Re­call­ing Mi­nas Basin ferry boats and ap­ple blos­som fes­tiv­i­ties in 1936

Valley Journal Advertiser - - OPINION - Ed Cole­man

“I am go­ing through my mother’s things and came across a 1936 news­pa­per clip­ping with a col­umn called ‘An­napo­lis Blos­soms’, Michele Landry wrote ear­lier this fall. “This was penned un­der the pseu­do­nym Amethyst Agate, my great aunt whose sur­name was Ogilvie.”

Landry was hop­ing I could shed some light on the ar­ti­cle, per­haps de­ter­mine which news­pa­per An­napo­lis Blos­soms was pub­lished in, so more of the col­umns the great aunt wrote could be un­earthed.

“The writ­ing is de­light­ful,” said Landry “and I would like to read more (of them).”

I as­sumed the ar­ti­cle was a fea­ture cel­e­brat­ing the Ap­ple Blos­som Fes­ti­val and it likely ap­peared in The Ad­ver­tiser, the Hants Jour­nal or the Ber­wick pa­per, The Reg­is­ter; or pos­si­bly it was a sup­ple­ment which was pub­lished as a fea­ture in The Ad­ver­tiser right from the start of the Ap­ple Blos­som Fes­ti­val.

I sug­gested this in re­ply­ing to Landry and asked if I could see a copy of the col­umn — which I’m glad I did since the lady who wrote An­napo­lis Blos­soms ob­served what it was like trav­el­ling on the ferry that once plied the waters of Mi­nas Basin, and to take in an early blos­som fes­ti­val.

Many of the se­niors who read this col­umn will know in­stantly that the Mi­nas Basin ferry I’m re­fer­ring to is the MV Ki­pawo.

Built in New Brunswick in 1925 or 1926 (sources vary on the date) the Ki­pawo be­gan ser­vice in the Mi­nas Basin in the lat­ter year, sail­ing daily on a tide-based sched­ule be­tween ports in Kingsport, Parrs­boro and Wolfville.

“The two-hour trip on the boat Ki­pawo was a treat,” wrote the colum­nist, in­di­cat­ing she likely boarded the ferry in Parrs­boro. “Ma­jes­tic Cape Blo­mi­don was the chief attraction. With a light breeze and the salt tang of the sea, time sped all too quickly and we were at the pier in Kingsport.”

We soon learn that the writer’s des­ti­na­tion was the Ap­ple Blos­som Fes­ti­val in Kentville. But first, there was a stop at the Lookoff, where we learn that in 1936 there was a steel ob­ser­va­tion plat­form “where the view is lovely in ap­ple blos­som time.” A stop in Can­ning on Satur­day evening for shop­ping fol­lowed and the writer ob­served that “it is a small town with up-to-date stores.”

Most in­ter­est­ing of all are the looks the writer pro­vides of the Ap­ple Blos­som Fes­ti­val, which at the time was only a few years old. Af­ter a train trip to Kentville, the fes­ti­val’s school pageant, held on a Mon­day, was at­tended.

“The school chil­dren donned their cos­tumes and with flags and ban­ners, marched to the park. Af­ter the pageant, the floats with bands from sur­round­ing towns and col­leges pa­raded. They were rare and lovely and seemed end­less.”

All in all, this is an in­ter­est­ing first­hand glimpse of the blos­som fes­ti­val in its early days and a glimpse — or two — of what it was like to travel on a Mi­nas Basin ferry. I like the clos­ing lines, wherein the writer notes that “the train goes on the wharf at Kingsport and the Ki­pawo was there, as it was her day to stay over.”

My thanks to Michele Landry for pro­vid­ing this most in­ter­est­ing pursuit. Per­sonal glimpses of the blos­som fes­ti­val and the ferry in 1936 are rare.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.