Showing 1726 results

Authority record

Donovan, Kenneth J.

  • Person

Ken Donovan is now a retired historian with Parks Canada, Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site (1976-2011). He is immediate past President of the Old Sydney Society, a non-profit organization that operated four museums in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. http://independent.academia.edu/KENDONOVAN

Doucet, Lucy Jane

  • Person
  • 1909-2005

Lucy Doucet was born on March 1, 1909 in Belle Cote, Inverness County, the fourth of nine children in Marcellin and Flavie Chiasson's family. As often was the case during her era, her childhood was marked with tragedy and this contributed to her being a strong survivor throughout her 96 years. Five of her siblings died in childhood – three of them after they were stricken with the Spanish Influenza of 1918. Of those, one died in the bed she shared with Lucy, Lucy being nine at the time. At her parents' suggestion, she left school after grade four and worked in a lobster canning factory in Margaree Harbour each spring for three years.

As a child, Lucy was surrounded by the songs of her community and she remembered them. She learned them from her father and at kitchen parties and family and neighbourhood gatherings. She learned many traditional French, English, and Irish songs from a teacher at Belle Cote School. Her son Dan recalls that "Many of the English songs she attributed to the 'Timmons boys'. They were neighbours, their house set high up at the foot of the mountain and apparently she could hear them singing outside." She developed a passion for music that was to be lifelong.

Lucy worked for a time in Halifax in various family homes and at the Queens Hotel. In 1935, she married Henry Doucet and six years later they moved back home to Belle Cote with their children Daniel and Florence. They would spend the rest of their lives together there. Songs continued to fill their lives. Daniel recalls that "during the winter months, there were many family and neighbourhood gatherings. Relatives travelling from Cheticamp to Inverness by horse and sleigh to take the train would stop overnight, and there would be an evening of card playing and singing. Aunts and uncles from Grand Etang, 10 miles away, would come to spend a few days in winter time, again, by horse and sleigh."

Lucy also sang as she worked in the kitchen, especially the slower songs of war, or sailing or broken hearts. Dan recalls that "I especially remember her singing 'Rosette' as she merrily worked to the accompaniment of her Singer sewing machine while she worked the foot pedal tirelessly. Apart from the sewing machine, she was always unaccompanied, although a neighbour, Marie a Georgie, sometimes strummed a cake tin for the faster numbers." After her husband Henry died, Lucy, living alone in her late 80s, would start the day by singing in bed for a half hour before she got up.

She mastered a variety of traditional crafts – including knitting, crocheting and weaving. But she turned her back on traditional hooking when she was very young after her mother traded in runners that she had hooked for the hallways and bedrooms for oil cloth – the 'in' thing at the time. She was also a skilled seamstress and somewhat sharp dresser. In her very old age, when someone complimented her on her appearance, she replied, "It's bad enough being poor without looking poor."

Lucy told stories, laughed and sang songs into her old age. She worked hard all her life but also lived life to its fullest. The songs that she sang, many of which were recorded, preserved a Cape Breton Acadian heritage that would have been lost without her contribution. She passed away at the age of 96 on March 15, 2005.

(Biography contributed by Daniel Doucet and Dr. Eric Favaro, 2017)

Douglas, John C.

  • Person
  • 1908-1910

John C. Douglas was the mayor of the Town of Glace Bay from 1908-1910.

Dr. Norma Jean Coon

  • Person
  • 1936-11-05 - 2012-03-20

Norma Jean Coon (nee. Rempe) was born in Oklahoma City in 1936. She moved to Toledo to attend nursing school at Mercy College, and graduated in 1958. From there she moved to San Diego and obtained her BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego. She received her MA and PhD from the Pacific School of Psychology. She worked as a RN and Psychologist in San Diego for 30 years.

Drake, Stephen John William

  • Person
  • 1956 -

Stephen John William Drake was born on June 19th, 1956 to Stephen Michael Drake and Kathleen Marie Drake née MacAskill. He was raised in the historic coal mining town of New Waterford. Steve is a fourth-generation coal miner. He worked underground, as an industrial electrician, from 1977 to 1994, for the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO).

