Published on January 02, 2014
Chris Metallic’s father Dean Martin hangs a missing poster in Sackville in early 2013. Metallic’s parents continued the search for their son, who has been missing since late November 2012.
Published on January 02, 2014
Katrina Clair, an organizer of January’s Idle No More protest in Sackville speaks to fellow those in attendance. Idle No More activists were joined on Jan. 28 by Mount Allison University students, Sackville town councillors, members of the Maritime United Church of Canada, and many other concerned residents as they took part in a ‘Justice for All’ traffic slowdown along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Published on January 02, 2014
Sackville Mayor Bob Berry was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for the contributions he has made to his community.
Published on January 02, 2014
An RCMP officer speaks to pedestrians on Weldon Street in mid-March as police searched for suspects in an armed robbey at Jean Coutu Pharmacy.
Published on January 02, 2014
Tantramar MLA Mike Olscamp, left, speaks to those in attendance at a special meeting in Sackville in April on shale gas exploration in the province.
Published on January 02, 2014
Proposed designs for Sackville’s new downtown park were unvieled in May.
Published on January 02, 2014
TRHS valedictorian Nick Crossman addresses the class of 2013 during Tantramar Regional High School graduation ceremonies in June.
Published on January 02, 2014
Rev. Vernon Vickruck of the Middle Sackville Baptist Church speaks to those in attendance at a special ceremony at the monument at Slack's Cove to commemorate the landing of the 13 Baptist settlers from Swansea, Massachusetts 250 years ago.
Published on January 02, 2014
Local youth look on as Steve Lennox performs an aerial stunt during last year’s launch of Sackville’s new bike park.
Published on January 02, 2014
Sackville's 2014 Fall Fair was a resounding success, featuring a wide variety of activities for people of all ages, including the ever-popular Fall Fair Parade, pictured above.
Published on January 02, 2014
Participants in the 2013 Sackville Mount Allison Relay for Life take part in warm-up exercises at the start of the overnight fundraising event.
Published on January 02, 2014
A local cadet stands in the foreground while members of the local Legion and other VIPs observe a moment of silence in the background during 2013 Remembrance Day ceremonies in Sackville.
Published on January 02, 2014
The Mount Allison football Mounties charge onto MacAuley Field prepared to face the Laval Rouges et Or in the Uteck Bowl in November 2013.
Published on January 02, 2014
Twelve-year-old Danika Fawcett, who has brought in several thousand dollars for the Lillian Albion Animal Shelter over the past six years, was presented with an award from the Atlantic Award Group, a volunteer-based organization that celebrates people across the Maritimes who have made a significant impact on those around them. Presenting the ward is Alex Maine, project director.
Park plans unveiled – A splash pad, a new bandstand, public washrooms, a facelift of the basketball and tennis court areas – these were just a few of the main features being proposed for Sackville’s downtown playground park, a $1-million project that was set to get under way in the summer.
The town hosted a public presentation on May 16 to provide residents with an opportunity to get a look at the plans for the park makeover and provide their feedback on the proposed design.
Andrew Amos of Catalyst Consulting Engineers Inc. is project manager for the park redevelopment and said there was “a lot of interest and questions on the project.”
“It gives us an excellent opportunity to hear first hand what is on the minds of those that we’re ultimately doing this project for,” he said.
Green roof project put on hold – The much-anticipated garden/green roof was put on hold as costs for the project came in higher than expected.
Town treasurer Michael Beal said a tender call had been issued for the green roof project a month earlier. And although 10 packages were picked up, only one bid was received by the deadline date, he said.
“It had exceeded the budget so we will not be proceeding with the green roof at this time,” he said.
The budget for the project was set at $150,000 to $160,000 but the bid submitted was priced at $189,640.
Local resident Michael Fox said he was surprised to hear the project would not be going forward, as the green roof was a main component of the original plans for the building when it was originally proposed to the public.
New CAO on the job – Sackville’s new town manager was on the job and ready to move forward in his new role.
“I’m feeling my way along slowly,” said Phil Handrahan during town council’s monthly meeting in May, the first since he’d taken on the top post at town hall. “I’m getting to know people in the community . . . and I’ve gotten some great support so far from council and staff.”
Handrahan, who started his duties on May 1, thanked town council for selecting him to fill the vacant position and said he’s looking forward to taking on the tasks that go with the job.
