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Authority record

Abbass Studios Ltd.

  • Abbass
  • Corporate body
  • 1946-Present

The Abbass family emigrated from Lebanon to Cape Breton at the turn of the 20th century. With his wife, Lilly Khattar, Jobe Abbass built a home on Townsend Street in Sydney, N.S. and together raised twelve children. It is in this building that three of those children, George, John and Anthony started Abbass Studios in the summer of 1946.

While still in high school at Sydney Academy, George took a job as an apprentice at Meyer’s Photography, a national chain. In 1941, after graduating from high school, his brother John also secured a job with Meyers where they both learned the craft of photography. Eventually they began private work contracting jobs with the Post Record and Chronicle Herald newspapers. In January of 1943 four of the Abbass boys, George, John, Joe and Ferris, enlisted to serve during World War II. They left their younger brother Anthony (Tony), who was too young to enlist, in charge of their Post and Herald contracts. When the brothers returned from war, they received a stipend from the government to open their own business.

Abbass Studios opened its doors July 18, 1946 in the family home on Townsend Street in Sydney, N.S. . The studio offered photo finishing, portraits and commercial photography. By the mid-1960s Abbass Studio served all of the Maritime Provinces. The company built a photo finishing plant in Moncton, New Brunswick and purchased stores in New Castle, New Brunswick. The brothers eventually brought the Econo-Color Camera Stores and Studios franchise from Sherman Hines.

Abbass Studios captured and continues to document the diverse economic, political and cultural heritage of the area. The business is still in family hands and run by John’s sons Blaise and John. The Townsend Street building was demolished in 2014 and Blaise Abbass now operates Abbass Studios, Sydney from his home. John Abbass runs the store at Scotia Square Mall in Halifax.

Rev. Ronald MacGillivray

  • Antigonish
  • Person
  • 1947

Father MacGillivray (1835-1892) had been a parish priest at St. Joseph’s and Principal of the Grammar School at St. Andrew’s (both in Antigonish County) before he was appointed Parish Priest at Arisaig in 1885. In 1890, Rev. Dr. Neil MacNeil, Editor of the Casket, asked Father MacGillivray to write a history of Antigonish County. Printed as a series of articles under the pen name “S.A.” [Sargart Arisaig], it ran from 1890 until Father MacGillivray drowned in 1892.

Parker, Lewis

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1984-1986

Lewis Parker of Toronto taught at Humber College. He is past President of the Canadian Society of Book Illustrators. Lastly, he was commissioned by Parks Canada to do murals for the Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and Fort Beausejour, New Brunswick.

Centre Bras d'Or

  • Cape Breton
  • Corporate body
  • 1985-1993

Centre Bras d'Or Association was formed to develop in Cape Breton an environment in which artists, craftspeople, performers, critics, scholars and others could exchange all aspects of their work with one another, with the community at large and with visitors so as to reveal and enhance the natural strengths and the diversity of environment landscape, cultural heritage and creativity for the Island to the cultural and economic benefit of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Centre Bras d'Or was inspired by the example of the Banff Centre which brings artists of various disciplines together in a physically beautiful setting. Initially, they set out to seize public attention by mounting an ambitious summer festival of the Arts: 14 days of music, literary readings, weaving, exhibits, dance & theater. The first Festival attracted 4200 people. The vigor and vision of the founding group has brought the Centre a remarkable range of support ranging from Gov't of Canada (Canada Council), Dept. of Employment & Communications, DEVCO, Gov't of Nova Scotia (Dept. of Culture & Development) as well as major national firms and local organizations.

A. D. MacNeill

  • Cape Breton
  • Person
  • 1880 – 1891

Alexander Donald MacNeil, (1867-1892) was born in Orangedale, Cape Breton. He was the son of the late James & Julia (MaxQuarrie) MacNeill. He received his early education in a one-room Orangedale school, attended Sydney Academy where he received a medal for excellence in literature and began writing poetry. He attended Queens University in Kingston, Ont. His education was interrupted when his mother died (1884) and while returning home he and his brother were caught in a snowstorm. He subsequently got a cold and later contracted Tuberculosis and died at age 25.

