Top stories of September
A sinking feeling
Oxford residents got a bit of a shock in early September when a small sinkhole in the popular Lions Park got a lot bigger.
Mark Rushton was playing catch with his son in the park while his wife participated in a yoga class inside the Lions Centre when he heard a whump and felt the ground vibrate.
Police and fire were quick to arrive on scene and close the park while the Lions building was emptied.
Shaun Whalen was also in the park taking photos of the sunset when he heard the commotion. He shot a video of the hole and took several photographs.
Structural concerns delay opening of Oxford Regional Education Centre
As a parent, Shannon Oickle understands the frustrations being expressed by parents of students at the Oxford Regional Education Centre. But, the president of the school advisory council was urging parents to think about the safety of students and staff.
In late August, the ChignectoCentral Regional Centre for Education announced students in the eight-year-old Primary to Grade 12 school in Oxford would begin the school year in Pugwash due to structural issues discovered during routine maintenance of the school.
A news release from the regional office said the Oxford school had an issue with masonry work and repairs were needed when students were not present.
Circumnavigating Nova Scotia
A group of Cumberland County completed a voyage that took several weeks to complete circumnavigating Nova Scotia in September.
The group, that was made up of different people at different times, set out from near Joggins and arrived back in Northport in September.
The entire trip was 2,300 kilometres, and they spent 350 hours navigating between 22 ports.
They travelled three days in dense fog and lost four days due to high winds and waves, meeting 16-foot waves near Canso.
National honour for Winegarden Estates
Winegarden Estates is quickly developing a reputation as the little winery that can compete with the best.
Located just across the New Brunswick border in Baie Verte, N.B., the company recently received national accolades when three of its wines were winners of the 38th All Canadian Wine Championships, the premiere competition for Canadian wines.
Muessle said Winegarden Estates has frequently entered the competition that has been running since 1981. This year it sent its blueberry wine, cranberry wine, its 25th anniversary sparking wine and its Victor McLaughlin wine. The blueberry won silver and the cranberry wine the sparkling wine and house blend wine, the Victor McLaughlin, each won bronze.
Medal mystery solved
Just when it appeared as though the relatives of Pte. R.C. McDonald might never be found, John Wales made a cold call and found the granddaughters of the Cape Breton First World War veteran in British Columbia.
Several months earlier North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum curator Ray Coulson had received the Victory Medal from retired navy commander Philippe Menard, hoping he could reunite the medal – found off Hawaii by his wife in the 1970s – with a member of McDonald’s family.
In late September, McDonald’s granddaughters, Sandy Corbeil and Carol Peireira travelled across Canada to collect the medal from the regimental museum.
Last man out of 1958 bump dies
Herb Pepperdine, who was the last man rescued from the depths of the Springhill coal mine following the 1958 Bump, died in midSeptember. He was 95.
Pepperdine was just 14 when he went to work in the coal mines. He was above ground when the 1956 explosion occurred, but four kilometres underground on Oct. 23, 1958 when the Bump occurred.
He would be stuck there for eight days, and just when all hope was lost, he was rescued. He was the last man out of the mine.
He was the second survivor of the last two mine disasters to pass away in a short period. Ken Melanson, who was trapped underground in 1956, died in August.
Amherst opens new dog park at Dickey Park
After a pilot project at the Robb Centennial Complex was so successful last winter, the Town of Amherst’s Recreation Department moved the park to a new home at Dickey Park.
A part of the park, near East Pleasant Street, is fenced in with a six-foot fence. There is a water source, seating and eventually there will be additional amenities to make it clear that dogs are not only permitted, but invited.
The park is self-supervised and users are there at their own risk. Users are asked to clean up after their dogs, always supervise and keep their dogs under control with the understanding they’ll be removed if aggressive.
Joggins First World War medal found
The beach at Joggins is well known for its fossils, less so for war medals.
What began as some time on the beach with his metal detector turned into quite the find for Dean Brown. Brown was on the beach at Lower Cover near Joggins with his wife in September while she scoured the beach for sea glass.
He found some coins and pennies and was just getting ready to leave when his detector went off. Lying on the surface of the beach was a medal. What he found was a British War Medal from the First World War. After finding it belonged to an H. O’Regan, they went to the Joggins legion and Doug and Darah Legere.
Dara Legere said he and his brother researched Harold O’Regan, but couldn’t find family members the Browns could give the medal to. The Browns offered the medal to the legion.
Casey not reoffering as MP in 2019
Bill Casey announced in September that he will not reoffer for the 2019 federal election.
Casey said he’s 73 years old and finds the pace can be difficult. He also wants to spend more time with his wife Rosey and their grandchildren.
Casey, who was first elected as a Progressive Conservative in November 1988, returned to politics as a Liberal with a massive victory in 2015, defeating incumbent Conservative Scott Armstrong. Armstrong is running again next year.
Winegarden Estates president and CEO Elke Muessle looks over four bottles of wine that won awards at the All Canadian Wine Championships.