RCMP cracked down on youth crime – The Sackville RCMP was partnering with the local high school and several businesses in town on a new initiative that aimed to crack down on youth drug activity and disruptive behavior in Sackville’s highway commercial district.
Cst. Dan Hilchie said the RCMP was in the midst of rolling out the program, which would use the New Brunswick Trespass Act to deter some of the concerning activities happening at the business establishments near the high school, particularly during lunch hour.
Called STAMP, the Sackville Trespass Action Mobility Plan would see police act as an “agent” for the businesses and issue trespass notices when witnessing a violation.
“We need to put an end to this activity,” said Hilchie. “And with this program, I feel confident we can at least deal with a few of the issues.”
Murderer died in prison – Raymond White, who was serving a life sentence in a British Columbia prison for the 1995 murders of Mary Lou Barnes and her 12-year-old son Larry Mills Jr. of British Settlement, died on May 22 following a lengthy illness. White, 66, died of natural causes in the hospital at the Pacific Institution.
White was handed a life sentence in Nov. 2011 for two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Barnes and Mills Jr. after finally coming forward and admitting his guilt 16 years later.
The mother and son were found dead in their mobile home in British Settlement on Nov. 6, 1995.
Sackville group planted millionth tree in Tanzania – Community Forests International (CFI), a Sackville based environmental start-up organization, passed an important milestone on May 22, by working with Tanzanian villagers to plant their millionth tree.
The group works with rural villages in Pemba, Tanzania, to collect seeds from the natural forest, grow seedlings in village nurseries and then plant the trees for timber, fruit and conservation. CFI has been working with rural Pemban communities since 2007.
Beyond planting trees, the group also conducts other projects to help rural Africans adapt to climate change such as kitchen gardening, rainwater harvesting, solar energy production and fuel-efficient cooking.
Schnurr, executive director of Community Forests International, said the organization works with communities to make their own change and believes rural people around the world hold the key to fighting climate change.
Sackville Lions celebrated 50 years – The Sackville Lions Club celebrated a milestone in May as it marked 50 years of service to the community.
The local Lions Club commemorated the event during its annual charter night on May 25, with current and past members of the club as well as a number of distinguished guests on hand to mark the occasion.
“Fifty years, that’s a long time . . . a real milestone,” said Sackville Mayor Bob Berry. “And the Lions are still going strong and doing good work in this community.”
It was on May 30, 1963 when the Sackville Lions Club, with 25 members, received its charter under the sponsorship of the Amherst Lions Club.
Wallie Sears was one of those original charter members. He said he’s pleased to see the club is still continuing its good work in the community.
“The charter members are extremely proud of how the ensuing generation has built on the earlier successes,” said Sears.
University approved budget – Mount Allison’s board of regents approved the university’s 2013-14 operating budget at its spring meeting. This was the 22nd consecutive balanced operating budget for Mount Allison.
“This budget was a challenging one, given the current economic climate and government operating grants remaining at the same levels as previous years,” said Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell.
Tuition for full-time Canadian students would increase by $150, as per the cap suggested by the New Brunswick government ($7,245 for full-time Canadian students). A portion of this increase would be allocated to directly fund financial support for students.
Rickshaw rides new to Sackville – Michael Vickruck, a 21-year-old university student, found a unique yet challenging way to spend his summer vacation – while, at the same time, being able to stay outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and keep fit.
Vickruck kicked off Sackville’s first-ever rickshaw tours on June 1, offering tourists and locals an opportunity to experience the community in a whole new way. The rickshaw, a two-wheeled, two-seater cart powered by two feet, was built by Vickruck himself.
Vickruck said he was excited to take on this challenge in his hometown and looked forward to meeting new people and offering this new service in the community.
“Even though I know it’s not going to be easy, this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while,” he said.
“I think that locals and visitors will enjoy touring the town in such a fun and environmentally-friendly way,” said Rebekah Cant, Sackville’s director of tourism and community development.
Local swimmers named to Canada Games team – Sackville natives Dylan Wooley-Berry and Martin Peters qualified for the New Brunswick swim team that would head to the Canada Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec in August.
Peters was able to secure his spot on the team by winning the 200 butterfly and placing second in both the 100 and 50 fly at the Canada Games swimming trials in early June at the Saint John Canada Games Aquatic Centre.
