SACKVILLE, N.B. – A book launch for the Tantramar Heritage Trust’s latest publication, People of the Tantramar, was held on Friday, Sept. 21, in the Sackville Town Hall, as part of the Sackville Fall Fair celebrations.
A copy of the book was presented on behalf of the Trust to Sackville Mayor John Higham, and local author Charlie Scobie gave a presentation on the writing of the book, and was kept busy signing copies.
Designed as a sequel to the best-selling 2013 ‘Sackville Then and Now,’ the book features biographical sketches of 47 women and men who have lived in the Tantramar area over the centuries. The stories of these people present a unique and fascinating overview of the history of Sackville, N.B. and the surrounding area.
The book can be purchased at Tidewater Books, 13 Bridge St., Sackville, and at Cover to Cover Books, 630 Pinewood Rd., Riverview, N.B. It will also be on sale at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre, 29B Queens Rd., Sackville during regular office hours (9 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday through Friday). Copies of the book can be ordered by mail from the Trust Office; a mail order form is available online on the Tantramar Heritage Trust web site at heritage.tantramar.com.
From a French spy who betrayed his own people to a builder of 60 ocean-going sailing ships to the Father of Canadian Literature to the designer of the Canadian flag – readers of People of the Tantramar will discover 47 women and men who shaped the Tantramar over the centuries. This region at the head of the Bay of Fundy was the home of an adventurous woman traveller and academic, a First World War flying ace, “Mr. Canada,” an actress of stage and screen and a world champion speed skater. While some chapters take the reader back in history to characters such as Jacques Bourgeois, Valentine Estabrooks, Charles Frederick Allison and Josiah Wood, others profile more recent residents of the area such as Alex Colville and Douglas Lochhead. Women featured in the book include pioneer educator and National Historic Person Mary Electa Adams, diarist Kate Morice, opera singer and ghost of Hart Hall Ethel Peake, and musician and advocate for women’s rights Gwen Black.
Several local people spotted on the previously published cover of the book the familiar face of well-known teacher Helen Beale (complete with one of her trademark hats) and have been sharing their memories of her. These are a few of the colourful cast of characters who appear in People of the Tantramar. Designed for the general reader and written in an interesting and readable style, the book should have a wide appeal.
Each character in the book is profiled in a two-page spread, which features an approximately 850-word account of their life and accomplishments. The left-hand page has a picture (portrait or photograph) of the person. In addition to this “Then” account, there is also a “Now” component to the book since the right-hand page features one or more photos of a location, building, memorial or some other feature associated with the subject which can still be seen in the area today.
The book is in a similar format to Sackville Then and Now: hardback, glossy paper, 108 pages, 10 x 8.5 inches, and is printed by the same award-winning colour printers Friesens of Altona, Manitoba. Book layout and design is by graphic designer and artist, Mary Scobie, formerly of Sackville, N.B. and now of Victoria, B.C.
“The reason the book looks as good as it does,” says the author, “is due entirely to Mary.”
Charlie Scobie is Cowan Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Mount Allison University. He has been active in heritage conservation, has written histories of the Drew Nursing Home and of the Rotary Club of Sackville, and is the author of Roberts Country: Sir Charles G.D. Roberts and the Tantramar (2008), as well as co-author, with Kip Jackson of Sackville Then and Now: New Brunswick’s Oldest Town in Photographs (2013).