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Last week I had the pleasure of speaking with Grade 5 students at Harry R Hamilton school in Middle Sackville, N.S.
While I waited for them to come in from recess, I had a lovely chat with a teacher who was curious about my career path and how I chose it … or if it had chosen me. I told her about the many wonderful jobs I held over the years. All of a sudden she looked at me and said: “Is there anything you wanted to do, but didn’t get a chance to?”
Wow, what a question.
When I started my career with Environment Canada more than 30 years ago, I wanted to be a weather observer on Sable Island. The Sable Island Station, managed and staffed by Parks Canada, is the only permanently staffed facility on the island. Climatological record-keeping on Sable Island began in 1871 with the establishment of the Meteorological Service of Canada and ran continuously from 1891 until Aug. 20, 2019.
Sable Island sits in the Atlantic Ocean, 300 km SE of Halifax, N.S. and about 175 km SE of the closest point of mainland Nova Scotia. The island is home to more than 500 free-roaming horses, protected by law from human interference.
Over the years I have read as much as I could about Sable Island and last Spring I got my hands on Return to Sable Island (2015). It was written by Jill Martin-Bouteillier, a retired educator who lives in Lunenburg N.S. Jill has written two books about the years that RJ Bouteillier was the island superintendent. I read that wonderful novel on a beach in Cuba. In that book, I learned about the Nova Scotia Rescue Stations: a series of life-saving stations established on Sable Island by the governor of Nova Scotia, John Wentworth, in 1801. The rescue station began the continuous human presence on the island, which continues today.
I’ve always been intrigued but the little crescent-shaped sandbar in the North Atlantic and that’s why I want to tell you about an exciting evening of fundraising that will take place in Halifax on Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Halifax Convention Centre.
“Celebrating the Spirit of Sable” is presented by “Friends of Sable”. The fundraising goal is to raise enough money to provide every Nova Scotia student in primary to Grade 12 an opportunity to learn about Sable Island in the classroom.
The evening includes dinner, guest speakers and Nova Scotia performers, including Terry Kelly who will be performing a song in tribute to the wild horses.
For more information and to buy tickets go to www.anighttogowild.com
When I go into the classrooms and speak to children about the weather and the storms at sea, their eyes light up with wonder. There are so many astonishing stories on that little spit of land; our history and our ancestors’ memories are at risk of eroding with time. We can bring the magic of Sable Island into our classrooms and keep it alive for generations to come …
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.