As well as being gratifying, reader response to this column is often helpful, educational and enlightening. In the past year, for example, reader comments about these columns expanded on my topics, offering tidbits of information not generally known which otherwise might never have been recorded.
Many of the topics in this column reached print only because people were willing to talk about their interests, hobbies and fields of expertise. At times I must have been a bit annoying to people like Louis Comeau, Leon Barron, Joe Patterson and Marie Bishop for constantly asking questions and borrowing from their files and scrapbooks. Without the assistance of these four history buffs and avid collectors, and without the input of dozens of other readers, many of the columns on local history could never have been put together.
In addition to appreciating the assistance of people who have interesting hobbies and a wealth of local folklore at their fingertips, I value the letters, telephone calls and comments from readers. So let’s start the New Year off on the right foot by saying thanks to everyone. I look forward in ’98 to talking with you about local history and folklore, interesting trivia and your hobbies.
I mentioned Ivan Smith of Canning in this column before. One of Mr. Smith’s interests is the history of local telephone and power companies. Thanks to Smith, much of this history is posted on the Internet. If you’re on the ‘net, look under Nova Scotia history (http://alts.net//ns1625/) and you’ll find an enormous amount of info on these topics. And it’s constantly being updated and added to as Mr. Smith continues his research.
When I wrote a column recently expressing surprise about finding my father’s war record on the Internet, Mr. Smith called to make an interesting observation. Posting war records on the Internet is important, Smith said. He referred to the history of Canada’s World War One black battalion, which he has referred to extensively at the Nova Scotia history site. “Black participation in this war is denied in certain quarters,” Smith said, “but posting it on the Internet authenticates it.”
Smith’s point is that the posting of the enlistment papers of over 600,000 Canadians who fought in the first war reinforces Canada’s participation and makes us aware of the country’s contribution.
A history of the community Scott’s Bay is currently being prepared and William Poole is seeking the assistance of anyone who may have information on the shipbuilding period from the mid 1800s to the turn of the century. I assume anything on the history of the Bay, in addition to the shipbuilding period, would also be welcomed by Mr. Poole.
“I am working on a … paper outlining the history of Scott’s Bay and continuing to the present day,” Poole writes. “My starting document is a historical record written by Abram Jess, circa 1940s.”
Sounds interesting. I’m looking forward to reading the completed book. Readers who can help Mr. Poole can reach him via telephone at 902-582-1229 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments on this column can be addressed me at email@example.com.