Island people

Thinking back to past years, I recall some of those Pictou Islanders I once knew. I think of Duncan and Verna Rankin. They lived about a quarter mile away and were our nearest neighbours to the east. There was a hay field separating our homes and also was a place where Dad would plant our...

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Unlucky with boats

My grandfather Elias Turple’s twin brother Charles ran the Pictou Island Ferry Service from the island to the mainland during the early years of the 1900s. Charles Turple’s first boat used for this ferry service was called DOT. Luck was not to be with Captain Charles and he lost the DOT while transporting supplies in...

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Tobacco, rum and the antics that ensue …

The year was 1953 and the Pictou Pea factory was in full operation. Many Pictou Islanders worked there seeking winter unemployment stamps. Harold Bennett was one of those Islanders. Bennett (as he was known) had grown up in the Sunnybrae area. He remembers those years when he lived in the little village of Sunnybrae. He...

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My brother-in-law, Scott

My brother-in-law Scott, son to late Ernest and Hazel Falconer, was raised on Caribou Island. His home was on a farm that was situated along the south portion of Caribou Island. Their long driveway protruded through the woods and connected onto Caribou Island’s only dirt road. Scott calls to mind when the Caribou Island School...

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Sinking of the Tonka

It was on a clear morning of August 21, 1959 when Scott Falconer’s boat Tonka, loaded with herring, was accidentally rammed and sunk by another boat. The lucrative herring run had just begun and Scott was then without a boat. Scott’s good friend Arnold MacMillan from Pictou Island felt really sorry that such a thing...

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The storm of 1957 …

It was a beautiful sunny plus-75 F degree fall day on September 25, 1957. Herring fishing had been underway since August 19. There were a few fishermen from the mainland and probably about eight-island fisherman including my father who had been setting their nets around Pictou Island. Melvin MacDonald, Arnold MacMillan, Harold Bennett, Duncan, Lauchie,...

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My father’s traphouse

One-room community schools in Nova Scotia, including the one on Pictou Island, were in the process of closing their doors during the late 1950s and 1960s. Students in grades 9 and up were required to attend newly built superior high schools. Advanced elementary schools were also being considered for grades 9and under. Many Pictou Islanders...

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The sinking of the Wendy R.

It was Sunday night, September 17th 1995 and the local fall herring fishery was ongoing. Local fisherman Leonard Turple with crew Fred Scanlan and Gordon Corbet were preparing to leave the Caribou wharf. Leonard suddenly realized that he had forgotten his rubber boots. Fred and Gordon prepared the nets and buoys on the 42-foot long...

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Lester and Bell Hooper

It was the time known as the Dirty Thirties. The economy was slow and hard times fell on most everyone. No exception was given to the family of Lester and Bell Hooper from Trenton, Pictou County. Lester was employed at Trenton car works but there was little or no work at the plant and everyone...

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Wilbert Henderson …

I spent and hour or so visiting with Wilbert Henderson and his lovely wife Della at their home in Seafoam on January 26th in 2003. That afternoon was spent reflecting back in time to some of Wilbert’s past years and he had my undivided attention. Wilbert reflected back to past years when he and Donnie...

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