Looking back at Shelburne County history
An organization had been established to help pursue business opportunities related to offshore development. The group had set up an administration office in Halifax and its first president was from the city, but the idea was that the Offshore Trade Association of Nova Scotia (OTANS) would look to develop opportunities for businesses throughout the province. It was felt there was great potential in Nova Scotia’s offshore. “We believe Nova Scotian businesses have a major role to play and we intend to do whatever we can to ensure members profit from these opportunities,” said Sam Bower, a Shelburne businessman and secretary-treasurer of the OTANS.
Hobart Blades, former municipal clerk for the Town of Shelburne, had been recognized in Halifax at the annual meeting of the Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia for his 32 years of service as Shelburne’s town clerk. Since his retirement on Sept. 1, 1982, Blades had become a municipal councillor. Blades acknowledged there had been many changes in Shelburne in his 32 years as clerk. He had assumed the position in late 1950, succeeding Harry Nickerson.
It was a time of change in the education system and among the changes was the creation of a new school board serving all of Shelburne County. The new board – the Shelburne County District School Board – replaced an interim board, which had ceased to exist at the end of November. Donald Fillmore was the new board’s chairman and Robert Harris was vice-chairman.
A local newspaper item from late fall 1982 talked about the growing use of computers, saying people would have to get familiar with them. “Everyone will have to, sooner than you think, become computer literate,” the article said. It noted that early in the new year, evening adult classes would be offered for Shelburne-area residents interested in working on their computer skills.
In sports, there had been some close games in the local men’s basketball league, notably a 70-69 win for Shelburne over Lockeport. Brian Hartley led Shelburne scorers with 26 points in this one while Jeff Stephens had 24 for Lockeport. Meanwhile, in local high school play there had been some lopsided results, including a 104-29 win for the Lockeport senior girls over Shelburne, Suzanne Cotter netting 30 points for the winners.
There was less than a month to go until New Year’s Day and the start of Shelburne’s bicentennial celebrations of 1983. The big year would kick off with a New Year’s levee at CFS Shelburne. The meet-and-greet portion of the day was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., with the event officially getting underway at 11.
Overall, the first week of the 1995-96 lobster-fishing season in Shelburne County was said to have been a good one. The weather had co-operated, allowing fishermen to haul up every day but one. “Five straight days of fishing,” said on local lobsterman. “That doesn’t happen very often.” The result had been record landings for some fishermen, with reports of daily catches ranging anywhere from 1,200 to 5,000 pounds. Warm water temperatures had contributed to the landings, fishermen said. Lobster prices in the early new season were between $4.50 and $5.25 per pound, according to a local newspaper story at the time.
A container ship owned by Eimskip, a company based in Iceland, had made a trial stop at the government wharf in Shelburne to offload seven containers. There was talk that Shelburne might become a regular stop for the company, one that would present new opportunities for local businesses. The trial run had been set up by the South West Shore Development Authority, a recently formed body designed to co-ordinate and pursue economic development in Shelburne and Yarmouth counties. The authority reportedly was trying to get Eimskip to make Shelburne a regular port of call and help the town make the most of its good harbour.