Halifax in June–after conference

July 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm 2 comments

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Early in June, I was in Halifax for the Editors’ Association conference, Between the Lines.

We sailed on the SV Mar on Sunday evening after conference was over. I met Zofia, translator and fellow editor, talked over dinner at Murphy’s Wharf, and then planned to meet the next day for lunch down near Pier 21.

Although the air was a bit cool yet on Monday, the remains of the hurricane had passed through, taking the rain and leaving us sunny skies.

After my roommate and I had our breakfast, I set off walking, my destination Pier 21. I passed the old cemetery on South Street and looked through the fence to very old tombstones, some embedded in cement on the ground, and others still standing upright.

 

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A chapel of sorts, or small church ( I didn’t find out which one), stood in the middle of the cemetery, and people were working there, perhaps cutting and trimming grass.

 

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And one more photo from that place.

 

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Grateful for the sunshine and directions from a couple of people I met, I found my way to the building on Marginal Road where so many immigrants, including the Home Children, stepped into their new world.

Upon the immigrants’ arrival, officials oversaw the screening and completion of the paperwork needed for their access into Canada. Among those who anxiously waited to be granted entry into the country were: those looking for employment in the New World, British Home Children, Jewish war orphans, and refugees from across war-torn Europe.

-Pier 21 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

I’d heard about people visiting this facility, through which half a million military personnel passed through during World War II, and this was my opportunity. My mother-in-law, and many people who call Canada home, have passed through these doors, a place that has become a National Historic Site (1996).

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My time was limited, but I searched a book of passenger lists for Adeline Thier, who arrived in 1933, one of the early years that Immigration kept actual records. I didn’t find her, but a young employee named Ben offered to look for me. We didn’t find her, but he said I could contact them by email and ask them to do a search, which I plan to do. I think finding her exact date of arrival on her passport could be helpful as well.

I set out to look around the building and decided to look for the person conducting the tour before Zofia and Janet arrived to have lunch.

 

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Various year spans and use of the building

 

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http://www.novascotia.com/en/home/discovernovascotia/history/nationalhistoricsites/default.aspx

 

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How did Canada look to these immigrants?

Many people I know have descended from England and other European countries. Some of them would know how it feels.

 

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The observation deck, replacing the entrance where new Canadians arrived from their sea-going vessels. Perhaps glad to have finally landed, and yet anxious about this new place and the prospect of learning the language, getting paid employment and raising families, or even meeting family members who already lived in Canada.Tour guide, finishing her interesting commentary.

 

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Having missed Janet’s calls, I didn’t know if she was coming, but by the time I finished the tour, both Zofia and Janet were at the door where I promised to meet them at noon.

 

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They had already introduced themselves to each other and were having a conversation. We stepped out of the building into the bright sun and headed to the market to get some lunch.

I met Zofia, editor and translator, for the first time at the EAC conference, but Janet is a long-time friend who is also a writer and fellow member of The Word Guild.

Janet had volunteered to pick up Vanessa and I at the airport, take us where we needed to go, and then get us back to the airport in time for our flight home. It was good to spend time with her over lunch and looking around. Thank you, Janet!

 

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Zofia and Janet at the market

 

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Zofia and me outside the market

 

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Halifax Articulate bus

 

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Oops!

Halifax bus license plates say “Idle No More.” Guess this driver forgot.

 

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Bye, Halifax, time to head for the airport. I really do want to come back again.

All photos on this blog copyright of C. Wilker, unless otherwise noted.

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Entry filed under: artists, arts, authors, books, community, editing, education, entertainment, photography, speaking, travel in Canada. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janet Sketchley  |  July 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Glad we could have a visit while you were in town, Carolyn, and it was good meeting Zofia and Vanessa. Do come back!

    Reply
  • 2. storygal  |  July 5, 2013 at 2:11 am

    It was good to see you, Janet. Thanks for the driving around you did for us. Come to us sometime; I’ll treat you just as well. 🙂

    Reply

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