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Provincial town crier competition being held in Maitland

Anita Benedict of the town crier for the Municipality of East Hants. She will be the host crier when the provincial town crier competition is held in Maitland.
MUNICPALITY OF EAST HANTS PHOTO
Anita Benedict of the town crier for the Municipality of East Hants. She will be the host crier when the provincial town crier competition is held in Maitland. MUNICPALITY OF EAST HANTS PHOTO - Contributed

When Anita Benedict first expressed an interest in being a town crier, someone told her it was a ‘man thing’. That didn’t deter her for long; she’s now the Municipality of East Hants town crier and vice chair of the Nova Scotia Guild of Town Criers (NSGTC).

“I met a crier at the lieutenant governor’s garden party who told me some of the best criers are women,” she said. “Our crier was moving so I applied. There was supposed to be a competition, but no one else applied.”

She’s became the town crier for East Hants in September 2013 and she’s enjoying the position.

“It’s great being an ambassador for the area. I have a lot of fun and meet people.

“I’m a little unusual, being the only female town crier in Nova Scotia, but there are lots around the world. I’d like to see some young women get involved. Being a crier is about standing out in a crowd and recognizing that it’s okay to be loud.”

Benedict knows the importance of preparing her voice before crying.

“You have to do exercises so you don’t cause damage, and you need to make sure you’re hydrated,” she said.

“I love dressing up, and being out in the community making people smile. I’m part of a celebration.”

The provincial town crier championship competition is being held in Maitland on September 22 at 2 p.m., in conjunction with the Maitland Launch Festival.

As host crier, Anita Benedict can’t compete this year, but she will provide the benchmark cry and judges will base the other cries off of hers.

This year’s theme is ‘Women in the Age of Sail.’

Competing criers, from the Nova Scotia Guild of Town Criers:

James Stewart- New Glasgow

Lloyd Smith- Windsor - West Hants

Peter Davies- Annapolis Royal

David Ollie-Yarmouth

Austin (Ozzie) Stiles- Bridgewater

John MacGee -Lunenburg

Greg Fenwick- Sackville

Robert Raoul -Spryfield

Allie MacInnis-Sydney

Guest Crier (not competing) Will Brewer-Old Halifax

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