The Great Cape Breton Flag Contest

  • Cape Breton
  • Corporate body
  • 1993

At a conference held in Prince Edward Island entitled "An Island Living" where the exchange of many "Island" experiences took place, it was discussed that Cape Breton had no political autonomy and the only Island not to have its own flag. Finding this a challenge, the editors of the Cape Bretoner magazine joined forces with ATV Cape Breton, CJCB/K94, City Printers and the Lyceum Heritage Society to launch a "Great Cape Breton Flag" contest on Heritage Day, February 15. The contest turned out to be an overwhelming success with over 2,000 entries submitted. These have been compiled in binders along with the winning entry by Kelly Gooding of Sydney Mines.

Fitzgerald, Winston "Scotty"

  • Cape Breton Fiddler
  • Person
  • 1914-1987

Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald was a well-known Cape Breton fiddler. He began playing the violin at square dances and community socials. He later joined the Maritime Merrymakers and the Cape Breton Serenaders who performed regularly on CHNS, Halifax. Fitzgerald toured the Maritimes for three years with Hank Snow and during WW2, he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Army. Following the war, his band, Winston Fitzgerald and his Radio Entertainers, were heard on CJCB Radio for years. His career spanned a 60-year period and his music influenced many local artists. Fitzgerald recorded several albums and performed on many television shows, as well as making public appearances throughout the Maritimes and New England States.

Jack Silburt

  • Cape Breton Post
  • Person
  • 1940 - 1950

Jack Silburt was a Cartoonist who worked for the Sydney Post Record (now Cape Breton Post) during the late 1940s and early 1950s. His son Alan Silburt submitted these photocopies of his sketches in 1995.

Carter, Thomas Dr.

  • MG 21.39
  • Person
  • 1957-

Thomas Carter was born in 1949 in Salt Lake City, Carter earned an experienced career as a folklorist after graduating from Brown University where he studied History in Providence, Rhode Island and continuing his education at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and Indiana University where he finished his studies in Folklore. At Brown University Tom attended an ethnomusicology course where he claimed the experience to be transformative, he was allowed to experience his own interests in folk music. Tom’s love of music is what is credited giving him his interest in Folklore, allowing him to take his interests and pursue them. Tom Carters journey to Nova Scotia began in the fall of 1970 with friend Hal Cannon, where they would conduct fieldwork later donated to Brown University, including reel tapes made in Cape Breton. Both Carter and Cannon decided to head to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with no contentions or extensive knowledge of the area. Despite this, the pair were in search of fiddlers, and soon found the Beaton family through Isabelle Kennedy, a nurse in Inverness County. Tom later moved onto studying building traditions focusing on Utah’s Mormon population, then becoming a building Historian for Utah’s division of States History. While earning these titles Carter also became an Instructor at the University of Utah in vernacular architecture. After Carters retirement in 2010 from full-time teaching, Carter spends his time writing on projects and books about vernacular building traditions.

Kerner, Sid

  • New York
  • Person
  • 1976

Sid Kerner was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920. As a young man of 17 joined a Photo League where, with other photographers, attempted to reflect the times they lived in and to document what was wrong as well as what was good about our society. He also studied Modern Dance and was associated with a Theater/Dance group appearing on TV in 1939. During World War II, he served with the 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron in the Pacific winding up on Okinawa. After the war, he became a documentary film camera operator. In 1953, he worked at NBC-TV as a lighting director and with the advent of videotape, left and joined ABC-TV again as a lighting director. He retired in 1991 though after retirement was an active worker on a photographic series entitled "Chelsea Document." He also taught two classes of photography in the local community centre in Chelsea, New York.

Harry A. Archibald

  • Nova Scotia
  • Person
  • 1940-1950

Harry A. Archibald was a local businessperson who operated a Taxi stand in North Sydney during the 1950's. Archibald also wrote and collected poetry. Local Poems & Old Come-All-Ye Songs - the Shores of Pottles Lake and others was a published book which sold for 50 cents. Mr. Archibald also advertised his business in prose form in various media articles.

Robin, Jones, and Whitman Ltd.

