More then 200 Pictou businessmen and their wives gathered in the Pictou Legion on Wednesday night June 16th 1976 to attend a gala night testimonial dinner to honor the retirement of Bill Watters, long time former owner and operator of Bill’s Lunch on Front Street.
Highlights of Bill Watters’ career were outlined for the guests by Master of Ceremonies Alden (Benny) Gill who was then followed by Pictou West MLA Dr. Dan Reid who said that the large number of guests who were in attendance was a magnificent send-off for Bill and Hazel Watters on the occasion of their retirement from the catering business.
Dr. Reid stated that Bill’s Lunch had established itself as one of the more sociable places to visit. This had been made possible by the character and manner of Bill Watters, he said. He went on to say that now was the time to work together to establish the downtown area as a more attractive place that would induce other businesses to establish there.
Earl Maskill, who had recently purchased the business from Bill Watters, spoke briefly to the assembly saying simply that he was continuing the 27 years of business on Pictou’s main street.
Father Fred Morley spoke of the generosity of both Hazel and Bill in their contributions to the Stella Maris church and to the community.
Robert Marshall, manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, told of his business association with Bill Watters and recalled when he first came to Pictou six years ago. He stated that he had eaten his first meal at Bill’s Lunch and had never been disappointed by the service given there.
Charles Clarke, representing the Pictou Lions Club, reminded the crowd of the early years when The Watters used to cater to them.
Richie Toole who, after congratulating Bill and Hazel on their retirement said of Hazel, she wasn’t seen to often but she certainly was there to help Bill often doing two jobs at once, and never without a smile.
Councillor Ida Clarke, president of the Chamber of Commerce, presented Mr. Watters with three pieces of luggage, “because you are planning to travel,” she said.
Mr. Watters was given a standing ovation by his friends who then sang “For He Is a Jolly Good Fellow”
Ann Margo, who was head waitress at Bill’s Lunch, then presented Mrs. Watters with a monetary gift enclosed in a beautiful purse together with a bouquet of more red roses.
It’s hard to believe that so many years have come and gone since that testimonial evening. That famous local restaurant known as Bill’s Lunch has changed hands many times over the past 27 years. The friendliness that Pictou is known for and the quality of great food still remains.
Present owners are John and Sharon Stewart and the eating establishment is known as Sharon’s Place.
With having many magnificent homemade meals to choose from it has the best fish & chips this side of the causeway.