In 1994, he was elected President of District 26, United Mine Workers of America and acclaimed to a second four-year term in 1998. He served the final troop of District 26 miners, in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, as their chief negotiator, researcher and spokesperson during the most tumultuous times since the coal wars of the 1920s.

During his time in office, Drake appeared before numerous government and Senate Committees advocating for workers rights and community economic development. As well, between 1998 and 2000, Drake developed a unique legal case, against DEVCO and the Federal Government of Canada, that grounded three arbitration decisions favouring his union brothers and other Devco employees. The arbitration awards amounted to approximately $180 million in additional benefits for DEVCO employees.

During the dying days of the coal industry - and after his controversial ouster from the UMWA - Drake enrolled in law school at the age of 45. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick, in 2004, was called to the Bar, in Nova Scotia, in 2005 and secured employment, as a Crown Attorney, in 2006. As of 2021, he remains employed, as a Senior Crown Attorney, with the Public Prosecution Service of Nova Scotia.

After developing and promoting a union-style plan to force the Nova Scotia government to enter into negotiations for a full Collective Agreement with his fellow Crowns, Drake was elected as President of the Nova Scotia Crown Attorney's Association. The provincial government eventually conceded that Crown Attorney’s had a Constitutional right to bargain collectively and the first full Collective Agreement, in Association history, was signed in 2014. Steve Drake spray painted his copy in gold.

Following his father's premature death in 2012, Drake went up against the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia. After 2109 days and 10 legal decisions, the Health Authority and the Board conceded that Drake had proven a causal connection between Stephen Michael Drake’s diseased coal miners’ lungs and his death. The case was settled in 2018.

Steve Drake currently lives near New Waterford with his wife Barb and their yellow Labrador Retriever Rosey.

Duncan MacLeod

  • Person
  • 1818-1904

Duncan MacLeod was born in Clashnessie Falls, Assynt, Scotland. He is also known as "Dunnachadh Rob" after his father, Robert. He immigrated with his family to the South Gut region of Cape Breton in 1836 and later settled in Englishtown. A well-respected sea captain, MacLeod traded goods off of merchants in Newfoundland, Boston and the West Indies. We also worked as a Collector of Customs in Englishtown port.

Dwyer, Michael

  • Person
  • 1877-1953

Michael Dwyer was born on 4 February 1877 at Parks Town, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, the son of Patrick and Bridget (Doyle) Dwyer. The family immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1884 and he received his early education in New Glasgow and later trained as a mechanical engineer. He married Beatrice Sutherland Campbell. Dwyer was employed as Works Superintendent at the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company until 1922 when he was named President and General Manager, a position he retained until 1938. He also served as president of Indian Cove Coal Company from 1922 to 1932. Dwyer was elected mayor of Sydney Mines from 1926-1932. In 1933 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly, where he represented Cape Breton Centre until 1938. During this period Dwyer also acted as Minister of Mines and Public Works and of Labour. In 1939 he became president and general manager of the Nova Scotia Steel Company, receiving an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1946. From 1949-1950 he served as mayor of New Glasgow. In his free time, Dwyer researched the history of coal, steel, railroads, shipping and other matters of historical interest. Dwyer died on 28 December 1953 at New Glasgow.

Edward Buckner Sutherland

  • Person
  • 1851-1852

Captain Edward Sutherland (1794-1885) came to Sydney about 1829 as a lieutenant with the 96th Regiment of Foot (Manchester Regiment). He was Town Adjutant of Sydney 12 July 1833. He stayed until 1855 when the garrison was removed and he went to Canada. While in Cape Breton he lived in Westmount, and later moved to California where he died in 1885.

Elman, Gordon

  • Person
  • 1902-1972

Gordon Elman was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in 1902. He operated a successful automobile business in Sydney for many years and was the majority stockholder in the Community Hotel Company which operated the Isle Royale Hotel. Elman's community involvement covered a wide range - he was President of Temple Sons of Israel, Past District Governor, President of the Board of Trade, President of the Sydney Rotary Club, President of the Innkeepers Guild of Nova Scotia and President of the Maritime Automobile Dealers Association. Mr. Elman was a Third-Degree Mason, a Shriner and served on the Board of Directors of Canada Permanent Trust Company, the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and served as Sydney alderman. He died in 1972.

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