Judge portraits returned to prominent spot in courthouse

Adam MacInnis
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PICTOU – Twenty-two judges have been framed and hung in Pictou – their portraits that is.

A recent project by the Pictou County Roots Society was to reframe photos of Pictou County’s judges in the Pictou Courthouse. Pictured from left are: retired judge Clyde Macdonald, court administrator Judy Whitman and Roots Society executive member Philip MacKenzie. ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS

In preparation of the swearing in of Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Van den Eynden Thursday, court administrator Judy Whitman said she wanted to have the old pictures of the local judges put back on the walls. They had been sitting in storage for the last couple of years after they were removed while renovations took place in the building.

She encountered a problem though. Many of the nameplates had been mixed up. She turned to local historian and a former judge himself, Clyde Macdonald, for help identifying the men. She got what she was looking for and more from Macdonald.

Macdonald suggested that the pictures should be made more uniform by placing the pictures in similar frames with similar matting. The result has been a more formal and respectful look in the courthouse where the pictures are all now hanging, she said.

“These are people who not only rose to the bench, but practised in our community and were community leaders here,” Whitman said. “They deserve to be remembered and this was an excellent project.”

The Pictou County Roots Society covered the cost of the framing and mounting at the persuasion of executive member Philip MacKenzie who stressed the importance of preserving local history.

“It’s something that is going to fall by the wayside if it’s not grabbed onto,” he said.

Macdonald covered the cost of the nameplates for all the photos.

Whitman expressed thanks for all the help she received.

“People come to this building for a myriad of reasons. It’s an opportunity for them to see these portraits that otherwise would have been in a museum somewhere,” she said. “It adds to the building; it adds to the history and it’s respectful to the gentlemen who have been leaders in our community.”

Organizations: Pictou County Roots Society

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  • ethel toman
    December 02, 2013 - 15:34

    Great project and lovely to see the care that was taken to have the work down by all concerned