Bal­ly­hack story makes head­lines in Nova Sco­tia

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

THE warmth and gen­eros­ity of spirit of Bal­ly­hack NS pupils and a lo­cal his­to­rian has been recog­nised in an ar­ti­cle pub­lished in a Nova Sco­tia news­pa­per.

The Courier- Gazette, based in Rock­land, Cam­den, Nova Sco­tia, ran an ar­ti­cle fea­tur­ing Betsy White, whose great-grand­fa­ther cap­tained the Al­fred D Snow, which was ship­wrecked off the County Wex­ford coast 130 years ago.

The ar­ti­cle fea­tures a pho­to­graph of Ms White with lo­cal his­to­rian Jimmy FitzGib­bon from New Ross,

Ms White shared her jour­ney to Bal­ly­hack in 2017 at a spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion in July called: ‘ The Al­fred D Snow: The Ship, The Cap­tain and the Great- Great- Grand­daugh­ter’.

Her great-great grand­fa­ther, Capt Wil­liam Wilby of Thomas­town, and a crew of 29 lost their lives in Jan­uary 1888 when the Downeaster Al­fred D. Snow en­coun­tered a rag­ing storm at Broomhill. Wilby’s body was washed ashore in Arthurstown and sev­eral of the men were buried in Bal­ly­hack grave­yard, the re­main­ing men be­ing shipped back to Thomas­town, Nova Sco­tia. Bal­ly­hack NS stu­dents erected a memo­rial plaque at Bal­ly­hack Ceme­tery hon­our­ing the un­known sailors from the ship­wreck who had been buried there.

Ms White was es­corted by Mr FitzGib­bon dur­ing her visit. She said she was thrilled to hear that some of the wood from the ship­wreck was used in the con­struc­tion of a house in Bal­ly­hack, while more was used to cre­ate benches near the house and Bal­ly­hack Cas­tle. She re­called the wreath lay­ing cer­e­mony at the vil­lage ceme­tery, com­plete with rib­bons rep­re­sent­ing the Ir­ish and Cana­dian coun­tries and a flag from the lifeboat sta­tion. ‘It blew my mind,’ Ms White said.

Betsy White.

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