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Hantsport museum receives $10,000 donation, local author recounts living in community

From left, Samantha Goodine and Jessica Poirier, with Scotiabank, present a $10,000 cheque to Jud Porter and Roy Bishop of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society.
From left, Samantha Goodine and Jessica Poirier, with Scotiabank, present a $10,000 cheque to Jud Porter and Roy Bishop of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society. - Colin Chisholm

HANTSPORT, N.S. — The Dorie and Garnet McDade Heritage Centre was abuzz with activity on Jan. 24 as a local author signed copies of his book about the place he used to call home, and a bank stopped by with a major donation in hand.

Scotiabank presented a $10,000 cheque to the Hantsport and Area Historical Society for their ongoing fundraising campaign.

“Given the long and shared history between Scotiabank and Hantsport we were pleased to be able to donate to the heritage centre,” said Jessica Poirier, with Scotiabank.

Judson Porter, president of the Hantsport and Area Historical Society, said they were thrilled with the announcement. The funding brings them one step closer to their goal.

“This (heritage centre) was originally the first Scotiabank building, built in 1951,” Porter said.

“They moved across the street; Scotia Investments moved into this building and we purchased this building from them,” he continued.

“The connection between the town and Scotiabank has been long-running, and with the historical society in this building, we hope that continues for a long time,” he added.

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The historical society is continuing to work towards its $230,000, 10-year fundraising goal.

“Donations like this certainly help us move along very quickly, which is great because we have maintenance and repairs of the building and upgrading accessibility,” he said.

Porter said the society is happy with the amount they’ve been able to raise so far, but there’s still a long way to go.

Book signing

The same day as the cheque presentation, the Dorie and Garnet McDade Heritage Centre welcomed special guest Stewart Hyson to sign copies of his new book Last of the Small Towns. He provided some remarks as a guest speaker.

“(Writing this book) was a sense of self-fulfillment. I had just retired and wanted to do something,” Hyson said. “This idea had been in my head for a long time.”

The book is a series of short stories that recount Hysan growing up in Hantsport in the 1950s and 1960s. A retired university professor, Hyson now lives in Saint John, New Brunswick.

“I wanted to bring some insights to other people… just to reflect on how it used to be,” he said.

Laurie Johnston, who stopped by to grab a few signed copies of the book for himself and his family, said he was excited to take them home. He has a cameo in the book.

“I grew up with Stewart; he just put the good things in there,” Johnston said with a laugh. “It’s very important, this just goes along with the museum we now have here, this is a long time coming and it’s great to see it now.”

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