Wooley-Berry was not able to attend the meet because he was in France on a Rotary exchange. However, he trained and competed with the local city team in Manosque, France, where he posted times from the French Nationals, which were fast enough to qualify him for the New Brunswick team.
Researchers awarded $1.4 million in grants – Nine Mount Allison University researchers were awarded Discovery Grants worth a total of more than $1.4 million by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
“The Discovery Grants are highly competitive national awards, and researchers at Mount Allison have been very successful in securing this funding,” said Mount Allison’s vice-president of academic and research Karen Grant. “These investments in Mount Allison not only support faculty research in advancing science and discovery, but provide outstanding training opportunities for students as research assistants, giving them valuable hands-on research experience as part of their education.”
Mount Allison recipients included: biologist Felix Baerlocher; psychologist Terry Belke; biologist and Canada Research Chair Douglas Campbell and biochemist Amanda Cockshutt; mathematician Geoffrey Cruttwell; oceanographer and Canada Research Chair Zoe Finkel; physicist David Fleming; geographer and 3M Teaching Fellow Colin Laroque; and psychology professor Gene Ouellette.
Panel to examine lobster prices – A three-member independent panel was named to examine the factors affecting lobster prices in Atlantic Canada.
Fisheries ministers from the Maritime provinces made the announcement at a meeting to discuss the lobster industry.
"The panel has been given a clear mandate to look at the common factors affecting the East Coast fisheries while acknowledging the differences among the provinces and within each province," said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp.
The panel was made up of a representative from each province.
The ministers said they looked forward to receiving the panel’s report, expected in September.
Memorial marathon raised over $20,000 – The Tantramar community once again showed its support and helped pay tribute to the late Sabrina Patterson during a memorial marathon fundraising event held on June 8 in her honour.
More than $20,000 was raised during the event, surpassing last year’s total of $18,200. The proceeds would be split between Crossroads for Women Inc, a women’s shelter, and a trust fund for Sabrina’s two young children.
Despite the torrential downpour, about 150 runners and walkers came out to help raise funds and awareness for victims of domestic violence.
“Rain or shine, we did pretty good,” said Denise Murphy, Sabrina’s sister and an organizer of what has now become an annual event.
Murphy said putting together this annual event not only helps keep Sabrina’s memory alive but also turns the tragic circumstances of her death into a way of helping others.
Sabrina, a 25-year-old mother of two, was brutally murdered in October 2010 by her former boyfriend Fred Prosser. Prosser was charged with her death last December, sentenced to a life in prison for first-degree murder and sexual assault.
RCMP investigated break & enter – Local RCMP were investigating a break-and-enter at the Ultramar Gas Bar on the June 8-9 weekend, which saw the suspect(s) get away with an undisclosed amount of cash and merchandise.
Sgt. Jamie Graves of the Sackville RCMP detachment said the break, enter and theft occurred sometime between 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night, June 8 and the early-morning hours of Sunday, June 9. It was believed to be a forced entry.
Graves said staff at the gas bar/convenience store location alerted RCMP to the theft soon after they arrived for their shift on Sunday morning. Sackville RCMP, along with the forensic identification unit, were on scene throughout most of the day Sunday to collect evidence and determine what transpired.
University’s farm project put on hold – A Mount Allison summer project that got its start two years ago to provide university students with some experience growing and harvesting their own food was put on hold this year.
The Mount Allison Farm initiative, which saw a variety of vegetable crops being produced on a piece of property a few blocks from campus, was shelved in 2013 while the university works on ways to improve the land for future use.
“The farm is on hold this year while we invest in the soil structure and look at ways to suppress the weeds, such as cover cropping,” said Michelle Strain, the university’s director of administrative services.
“A number of people are advising us on the best options so we felt a year off from vegetable production was best,” she said.
Concerns voiced over future of bandstand – With the downtown park set to undergo a makeover, concern was being raised over the future of the historic bandstand.
Rihanna Edwards, chair of Sackville’s heritage board, questioned town council on what would happen to the bandshell, who would make the decision of whether it will be kept or destroyed, and what criteria would be used to determine its future.
Edwards said the existing bandstand structure has been used for a variety of recreational and entertainment purposes in the community for more than a century and it would be nice to see it preserved “so it can continue to be a part of Sackville’s social life for another 100 years.”
