Welcome to the beautiful
There is no record of settlement here for the ensuing decade. Then, in 1765, the French cartographer Des Barres was given a land grant for the area from the British Board of Trade.
Because Col. Des Barres would not sell any of this land to new arrivals, most of them moved to outlaying areas such as River John and New Annan, to purchase their own land.
Wellwood Waugh, a Highland Scot, was hired to manage the Des Barres grant. Thus, the name
A group of a dozen or so families immigrated from Montbeliard, then a province in
Tatamagouche progressed with the economic and social dictates of the time. During the Age of Sail, a local family, the
Community may be defined as “a unified body of individuals or people with common interests living in a particular area”. It is also “all the groups of organisms living together in the same area, usually interacting or depending on each other for existence”.
Tatamagouche embodies characteristics of both definitions.
The village business district suffered two major fires - in 1950 and 1953. Perhaps not surprisingly, these unfortunate events served to rally the troops, forging a long lasting, tightly knit community.
This phenomenon is often credited with creating the determined atmosphere that allows Tatamagouche to be so successful today. Many factors contribute to the uniqueness of the area. Longtime residents, returning baby boomers and newcomers work side by side as volunteers to ensure the successful operation of many organizations and activities.
Approximately eighty volunteer groups are presently active. A small sample of these groups includes
Why is there so much activity in such a small place? The answer is as complex as the population. One phenomenon here is the great diversity, attitude and talent level of people. Who are these people? Where did they come from, and why do they settle and stay here?
The “old timers” are very comfortable with who they are - no pretensions. They are very welcoming to strangers and very tolerant of all newcomers. This also attracts the many baby boomers who have worked and lived away for decades, but have returned to retire in a friendly, familiar setting. This provides for a wonderful diversity of ideas, energy and abilities.
Newcomers are attracted to the natural beauty of the area. They stay because of the friendly, welcoming attitude of the natives and their high tolerance for diverse people and groups. When the melting pot of differences is brought together, it produces an unbelievable array of productive, inventive, highly energetic groups of volunteers.
Consider some classic success stories attributable in large part to the work of volunteers and local visionaries. The first community school started in Tatamagouche in 1947. While others in the province began about that time or later, their life was usually short lived. The local one continued very successfully until just a few years ago.
In 1955, the Atlantic Christian Training Centre opened its doors here. A United Church of Canada supported facility, it was one of only four operating in
Recently renamed The Tatamagouche Centre, it operates as a facility for camps, retreats, workshops, etc., for people from all walks of life and all parts of the world.
In 1956, Tatamagouche became the host of the newly created Nova Scotia Festival of the Arts. This too can be attributed to the tireless efforts of the local visionary volunteer. Thanks to the total community effort, this festival was highly successful until 1962.
The Festival of the Arts attracted many top artists of local, national and international repute. Some better known participants included Don Messer, the Buchta Dancers, Rich Little and Teresa Stratas, to name but a few. This celebration became so successful, that during one summer session it attracted 20 000 people, 10 000 on Saturday alone. It eventually moved to
More recently (since 2004) the community has celebrated Christmas at the Creamery. This involves a delicious turkey dinner followed by an afternoon of entertainment. There is no admission charge for this gala. All food, service and entertainment are provided by happy volunteers. The tremendous success of this party is reflected in its growing number of participants each year. It truly embraces the real “Spirit of Christmas”. It was started by a small group of newcomers taking advantage of superb available facilities. It was quickly adopted by the whole village. Now, people of all interests work together to provide a merry Christmas for many people who might not otherwise have one.
Tatamagouche also enjoys an unusually large number of churches of different faiths. There are Buddhists, Mennonites, Presbyterian, United, Baptist, Union, Roman Catholic,
This type of cooperation reflects the enormous community pride of citizens. Further evidence of this pride may be seen in a simple drive through the streets. Homes and grounds are well maintained, beautiful flower baskets hang on power poles (compliments of the Village Commission), and attractive entrance signs welcome visitors from either end of the village.
The downtown area is well decorated for occasions such as Oktoberfest, Halloween, Christmas and Communities in Bloom. This local group has ensured that the village is always picturesque and welcoming to tourists and locals alike. Not surprisingly, in the 2007 provincial Communities in Bloom Contest, Tatamagouche was awarded four of a possible five blooms, a well deserved achievement.
This same pride is reflected in our children’s sports teams traveling to other towns. It has been noted by towns in which they have visited what great ambassadors these young people are for their community.
How many small communities can boast more than eighty active volunteer organizations?
A recent success story of such a group is found in the local hospital fundraiser. The hospital is the vital core of the area. The provincial government challenged users to raise $500 000 to assist in expansion and repairs. As usual, the citizens rallied and reached this goal within a year - not bad for a village of fewer than a thousand people.
Another successful venture is the annual Oktoberfest. Held continuously for over a quarter of a century, it is second only in size and success to a similar festival in
Local seniors are well attended through ample accommodations, an active Meals on Wheels program, the North Shore Seniors Group (supporting bus trips, card games and other social events) and organized visits from Katimavik and local school children.
In return, these same seniors are involved in an elementary reading program. This has noticeably improved literacy in the area. It also promotes a mutual respect between elders and children.
