Jack Rankin kept himself busy …

I have previously written about the lives of Pictou Island’s Jack and Mary Rankin. Even today I can bring to mind so vividly those years when Jack and Mary Rankin lived in their big yellow house close to the East End of Pictou Island. Jack Rankin (1882-1965) was born and raised on Pictou Island. He...

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A new car on Pictou Island …

I enjoy rekindling those years gone by when I had lived on Pictou Island. I often review my mother’s written diaries that she had always kept when living there. Sometimes certain events that she had written may revive old memories and trigger me to get my computer running. I was surprised during the summer of...

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… traps and rope piled everywhere …

I received a call some years ago from a Laura Graham who lives in Sunnybrae. She has been reading my stories in the Pictou Advocate and has seen Harold Bennett’s name mentioned a time or two. She had known of a Harold Bennett back many, many years ago and was wondering if perhaps this gentleman...

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Winter isolation …

I struck up a great friendship with a young man from Cape Breton named Gerald Campbell when I became employed at Michelin Tires in 1972. Gerald and I worked the same crew and naturally became best of friends.  I married my high school sweetheart, Joann Taylor, in 1973 with Gerald being my best man. Gerald,...

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Keepers of the light

I have previously written a story about Jack (Happy) and Margaret MacDonald. As I had stated, they were the last keepers of the Pictou Island West End lighthouse. Pictou Island also had a lighthouse on its East End. The last keepers of the East lighthouse were Archie and Charlotte MacDonald. Archie (1897-1969) was born on...

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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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