Looking back at Shelburne County history
An offshore oil boom was coming and it was time for Nova Scotians to get ready, said Roland Thornhill, the province’s development minister at the time. Speaking in Shelburne in late September 1982, Thornhill said it was expected that over the next four or five years private companies would invest about $4 billion in Nova Scotia’s offshore petroleum industry. He said the south shore was in a good position to benefit from offshore development. Harold Huskilson, Shelburne MLA at the time (and a member of the Opposition Liberals), said he was skeptical about an offshore boom being so close. Thornhill said he too had been skeptical once, but – given the anticipated level of private-sector investment – he said he was convinced “something really big” was going to happen.
It was a municipal election year in Nova Scotia and voting day was scheduled for Oct. 16, although seats on one Shelburne-area council already had been determined. Unlike the area’s other municipal units – where at least some seats were being contested – the Town of Shelburne had its council already set for the coming term. William Cox would remain mayor by acclamation. Shelburne town councillors returning by acclamation were Roland DesChamp, William Norman, Parker Comeau, Norman Hamilton and Patricia Race. Incumbent council member Roger DesChamp had not reoffered and was to be replaced by Carmine Ferretti.
An official opening was held for Evelyn Richardson Memorial Elementary School in Shag Harbour, with Nova Scotia’s education minister, Terence Donahoe, on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon. About 500 people attended the event. Daughters of the late Evelyn Richardson presented the minister with a copy of We Keep a Light, their mother’s best-known book. They also presented Wayne Mullins, the school’s principal, with a large photograph of Richardson to be placed in the school.
Fishermen from West Green Harbour were calling on the federal government to do some dredging at their wharf. The work had been promised for several years, according to a local newspaper item. In early September, local fishing-boat captains had agreed they needed to do something in order to get the government moving on the matter. They had contacted Roméo LeBlanc, the federal fisheries minister at the time, asking for a confirmed date when they could expect the work to start.
In sports, the Barrington Challengers were local softball league champions after defeating Port La Tour in four straight games in the league’s best-of-seven final series. Timely hitting helped the Challengers clinch the title, as they came from behind to win games three and four. Randy Thurber homered in both those games for the eventual champs.
There was word that DFO minister Brian Tobin had agreed to come to Shelburne County to meet with local fishermen about concerns they had regarding a number of issues, including quotas and user fees, among others. A date had not been announced, but Derek Wells, the South Shore MP at the time, said Tobin likely would come in November. He said the minister was well aware of the problems facing the fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia. The mood of fishermen at a recent meeting had been one of “total frustration,” according to a story in the Shelburne Coast Guard. But after learning that Tobin was planning to come to the area, a spokesman for a local fishermen’s organization said he felt progress perhaps could be made.
The Municipality of Barrington was planning to ask the province for an extension on the Dec. 31 (1995) deadline to cease open burning in Nova Scotia. Some municipal units reportedly had been advised they could continue burning garbage until March 31 (1996). Barrington, like other units, had spent the past few years pursuing landfill options. Barrington was part of a regional study examining the issue.
The Shelburne Curling Club was planning to open the rink at the former CFS Shelburne for the upcoming 1995-96 season. The goal was to start the season by Nov. 1. CFS Shelburne, a local military facility, had been de-commissioned earlier in the year.