Here's a look at what was making the news 25 and 50 years ago in the Hants Journal.
25 years ago (March 16 and 23, 1994 editions)
• Windsor’s John Paris was signed by the Atlanta Knights of the International Hockey League to lead the team as its coach. The Knights were the chief farm team for the NHLs’ Tampa Bay Lightning. It was reported that success in Atlanta could spell a coaching job in the big leagues.
The Journal reported that Paris’ promotion to the Knights was historic in that he became the first black professional hockey coach.
• Heavy rains caused massive flooding throughout Hants County. A section of King Street in Windsor became partially submerged after a small brook flooded the street and washed away part of the shoulder. Hantsport motorists were also impacted when flooding overran the road and closed bridge access across the Halfway River for 12 hours.
Readings taken at Ski Martock indicated that 180 millimetres of rain fell within the first three weeks of March, compared to the average of 62.6 millimetres.
• It was reported that there was no shortage of potholes in Hants County, noting some roads looked “like the surface of the moon.”
• Windsor and West Hants councils agreed upon a light industrial zoning designation for a portion of the Windsor-West Hants Industrial Park, which was located near the exhibition grounds.
The new zoning would allow for a grocery store, hardware store and restaurant.
• The provincial government announced it was looking to create 12 regional economic development areas, each containing a population base of no less than 40,000. Councillors with the municipality of West Hants reached out to their counterparts in East Hants, feeling they were the most logical choice, as well as the towns of Windsor and Hantsport. East Hants, however, were “looking at all possibilities,” which included joining with Truro and Colchester County, or possibly Halifax.
• The Discovery Centre, based in Halifax, opened its science centre in Windsor for a three-week stint. The organization’s public relations director said it was important for the centre to take the show on the road to reach more people.
In 1993, the centre drew 2,500 visitors when they set up another exhibit in the town.
• Sgt. Rob Best, son of Ronald Best and the late Roberta Best of Newport Corner, received a meritorious service designation. He was a member of a search and rescue team that parachuted into the site of a downed Hercules aircraft in the Northwest Territories. The November 1991 rescue mission attracted much media coverage, a book (Death and Deliverance) and a movie (Ordeal in the Arctic) starring Richard Chamberlain.
• The Windsor 106 Air Cadets won the Aurora Sport and Drill Trophy at a February 1994 competition at 14 Wing in Greenwood. They also received the Seward First Aid Trophy.
• A new 28-piece after school junior stage band was formed at Windsor Regional High School in 1994, bringing the total number of bands at the school to eight. More than 260 students in Grades 7-12 were participating in the various band opportunities. The newest band was under the direction of Grade 7-8 music teacher Mike Wyman.
• Mary Ruth Cochrane, of Hillsvale, received the Award for Excellence for her outstanding contribution to cancer prevention.
• Wendell Young, a Nova Scotian playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, paid $25 to secure his lifetime membership to the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society.
Within a few weeks of launching the membership program, more than 100 people had signed up. Young was the first NHLer to do so.
• For the first time in seven years, the Investors Group junior women’s broomball team captured the provincial title.
The team’s MVP was Raeanne Fletcher; tournament MVP was Meredith Fletcher.
• Young curlers were off to the High School Curling Provincial Championships in Amherst March 24-25, 1994. The Windsor-based teams consisted of Sarah Beatty, Jennifer Mummery, Stephen Seeley, Scott Wyman, Camren Fleck, Nick Davis, Tony Mummery and Josh Smith.
• The West Hants Warriors won the Atom A provincial championships in Bridgetown. The local team beat the Western Valley Spartans in the final game of the tournament.
• Music City was offering ‘eggstra’ special prices for cassettes ($9.99) and CDs ($17.99). Some of the hot albums available was Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s Very Necessary, Reba McEntire’s Greatest Hits Volume 2, Soundgarden’s Superunknown, and Celine Dion’s The Colour of My Love.
50 years ago (March 12 and 19, 1969 editions)
• Hants County was in mourning after news broke that a four-year-old Kennetcook boy drowned after falling through ice while playing with his sister and neighbour.
• Grade 6 Windsor Elementary School student Rebecca Stephens, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Stephens, was the first winner of the Garth Pulsifer Trophy at the school.
The pupil of Evelyn Armstrong spoke on the topic of Why Mothers Despair.
There were 229 participants in the preliminaries and semi-finals, and 19 at the finals, which were held at the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre.
Garth Pulsifer was carrying on the tradition that was established nine years prior when a public speaking trophy was first donated to WES by H.H. Pulsifer, Florists.
• Jennie Best retired from Nova Scotia Textiles Ltd., after working there for 39 years.
• C.W. Stephens, of Stephens & Yeaton, received a plaque in recognition of 50 years with Imperial Oil Limited.
• The Town of Windsor reported an operating surplus of $19,840 in 1968. The town set the 1969 tax rate at $5 per $100 of assessment – an increase of 30 cents.
• Andrew Kirk, a graduate of Acadia University, was named the vice-principal of Windsor Regional High School. He had been teaching at the school for two years.
• Protestant Padre Captain Randy Wood, of Walton, was serving with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. It was a six-month tour of duty, which was to wrap up in the spring of 1969. He was then returning to Canada for a few months before heading to Germany with his wife Joan (nee Campbell) and four children to serve with Canada’s NATO Brigade Group for three years.
• Betty Lake was crowned Hants West Rural High School’s winter carnival queen. Ladies in waiting were Tisha Parker and Susan Johnson.
• Hal Hunter and Garnet Patterson, of the 2nd Windsor Venturer Company, received the highest honour a Boy Scout can achieve before joining Venturers: the Queen’s Scout Badge.
• A midnight skating session was being held at the Windsor arena on March 22 – two hours of skating for 50 cents. Free coffee was provided.
• The East Hants Penguins won the Metro-Valley Junior A Championship, defeating the Truro Bearcats four games to one in the best of seven final. The Penguins were set to take on the winners of the Strait Pirates-North Sydney series for the 1968 Nova Scotia title.
• The Imperial Theatre was showing three engagements of Hank Williams’ A Time to Sing, one viewing of the Second World World flick In Enemy Country, and six days of Candy, which was billed as a psychedelic movie about an innocent young woman who attempts to find the meaning of life while encountering colourful characters and humorous sexual situations along the way. Cost to see the movie was $1. Other movies that were showing were A Challenge for Robin Hood, Nevada Smith, and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
• In the Hants History column dating back to 1944, Enfield’s St. Bernard’s Catholic Church was destroyed by fire. Mass was being offered at the time of the blaze. The parishioners were shepherded to safety parish priest, Rev. J.J. Devine.
In wartime news from 1944, Flight Sgt. Clarence Reynolds, RCAF, of East Walton, was reported dead. He had previously been reported as missing in action.
In the Hants History column from 1919, a devastating fire occurred in Windsor. The fire originated in the basement of Murphy & DeMonts store on Water Street. Several buildings were lost to the blaze, including the nearby Gelderts Men’s Furnishings and Burgess Photo Studio. The estimated loss was $100,000.
But that wasn’t the only fire news. It was reported that sparks from a locomotive were the likely cause of the fire that destroyed John Phillips’ residence.
Also in 1919, the Windsor Board of Health was considering compulsory vaccination due to the presence of a case of smallpox in the area.