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Preserving Hantsport's history: Dorie and Garnet McDade Heritage Centre officially opens


HANTSPORT, N.S. — The community of Hantsport is once again benefiting from its resident's generosity.

As a way to preserve and protect Hantsport's rich heritage, the Hantsport and Area Historical Society joined forces with a group of local citizens and launched a legacy project in 2015. The committee's goal was to create a museum.

After nearly two years of hard work and dedication, the Dorie and Garnet McDade Heritage Centre officially opened to the public.

On Nov. 18, the centre was packed with people mulling around inside the building, located at 50 Main St. following the grand opening ceremony.

“With our new heritage centre, our society looks forward to fulfilling the objectives that were set up way back in 1978: to encourage interest in our local history, to preserve historical information and artifacts, to educate the community on our historical past,” said Judson Porter, the president of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society during the opening ceremonies.

The centre is named in memory of Dorie (Turner) McDade, who died in 2004, and Garnet McDade, who died in 2006, “in recognition of the positive economic, cultural, social and community-minded impact they both had on Hantsport, the town that they loved.”

Paula (McDade) Cunningham — Dorie and Garnet McDade's daughter — and her husband Doug Cunningham created an endowment fund to help create and sustain the centre. While they no longer reside in Hantsport, they said they have such fond memories and know the McDade's loved the community and its people.

Roy Bishop, the chair of the heritage centre fundraising campaign, worked tirelessly to bring the society's vision for a museum to life. He was credited with bringing the Cunninghams on board to create an endowment fund, and he worked with Scotia Investments Limited to secure the property, which they sold for $1.

“Without the generous support of the Cunninghams and the Bishops, we would not be here today. Our society and the Hantsport and area community are truly indebted to you,” said Porter.

The museum contains a number of exhibits, including the Chittick Room (featuring a marine heritage display), Patterson Room (featuring information on William Hall VC, the Royal Canadian Legion and a military collection), Bishop Room (featuring a Glooscap First Nation display), R.A. Jodrey Room (featuring the history of the Jodrey family), The Vault (featuring 'Canada's Most Daring Antique Thief') and the committee room (featuring town photos and scrapbooks).

“A community that does not know, protect, and honour its history is the poorer for it. That thought lies behind the work and donations of money and artifacts but the many people who have made this heritage centre a reality,” said Bishop.

The historical society is still welcoming and encouraging donations.

“Further donations to strengthen the heritage centre endowment fund are both needed and welcomed. Also, we hope that the existence of this wonderful facility will encourage more donations of artifacts relevant to the history of our community,” he said.

For more information, or to donate, email hhsheritage@gmail.com.

 

Did you know?

The heritage centre committee is comprised of members of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society and interested community members.

The members are: Brian Bishop, Roy Bishop, Jane Davis, Toni Heatley, Marg Johnston, Allen Keeping, Raye Myles, Judson Porter and Sally Zamora.

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