The Tantramar Family Resource Centre now has a home at 94 Willow Lane.
TFRC’s early childhood and development co-director Sharon Hachey said having a physical space for the resource centre will allow for growth in terms of resources.
“Our goal of having a physical space is to have more visibility in town, to get more people talking about some of our goals and how they can contribute to it, whether through volunteering or financially.”
Although the space is small, it will allow for parents to drop in and also offer other services, Hachey said.
“The services will be contingent on different project funding and different partnerships with other agencies.”
For instance, the resource centre currently partners with the VON to deliver a prenatal program for parents, she said.
“There’s also an opportunity there to do a Rock ‘n’ Talk, which is a program for parents and their new babies.”
The family resource centre can also provide a washroom downtown for parents who have little ones, she said.
“It’s a small need, but it’s a need, especially if you’re trying to train them.”
For more info on the TFRC, visit or call 939-TFRC (8372).

Photo by Jillianne Hamilton

The autopsy results for a male victim involved in a fiery collision on Tuesday are expected to be released later this week.

RCMP investigators have several leads as to the identity of the man; however, they are awaiting further details before officially identifying the victim.

“Results are due tomorrow afternoon or Friday morning,” said District 4 RCMP officer Sgt. Paul Ouellette, who added the autopsy will be conducted tomorrow in St. John.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, local emergency personnel were called to the scene of the fire after a vehicle struck a fuel tank beside the town of Sackville’s public works garage, located in the industrial park. The fire burned for more than an hour and cut off electricity to several businesses in the area as it burned through electrical wires.

Rolling black clouds of smoke could be seen from miles away in every direction.

The vehicle was traveling east on Crescent Street and didn’t make the turn, Ouellette said.
“Then the vehicle drove straight into one of the fuel tanks. I’m not going to speculate right now why that happened.”

The RCMP used information they gathered from the charred vehicle to track down the owner, he said.
“Based on that, we know there is a gentleman from Sackville who is missing. We presume that it was him that was in the vehicle.”

Dental records will be used to confirm the identity of the victim, he said.
“We’re not prepared to release the name in the meantime.”

Sackville Fire Chief Craig Bowser said 28 to 30 firefighters responded to the fire.
“It took about an hour to knock it down until it was safe for us to move in closer,” he said.

The public works building wasn’t damaged in the fire, he said.
“There was significant damage to the gasoline tank that was hit and ruptured and the diesel tank next to it. It sustained some heat damage.”

The fire department responded to the call in under four minutes and was not impeded by the traffic caused by industrial park employees evacuating the area, Bowser said.
“That’s a very good response time for a volunteer fire department.”

(This article was written and published on the Tribune-Post website on January 20, 2010.)

Two Standalone Photos

January 20, 2010

This photo was published as a standalone in the
January 13 2010 issue of the Sackville Tribune-Post.


This photo was published as a standalone in the
January 20, 2010 edition.

In the past couple days, I’ve added quite a few photos to my deviantART profile. Most of them are from a fashion photoshoot I did with my cousin. I’ve never done a fashion photoshoot but I think it turned out well, especially for my first attempt. I added several of those photos to my photography portfolio.

East Coast Overture celebrated its first month open yesterday. I updated the ECO blog, listing all the articles published in the first month.

deviantART recently released a new service and I’ve decided to take advantage of it.

Thus, I have a professional-looking photography portfolio. No doubt about it, it looks much better than my deviantART profile (although it’s quite nice too). And they only let you show so many photos so you have to show your very best work instead of every photo you’ve ever taken.

I’m going to add another category soon, likely called “Miscellaneous” or something like that, very soon. But for now, I present to you: my photography portfolio.

(One of these days I’ll learn how to give it its own domain under… but not today.)

Just hangin’ out

April 15, 2009

Conrad Kelly, 5, enjoys a day at the park after a spring rain shower. Published as a stand-alone photo on the front page of the TRURO DAILY NEWS on April 14, 2009.

Conrad Kelly, 5, enjoys a day at the park after a spring rain shower. Published as a stand-alone photo on the front page of the TRURO DAILY NEWS on April 14, 2009.