  • RJW
  • Corporate body
  • 1765-2006

Robin, Jones and Whitman Ltd., originally known as The Robin, Pipon Company,was established in 1765 at Arichat, Nova Scotia by John Robin of Jersey, England. With his brother Charles, John obtained the grant for the southwest half of Cheticamp Island, then secured the rest of the island shortly after establishing a second trading post there in 1767, known as La Pointe. It was here that the truck system of credit came into use in Cape Breton, as the Robins gave some fishermen goods on credit which would be paid off the next year in fish.

Manpower was one of the major issues that the Robins encountered as they worked to establish their trading posts, and so they made steps to increase the permanent population of the area. By 1774, the business was being handled by two separate companies; the Robin, Pipon Company was operating out of Gaspe while Robin and Company was operating out of Cape Breton. The three Robin brothers, John, Charles, and Philip, each had equal shares in the two firms and they were very prosperous.

The American War of Independence in 1776, however, would almost bankrupt the company. The Gut of Canso was raided by the notorious American naval officer, John Paul Jones, and the Robins had a great deal of capital invested in their ships which were not armed and thus easily captured by Jones. The loss of the ships' cargoes was equally unfortunate, especially because, due to the fact that attacks happened on land and not sea, only one third of the loss was covered by insurance.

Jones had not touched any of the Robin buildings or shallops at Arichat, however, and the company resumed its operations again in 1777, sending out new ships with the guaranteed protection of the Royal Navy. The Robins had suffered great loss but were able to maintain their establishments in North America due to their investment in one of the most successful privateering ships of the war, the Sprightly, which captured a prize worth 35,000 pounds.

In the 1780s, Robin and Company was renamed the Philip Robin Company (PRC) with Philip, John, Charles and an outside investor, John Fiott, each holding one-quarter shares in the company. The day to day operations of the company were put in the hands of an agent on Cape Breton Island.

During the 1870s, the small fishing and trading establishments at Arichat and Cheticamp merged with the Charles Robin Company in Gaspé. By 1877 they reported having 15 posts in three provinces exporting a combined 90 000 to 100 000 quintals of fish every year. In addition, the company owned 14 sea-going vessels, and directly employed over 200 men. At that time, Charles Robin Company was directed by Raulin Robin (Naples) who owned 63% of the company. In January 1886, however, the Jersey Banking Company failed and the Robin family was forced into liquidation. As a result, the Robins ceased honouring their credit obligations in Gaspé, causing great distress among the fishing population dependent upon them. The crisis was resolved when three Jersey men agreed to take over the firm and meet all of its debts and obligations. On March, 1886 the Robin family terminated its involvement with the company founded over 120 years earlier.

The Company, then under the management of Elias Collas, became limited as Charles Robin Collas and Company. The new proprietors carried on the business as before. In 1910, however, Collas and his partners sold out of Nova Scotian interests and the firm underwent another name change, becoming Robin, Jones, and Whitman Ltd. with headquarters in Halifax. In 1984 the Robin Company still existed but no longer dealt in fish, operating instead as a chain of general stores with headquarters at Paspebiac, Quebec. The company closed its doors for the last time in 2006 due to financial strains.

North Sydney Historical Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1980 -

The North Sydney Historical Society was founded in 1980 and incorporated in 1983 by the Town of North Sydney. It was formed to preserve the history of the town by opening a museum that celebrates the town’s heritage and to educate the town’s citizens about North Sydney’s past. After it was incorporated, the society opened a room in the old town hall, containing various artefacts, historical documents and photos associated with the town’s history. After the society was incorporated, residents of the town began donating artefacts, historical documents, photographs, maps and plans associated with people, businesses, organizations, events in the town’s history and notable town landmarks so they could be put on display or preserved in the society’s artifact and archive room in North Sydney’s Town Hall. The society also collected material, including the records of the former Town of North Sydney after it amalgamated with surrounding communities to form the Cape Breton Regional Municipality in 1995. After amalgamation, the historical society moved their collection to the lower level of 299 Commercial Street. On May 27, 1996, the society opened the North Sydney Heritage Museum, which contained various displays that described various aspects of the town’s rich history. Overtime, because of an aging membership and not enough staff or volunteers to run the museum on a regular basis, the society decided that they would build a community centre that would contain an interpretive-style museum, the town’s public library and other community spaces and offices. The North Sydney Historical Society opened the North Sydney Cultural and Heritage Centre in June 2011.

