Looking back at Yarmouth County history
Nineteen-sixty-eight was a federal election year and Canadians were scheduled to cast their votes June 25. In South Western Nova, the Progressive Conservatives had chosen Louis R. Comeau, a 27-year-old professor at Collège Sainte-Anne, as their candidate. The Liberals had picked John Stewart, who in the previous parliament had served as MP for AntigonishGuysborough, but that riding no longer existed due to changes to riding boundaries. John Bower, who had represented the former constituency of Shelburne-YarmouthClare since 1965, had not re-offered in 1968 in the new riding of South Western Nova. The ’68 election was the first federal campaign for the new leaders of the Liberals (Pierre Trudeau) and PCs (Robert Stanfield). It was the fourth for NDP leader Tommy Douglas.
Also in 1968, Yarmouth’s new YMCA swimming pool was officially opened, with Yarmouth Mayor Fred Emin on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon. The pool, which had been a Centennial Year project, reportedly had cost about $280,000. The opening ceremony included a special presentation to C. Roger Rand, chairman of the Yarmouth YMCA at the time, who was honoured for his work on the pool project. “Now we really do celebrate the end of Canada’s Centennial ... with a splash that will last,” Rand said.
*** An installation ceremony was held for the new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth. Most Rev. Austin Burke succeeded Albert Leménager, the Yarmouth diocese’s first bishop, who had served in this role from 1953 until his death in 1967. The ceremony where Most Rev. Burke formally became the diocese’s second bishop took place in St. Ambrose Cathedral in Yarmouth.
*** Yarmouth’s board of trade expressed its support for the creation of a regional library in western Nova Scotia. The biggest expense for setting up such a library normally would have been construction, but it was noted that the Izaak Walton Killam Library in Yarmouth had been built with the idea that a regional library might be developed, and so the building had space allotted for regional library facilities.
As the 1977-78 lobster-fishing season in southwestern Nova Scotia was nearing its conclusion, it appeared that the spring portion of the season had offset a very poor fall fishery, as it had the previous year. The Nova Scotia Fishermen’s Association had been talking to DFO about perhaps having the season go two weeks into June – rather than ending at the end of May – in a further effort to make up for the poor fishing in the fall, but a fisheries department survey reportedly had found fishermen were against this idea.
There was talk of a delegation going to Ottawa to meet with Otto Lang, Canada’s transport minister at the time, to discuss getting a replacement for the Bluenose ferry. Tourism and community leaders had long called for a bigger, more modern vessel to replace the Bluenose, which had been serving the Yarmouth-Bar Harbor run for more than 20 years. A provincial tourism official said he expected even more Americans would want to come to Canada, given the favourable exchange rate for U.S. travellers, strengthening the case, he said, for a new ferry.
Addressing members of Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries, which was holding public sessions in Yarmouth, Dick Stewart, manager at the time of the Atlantic Herring Fishermen’s Marketing Co-operative, said among the issues facing the herring industry was overfishing. “The Flemish Cap is overfished so much that it has become the Flemish hole,” Stewart said. Ottawa needed to curb the foreign fishing effort or stocks were in jeopardy, he said.
In sports, the Municipality of Argyle dominated the 1988 Nova Scotia Acadian Games (Jeux de l’Acadie). Argyle had the highest point total in four of six sports at the games, which were hosted by Clare. The games were a qualifier for the upcoming Acadian Games for the Maritime region, to be held in Bathurst.