TRURO – Roxanne Beavers of Lower Onslow said she’d like to nurse her seven-month-old son for at least a year.
Medically, she’s golden. But statistically, she’s going against the grain.
Many moms are choosing to stop nursing their babies sooner than they perhaps should, despite increasing breastfeeding rates for 20 years.
A recent survey by Maternity Experiences Study Group, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada, showed 90 per cent of women planned to breastfeed their babies longer than six months – but only 14 per cent of those women actually did so.
“A lot will depend on work, and a lot will depend on him,” Beavers said, referring to her son Oliver.
Many women have to stop breastfeeding earlier than planned for health reasons, too.
“Usually it’s a physical as opposed to an emotional choice,” Beavers said.
Communities – and hospitals in particular – need to be more supportive of breastfeeding, Beavers said. A ‘nurse-in’ was staged in February at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax after a woman was told to “cover up” while breastfeeding her baby.
Beavers said she tries to cover up in public while nursing but wishes she didn’t have to worry about not exposing anything.
“But what does it matter? It’s food – the original fast food.”
Workplaces, too, need to be more supportive of breastfeeding and allow mothers to pump milk at work.
“Pumping will keep your supply up,” said Beavers, 32. “If you’re only nursing a few times a day, I think it’s harder to keep going.”
Janet MacNeil, mother to eight-month-old Georgia, said the statistics of women breastfeeding long-term are discouraging but she understands why some women can’t do it.
“Some people have to go back to work or they just feel the baby is ready to move on,” said MacNeil, 35.
The Onslow Mountain resident said starting out nursing can be daunting. “If you make it to six weeks, you’re doing good.”
Kathie Sutherland, a parent educator and co-ordinator at Maggie’s Place in Truro, suggests more support groups and more information for new mothers are the keys to improving duration rates.
“The goal is that every baby be breastfed, exclusively for six months, and continue breastfeeding for two years, as the World Health Organization recommends,” said Sutherland.
She cites negative connotations and myths about breastfeeding as some possible reasons why women choose not to breastfeed long-term.
“In North America and western cultures, that’s not the norm,” she said. “There’s still lots to be done to inform people and to advocate for babies and mothers.”
The health benefits of long-term breastfeeding can do wonders for a baby, Sutherland added.
“The longer babies are breastfed, the stronger those benefits are and the longer they last.”
But the health benefits of breastfeeding don’t only benefit baby – but mom, too.
“Many people think of breastfeeding as being hard on a woman’s body but while you’re breastfeeding, you absorb calcium and other nutrients very efficiently,” Sutherland commented. “Most women don’t know about these things.”
Unfortunately, Sutherland said, the longer you breastfeed your baby, the less community support you’ll probably get.
“The challenges of breastfeeding change as the baby gets older.”
Maggie’s Place is a support centre for families with young children and babies. The next breastfeeding support group at Maggie’s Place is scheduled for Monday, May 4 at 10-11:30 a.m. For more information on breastfeeding, visit the La Leche League of Canada’s website at

(This was published in the April 13, 2009 edition of the Truro Daily News.)

Busy Easter weekend

April 11, 2009

Local church attendance expected to increase for Christian holiday

(The first photo was featured in colour on the front page with the cutline “Katie Cameron found the inter-church service at the First Baptist Church on Friday in Truro inspiring. The second photo was featured on page 3 with my story, above the headline: ‘C and E’ Christians’ help fill church pews.)

TRURO – Local churches are busier this weekend as Christians celebrate one of the most significant holidays of the year – and it’s all due to the Cs and Es.
“It’s satirically called the C and E Christians – Christmas and Easter,” explained First Baptist Church minister Rev. Andy Crowell. “Sometimes I think it’s dismissed as ‘it’s the only time they care, Christmas and Easter.’ I think that’s being too
Truro has hosted an inter-church Good Friday service for about half a century. This year’s service was held at First Baptist Church.
“It wasn’t just a Protestant service. It was a Christian service,” said Crowell. “And it brought us together.”
It’s important to have an inter-church service because each denomination finds significant meaning in Easter but has a slightly different approach, said Rev. David Lutes of Brunswick Street United Church and North River United Church.
“When we come together in that sense of unity around this very stressful time, it shows that this is a force within our community.”
Attendance is expected to be higher Sunday for most churches, but it’s best not to speak too soon.
“For us, we just have to wait and see,” said Rev. Joseph Thomas of Immaculate Conception Parish. “We expect a big crowd, as always. (Thursday), we had the evening with the celebration of the washing of the feet and we had a big crowd.”
St. James Presbyterian Church pastor Dr. Brian Ross said he expects a modest increase in attendance on Easter Sunday, but nothing too dramatic.
“A secular culture will find other ways to mark a long weekend. That’s the reality,” he said. “It’s 2009, not 1959.”
Culturally, Christmas is bigger than Easter and attracts more people to the pews, said Crowell.
“But there ain’t no Christmas without Easter.”
There is an emotional attachment to Christmas Eve that is not there on Easter Sunday, Lutes said.
“Is it a childhood memory? Is it the image of the babe? Whatever it is, there’s something on Christmas Eve that is stronger.”
Katie Cameron attended the Good Friday inter-church service at the First Baptist Church in Truro yesterday.
“I thought it was good,” said Cameron, a Truro resident and member of the St. Andrew’s United Church. “I thought it was powerful. It had lots of different messages from different ministers.”
And as for how the bunny fits into the whole picture…
“There’s nothing uniquely Christian about it,” said Crowell, laughing.


  • Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday – Honours the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
  • Good Friday – Honours the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Golgotha.
  • Holy Saturday – Honours the day Jesus Christ’s body lay in the tomb. Last day of Holy Week.
  • Easter Sunday – Honours the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(Published in the April 11, 2009 issue of the Truo Daily News.)

See no evil

April 10, 2009


Dog doing fine after eye removal surgery and wandering away from home late last year

NOEL – It’s been a few months since Maggie the blind dog wandered away from her home at Foggy Hollow Farm in Noel, Nova Scotia.
The 14-year-old Boston Bull Terrier returned after 11 days, weighing five kilograms underweight. Maggie was treated at the Truro Veterinary Hospital by Dr. Gwen Mowbray-Cashen.
‘The Grand Old Lady of Foggy Hollow’, as owner Marjorie Densmore affectionately nicknamed her, still resides at her owners’ commercial flower farm.
Maggie rules the roost at Foggy Hollow but had both eyes removed because of an ulcer on one and the risk of ulcer to the other.
“She is now sightless,” Densmore said. “There was no sight before – they were just there.”
Densmore, a continuing care assistant at the Mira Nursing Home in Truro, still doesn’t know where Maggie wandered off to that day.
“Can you ask a dog?” she said with a laugh. “I know she was on the farm because the farm is 240 acres.”
While missing, Maggie bumped her head and damaged one of her eyes, causing a painful ulcer. She bumped it again after her return.
“She cried and cried,” Densmore said. “It was horrible.”
However, despite being blind and 14 (98 in dog years), Maggie is still a lady with a mind of her own.
“If she doesn’t want to do anything, she certainly won’t do it,” Densmore said with a snicker. “That part of her hasn’t changed.”
The only difference Densmore sees is Maggie’s unwillingness to lead with a leash. She plans to take her to a dog trainer and see if this problem can be fixed.
“If she won’t lead, that’s fine. She’s still the Grand Old Lady,” she added. “She can sit up on the couch and look pretty.”
Maggie’s determination, headstrong attitude and zest for life seems to be what’s keeping the old blind dog going.
“You make the decision – do you put her down or do you keep her?” Densmore commented. “And after her coming through so much, you don’t put her down. You do (your) best.”
Densmore has put a lot of money into Maggie’s health but knows she made the right decision.
“Would I do it again? Yes,” Densmore said firmly. “As far as the amount of money… If you sat back and thought how much in your head is she worth to you? Not in your pocketbook.”

(This story was written for the Truro Daily News but never made it to print.)

Jeanette Muriel Brown has experienced ‘some good times, some bad times’ during her 100 years

Jeanette Muriel Brown wishes she could turn back the clock.

Brown, who celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, became a wife at 16 and a mother at 17.

“I couldn’t get back to school because I had to look after the children,” said Brown, who lives at Wynn Park Villa in Truro.

She was determined to get her high school diploma, however, and finally did at the age of 63.

“If I can do it at 63, (kids) should be able to do it at 18.”

Brown was born in Truro in 1909, three years before the Titanic sunk and five years before the First World War began.

She doesn’t remember much about Truro from her childhood since she moved to Cape Breton when she was about seven. She later lived in the United States for many years, married her first husband Charles Paris, had three children and managed a successful co-op store in Hartford, Conn.

“We went to the various stores and we sold the stuff to them as we bought it. We didn’t make a profit,” Brown explained. “That’s not what it was all about. It was about helping the people.”

Brown also moved back and forth between the U.S. and Truro during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

“The only thing I can remember from the Depression is that we all had to tighten our belts. You couldn’t spend what you didn’t have.”

During the Second World War, Brown worked in an ammunition factory in Montreal.

“I worked there for two years as an inspector,” she said. “I inspected the casings.”

Brown married her second husband, Lewis Brown, in 1958 (he died in 2002) and moved back to Truro for good about 30 years ago. Unfortunately, some of the same problems she witnessed in her younger years regarding people of her race was still evident.

“I was so surprised when I came back home and found that it had not changed as far as black people were concerned. I didn’t see them (being offered) jobs. I still don’t.”

Besides her three children (two of whom have died), Brown has nine grandchildren and said she can’t count how many great-grandchildren she has.

“But my great-great-grandchildren, I think I have 15 of them,” she said. “I’m happy I’m at this age and I can see some of my great-great-grandchildren.”

She reflected on reaching the century milestone.

“Let’s just say it’s been half-and-half,” said Brown, who was surrounded by friends and family at a birthday party at the fire hall in Truro. “Some good times, some bad times.”

Good genes is one of the keys to Brown’s longevity. Her mother died at 92 and her grandfather was in his 90s.

Brown cites hard work and common sense as two other important ingredients to leading a good life.

“I was taught to do what you have to do with what you’ve got.”

(This was published in the April 8, 2009 issue of the Truro Daily News.)