • Updated

Why “Apocalypse” is the wrong word when describing insect declines A few years ago the world was electrified when someone, somewhere, declared an “insect apocalypse,” the ignominious end of all those tiny creatures on whom we daily depend, of whom we take virtually no notice, and who, all by themselves, make up the vast majority […]

By Dr. To Jock Murray and Janet Murray George Mercer Dawson (1849-1901) Young George Dawson had two obstacles to overcome in his effort to succeed as a geologist. His father, Sir William Dawson, was internationally famous as a geologist, anthropologist and educator. And at age 11, he developed tuberculosis that involved his spine, a form […]

  • Updated

My search for our oldest tree Our canoe was laden with all the necessities of outdoor life, and sloshing with water carried in by our socks, soaked every time we were obliged to leap overboard and carry our craft over rocks and beaver dams and the simple shallows of August. The intense sun of afternoon […]

  • Updated

By Dr. T. Jock Murray and Janet Murray For The Advocate Two of the major advances in medicine and surgery were anesthesia and antisepsis. Both had interesting Pictou connections. J.D.B. Fraser and the early use of chloroform James Daniel Bain Fraser was an energetic, creative and entrepreneurial man with many interests and activities. Early life […]

  • Updated

Fundy Isle and the wildlife which claim It The fog was so thick we might have been in a Herman Melville novel, on the hunt for Moby Dick among noiseless waves and unforgiving circumstances. Except this was the Bay of Fundy and not the Pacific Ocean; our captain was an amiable Peter Wilcox and not […]

  • Updated

Pollett’s Cove, a strange sort of freedom for adventurous souls I’m something of a campsite aficionado, or, if you like, a snob. Upon arrival my judgy eyes scan the facilities, the placement of playgrounds, the space between sites, the design of the cast iron campfire and the proportions of garbage mingling with the grass. Nothing […]

  • Updated

If you were a total stranger to this part of the world, you might be asking, where and what is Thorburn? Wikipedia, the much-used online information site that bills itself as “the free encyclopedia,” gives us a brief undated explanation of the Pictou County community. “The small rural Nova Scotia town,” it says, “has a […]

  • Updated

I was very fortunate to have met Hilton McCully from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Hilton had taught school on Pictou Island 1944-46 and provided me with old newspaper clipping from that era. The following is taken in part from an article written by Roland H. Sherwood for The Pictou Advocate 1952 and is entitled, Lobster Fisherman […]

  • Updated

By Dr. Jock Murray During this Covid-19 pandemic, Nova Scotians have become aware of the importance of public health concepts and the role of public health professionals. They are the ones we look to for advice, in hopes that their decisions and recommendations will keep us safe. Nova Scotia’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Robert […]

  • Updated

There’s an old saying that first impressions are lasting impressions, particularly in situations like meeting someone for the first time. I wasn’t very old — probably early in elementary school — the first time my mother gave that valuable advice about living in this world. Whatever the timing, I’ve carried her useful lesson with me […]

  • Updated

A guide to the frozen treat of summer It wouldn’t be summer without an ice cream in hand, melting down your arm on a scorching hot day. Nowadays there are so many choices of what to put in your bowl or cone. Do you choose ice cream, gelato, sorbet or sherbet? Let Sobeys dietitians breakdown […]

  • Updated

One day last week, Facebook alerted me that it was Bill MacCulloch’s birthday. Oh yes, he had another one. Actually, the message said it was William MacCulloch’s big day. But to anybody in New Glasgow — better make that Pictou County — he’s simply Bill. If you don’t know who I mean, you haven’t been […]

  • Updated

For an understandable reason, I doubt there’s anyone in Pictou County who remembers the day Harry Trainor arrived in New Glasgow with razors and clippers in his luggage. It was 100 years ago. He had lived in the town previously, coming from Charlottetown with his family at the age of five. After attending St. John’s […]

  • Updated

By Dr. T. Jock Murray and Janet Murray For The Advocate In a previous column I talked about the opportunities to reform the health care system in the post Covid-19 pandemic. We have to focus on the determinants of health. The medical care model concentrates on better health outcomes for the individual, but the determinants […]

  • Updated

Dr. T. Jock Murray and Janet Murray “All the lonely people, Where do they all come from?” — Eleanor Rigby, by Paul McCartney ^ When former prime minister Theresa May of Great Britain appointed a Minister of Loneliness, she said it was recognizing one of the greatest public health challenges of our age. If you […]

  • Updated

I’m never surprised when someone asks how I continually come up with subjects to write about. I guess that’s to be expected since I’ve written thousands of sports columns through the years. Seldom, though, do things unfold the way they did last Thursday morning. It was my day to write and, as I enjoyed the […]

  • Updated

By Dr. T. Jock Murray For The Advocate I was concerned when I saw Janet with tears running down her face. We were in a music store in Charleston and she was standing by a wall of CDs and earphones. She explained that she was listening to Martha Argerich playing Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto and […]

  • Updated

Tell me something — honestly. After three months of no live hockey, no live basketball, no live baseball on that big screen in your living room or den, how have you been spending your evening hours? I’ve posed that question more than once to Dave Scott, my dear friend and retired school teacher in New […]

  • Updated

By Dr. T. Jock Murray Everyone seems to agree that everything will be different following the COVID-19 pandemic. All aspects of the health care system changed during the pandemic, exposing areas of excellence and areas of deficiency. What might be different as we get back to the “new normal”? Personal responsibility We learned that a […]

  • Updated

I still haven’t forgotten how it began 70 years ago this month. I had just turned 12 and was in my last weeks of grade six at Acadia Street School in New Glasgow. The annual move to the family cottage at Rustico Beach wasn’t far away. It was in early June that I changed my […]

  • Updated

By Dr. T. Jock Murray Healthy elderly people are often asked their secret. Actually, the key to a long and healthy life with an active mind is not a secret. There is solid evidence for the answer. The good news is the answer is available to you at no cost. And the earlier you begin, […]

  • Updated

Those of us ancient enough to remember the Stellarton Albions and their nine seasons in the Halifax and District Baseball League during the 1950s have been given another reason to mourn. Joe Fulghum, one of the finest talents ever to play baseball for a Pictou County team, passed away last week at his home in […]

  • Updated

Right now, I wouldn’t bet a wooden nickle — or a roll of extinct pennies — that Halifax will get its Canadian Football League franchise onto the field. To be frank, I doubt the Schooners will ever sail. A failed launch occurred before — almost four decades ago. And, under the circumstances, there’s no reason […]

  • Updated

The Canadian Celiac Association estimates that about one percent of the Canadian population is living with celiac disease. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease in which a protein called gluten damages the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients. The only treatment for this disease is a gluten-free diet for life. A gluten-free diet means avoiding […]

  • Updated

Alvin MacLean arrived on Pictou Island with his entrance into this world in 1929. Born on Pictou Island, he was one of five children born to J. Hector MacLean “Long John” and wife Maggie. Alvin attended the little one-room school on the island and grew up in the company of a little girl named Lois […]

  • Updated

My interest in the Mackie family — the one whose patriarch was the history-making hockey defenceman Irvine (Tiger) Mackie — began a very, very long time ago. Actually, it was before I was old enough to attend school. It had its beginning in the 1943-44 season. I was five years of age and my dad […]