Pictou County, Academy have potential

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

Thank you for Luke Young’s letter regarding Pictou and their people standing up for positive change and no matter how difficult the head winds are!

Over the past couple of years I read about the problems of potential Pictou school closures and the fine old Pictou Academy steeped in history and which should have been a university before most other universities in Atlantic Canada. Certainly the blame for it not being one falls on the shoulders of our ancestors and our politicians.

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Some say the Scots were no match for the English and the Anglicans put their money in Halifax at Dalhousie University and our politicians let Pictou County down to no end. Just imagine if they had made a Pictou Academy University 200 years ago. This scenic town could have had one of the Ivy League universities like Harvard and Yale in the good old USA.

However, that being said, I don’t feel it is too late for a school of higher learning. I understand the Academy building belongs to the town now, our schools are paid for by the taxpayers and yet we are basically not able to use them and they sit idle for most of the year even when the students are not there in the summer as well I consider them to be wasted space after the students go home for the day and summer.

As a senior or when we leave school we don’t seem to ever take advantage of higher learning as it is seldom offered unless you live in the city or in a university town. We pay for the buildings and they belong to us, yet no budget from our Education Department to help we the people. Our NSCC is great but very little for everyone except university courses for degrees. I think it is time for change and yes the good people of Pictou can still stand up and fight for positive change.

How many of you know all about you Apple phones, your I Pads, the Internet and the list goes on. We could all be given courses on new technology. I notice that NB First Nation kids are going to get IT courses even on coding. I asked some recent high school graduates on how far they felt they were behind in technology and most said about 10 years. Just think about that friends and the millions of dollars we spend on our education system.

It is time we reopened Pictou Academy as a junior college for everyone to really learn and help each other.

Even as older seniors we still have great minds. Yes, many locals would come, like myself, as even with snow on my roof I am still wanting to learn more.

I realize that we now have three MLAs all in opposition but surely they too could do something to help. We do have an MP on the side of government who could access federal funds to get even a Pictou Academy Junior College up and running. I do believe the Academy Foundation might be willing to help as well!

Maybe Luke Young could call for a public meeting to explore the potential and yes, I will attend both the meeting and the future classes and be one of the first from New Glasgow. I know it will work and lots of Pictou Academy graduates to draw for advice.

I see a great potential for the Academy, Pictou and our County of Pictou!

PS — Proud to tell my grandparents and my dad were proud Pictou folks and Dad was always proud of his East End home and his school days in Pictou. Yes even my mother who lived across the harbour at Pictou Landing went to the Pictou Academy.

Lloyd MacKay

New Glasgow