Our year in review from 2018 continues with August and September highlights.
Amherst concludes water reservoir project
Water pressure should never again be a problem for Amherst residents.
Amherst Mayor David Kogon joined with other community leaders and project supporters in August to clink glasses full of water to officially commission the town’s new water reservoir.
The new reservoir increased water pressure in areas of the town that previously experienced low water pressure, while also improving the fire flows throughout the town.
The mayor said the two new tanks (both about 70 feet high) will ensure Amherst has adequate water storage another 40 years or more.
The mayor noted the $5.5-million project couldn’t have been accomplished without support from the joint federal-provincial Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, which provided 75 per cent of the funding.
Rushton sworn in as MLA for Cumberland South.
Tory Rushton was officially sworn into the Nova Scotia legislature during a brief ceremony at Province House in Halifax.
The former chief of the Oxford Fire Department and an employee of Oxford Frozen Foods was elected in the June 19 byelection to replace former PC leader and Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie.
Rushton, whose grandfather George Henley was a cabinet minister in the government of John Buchanan in the 1970s, said he intended to press the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal minister on the replacement of the Rainbow Bridge near Amherst and the condition of numerous roads across Cumberland South as well as a washed out culvert in Rodney.
New turbine placed in Minas Channel
Several months of preparation and hours of waiting came to a successful end just offshore as a 300-tonne tidal turbine was successfully deployed on the floor of the Minas Passage near Parrsboro.
The turbine, which is 16-metres in diameter, was lowered to the floor of the Bay of Fundy over a period nearing two hours.
Cape Sharp Tidal is a joint venture between Halifax-based Emera Inc. and OpenHydro, a tidal power technology company headquartered in Ireland. Ironically, OpenHydro would soon run into financial troubles and the turbine remains on the floor of the channel.
Oxford Frozen Foods celebrated 50 years
Nova Scotia had a bumper blueberry crop in 1967 when John Bragg decided to take a leap into the processing business, establishing Oxford Frozen Foods. In 1968, the year he opened his blueberry processing facility, the crop collapsed.
It could have been the end of the story, but Bragg persevered. With the support of government, the community and his workers, Oxford Frozen Foods has grown and prospered as one of the largest employers in Cumberland County, if not northern Nova Scotia.
From those simple beginnings, Bragg’s company has grown to become the world’s largest supplier of frozen wild blueberries and Canada’s premiere processor of frozen carrot products. It has also diversified into diced onions and frozen rutabaga, onion rings, cheese sticks and battered vegetables.
Kouwenberg hailed as a hero
Eleven-year-old Keegan Kouwenberg knew exactly what to do when he saw a house fire.
During a recent hot August afternoon, Kouwenberg was walking to the Oxford Lions Park for a swim when he saw smoke and flames billowing up from under a veranda at a home about 200 metres from where he lives.
Keegan suspected somebody was home at the time because a truck that is usually not there was parked in the driveway.
While Keegan ran back to the house, 911 was called and a neighbor was asked to help.
Keegan and neighbour Susan Patriquin banged on the burning home’s windows. They finally woke a man up.
Names to be added to Joggins cenotaph
Pte. Arselle Delveaux left his family behind when he immigrated from Belgium in the early 1900s to work in the coal mines at Joggins.
Delveaux is just one of 10 names that were added to the cenotaph at Joggins.
Pte. Thomas Hamilton fought with the Royal Scottish Regiment. His family came to Canada but he stayed in Scotland and when war broke out he fought and died. He still has family in Joggins.
Pte. Spurgeon MacLeod was born in Joggins and when his family left for the United States he stayed to work in the mines. He went to war and lost his life, while Cpl. Roy Mills flew with the Royal Flying Corps. He died from the Spanish Influenza after he returned to Canada.
Privates Charles Jenkins, William Mills and Clifford Phillips were from Shulee while Privates Edward Cormier and Archie Downey and Sapper Rufus Kennedy were from Joggins.
Ferguson raises alarm over hospital
Veteran Amherst physician Dr. Brian Ferguson again sounded the alarm over the future of Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre.
The departure of several specialists and physicians left Ferguson wondering what the future holds. At stake, said Ferguson, is the hospital’s status as a regional hospital. There are so few doctors working in the emergency room it’s becoming more difficult to maintain around-the-clock coverage.
Ferguson has practised medicine for 37 years, 32 in Amherst. He first sounded the alarm over the future of the hospital as a regional facility in 2016.
It took a little coaxing
Allie Halliday doesn’t consider herself a seal whisperer, but she was part of an effort in August at Coldspring Head that saw an injured seal rescued by a volunteer with the Hope Wildlife Centre.
The young seal had been seen numerous times in the area since late July when residents noticed it would approach them when swimming and would climb on top of a makeshift raft located just offshore.
Halliday reached out to Hope for Wildlife via the group’s website.
For some reason, Coldie – as the residents came to call the seal – seemed attached to Halliday and would often come when she was on the raft.
The first attempt to grab hold of the seal failed and she was afraid they’d lost their chance until he came back a few minutes later and jumped back up on the raft. It was then, using tuna as bait, were able to coax the seal into a large bin.
Cape Sharpe’s tidal turbine is prepared to be lowered into the Minas Passage off Parrsboro.