Boardmore Theatre

  • Corporate body
  • 1966-

Founded in 1966, the Boardmore Theatre presents an annual season of plays, including plays for young audiences, four to five full length plays, a bi-annual Shakespeare production and a bi-annual Broadway Musical, and a one week one act play festival with an emphasis on new play development. The Boardmore Playhouse is home to the Theatre and a 337 seat venue which is the centre for the performing arts at Cape Breton University. Throughout the school year and summer months the CBU Boardmore Playhouse is also involved with a number of community projects. The Playhouse provides practical expertise to community theatre groups in the form of workshops for young people as well as advise and leadership in summer theatre programs. It is named for its founders - Liz and Harry Boardmore - who nurtured a love and excellence for community theatre in Cape Breton.

Rice, Amos I.

  • Person
  • 1850-1912

Amos Ingraham Rice, born in 1850 in North Sydney, Cape Breton, was the son of Robert Muckford Rice and Sarah Maria Ingraham. He married Eliza G. and they had five children: Charles, Robert, Ingraham, James, and Frances. He became a photographer in 1865 when he opened a studio in Washington, DC. with his brother Moses Rice. He opened his own Portrait studios in North Sydney and New Glasgow. The North Sydney studio labelled their photos with Amos I. Rice, while the New Glasgow studio labelled their photos as A. I. Rice. He also opened Rice Studios Limited in Montreal with Moses and later moved to Montreal, where he died on November 23, 1912.

Fitzgerald, Owen

  • Person
  • November 13, 1952-

Owen Fitzgerald was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia on November 13, 1952. After attending Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, Mr. Fitzgerald moved back to Cape Breton in 1977 to start his own photography business. Owen Fitzgerald Photography Ltd and and its successor Fitzgerald Digital Ltd. (Digital Outrider) operated successfully in Sydney for almost three decades. In addition to the creation of thousands of images, the two companies published books, CD-ROMs, and e-Learning modules. Mr. Fitzgerald's photographs have been published by local news outlets as well as national and international publications such as MacLeans and TIME. The local Chamber of Commerce branch named Mr. Fitzgerald Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997.

After completing a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Cape Breton University (CBU), Fitzgerald has held a number of concurrent positions including; Director of the Membertou Entrepreneau Centre, Director of the YMCA Entrepreneur Centre, and Instructor of Digital Photography and Multimedia Development at the Marconi Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). Owen Fitzgerald is currently the Executive Director of the Mi'kmaq Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia.

Owen and his wife Joyce live in Sydney and have raised four children: Scott, Lori, Leanne, and John Patrick .

Brown, Richard Henry

  • Person
  • 1837-1920

Richard Henry Brown was born 13 November 1837 at London, England, the son of Richard and Sibella Margaret (Barrington) Brown. Brown married Barbara Davison (1842-1898) on 23 November 1864 and the couple had five children: Margaret Sibella, Elizabeth Purves, Anne Ethel, Richard Charles, and Lillian Seward. The family resided in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia where Brown worked as manger of the General Mining Association (later the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company), and served as the mayor of the town of Sydney Mines. Daughter Margaret (1866-1961) became an artist and served on the directorate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Richard Charles (1872-1928) studied engineering and worked with his father at the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company.

Johnstone, Anne Ethel

  • Person

Anne Ethel (Brown) Johnstone was the daughter of Richard Henry Brown and Barbara (Davison) Brown. She was married to Dr. L.W. Johnstone.

Worgan, Philip H.

  • Person
  • 1843-1924

Philip H. Worgan was born at Cathrope, England in 1843. Worgan joined the Royal Navy, and eventually earned the rank of Commander. He participated in the Jamaican Revolution. Following his retirement from the Navy, he removed to Sydney, Nova Scotia where he took an avid interest in civic, social, industrial and religious activities, enjoyed photography, and was an active member of the Anglican Church. There he married Anna Blackadar in 1871. The couple had nine children: seven girls and two boys. In 1887 he was elected mayor of Sydney. He also served as Superintendent of Shipping at the International Pier in Sydney. Worgan and his family resided in their family home they called Ferndell. Worgan died in 1924.