Sackville’s CAO Phil Handrahan said town staff had met with the designer of the park makeover project, who would bring back a report to council on the bandshell and whether it should be refurbished or replaced.
New rates approved for civic centre – The Tantramar civic centre would be implementing new rates for ice time and meeting room rentals in the fall.
Town council approved the new rates during its monthly meeting, with the new prices to take effect Sept. 1.
Sackville treasurer Michael Beal said this year’s increase would be the first hike since 2011.
“The rates have not changed in two years,” he said.
He said ice time rates were going up about $10 an hour and the non-ice rentals (for the arena floor) would also be going up.
TRHS graduates encouraged to change the world – As Tantramar Regional High School’s Class of 2013 crossed the stage of Convocation Hall on June 22, they were encouraged to give back to others as they make their way out into the world.
“You will soon learn that happiness and true success comes with giving,” said Gail LeBlanc, who served as guest speaker for the graduation ceremony. “Sharing your gifts, talents and passions and changing someones else’s life, if only for a moment, brings positive changes to your own life, and changes the world, one person at a time.”
Valedictorian Nick Crossman, who was awarded the Tantramar scholarship valued at over $43,000, thanked all those who had supported the graduating class through the years, including parents, teachers and administrators.
“I just want you to know that when you thought we weren’t listening, we were. And when you thought you weren’t making a difference, you did,” he said.
Rotary Club honoured community leaders – Six local volunteers who have dedicated their lives to making Sackville a better place to live were honoured on June 18 with the Rotary Club’s highest award.
Pat Estabrooks, Kathleen McMullen, Michael Fox, Ray Dixon, Lou Lambe and Marg Hicks, all described as “unsung heroes” in their community, were awarded Paul Harris Fellowships during a formal dinner celebration hosted by the Sackville Rotary Club that paid tribute to the spirit of community service.
The Paul Harris Fellow Award is the highest honour a Rotary Club can bestow on a person, either inside or outside the club. The award acknowledges "service above self" which that individual has offered to their community, their nation or to the world
Concern raised over sustainability committee – With the town’s sustainability committee in a period of instability, concern was being raised over how to keep the group moving forward on their initiatives.
“I hope you seriously consider reviving that,” said local resident Sabine Dietz to members of town council.
Dietz said the committee should be, in particular, focusing on ensuring local projects and town operations continue to be made more sustainable, as it was originally intended to do.
“I see that as the role of the committee . . . and so it’s sad to see that, for the last four months, it has floundered.”
Mayor Bob Berry said he was hopeful the committee would find a workable solution to get back on track.
“We’re going to look at the structure of the committee and see if we can’t come up with something,” said Berry.
Swimmers earned provincial honours – Sackville’s Mitchell Peters was named New Brunswick’s swimmer of the year during the annual Swim NB awards banquet in Fredericton in June. This was Mitchell’s fourth consecutive year bringing home the title.
Mitchell’s sister Marya was named top 18-and-over female swimmer by Swim NB and his brothers Martin and Mikhel were awarded top swimmers for their 50, 100, and 200 butterfly performances.
Local Baptists celebrated 250 years – 250 years later and the Baptist faith is still going strong in the Sackville area.
Rev. Vernon Vickruck, pastor at the Middle Sackville Baptist Church, said the local Baptist congregations were in the midst of celebrating two-and-a-half centuries of history in 2013 with a number of events and festivities to mark the special occasion.
The events officially kicked off on June 9, as more than 150 members of the Sackville-area Baptist churches came together for a commemoration ceremony at Slack’s Cove in Lower Rockport. This ceremony celebrated the landing of the first Baptist settlers from Swansea, Mass. in 1763.
A number of other activities were also being planned for later in the summer and the fall.
Capital campaign launched to refurbish cemetery –The launch of a capital campaign in Jolicure was aimed at raising funds for the refurbishment of one of the region’s heritage cemeteries – the Old Presbyterian Cemetery, which was established around 1833.
Members of the Jolicure United Church, concerned about the rundown condition of the old burial site, came together to consider upgrading the property. Cemetery board member Emily Dixon said the group decided to launch a campaign in an effort to raise much-needed funds which would allow work on the neglected cemetery.
