Fossil collector honoured by announcement from premier’s office
PARRSBORO – Eldon George has a new honour to hang upon his shelf, and this time it’s a big one.
The well-known Parrsboro fossil collector has been named to the Order of Nova Scotia by Premier Stephen McNeil, and will be one of five Nova Scotians at an investiture ceremony in Halifax on Nov. 27.
© Andrew Wagstaff - cumberlandnewsnow
Famous fossil collector Eldon George of Parrsboro will be one of five Nova Scotians invested in the Order of Nova Scotia later this month. Premier Stephen McNeil announced the investiture ceremony would take place in Halifax on Nov. 27.
“It means a lot,” said George. “It means that they haven’t forgotten me, which I was beginning to think that they had, to tell you the truth.”
George has been collecting fossils in the Parrsboro area for 75 years, beginning when he was eight years old, and has registered world famous finds during that time, including the world’s smallest dinosaur footprints and numerous rare prehistoric insects, amphibians and fish.
He was also a founding member of the Nova Scotia Mineral and Gem Society, and was the founder of the Rockhound Roundup, now known as the Nova Scotia Gem and Mineral Show, one of the oldest mineral shows in Canada.
“I’ve spent my whole lifetime doing this, and I never ever looked back,” he said. “I always looked ahead, and never asked anybody for anything. I’ve never asked for any help, any money, or any recognition.”
All of his famous finds have come in the Parrsboro area, and his internationally recognized efforts have helped put Parrsboro on the map. Perhaps most famous among his discoveries are the world’s smallest dinosaur footprints that he unearthed in the 1980s.
His most recent find was the discovery of a prehistoric dragonfly-like insect called stenodictya that he found about eight years ago.
These discoveries are still a part of his personal collection in the Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop, which has been in operation since 1948. George has never received a penny for any of these discoveries.
“I do it because I love it, and I love what I’m doing,” he said. “I don’t care if I get recognized or not, as long as I get enjoyment out of it. That’s all that matters.”
The 82-year-old still collects fossils, but said that health issues have slowed him down in recent years. He has had three heart attacks and triple bypass surgery, as well as kidney trouble, and is now experiencing difficulty with his hearing.
His shop, however, was open for business once again this year, employing three local people, and always bringing in a new crop of people wanting to meet the man and see his finds.
“I’ve met a lot of nice people,” said George.
Joining George in the Order of Nova Scotia this month will be businessman and philanthropist Fred George, surgeon Cecil Kinley, musician Raylene Rankin (posthumous), and teacher Hetty van Gurp.
"Through their talents, dedication and hard work, these inspiring men and women reached amazing heights in their careers and areas of expertise," said the premier. "Their accomplishments and legacies have made our province a better place - this is truly a fitting honour for them."
The recipients were selected by the Order of Nova Scotia Advisory Council from 100 nominations.
The Order of Nova Scotia was established in June 2001 and is the highest honour bestowed by the province. Recipients have the right to use the initials O.N.S. after their names.