Pringle, Rev. John

  • Person
  • 1852-1935

Born in 1852 in Prince Edward Island, John MacDonald Pringle was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1878. He served in Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon and Minnesota before coming to the pulpit of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Sydney, 1908. In 1914, at 62 years of age, he was commissioned as a chaplain with the 9th Western Battalion and served overseas until 1918. Upon his return, Pringle was elected as moderator of the General Assembly, a role that he filled for a one year term. After St. Andrew's Church became a part of the United Church of Canada in 1925, Pringle served at other locations across Canada until 1933, when he returned to Sydney as Pastor Emeritus. He died on April 20, 1935 in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Morrison, Kenneth

  • Person
  • 1874-

Kenneth Morisson of North Framboise was born on May 28, 1874. He married Flora Morrison in 1904, and the two raised a family together. He retired in 1942.

MacKinnon, Alexander Hugh

  • Person
  • 1905-1973

Alexander Hugh MacKinnon was born at Inverness, N.S. in 1905. He was admitted to the bar in 1929. In 1940 he was elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature and held his seat until 1953. During that time he held the positions of Minister of Health, Mines and Labour. Throughout his career he had a particular interest in labour law and produced a significant report on labour in the early 1960s. In 1968 he was appointed Chief Justice of Nova Scotia and held the position until his death in 1973.

Moll, Herman

  • Person
  • 1654-1732

Herman Moll (1654 – 1732) was a map publisher and engraver based in London and Holland. Moll moved to London in 1678 where he worked as an engraver and eventually set-up his own shop. He published several important atlases late in his career. He died in London in 1732.

MacKinnon, John A.

  • Person

John A. MacKinnon was a resident of Sydney, Nova Scotia. On 23 November 1920 he married Christine MacDonald. MacKinnon had a personal interest in mining, especially in the Maple Brook area of Inverness County, where he owned land. He also held a permit allowing him to excavate for coal on his property. MacKinnon was a member of the St. Patrick's Branch League of the Cross and the Sydney Terminal Safety Committee.

Naish, S. Gordon

  • Person
  • 1900-1989

S. Gordon Naish was born 21 August 1900 at Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a child he lived all over the world, including South Africa, Ireland, Alberta, and England. While living in England, he attended Durham University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. Naish went on to attend engineering school, where he trained as a mechanical engineer. Naish worked at the Bell Telephone Company in Montreal, P.Q., and later Peacock Brothers Ltd. He was transferred to Sydney, Nova Scotia and later took a position with Joy Manufacturing. Naish had a strong interest in scuba diving and underwater cinematography. He was also an avid skier and a founding member of the Sydney Ski Club. Naish had numerous professional and social affiliations including memberships in the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Mining Society of Nova Scotia, the Cape Breton Underwater Club, and the Youth Committee of Sydney Rotary Club. Naish died in 1989.

Bown, Matilda

  • Person
  • 1827-1910

Matilda Bown was born in 1827 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Bown taught art and painting in North Sydney. She spent a considerable amount of time on Sable Island and she became very interested in its natural history. Bown died 12 October 1910 at North Sydney.

Huntington family

  • Person
  • 1833-1972

The Huntington family of Mira River, Nova Scotia were of Planter descent. Caleb Adolphus Huntington was the son of John and Ruth (Martell) Huntington and born at Mira River, 6 May 1833. He married on 15 January 1862 Emily Francis Gesner, who was the daughter of Gibbs Henry and Elizabeth (Hill) Gesner, born 1 May 1837. The couple had six children: Henrietta Evelina (b. 6 February 1870), Henry Gesner, Hubert, Hortense, Marian, and Francis. The family were members of the Baptist church and resided at Huntington where they operated a farm and Caleb served as a Justice of the Peace for more than forty years. Henrietta married Phillip Ingouville Gibbons 4 Oct. 1903 and the couple had ten children: Emily Gesner, Allen (died at birth), Richard Napoleon, Henry Hubert, Mary Martin, Portia Ingouville, Ruth Eveline, Gertrude, Caleb Phillip and Jetta Marion (b. 2 Sept. 1914). Henrietta died in 1943. Her daughter Jetta married John MacDonald and the couple resided at Marion Bridge.

