A Common Headline from the Past: Lost at Sea

Genealogy research had uncovered my grandmother’s grandparents: Martha and William McDonald. They had at least one child: my great-grandfather William Aaron McDonald.

Little is known about this family, just a few names and dates. The further in time one travels, the less information surfaces about individuals and the more questions arise, such as what was Martha’s maiden name and what happened to William Sr.?

A few years ago, a genealogist from a far-flung branch of the McDonald family tree, who researched William Sr., wrote to say William had been ‘lost at sea’. To be exact, William had drowned 160 years ago today on October 7, 1860, when the fishing schooner he’d been aboard floundered.

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Anniversary of the Saxby Gale

Maritimers are always talking about the weather. I think it’s because if we wait five minutes, it’ll change. We have the winds from the west bringing heat waves, winds from the north delivering cold fronts, the Gulf Steam transporting warm, humid air and the Atlantic Ocean that tries to maintain a constant weather day except for when it’s stirring up a storm.

All this activity makes for a lot of material to discuss. It also makes for a lot of data to analyse to predict the weather for the day. Forecasting the weather for an entire week is difficult at best. Predicting the weather for more than ten months into the future is impossible (though I realise almanacs can be somewhat correct at times). However that’s just what Lieutenant Stephen Martin Saxby (1804-1883) of the British Royal Navy did when he warned the public of a devastating storm that would strike the Maritimes in 1869.

Saxby was an amateur astronomer. He used his knowledge of the moon and Earth to predict the weather according to celestial events. It was known as meteorological astrology. In 1864, he published The Saxby Weather System in which he outlined his theories, explaining his method of predicting the weather.

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Schooling in Guysborough County by John N. Grant

John N. Grant, author of A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017, has a new book for history enthusiasts. In late August, he released Schooling in Guysborough County 1735-2016A Case Study of Public Education in Rural Nova Scotia.

Description

The history of schooling reflects the impact of economic, political, military and other social forces on the local community. The history of schooling in Guysborough  County covers almost 300 years. In 1735, there was one school in the County; in 1959, there were almost one hundred; in 2018, there were three. This is the story of what happened in between.

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A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017

John Grant Oldham Consolidated School historyHistorian John Grant, author of Historic Guysborough, is the author of A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017. It’s a 36-page booklet jam-packed with details of the schools that existed before the consolidation and the events leading up to and following the building of the new school in Enfield, Halifax County, Nova Scotia.

The back of the book contains a list of principals and vice principals who taught at the school.

In 1962 the school sections of Goffs (Guysborough Road), Oakfield, Oldham and Enfield Border were dissolved and Oldfield Consolidated School was built to serve the new school district. School consolidation is never easy. This is the story of the process and the life of the new school.

Grant opens his history lesson:

On Wednesday evening, 1 May 1963, almost 100 people attended the formal opening of the new Oldfield Consolidated School on Hall’s Road, Enfield. The ceremony was chaired by Councillor Mary T. King-Myers, and Lt. Col. Kendrick C. Laurie of nearby Oakfield was the guest speaker. The students of the new six-room school, already in regular use, also participated in the opening by performing “a number of musical selections.” The ceremonial presentation of the school’s keys saw them passed from the school’s builder to the representative of Halifax County and then to the district school board. They were then received by J. Douglas Fleming, the Chair of the local Board of School Trustees, who presented them to the school’s first principal, Mrs. Jean McManaman. The school’s plaque and a Union Jack were also given to the school during the ceremonies which were opened and closed by the prayers of local clergy.

To purchase a copy of the book, please contact Quarter Castle Publishing.