“Doing this type of work – repairing stones, leveling them and ensuring they remain in good repair, combined with the continual upkeep of the cemetery, all costs money,” she said.
The board has set a goal of $30,000 to be raised over a three-year period.
Jobs created as Sappyfest grows – As one of the fastest growing events on the East Coast, SappyFest headquarters was continuing to expand, said festival director Paul Henderson.
“We’ve created jobs, developed sustainable infrastructure, and we’ve expanded our year-round programming in Sackville and elsewhere.”
SappyFest continued to be a source of economic development in the town of Sackville, creating employment, working with over 65 organizations, and bringing in an estimated $400,000 into the community.
Working in partnership with community and government organizations, SappyFest was able to hire three full-time and two part-time employees in 2013. While working on projects that will improve their employment prospects, SappyFest staff also engaged in the community to develop partnerships.
O’Neil elected deputy mayor – Joyce O’Neil was once again appointed by her fellow councillors to serve for another year as Sackville’s deputy mayor.
O’Neil, nominated for the position by councillor Bruce Phinney, was unopposed in the bid for the position and was voted in for a second term during council’s regular meeting in July.
“I will continue to work hard and I hope I can continue to do things that make us all proud,” she said.
Mayor Bob Berry said he was pleased with council’s decision to re-elect O’Neil, a veteran member of council who is “very active and knows the community very well”.
Trail project lost $1.5-million gift – New Brunswick Trail officials were disappointed they had lost out on a substantial donation for a section of trail in the Tantramar region because the provincial government wouldn’t commit to making the entire Trans Canada Trail network in New Brunswick ATV-free.
Brian Clark, president of NB Trails Council Inc., said the Trans Canada Trail organization had secured private funding of $1.5 million for what was being called The Marshes Project. The Sackville-to-Cape Jourimain initiative would have seen repairs and resurfacing to the existing trail as well as 14.2 kilometres of new trail that would have linked Cape Jourimain to Cape Tormentine.
“Generous donations like this don’t come by every day. When they do, it should be embraced by the province,” Clark said.
But the province wouldn’t commit to maintaining the trails as ‘greenway trails,’ as there are already several sections of trails in NB that allow ATV use.
Tantramar MLA Mike Olscamp said he shared in the disappointment of the lost funding, but unfortunately the provincial Department of Natural Resources and the trails association couldn’t come to an agreement on this issue, noting it came down to a “difference in philosophy” on sharing the trails.
Olscamp disappointed in lobster size ruling – It wasn’t the ruling that he’d hoped for.
New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Mike Olscamp had hoped the federal fisheries minister would rule in favour of a larger increase in the body size of legal market lobsters, in time for the beginning of the annual fall lobster season. But that wasn’t to be.
Olscamp said he had lobbied his federal fisheries’ counterpart – at that time Hon. Keith Ashfield - in support of the region’s fishermen’s requests to increase the carapace size from 71 to 75 or 76 millimetres in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25, but was disappointed to learn the increase had been negligible – to just 72 millimetres.
“We’d tried to get him to make that change in the carapace size; it would have been the first step in trying to alleviate some of the problems, but there are definitely more problems to address. But the fishermen (in LFA 25) couldn’t come to an agreement so Keith went with the minimum increase of 72 millimetres. I’m disappointed in this size ruling but the ball was in their court. It’s their responsibility; I’m not responsible for measures, seasons or quota,” he said.
Forest fire reported at Cape Jourimain – Quick action by the Cape Tormentine Fire Department with the assistance of the Port Elgin Fire Department avoided what could have been the lost of acres of habitat after the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre reported a forest fire shortly on July 14.
The swift reaction of the public, Strait Crossing and the 911 service brought a rapid response for local firefighters. Within very little time, the fire was contained to a small area on Trenholm Island, which is part of the Cape Jourimain National Wildlife area, which is home to a number of wildlife including 170 species of birds. The cause of the fire was unknown.
Local youth part of 2013 Canada Cup – The 2013 Football Canada Cup was underway in Moncton, and while there was only one Sackville product on the squad, he played an integral role on the offensive side of the ball.
Ross McCormack, who had just finished Grade 10 at Tantramar Regional High School, was New Brunswick’s starting left guard for the Under-18 tournament.
McCormack said he grew up watching the Mount Allison Mounties, a chance he is thankful for.
