News for you

June 27, 2017

For the first time ever we will have three student staff for July and August.
We have no doubt they will be kept busy since we have had
record numbers of both visitors and sales this season.

Thanks to the grant provided by the Canada Summer Jobs programme, we welcome Emma Robertson who joins Jevan and Lexie next Sunday July 2.
Emma is bilingual so French-speaking guests will find a great welcome
when she is on duty.

Come by and say hello or maybe have a picnic like this happy crew.

Greg Cochkanoff Collection

This collection of personal items speaks of long evening hours aboard the SS Atlantic, broken up by a game or two with friends. Thimbles remind us that clothing had to be repaired, even during the voyage. Small crosses, medals and other religious articles tell us that most aboard were people of faith. And a lice comb, straight razor and toothbrush point to the daily hygiene needs that had to be addressed at sea as well as on land.

These were collected by the late Greg Cochkanoff over a period of more than 25 years of diving on the Atlantic. Greg was an authority on the event and felt a deep, personal attachment to those who suffered and died that morning. These small, personal items spoke to him in a special way.
When he died, Greg was working on the authoritative work about the Atlantic, which was completed by his friend and diving partner, Bob Chaulk. Greg’s family has generously lent us this collection in his memory.
SS Atlantic: The White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea is available from the SS Atlantic heritage centre in Terence Bay, NS.

A Week of School Visits

The week of June 18 was busy—four school tours! We had one batch of homeschooled and three elementary schools (Atlantic Memorial, Terence Bay, and Prospect Elementary). The kids got to play on the boardwalk and the beach, do fun indoor activities, and learn about the S.S. Atlantic. They kept us hopping but we loved it. Endlessly curious and forever asking questions, they were some of our most interested visitors yet.

Our visitor’s response

We had the privilege of attending two trips to the SS Atlantic Heritage Park recently, one for a group of homeschooling families and another one with the Terence Bay Elementary School. At both tours we learned a lot and got to see lots of artifacts that were salvaged from the wreck. The staff, Jevan and Lexi went above and beyond to make sure all questions were answered and to explain things at a level that all age groups could understand.
We also walked the boardwalk and saw what was left of the foundation of the old church that burned down, as well we walked through the old cemetery and saw the mass grave site where some of the bodies were buried from the tragic accident when the SS Atlantic sunk. We also got to purchase some great things from the gift shop before heading on to the nearby beach and lighthouse.
The staff is amazing and the site is very educational, I would recommend visiting the site to anyone. It's great for the whole family and they even have a place to eat inside or outside depending on what you prefer. 
Thanks, Janine Sampson 
An event with a large loss of life always gets attention and, even at a time when shipwrecks were common, the Atlantic loss was huge. How many died? Depends on who you ask. The official inquiry concluded there were 952 on board and 535 died. But, stowaways were common in those days and reports say there were up to 14 on the Atlantic. It's also reported that at least two babies were born en route.
So, how many died?
Nobody really knows. Lloyds of London said 560, some European papers reported 738, author Daniel Butler said 491, but he also said it happened in 1872 and not 1873, so, you know. The captain said 546 but at another time he said 535. London insurance companies reported 953 lost. And on it goes.
If you ask us, we'll say around 550 died out of about 975 aboard.

Pottery with Passion

My morning coffee is a ritual—the first sip wakes my senses, the second my mind,
the third my body—a sort of ready, set, go habit to start the day.
Anne Pryde’s mugs are perfect for this ceremony.

A home-based professional potter in Hatchet Lake, Anne Pryde Pottery creates functional objects that embed whimsy and nature into our lives. An everyday item, whether it is a radish mug or a carrot topped butter dish, become items worthy of passing along to family, friends, or maybe a gift to yourself for that early morning coffee or late afternoon tea.
Come by and pick up a piece of her work.
Valda Kemp, Volunteer of the Year
Vol-un-teer – someone who freely offers to do something
Volunteer of the Year – someone who freely offers to do something over and over again
The Barb Allen Volunteer of the Year Award went to Valda Kemp, shown here with fellow
SS Atlantic Heritage Park Society board member, Margaret Sagar.
My abiding vision of Valda will always be from the Christmas concert last winter. Those who were there will recall that the weather was horrible, the "crowd" was reduced by 50 percent, everybody was nervously waiting for the MC—Valda—to arrive but few were confident that she would be able to make it. I was manning the door so it wouldn't get blown off its hinges. I heard something and looked out to behold Valda working her way up the ramp, defying the wet snow and howling winds. She wheedled her way around the nervous doorman and into the church, hair sopping and down over her face. She swished it aside to reveal a big smile and declared, "Sorry I'm late. We had some trouble getting here." No kidding.
She sallied forth and under her able direction we all raised our voices in song.
Submitted by Bob Chaulk

Diving the Wreck of the Atlantic

We're often asked what it's like on the wreck site today. Many believe that a shipwreck is a ship lying on the bottom. Not around here. The winters pound the daylights out of anything less than 100 or so feet deep and where the Atlantic lies near shore the wild waves wreak havoc. She broke in two even before she sank and what was left was blown up within weeks of the disaster so they could salvage the cargo.

So, it's more of a debris field than anything recognizable as a ship. The driveshaft is there and some of the boilers, along with some iron plates from the hull. Two of the four propeller blades can be seen in shallow water. It's an interesting dive, but more because of the scenery than the wreckage.     (Photo: Bob Semple)
Coming soon!  Blessing of the Boats
Landlubbers and seafarers alike book the date now! 
Sunday July 30 Ecumenical Service at the Memorial begins at 2:30.
Seados, kayaks, speed boats, fishing boats... all welcome. Gather off the gazebo. 
Reception at the Fire Hall follows.
Watch for further details!

A surprise donation!

Last fall two past presidents of the Charitable Irish Society of Halifax, who happened to be staying in the area, visited our Centre. Their Society, established in 1786, is one of the oldest in North America.  Of particular interest to them was the fact that not only was the SS Atlantic built in Belfast but over 200 of its passengers were from Ireland; some buried in our cemetery. They felt that our volunteers have done an incredible job maintaining the history and the site. On our behalf, they requested a grant from the Charitable Irish Society to assist with ongoing expenses. We recently received the Society's donation and are truly grateful for this wonderful surprise!
Great to have the support and interest of another heritage group!

Thank you EarthWorx

Big shout out to Earthworx Property Management of Terence Bay
for their work of cutting back the bushes spreading into the boardwalk and down Bert Reyner Lane. 
Thank you, Dave Little, for this volunteer service to the community.

Much appreciated.
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180 Sandy Cove Road, Terence Bay, Nova Scotia  B3T 1Y5

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