The day the Charles A. Dunning ran aground

October 5th 1951 was a grey, foggy ghostlike day. Pictou Island’s Spike MacDonald had returned from Caribou with his lobster boat and reported that the car ferry operating between Caribou and Prince Edward Island, the Charles A. Dunning, had run aground on the Gull Rock Reef. It was blowing a gale from the northeast the...

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New bicycle, boxing gloves and ghosts …

I had the good fortune of meeting Leroy Rankin and his lovely wife Shirley at my mother’s 80th birthday on August 22nd 2002. Lee was born August 1, 1936 and was adopted by Hughie and Emma Rankin. Hughie was a brother to Jack and George Rankin and Emma was a sister to my father who...

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The storm of 1957

It was a beautiful sunny plus 75 degree fall day on September 25 1957. Herring fishing had been underway since August 19th. 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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Arnold MacMillan and Jim Fraser

My wife Joann and I are fortunate in knowing Jim Fraser from Broadway Pictou County. Jim has lived and worked his entire life in Pictou County and at one time had visited with Pictou Islanders. Jim has shared some memories of his past years with us. The following is one of his experiences of working...

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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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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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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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