Fishing years ago …

I remember those clear spring mornings back in the 1950s when time on Pictou Island seemed to stand still. As I recall and unlike today’s lifestyle, there didn’t appear to be any hurry to get things done. There were few if any vehicles travelling on the island’s lone dirt road. The only noise that would...

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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 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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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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The winter of 1955-56

Winter set in early with about three inches of snow falling on Nov. 11, 1955. My father and Arnold MacMillan had been setting their smelt nets together in coves around the Merigomish area but had returned home to Pictou Island on November 12 because of the unstable weather. It was still blowing hard and was...

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The stranger

A few years after I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. As I grew up, I never...

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A Pictou Island funeral

There were approximately 150 people residing on Pictou Island during the years when I called Pictou Island my home. I had previously illustrated in a story how islanders supported each other. We shared our material items and assisted each other in many ways. If a wedding took place, we all celebrated. If a death occurred,...

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