Top sto­ries of Septem­ber

The Amherst News - - YEAR IN REVIEW -

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.

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