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Dedication honors original Mountie


35 years ago Aug. 9, 1973 – Crowds were reckoned to be as many as 6,000 people as Long and Brier islands celebrated Old Home Week. As part of the activities, a memorial service was held for those killed in the war. Their names were read by Insp. G.E. Reid of the RCMP, who also conducted a dedication of a graveside monument to Samuel Winslow Thurber, an original member of the North West Mounted Police.

The ferry ‘City of Monticello’ leaving Digby. Nova Scotia Archives photo

Thurber had served out west with the NWMP from 1873 to 1876, and later returned home to go deepsea fishing. Among those at the dedication was grandson Eugene Outhouse.

Rev. Albenie d’Entremont, known locally as ‘the singing priest’, announced he was leaving Digby to further his religious studies. Among his final duties in town was to give the dedication prayer at the official opening of Digby’s new Charles McBride Memorial Park.

Camp Champlain at Sandy Cove was converted to a tent and trailer park. From 1950 to 1972, the camp accommodated more than 100 boys each summer from around the world. Owner Howard Pratt said the new function meant longer hours but less responsibility.

Digby native Deidre Morrell won the John Robb organ competition sponsored by the Montreal Centre of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. She was studying at McGill University in Montreal, having graduated from Acadia the previous year with her bachelor’s degree in music.

At the Little Cinema was the Peter Sellers movie ‘Where Does It Hurt’, co-starring Jo Ann Pflug. 50 years ago Aug. 7, 1958 – The visit by Princess Margaret was just a few days away and the Courier carried a large front-page portrait of the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth, as well as tips for spectators wanting a glimpse during the motorcade.

Mayor Gordon Turnbull proclaimed a half-holiday beginning at noon, but it was a Saturday after all.

The town’s official gift to Princess Margaret was on display in the window of Saunders Jewelry Store. It was a necklace and earring set hand wrought in sterling silver and set with native agates. The gift was the work of Mrs. Webster Dunn, who headed silver workers in a local crafts group.

Among those chosen to serve in the honor guard for the princess was George Cardoza, a veteran in the British Army of the Boer War who moved to Digby in 1923. He had served in the Middlesex Regiment that earned the nickname ‘the Diehards’.

In non-royal news, the Fritz Dakin Hardware business was celebrating its 80th anniversary, and it was the only store in Digby to operate for so long in one location.

The Capitol Theatre had a popular summer re-run, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. Hi-ho. 60 years ago Aug. 5, 1948 – The Digby Kiwanis Club, which had purchased land at the Racquette and installed a swimming pool there for local youngsters, was raising funds for further improvements. The club had already spent over a thousand dollars and installed a dam to hold water in the pool when the tide receded.

Lieut. Charles McBride of the Digby Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps was commanding officer of the cadet s at Camp Major near Lunenburg. About 140 cadets from Digby, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island were attending the camp.

Annapolis Tigers were eliminated from Western Valley League baseball playoffs when they were edged 5-4 by Digby Ravens in a best of three series. ‘Berlin Express’, with stars Merle Oberon and Robert Ryan, was playing at the Capitol.

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