WINDSOR, N.S. — Here's a look at what was making the news 25 and 50 years ago in the Hants Journal.
25 years ago (Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, 1993 editions)
• Unable to meet new requirements for nursing homes, the Nova Scotia Freemasons Home in Windsor, which housed 60 people, was set to close within 18 months after the province took away the home’s operating license.
The home’s director, Reg Stone, explained to the Journal that widening corridors and making other alterations to the 84-year-old building wasn’t feasible – financially or structurally. The closure was set to affect 50 full-time and part-time employees.
The home first opened in 1909.
• Annapolis Valley-Hants Liberal candidate John Murphy, who was running in a Tory stronghold, doubled his rival in votes to secure the federal seat. He was part of the “red tide which swept the Atlantic Provinces and Ontario to give the Grits a healthy majority government, and leader Jean Chretien the job of prime minister.”
• A fire, likely started in an outdoor garbage bin, caused extensive damage to the Family and Children’s Services building.
• Wildlife conservationist Al Oeming stopped by the Windsor Elms nursing home with Tawana, a 130-pound cheetah, to let the residents meet the six-year-old animal.
• The community welcomed back several Hants County militia members from the West Nova Scotia Regiment, B Company, who had spent six months as UN peacekeepers in Croatia. A dinner and dance was held in their honour. The peacekeepers were: Cpl. Jamie Pelligrini, Cpl. Ken Caldwell, Cpl. Richard Hamilton, Cpl. Rick Mosher, Pte. Scott Carr, and Cpl. Mark Riley.
• The Windsor Hockey Heritage Society introduced its new Birthplace of Hockey coin, which was to serve as a fundraiser for the organization.
• The RCMP were investigating the death of Fred Simon Degenhardt, of South Rawdon. The 59-year-old man had recently moved to the area from Ontario. He was reported missing Oct. 29 and his body was discovered in the Herbert River the next day.
• Wolfville artist Alex Colville signed murals featuring artwork he did depicting scenes from the Second World War while visiting the new bar facilities at the Royal Canadian Legion in Windsor.
• Colin Huntley’s Burlington Fur Farm operation was highlighted in the Journal as part of agricultural awareness. Huntley discussed the ups and downs of working in the fur industry, and noted the industry was hard hit due to the seal kill and leg hold traps used in the wild. He said the public “couldn’t differentiate a fur coat made from animals taken in the wild from a fur coat made from pelts produced by a fur farmer like me – and it hurt our industry.”
He said the mink business was edging back after a few lean years and had faith that the business would still be going strong in 50 years time though it likely wouldn’t be any easier.
• Malcolm Patterson, of Hantsport, retired from Minas Basin Pulp and Power Company Ltd. after 42 years of service.
• The Hants Community Hospital Auxiliary’s annual bazaar raised more than $6,000, which went towards the purchase of new hospital equipment.
• The Valley-based country/rock band Quick Draw released its first cassette tape. The trio was made up of Doug and Frank Newcomb and Robert Hunt.
50 years ago (Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, 1968 editions)
• A special feature highlighted Avon Valley Greenhouses Limited. It was noted that the company was nearing completion of their largest expansion.
The project consisted of five acres of glass and plastic covered greenhouses (with the glass being imported from England) and the construction of a central shipping warehouse. The upgrades also included further mechanization of greenhouse irrigation and installing blackout curtains for chrysanthemum timing.
It was further noted that Ralph Loomer, who was one of three original partners in the firm, was re-appointed president and general manager of the company.
• Awards were doled out at a Rural Beautification rally in West Hants. The following were the top prize winners: Mr. and Mrs. Claude Densmore of East Hants (farm home improvement); Martock and Windsor Forks Womens’ Institute (community improvement); Down East Motel in Garlands Crossing (commercial establishment); Mr. And Mrs. Lewis Crossley, of Summerville (small holdings); Ardoise 4-H Project Club (youth group).
• Gerald Allen was elected the president of the Hants West Progressive Conservative Association.
• Oct. 27, 1968 marked the last service at the Summerville Baptist Church. The Journal noted the old church “has been a landmark on top of Loyal Hill at the western end of the village” for more than a century. Going forward, services were to be held in a new United Church building centrally located in the village.
• A tongue-in-cheek brief appeared in the paper, noting store owners conducted the annual chore of cleaning their windows “which had been nicely decorated on Halloween, the night before.”
• There was a large turnout for the 125th anniversary dinner and service in the Falmouth Baptist Church.
• Bateman’s Drug Store Limited, located on Gerrish Street in Windsor, was offering 25 photographic Christmas cards for free with the purchase of any Polaroid colour pack camera. The easy-to-use camera cost $59.95.
• The Imperial Theatre in Windsor had another packed line up. Featured movies included: Wait Until Dark, featuring Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin and Richard Crenna; repeat matinees of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; A Man Called Dagger; Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman; Speedway, starring Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra; a triple bill featuring The Gorgon, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb and Phantom of Rue Morgue; plus six days of Yours, Mine and Ours, starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball.
• In the Hants History column from 1943, residents were interested in a home in Rawdon that was falling into disrepair. It was said there were a number of $20 gold coins hidden inside the unoccupied home.
In wartime news from 1943, flight sergeant Clarence Reynolds was reported missing after an air operation and flying officer E.L. Riley, of Mount Denson, was taken as a prisoner of war in Germany.
In the Hants History column from 1918, it was noted that residents rejoiced over learning that the First World War had ended. “Residences were decorated and a mammoth parade was held. An effigy of the Kaiser was burned followed by a magnificent display of fireworks.”
In other wartime news, a list of those who were injured, missing, killed in action, or awarded medals appeared. Capt. Ainsley T. Croft and Lieut. Gerald McElhiney were both awarded the Military Cross.