“I’ve been able to be a student of the game by watching the Mounties’ athletes compete at such a high level,” he said.
New Brunswick’s offensive line coach Serge Bourque raved about McCormack and his abilities.
“Ross has a great passion and heart for the game of football,” said Bourque. “He is the type of player this elite program needs, and we are proud to have him be a part of this process.”
The New Brunswick team was headed by Mount Allison offensive line coach Gaetan Richard, and fellow Mountie assistants Scott Brady, Pete Miller, Aaron Harper, and Brandon Dubs, as well as former Mountie lineman and assistant coach Chris Hopkins.
Mount A researchers awarded funding – Mount Allison University researchers Felix Baerlocher and Khashayar Ghandi received some welcome new funding from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation that would help move their research into the commercial realm.
The pair was awarded $75,000 through the NBIF’s Research Technician Initiative.
Baerlocher and Ghandi were collaborating on a long-term research program, designing and producing a new non-toxic, heat resistant polymer that could have many potential applications in the health and industry sectors.
“This new funding from the NBIF will help accelerate our research endeavours through the hiring of a new research associate in the lab. It will also help our honours and MSc students to have access to state-of-the-art facilities and to be able to do research in the fields that make them very well prepared to be employed in industries as well as continue their educations as PhD students at other universities,” said Ghandi.
Four faced charges in arson, thefts – Three adults and one youth would appear in court in September to face charges related to an arson and a number of break and enters and thefts in early July.
Southeast RCMP arrested the two men and a woman between the ages of 19 and 22, and a 17-year-old boy, following an investigation into a number of crimes in the Memramcook and Sackville areas.
On July 3, a camp on Haute Aboujagane Road in Memramcook East had been destroyed by fire, which was determined to be arson. A pickup truck and side-by-side all-terrain vehicle were also reported stolen from the camp. There were also a number of break, enters and thefts at properties in the Memramcook and Sackville in early July.
Prominent Canadian artist died – The Tantramar community was mourning the loss of Canadian artist Alex Colville, a man who had gained international recognition for the remarkable images he created that so vividly portrayed life around him.
“I think he proved that it was possible to be a world-class artist and to be from a small town,” said Virgil Hammock, a former fine arts professor at Mount Allison University and an art critic/curator from Sackville. “He made his mark felt.”
Colville, who had taught at Mount Allison and had called Sackville home for several decades before leaving for Wolfville, N.S. in 1973, died July 16 from a heart condition. He was 92.
Hammock said the acclaimed painter, printmaker and muralist leaves behind a legacy of original work that had a broad appeal to audiences all around the world.
“He was certainly one of Canada’s greatest painters, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a gigantic loss to the arts world.”
Park makeover delayed – The makeover on Bill Johnstone Memorial Park wouldn’t get under way in the summer as expected but town officials said they would make every effort to ensure residents would be enjoying a newly-redesigned park by next July.
“We’ve had to look at a different time frame,” said Sackville’s chief administrative officer Phil Handrahan.
Handrahan said the consultant for the project had to go back and review the design plans, and “tweak” a few items, based on concerns brought up by the pubic during the consultation phase. He said the design team would be making a few adjustments to address issues related to the bandstand, the new field house building, shading and the proposed splash pad. Tenders are expected to go out early in 2014.
In the meantime, he said the preliminary work on the necessary infrastructure upgrades (sewer replacement) at the park would get under way in the fall so the town could start to prepare the site for next spring following the tender call, with the town’s public works crews doing the work.
Two local dancers performed at Tattoo – Two local teens had the experience of a lifetime in July when they danced for thousands of people at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo in Halifax.
Sackville highland dancers Megan Dobbin and Olivia Tower, both 14, were selected to take part in the tattoo, an annual week-long event that features a showcase of some of the finest performers from around the world.
Megan said having the opportunity to take part in such a spectacular show was incredible “It was awesome,” she said. “It was really cool to dance in front of such a big audience. It was packed every night.”
“I loved it,” said Olivia. “I liked meeting new people and meeting the bagpipers . . . that was cool. The whole experience was pretty amazing.”
Local businesses benefit from Sappyfest – Sappyfest has become a welcome addition to the summer line-up in Sackville, helping bring tourist dollars into the community and an enlivened atmosphere to the downtown, not to mention the invaluable promotion that comes with the event each year.
