PICTOU – Many people who live in Pictou County have never jumped on the chance to visit the Hector Quay Museum.
The opportunity has now arrived.
The Quay is in desperate need of volunteers to help get the Hector Quay Society through to the end of the season, typically mid October.
“Right now we have five of the best summer students we’ve ever had, but they are all returning to school August 26 which leaves us in need of volunteers,” explains Brian Kellock, a member of the society board and a volunteer at the Quay.
Kellock conducts carving demonstrations for visitors and oversees the volunteers at the Quay.
“We try to stay open until mid October, Thanksgiving weekend is typically our last weekend.”
For anyone who has thought about volunteering but is not sure if they have enough time, the Quay can work around your schedule.
“The shifts are usually three hours, one to two days a week.”
The Quay recently lost two very strong volunteers who moved to BC and now are looking to replace their summer students, so Kellock says they are hoping to get 10 to 12 new
“We do have a few new volunteers this year and they have been great,” he notes. “And there is a little bit of training that we provide.”
Kellock notes that everything in the museum is readable and they have audio sets in both English and French for those who want to do self-guided tours and the shipwrights are often on site to answer any questions.
“The volunteers can guide tours if they want, but it’s not necessary,” says Kellock.
For those who are shy, there is still lots of opportunity to volunteer either behind the desk at the cash, or volunteers are needed for odd jobs around the Quay, like alongside Watson Inglis who has been painting parts of the ship.
“We’ve had student volunteers as young as 12 here, so we are open to having students volunteer on the weekends as well.”
Kellock says as long as you like to talk, the information can be taught.
“It’s not overly busy come September,” he notes. “It’s our wind down season. We mostly see older, retired couples in who are interested in learning about history.”
The odd cruise ship will arrive in the fall and New Scotland Days runs September 16 through 18, but Kellock says it hasn’t been overly difficult to get volunteers to come out for special events.
“We’re hoping we can convince some of the board members to come out and volunteer as well. I think if people gave it a chance, they would enjoy it. This year alone I have met people from 30 different countries.”
Kellock began volunteering six years ago, when the Quay was closed and re-opened after it was purchased by a group of local residents in 2010.
“I was around when they started building the (Ship) Hector; when you have kids it gives you something to do with them. When the Quay reopened they were looking for volunteers … so I got involved.”
He continues to return to the Quay because he enjoys meeting new people.
“I like talking to people from all over the world.”
Talking with all of these people, Kellock says he gets to see the commonalities they have and that’s what keeps him coming back as a volunteer.
Anyone interested in volunteering can phone the Quay at 902-485-4371 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above photo: Brian Kellock is a volunteer at the Hector Quay Museum. He oversees the volunteers and conducts carving demonstrations. The Quay is looking for volunteers to help them get through the season.