Mitchell, Augustus Samuel

  • Person
  • 1792-

Samuel Augustus Mitchell was born in Bristol, Connecticut on March 20, 1792. Mitchell worked on the "New American Atlas" in 1831. The majority of his work involved the creation of individual maps and he was successful in creating pocket sized tourist maps for various locations in the United States.

Huntjens, Dr. Rev. Jan

  • Person

Dr. Rev. Jan Huntjens was associate professor of theology at the College of Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia from 1968 to 1978.

Lynch, John George Brooks

  • Person
  • 1885-1973

John George Brooks Lynch was born in 1885 at Almonte, Ont. In 1909 he married a Miss Butler and the couple had four children: John, Dennis, Betty and Maurice. He later remarried to Betty MacAskill. Lynch and his second wife had two children: Kevin and George. In 1906 Lynch graduated from McGill University medical school and was appointed to the medical staff of Dominion Iron and Steel Company in Sydney, N.S. around 1909. Lynch died in 1973.

Maddin, James William

  • Person
  • 1874-1961

James William Maddin was born at Westville, Nova Scotia in 1874. Maddin attended Pictou Academy. He apprenticed and worked as a journeyman machinist for the Intercolonial Coal and Mining Company. He later earned a law degree from Dalhousie University and established a law practice at Sydney, Nova Scotia, specializing in criminal law. Maddin married Maude MacDonald and the couple had five children: Warrena, Agnes, Olive, Jean and William-Langile. During World War I he served with the 185th Battalion, earning the rank of major. He served as a Member of Parliament, representing Cape Breton South and later appointed Stipendary Magistrate. Maddin died in 1961.

Hay, Alexander Lauder

  • Person
  • ca. 1887-1939

Alexander Lauder Hay was born in Scotland, circa 1887. He emigrated to Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in 1900. For several years Hay worked in local coal mines, before enrolling in a Pittsburg institute where he earned a degree in mining engineering. Hay returned to Nova Scotia and worked as a mining engineer for the British Empire Steel Corporation and Dominion Steel and Coal Company. He also wrote several books on mining. Hay died in 1939.

Johnston, Roderick A.

  • Person
  • ?-1915

Roderick A. Johnston was a resident of Bridgeport, Nova Scotia. He married Mary Ann Stewart and the couple had at least one child, John Joseph. Johnston was a miner in the Bridgeport area and for a short time he worked in the Harbour Pitt, Little Glace Bay. Johnston died on 1 January 1915.

MacKenzie, Donald J.

  • Person
  • 1895-?

Donald J. MacKenzie was born at Milton, N.S. in 1895. He received his early education in Glace Bay and later at Sydney Academy. He studied medicine at Dalhousie University and graduated in 1918. From 1918 to 1920 he served with the R.C.A.M.C. In 1920 he established a general practice at Louisbourg. In 1921 he received the Rockerfeller International Scholarship and studied at John Hopkins and McGill Universities from 1921-1922. From 1922 to 1926 he taught bacteriology and pathology at Dalhousie University. He was appointed director of the Public Health Laborotory, a position he held from 1926-1962. Throughout his career in was involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Halifax Medical Society and the Royal College of Physicians. He retired to Mira Gut in 1962.

Day, James Douglas

  • Person
  • 1891-

James Douglas Day was born in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, on February 12, 1891. An electrician by trade, he enlisted for military service on September 24, 1914 after serving for 6 years with the 17th C.F.A..

MacLeod, Malcolm Angus

  • Person

Malcolm Angus MacLeod was born in Birch Plain to Norman and Annie (Morrison) MacLeod. He married Annie Mae MacDermid and worked as a fisherman, farmer, and labourer, and was well known for being a Gaelic singer. He passed away in 1978.

