Ship Hector is important to town’s heritage

Pictou-Advocate-opinion

To the Editor:

My name is Scottish; my great-great-grandfather came to Nova Scotia in the early 1800s.

On that side of the family we have MacPhersons, Camerons and Stewarts and on my Mother’s we have MacDonalds, McLarens and Marshalls.

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These are only a few of the Scottish names in our family. My brother was known as Jock and my sister is Heather.

I claim Scottish ancestry and am proud of that.

In the 1800s there was no other way to get here from Scotland but by ship.

Looking at or thinking about the Ship Hector replica brings me closer to my ancestors who travelled from their homes in Scotland, to this foreign shore. I try to imagine the separation from ancestral home and family, forever, the sea voyage and then the hardships of the new land.

The old Inglis family farm in Lochaber has long been abandoned; a casualty of change.

All of the boys left in the 1920s and 1930s; the farms were worn out by then and we had to move on again.

Northern Nova Scotia has long had a problem of out migration; most of the kids I went to school with left.

The Ship Hector replica in Pictou is a symbol of Scottish immigration to North America.

In New England, they celebrate the arrival of the Mayflower, in a big way. They are proud of their heritage and use it for economic advantage.

Pictou has a beautiful waterfront with the Quay, The Hector, the Fisheries Museum, etc. Does the Town of Pictou realize the importance and potential of our heritage to future prosperity? A lot of focus seems to be on the Rotary area and attracting new business.

What about a plan for the Ship and Quay and unprotected historic buildings downtown or for the downtown core? One that had public input. Perhaps there is a plan?

Watson Inglis

Pictou