The marriage of Alvin MacLean and Lois MacCallum

Online First Pictou Island Memories

Alvin MacLean arrived on Pictou Island with his entrance into this world in 1929. Born on Pictou Island, he was one of five children born to J. Hector MacLean “Long John” and wife Maggie. Alvin attended the little one-room school on the island and grew up in the company of a little girl named Lois MacCallum. Over the years, the friendship of these two emerged into something much more and in 1948, Alvin and Lois married.

Attachment is from the orginal newspaper clipping showing Mr.  & Mrs. Alvin MacLean on their wedding day and reads as follows: Mr. and Mrs John Alvin MacLean were recently married in Pictou.  Rev G. M. Lamont, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, officiated. The bride is the former Lois MacCallum, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ward MacCallum. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John H. MacLean.

Being the son off a fisherman, Alvin also depended on the sea for his livelihood. When Alvin was 13 years old he quit school and went fishing with his father who was nicknamed Long John. At age 16, Alvin acquired his own fishing boat from Pictou Island’s Dunn MacDonald. Alvin fished approximately 800 lobster traps during his first few years. Lobster catches were pretty good during those years and the waters around Pictou Island provided Alvin and Lois with a good future. Alvin and Lois purchased a house on Pictou Island from Howard MacCallum and it was there where they began their family.

While Alvin fished for lobsters, his new bride became the lone cook at the East End lobster fisherman’s cookhouse. There was no indoor plumbing of any kind on Pictou Island. Fresh water had to be hauled to the East End cookhouse for all purposes in large wooden oak barrels. Lois had an uncle whose name was Andy Ward MacCallum. Andy had the task of delivering fresh water, which he faithfully did every day. There was a dug well on Andy’s father’s farm that was about one mile from the island’s east end. Andy would fill those oak barrels and transport them daily to the cookhouse in the back of an old truck. It was 1955 when the East End breakwater was constructed to provide protection from the winds for the small fishing boats. Many workers from Pictou Island and also from the mainland were employed on this mega project. This workforce had to be fed and fed well. Beginning at four a.m. and ending after darkness, Lois provided all meals daily for those working individuals.

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