MacKinnon, John Alexander

  • Person
  • 1886-1941

John Alexander MacKinnon, born 1886, of Beaver Cove, Cape Breton was a farmer who showed a strong interest in his family, in the church and in the surrounding communities. A member of the 94th Argyle Highlanders militia group, MacKinnon enlisted with the 185th Battalion, Cape Breton Highlanders, on May 9, 1916. He died March 21, 1941.

MacLean, Charles J.

  • Person
  • 1886-1947

Charles J. MacLean was born in Baddeck on October 15, 1886, to parents Michael C. and Effie (Nicholson). During World War 1, he served with the 25th Battalion CEF in England and France and earned the title of Sergeant. Upon return, he married and had five children. MacLean died on November 25, 1947.

Hill, Harold Lester

  • Person
  • 1887-

Harold Lester Hill was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, on March 9, 1887. In March of 1917, he enlisted at St. John's with the Canadian Engineers, with whom he served overseas during World War 1. He was discharged on May 19, 1919.

Macdonald, Angus L.

  • Person
  • 1890-1954

Angus Lewis Macdonald was born at Dunvegan, N.S. on 10 August 1890, the son of Lewis and Veronica (Perry) Macdonald. Macdonald was Premier of Nova Scotia from 1933-1940 and 1945-1954.

Macdonald, John A.

  • Person
  • 1815-1891

The Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald was born in Scotland and was raised and educated in Kingston, Upper Canada. He was a lawyer, but during most of his life political duties left him little time for his law practice. He married twice and was survived by his second wife and two children.

He entered provincial politics as a Conservative in 1844, becoming a member of the Executive Council in 1847. Macdonald played a major role in creating the Coalition of 1854 which he moulded into the Liberal-Conservative Party which dominated much of the succeeding half century. He was the central figure in the creation of the Canadian Confederation of 1867. Becoming Canada's first Prime Minister in 1867, he retained that post until 1873. He was Prime Minister again from 1878 until his death on 6 June 1891. Besides being Prime Minister, Macdonald held numerous important cabinet posts. Macdonald was central to many Canadian political developments such as the Northwest Rebellions, the Pacific Scandal, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the National Policy.

MacDougall, John A.

  • Person
  • 1861-1944

John Archibald MacDougall was born in Christmas Island to successful merchant Malcolm MacDougall and Mary MacNeil of Washabuck. He attended St. Francis Xavier University and studied law. After moving to Glace Bay, MacDougall worked as officer with the Dominion Coal Company. He was an ardent Conservative and very active with the Knights of Columbus and the Scottish Catholic Society of Canada, teaching adult Gaelic classes in Glace Bay. Through his involvement in the Scottish Catholic Society of Canada, he was also involved in the early planning and development ofthe St. F.X. Extension Department, a feature of the Antignonish Movement.
MacDougall married Mary MacNeil of Iona. He was the brother of Hector Francis MacDougall, the Christmas Island MP who campaigned successfully to get the railway to Sydney through Central Cape Breton.

Huk, John

  • Person
  • 1928-present

Over a span of approximately forty years, Mr. John Huk collected various documents, photographs and music related to his life and career in Whitney Pier and Sydney. As a young man he worked in a records store and eventually moved to a position with the Nova Scotia Department of Social Services. John was integral in establishing and growing the Ukrainian dance movement in Cape Breton, and has been and continues to be passionate about history and the preservation of Ukrainian culture in Cape Breton. He has collected photographs, stories and documents related to Ukrainian culture in Whitney Pier. The culmination of this work is a publication titled, “Strangers in the Land: The Ukrainian Presence in Cape Breton”. Mr. Huk is an active member of Holy Ghost Ukrainian Parish in Whitney Pier, a member of the men's club, and avid gardener.

MacLeod, Malcolm R.

  • Person

Malcolm R. MacLeod was from Sterling, Cape Breton where the MacLeod family homestead lay near the site of the famous Sterling Mine. For a time, he made his living selling cream separators and tombstones. In later life, Malcolm R. moved to Sydney.

MacLellan, Angus Y.

