Pre­serv­ing African Nova Sco­tian his­tory

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS -

‘Ex­cited’ dosn’t be­gin to de­scribe how Lisa Diggs feels about the Gib­son Woods church’s re­cent ed­u­ca­tional tourism des­ti­na­tion des­ig­na­tion.

It’s a project she be­lieves will help en­sure that the her­itage of an African Nova Sco­tian com­mu­nity is pre­served for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Diggs said the site is as­so­ci­ated with the Mathieu Da Costa Her­itage Trail and the project “makes per­fect sense” to her, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that the church and the for­mer school – now used as the com­mu­nity cen­tre – have been main­stays in Gib­son Woods for many years.

She uses the anal­ogy of any well-known build­ing: if it were to sud­denly dis­ap­pear, it would leave a void in the com­mu­nity. A lot of peo­ple would no­tice and miss it.

“There’s some­thing spe­cial there, you don’t want to lose it,” Diggs said. “There are sto­ries be­hind it.”

Hav­ing the church des­ig­nated as an ed­u­ca­tional tourism des­ti­na­tion means hav­ing an­other great at­trac­tion to show vis­i­tors to the Val­ley. Diggs said she has taken vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing fam­ily mem­bers and friends, to Gib­son Woods as a cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence.

Diggs be­lieves the preser­va­tion of her­itage in an African Nova Sco­tian com­mu­nity like Gib­son Woods is im­por­tant, es­pe­cially for younger peo­ple. It gives them some­thing tan­gi­ble to re­flect on and con­nect with and this helps in­stil pride.

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