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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Digby – You’ll dig it once you know it

<p>Greg Turner as Admiral Digby obliges another photographer during the celebration of the return and restoration of the Digby Pier Light on July 23.</p>
Celebration of the return and restoration of the Digby Pier Light in 2016. - Jonathan Riley photo

DIGBY, NS – An open letter to doctors of all ages: I’m not sure if you’ve read anything about Digby lately. Honestly, I’m hoping you haven’t. It would appear we don’t have the greatest reputation with doctors – and that reputation, it seems, is preceding us and making our efforts to recruit you exponentially more difficult.

I’ll admit that we do have our quirks and problems. What place doesn’t? We also have a select group of people with a severe case of verbal diarrhea who make us look worse than we really are. Is that treatable?

To try and counteract that I’d like you to keep reading.

First, to be honest, Digby is not for everyone. The same can be said of Halifax, Toronto or Calgary. Not every place can be the right fit for you and your family, but you are never going to know if you don’t at least visit and meet people not attached to health care. Bypass the bureaucrats and pencil pushers.

The town of Digby waterfront. AMANDA DOUCETTE PHOTO
The town of Digby waterfront. AMANDA DOUCETTE PHOTO

Take a walk down Water Street and listen to the locals. Stroll the wharf and talk to the fishermen. Breathe deeply if you do – so you can fill your lungs with salt air as you learn to become nose-blind to the wharf at low tide. We have amazing tides so take them in!

Part of Digby’s charm is its beautiful location. Looking out over the Annapolis Basin or sitting by St. Mary’s Bay helps soothe the spirit and relax the mind. You can sit back at low tide and watch your kids run on the beach or take a leisurely stroll with your loved one. Watch the tide, though; it’s faster than you think.

Into sports? We can keep you active while bonding with community members and making new friends. From hiking to the YMCA programs, skating and curling in the winter, tai chi, the open-air pool in the summer, baseball, skate park and more. Activity is there to participate in if you want, too. Heck, one of the emergency department docs will be happy to invite you to one of his potluck parties where you can enjoy yourself and eat well. He’ll even offer you a bed for the night should the need arise.

Speaking of food, we’ve got it! Seafood, pub food, sushi, Asian fusion, potlucks, fundraisers, community breakfasts and more. Not interested in those? Ask around and we’ll find you something that suits you. Still nothing up your alley? Have a block party, fire up your barbecue. The community that eats together bonds together.

Also, have you discovered Nova Scotia’s growing craft breweries, vineyards and spirits? You can try new things at home like Lazy Bear or Roof Hound breweries or drive a little way and check out the moonshine at Still Fired Distillery. Not into that? Why not tour our local vineyards and sample their wines?

Lots of fun had by all at the 2018 Scallop Days
Lots of fun had by all at the 2018 Scallop Days

Looking to volunteer? Great! We have dozens of groups and churches to get involved with. We also host three large popular summer events. Lobster Bash, Wharf Rat Rally and Scallop Days can always use people to help them run smoothly – and new ideas from you will help them grow and thrive. We need you!

Want to get away for the weekend? That’s easy. We’re only 2.5 hours from Halifax by car (unless that’s just my driving) and a ferry ride to Saint John, N.B. – both cities offer shopping, restaurants, museums and great hotels. Head out on a Friday and come home Sunday fresh for the next week. Better yet, check out the festivals in the province and pick a few to experience. There’s so much to see and do (!

Okay, we don’t have a lot of industry per se and some people will say there is little opportunity for your spouse to work. But we need entrepreneurs who think outside the box.

Some may complain at first and not seem supportive of new endeavours because they kind of like the rut we’re stuck in, so believe me when I say it’s just their way. We might not admit it, but we need you to shake us up so that we can grow. Don’t listen to the whiners. Change is good. Open a business, run for council, just shake us up.

So, to recap: Yes, you’ll work hard and probably work/give a few hours to health care for free. You won’t be the first and you certainly won’t be the last.

Yes, you might find it hard to settle in at first, but it can be done. We want you here; really we do!

You may feel unsupported at times. If that happens, call me, we’ll talk. Yes, you’ll be stopped in the grocery store to discuss medical things. Set boundaries quickly. There’ll be times when you wonder why you chose Digby. These will be overshadowed by the wonderful people who knit your socks or make you preserves. If not, talk to others in the profession and find out what keeps them going.

So much of Digby’s essence isn’t portrayed by the media – social or otherwise – and can’t be found on Google searches.

Want to talk more about coming to Digby? Find me. I’ll grab a friend and we’ll give you the 10-cent tour. Let us show you why Digby just might be the place for you and your family.

Sherri Mitchell,


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