  • Person
  • 1878-1960

Angus Y. MacLellan was a Gaelic scholar and bard, born at Southwest Margaree in 1878. Most of his poetry was written during the period 1912-1946 when he operated the Margaree Island (Sea Wolf Island) lighthouse. MacLellan lived on the island for 50 years and had a large family The family raised a large number of sheep to supplement their income. MacLellan retired as light keeper on 10 July 1946. He was patronymically known as Aonghas Iain 'ic Iain 'ic Chaluim. His grandfather came from Morar, Scotland.

MacMaster, Buddy

  • Person
  • October 18, 1924 – August 20, 2014

Hugh Alan "Buddy" MacMaster, CM ONS (October 18, 1924 – August 20, 2014) was a Canadian fiddler. He performed and recorded both locally and internationally, and was regarded as an expert on the tradition and lore of Cape Breton fiddle music.

MacMaster was born in 1924 into a Gaelic-speaking home in Timmins, Ontario to John Duncan MacMaster and Sarah Agnes MacDonald MacMaster. The family was originally from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, and in 1928 they returned to Cape Breton to settle in the town of Judique. MacMaster's father played the fiddle, but his mother sang to him from birth, lilting with a Gaelic inflection peculiar to the area.At an early age, MacMaster began to play the fiddle. At age 12, he had his first public performance at an amateur hour in Port Hood, Nova Scotia, and at age 14 he played his first professional gig at a square dance in the nearby town of Troy.

McMaster continued to play nights at square dances across Nova Scotia, while taking on a career as a station agent and telegrapher for the Canadian National Railway to support himself and his family. In 1943, he made his first radio broadcast from the town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1948. In the 1970s, he played regularly on CBC Television's Ceilidh show. After his retirement from the railroad in 1988, he went on to play full-time as a professional musician, often accompanied by piano. He continued to play music of mainly Scottish origin, supplemented with traditional Cape Breton and Nova Scotia tunes, and gained an international reputation, touring in Europe and the United States. He was one of the first Cape Breton fiddlers to be asked to teach in Scotland.

In 2005 he recorded an album with his niece, fiddler Natalie McMaster.

MacMaster married Marie Beaton in 1968. They have two children, Mary Elizabeth MacMaster MacInnis (also a musician) and Allan Gerard MacMaster. MacMaster's youngest sister, Betty Lou Beaton, is one of Cape Breton's finest pianists and is married to well-known fiddler and composer Kinnon Beaton. He is also the uncle of Natalie MacMaster, another Cape Breton fiddler who has toured extensively and gained an international following. His son, Allan, was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in October 2009, representing the electoral district of Inverness as a Progressive Conservative.

MacMaster died at his home in Judique, Nova Scotia on August 20, 2014. He was 89.

Currie, Michael Neil

  • Person
  • 1894-11-05 to 1973-01-27

Michael Neil Currie was born in Reserve Mines on November 5th, 1894. In 1905, at age 11, he began working at No. 5 Coal Mine, Reserves Mines. When the mine closed in 1910 he joined a group of workers who hitch hiked their way west to work the harvest. In 1915 he joined the Canadian Army and served in France and Belgium as a stretcher bearer for the Medical Corps.; he was awarded the military medal for Bravery on the Battlefield. On February 7, 1919 he was Honorably Discharged to recover from injuries obtained during battle. In 1920 he returned to work at No. 5 Colliery until it closed; he then moved to work at No. 10 Colliery, both located in Reserve Mines. Beginning August 14, 1942 he served as a Veteran in WWII. He was discharged from that post on September 14, 1944. Between WWI and WWII he settled in Reserve Mines with his wife, Mae Finnell; together they had 8 children. In 1948 he transferred to Dominion Coal Company #25 Gardiner Mine. When this closed in 1956 he retired and was awarded a pension at the age of 63. Michael Neil Currie passed away on January 27, 1973, at the age of 78.

Burchell, David M.

  • Person
  • 1901-1907

David M. Burchell was the first mayor of the town of Glace Bay in 1901. He remained in office until 1907.

Douglas, John C.

  • Person
  • 1908-1910

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

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