This high volunteer participation rate is reflected in other organizations such as the North Shore Community Development Association supporting village enhancement projects, North Shore Recreation Centre, boasting a fine rink and recreation/social hall, and the River Restoration Project, devoted to turning the
Another noteworthy strength is the mindset of the community. Most citizens believe that the village is only as good as the people in it. This is frequently taken as a personal challenge to constantly improve life here. The older people teach by example. Young children take the offering or read aloud in church alongside their parents or participate in social events such as serving meals at community suppers. Through this early involvement, they learn the value of community volunteerism, such as fund raising for team uniforms and equipment. In turn, they grow up to be committed volunteers.
A further strength is found in the unusually high number of artists, musicians and authors. These strengths are regularly displayed at the local farmers market, film night, concerts, and an extensive archives collection. The Fraser Cultural Centre also exhibits the works of different local artists.
It is this combination of community strengths that give Tatamagouche its uniqueness. No doubt this aura of high expectations has helped some of our more notable sons to the pinnacle of success. This is the home of the founder of the Tim Horton organization, and, by extension, home of one of only four Tim Horton’s Children’s Camps in
Other attractions include the very popular Train Station Inn, a unique experience featuring the largest private collection of train cars in
There is a beautiful marina just minutes from the village, a nearby golf course, and a short trip to
Six new businesses have opened here within the last year. None has erected a new structure, but each has renovated an historic building already in place. Three outstanding examples of the use of such buildings include the aforementioned Train Station Inn, the Fraser cultural Centre (once the hospital, but since donated to the village to showcase local artistic talent), and
In the near future, it will also have a performing arts center. This unique project is located on the shore of the historic
The local high school has a long record of academic success and the elementary school has achieved national recognition.
Above is a record of many of the success stories which make Tatamagouche such an outstanding community.
It is this unrivaled combination of strengths which give Tatamagouche its uniqueness.
The influx of newcomers has provided for this to be the only provincial area outside of HRM to enjoy an increase in population.
The location, geographically, is within two hours of two major airports, and in the center of a triangle among four substantial towns. Located on the coast, overlooked by the rolling
There is a common civic pride which is consciously passed down to each new generation. This is reflected in the use of existing historic buildings for new businesses, rather than razing the old to make way for the new.
There is a tolerance toward and warm welcoming for newcomers, regardless of creed or custom.
And finally, there is that “Look you in the eye and never say die” attitude.
This is our home, we welcome you to visit it and invite you to stay.
Remarks by Her Honour
The Honourable Mayann E. Francis, O.N.S. DHumL
Lieutenant Governor of
Community Spirit Award
Tim Horton’s Children’s Camp, Tatamagouche
September 14, 2008
Minister Casey, elected officials, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome!
It is an honour for me to be here to present you with the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award.
The community of Tatamagouche enjoys a rich and diverse heritage. The name Tatamagouche means “meeting of the waters” in Mi’Kmaw, and in many ways the community has also become a meeting of cultures. Your citizens have woven their history and traditions into a colourful tapestry that makes your community a strong and vibrant place in which to live, work and play.
It is remarkable that a village the size of Tatamagouche would have 80 organizations and volunteer groups, and so many churches representing a broad cross-section of faiths and denominations.
Your community also enjoys a large number of events ranging from Communities in Bloom to Oktoberfest and Christmas at the Creamery. Giving citizens the opportunity to come together is an important marker of a vibrant community.
The Community Spirit Awards are meant to celebrate the best in
That is why you are one of four communities selected to receive the 2008 Community Spirit Award in its inaugural year.
Before I present the award, I must thank our corporate sponsors Nova Scotia Power and Transcontinental Media.
Nova Scotia Power got behind this initiative because the company understands the power of communities. Many of its employees are active volunteers in the community in which they live. I want to acknowledge Bill Cameron, a retired Nova Scotia Power District Supervisor and active community volunteer, who is here today representing the company.
Transcontinental media is our media sponsor. With newspapers in many towns and regions in
I also want to personally thank Catherine Woodman, president and CEO of United Way of Halifax Region, for her leadership. She was instrumental in taking the concept of recognizing communities and turning it into the Community Spirit award. Thank you to the Design and Selection committees, under Catherine’s leadership, for their hard work.
Most importantly, I want to thank the community volunteers and leaders of Tatamagouche. You chose to enter and to show your best qualities to the people of
I grew up in a very closely-knit part of
While the circumstances may be different for Whitney Pier and Tatamagouche, the spirit of working together for the common good are very similar.
That spirit is reflected in the actual award which I’m presenting to you today. This award is custom designed by Nova Scotia Crystal, Canada’s only crystal maker. It is mouth blown and hand cut, making it an original work of art.
The shape is a flame - upward moving and full of energy, just like Tatamagouche. The long and short cuts on one side refer to the people of Tatamagouche whether they are youth or seniors.
On the other side, the artisans have created an image of the meeting of the waters - a tribute to Tatamagouche’s name. This award is unique to your community - no two are the same.
This award, and this day, is all about you. It is about your accomplishments past, present and future. I offer you my warmest congratulations and best wishes for the future.
It gives me great pleasure to now present your community with the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award.
Thank you. Merci. Tapadh leibh