Underneath the banner, it read: “West Hants… The Best of Everything.”
It was a sparsely attended evening facilitated by four or five young people working for a Halifax PR company that were contracted by West Hants.
These people seemed to know next to nothing about West Hants, which made me wonder why on earth they were hired in the first place and at local taxpayers’ expense. Couldn’t a more local company meet the job description?
Anyway, after circulating three different examples of “visions,” using stock photos, they asked the question as to what would attract newcomers to West Hants.
There was an exaggerated silence from the attendees still awake before someone suggested that the community and the community spirit of volunteerism itself could attract newcomers. But, the facilitators were looking for more.
So what would attract tourists to West Hants?
One or two folks suggested sites in Windsor but they were blown out as Windsor is apparently not in West Hants.
To my way of thinking, this evening exercise was somewhat several years premature.
Surely sometime in the future Windsor has to amalgamate with West Hants, or vice versa.
The obvious political trend is for less local and insular government and until that stage is reached, what has the West Hants municipality got to offer?
I would suggest maybe three things: Ski Martock, a few local wineries and the Avon River. That’s about it.
These young workers from Halifax appeared to have little or no knowledge of any of these sites and certainly had never heard of the historic Churchill House in Hantsport or the 18 acres of recreational parkland of the HMCC.
The Ski Martock and the local wineries are easily located but where do tourists get to view the Avon River tides in West Hants?
A few months ago, a couple of middle-aged tourists from Australia, purely by chance, dropped in at the regular Saturday morning Hantsport Lions Club breakfast. After getting acquainted, they mentioned that they were touring Nova Scotia in a rented RV. The thing they wanted most of all to see and experience was the huge 40-foot Bay of Fundy tides.
They had read about it and wanted to know where was the best location in this area.
I thought about it for some time and there was nowhere I could suggest within West Hants.
I suggested they make their way along Highway 101 to Port Williams — in Kings County — where they could sit on the patio of the Port Pub and watch the tide come in and go out all day to their hearts content while enjoying the offerings of the local wineries.
There is certainly nothing like that available in West Hants.
Another local opportunity sadly bit the dust.