“The publicity this brings to Sackville is phenomenal and the spin-off effects are great for business,” said Ellen Pickle, owner of Tidewater Books.
Pickle says her store was busy all three days of the New Brunswick Day weekend.
“Lots of people tell us they come back because they love the feel and community spirit of our town,” she says. “The organizers are to be commended for doing such a wonderful job.”
Fellow business owner Robert Lyon agreed, saying aside from the obvious financial and cultural boost to the community, the town simply could not buy the national publicity that comes from Sappyfest.
“I can think of no other event that consistently puts Sackville on the national stage. It is imperative that the community does all it can to help make Sappyfest a continued success.”
Two local women celebrated 100 years – Two local women who have contributed greatly to their community over the years and who were now both roommates at the Drew Nursing Home were both getting set to celebrate a milestone in August that very few people ever reach – their 100th birthdays.
“That’s a lot longer than I ever expected to be living,” said Helen (Hicks) Smith, who was born and raised in Sackville and then went on to raise her own family here as well.
Helen, the third child of Harvey and Adelaide Hicks, was born at the family home on Squire Street on Aug. 20, 1913.
A century later, she said she couldn’t have ever imagined becoming the longest-living member of her family and isn’t sure to what she should credit her longevity.
“I don’t know that I’ve done anything really,” she says. “I just lived a plain, simple life.”
Helen and her roommate Fran Smith, who Helen had known since their high school years and who was also getting to celebrate her 100th birthday, were both admitted to the Drew at about the same time in the winter of 2012. Fran is widely known in the community for her active volunteerism over the years.
Husband-and-wife team named farmers of year – A Middle Sackville couple were named Farmers of the Years during the Port Elgin Exhibition in August.
Robert and Gladys Estabrooks have worked on their family farm for the past 32 years. Their cow/calf operation also comprises some 700 acres of farm, marsh and woodland on which the couple continues to produce top quality calves.
Over the years, the Estabrooks family has been involved in many aspects of agriculture in the region. Gladys is a one-time board member of the Botsford and Westmorland Agricultural Society, convener of the local 4-H show and most recently as judge of cake-decorating for the Chignecto 4-H achievement day.
The couple both come from a farming background and some years ago they assumed operation of the family-owned farm.
“My uncle Herman (Estabrooks) owned the farm before us but it eventually passed on to us. We’ve spent a lot of time and money over the years building the farm,” Robert said.
Cat saved Murray Corner woman from fire – A Murray Corner woman was crediting her cat for saving her life, when her home was completely destroyed by fire. Chyrl Fields said she believes that if her cat hadn’t wakened her at about 2 a.m. on Aug. 8, she may not have survived the fire at her home.
“I went to bed about 11 and was asleep at around 2 when Meskie jumped right up on my chest. Then she jumped off and went into the kitchen. I looked out after her and that’s went I saw a yellow glow. When I got up and went out to the kitchen I could see my deck was all on fire. I called 911 right away then grabbed my purse and Meskie and got out but I was just in my nightgown and slippers,” she said.
Bayfield/Cape Tormentine fire chief Mike Dean said that the small single-storey structure was engulfed in flames when the fire departments arrived at the scene but they were unable to save the home.
Port Elgin fire chief Steve Alward said the office of the provincial fire marshal was at the site of the fire and took samples for analysis.
“The incident is still under investigation; the cause of the fire is still undetermined at this time,” he said.
Work continued on boxing club project – Although it didn’t appear that much movement was getting under way, plenty of effort was continuing behind the scenes to get the Bob Edgett Memorial Boxing Club project off the ground.
Mike Purdy, a member of the board that was formed to make the memorial club a reality, said they were continuing to do what they could as they awaited word from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on their application for charitable status.
“People are asking where we’re at with it and what they can do to help it along,” he explained, “and our reply has basically been that if you want a tax receipt, you’ll have to wait until we get our tax status.”
This is especially important, he said, when dealing with businesses or corporate sponsors, as some or all of the donations can be written off for tax purposes.
“So, yeah, that’s been a stumbling block.”
Purdy said they had applied once already but were told the application didn’t provide enough detail, so they’ve since reapplied, making sure the new application meets all the requirements.
