Looking back on Yarmouth County history
There was a good deal of development planned – or at least being talked about – in Yarmouth. Among other things, there was a proposal to build a shopping centre, a new school and a new fish canning plant. Developers were eyeing a site on the west side of Pleasant Street, near Starrs Road, for a shopping mall. There was no word what stores would occupy the proposed facility, although a major food chain and a department store were said to be interested. Education officials were looking to build a new eight-room facility on the Central School property on Parade Street. The proposed canning plant reportedly would employ 50 people initially, with more to be hired later. Meanwhile, aside from these projects, approval had been given for a 15-unit public housing development in the Hibernia Street area. A construction project already underway was the building of a new golf club/curling rink in the town’s south end.
It was official: Yarmouth would have a second ferry connection with New England, the announcement coming from Nova Scotia Premier G.I. Smith during a meeting of the Yarmouth Board of Trade. The new service was expected to be in place by June 1970. The new vessel’s American port of call had yet to be announced. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Gloucester, Massachusetts, reportedly were being considered. (Portland eventually would get the service, however.) Yarmouth already had the Bluenose that sailed to Bar Harbor, so once the new service was in operation, Yarmouth would have two ferry links with the U.S.
On the local entertainment scene in October 1968, popular Nova Scotia singer Anne Murray had upcoming appearances scheduled for Yarmouth’s Grand Hotel. Murray, 23 years old at the time, had been in Toronto taping a TV appearance on a Wayne and Shuster special that was to air in a few weeks. Murray was a regular on the CBC program Singalong Jubilee.
The 1968 stock-car racing season came to an end with Cliff Gavel winning the 50-lap feature event on the last race day of the year at the Yarmouth Speedway. Five-hundred “hardy fans” braved cold October winds to watch the action, the Vanguard reported.
Southwestern Nova Scotia was experiencing what a development department official with the province described as above-average real growth, thanks mainly to the fishing industry. The strength of the fishery was reflected in sectors like boatbuilding, where operators were reporting backlogs of orders for at the least the next two years. Evidence of the region’s booming economy also could be seen on the roads, given the number of new cars being driven, the official said.
The number of seagulls flying near the airport and posing potential danger to aircraft reportedly had been reduced since the closure of the Town of Yarmouth’s nearby dump. David Bussey, manager of the Yarmouth airport at the time, hadn’t been in the area long but said his understanding was that the seagull problem had been “really cut down.”
Most Rev. Austin Burke, bishop of the Diocese of Yarmouth, was among those saddened by the death of John Paul I, who had died just a month or so after being elected pope. Bishop Burke had been attending a conference of bishops in Ottawa when word came of the new pontiff’s death. Bishop Burke was to have met the new pope during an upcoming trip to the Vatican.
The federal government announced plans to provide southwestern Nova Scotia with a year-round emergency helicopter service to be based in Yarmouth. It would provide search-and-rescue coverage and enhance the government’s fishery surveillance operations. The service was to be provided by a private firm through a contractual arrangement. The service wasn’t expected to be in place until the spring of 1989.
Organizers of the Yarmouth International Air Show were said to be thinking of having their event every two years instead of every year. The most recent air show – held in August 1988 – had not drawn as many spectators as organizers had expected. For now, the plan was to have an air show again in 1989.