Large crowd turned out for new bike park launch – The Sackville RCMP, in partnership with several community partners, hosted a large crowd of young people on Aug. 20, who came out for the opening of the town’s new bike park.
More than 200 youths between the ages of nine and 20, along with their family and friends, turned out to experience the obstacles the park had to offer and watch a demonstration from professional freestyle mountain bike jumper Matt Macduff.
Macduff said he was pleased to be part of the launch event.
“This is way too cool,” he said during the opening. “You guys might have a small town but you’ve (now) got a great dirt jump park.”
The park, which is located on Dufferin Street, features a number of all-dirt hills and jumps, ranging in height from three feet to six feet.
The town’s parks and recreation staff, a crew from Beale & Inch Construction, along with Macduff and a number of local youth, all pitched in to build the park in the days leading up to the opening.
Cats, kittens abandoned – Two female cats and three kittens needed a new place to call home after they were abandoned in August at the back door of a local vet hospital.
Sabrina MacDonald, office manager at Tantramar Veterinary Hospital on Main Street in downtown Sackville, said she was disturbed when she came upon the cats in a taped-up cardboard box when heading in to work one morning.
“When I opened it up, there were five little faces peeking out at me,” she said.
MacDonald said she’s not sure when the cats – two female adults and three four-month-old kittens (one male and two female) – were left there but she said it upsets her that there are so many “irresponsible pet owners” out there that desert their animals when they can’t take care of them.
“Owning a pet is a responsibility,” she said. “It’s beyond me why someone would do this. Animals are living beings too and they are not disposable.”
Boardwalk replacement got under way – Work was finally under way on a $300,000 project that would see a main section of boardwalk be replaced in the Sackville Waterfowl Park.
Town council awarded the tender for the project to Sackville General Contracting Ltd at a cost of $324,875.
Todd Cole, director of parks and recreation facilities for the town, said some of the demolition work got under way in mid-August and the contractors would be continuing the project in the next few weeks.
Cole said seven bids were received for the boardwalk reconstruction project, ranging in price from the lowest tender submitted by Sackville General Contracting up to $900,000. The project would also include reconstruction of the covered bridge at the end of Clarence Street.
Green roof project was back on again – Sackville town hall would get a rooftop garden after all.
Members of town council awarded a $130,000 contract in August to Avondale Construction Ltd. for the construction of a garden/green roof at the new municipal building, despite the project being shelved earlier in 2013 when the only bid submitted (at nearly $190,000) came in higher than what was budgeted.
Andrew Amos, the lead engineering consultant who oversaw the design and construction phase of the municipal building, said when the green roof was initially put on hold, he decided to try and outsource the project and bring down the costs so the town could move forward on their rooftop garden.
“I felt it was an important element of the town hall project so I wanted to see if I could resurrect it,” he said.
Mounties were set to suit up for 2013 season – The Mount Allison Mounties were set for their pre-season exhibition game against the St. Mary’s Huskies on Aug. 31.
Mountie coach Kelly Jeffrey said such early outings provide coaches with an ideal opportunity for measuring ability. And he added that since there is a major battle for starting berths in most positions, he hoped he and his staff would gain a good deal from the matchup.
It was predicted that, as the season progresses, players like Jacob LeBlanc, Quinn Everett, Donovan Saunders, Michael Bohan and Richard Deschamps would earn their keep on defense. On the other side it would no doubt be people like workhorse Jordan Botel doing it again as well as Brandon Leyh, Alex Healy and Stephen Armstrong.
Sappyfest faced financial loss in 2013 – Sappyfest organizers sent out an e-mail to its supporters, looking for people to come together and support the idea of SappyFest once again – this time by helping to create SappyForever, a unique and beautiful coffee table book.
“In many ways SappyFest 8 was the best festival yet,” the e-mail stated, “but it was not a financial success. This was due in part to our aversion to corporate sponsorship and our commitment to our vision of a creative and inclusive space. Unfortunately we were about 100 people short of breaking even, we are $15,000 in debt..”
The plan for the fundraising campaign was to ask 250 people to buy a hardcover archive of SappyFest for $100, with the hopes of raising $25,000 to pay off the debt, with the additional $10,000 covering the production and publication costs.
“This has been an incredibly difficult year for our organization. It may take time for SappyFest to rebuild, but we are committed to do so.”