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Reliving Amherst’s history over the airwaves

James Hand of CFTA and Dale Fawthrop of the Tantramar Radio Players look over a script for the 1867 News that will air on the community radio station throughout 2017 to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
James Hand of CFTA and Dale Fawthrop of the Tantramar Radio Players look over a script for the 1867 News that will air on the community radio station throughout 2017 to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

AMHERST, N.S. – Many communities are doing something unique to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

CFTA Tantramar Community Radio and the Tantramar Radio Players are taking to the airwaves to present The 1867 News. The show will begin later this month and feature daily newscasts from 150 years ago, when Canadians were preparing to enter into the federation known as Canada.

CFTA Tantramar Community Radio and the Tantramar Radio Players are taking to the airwaves to present The 1867 News. The show will begin later this month and feature daily newscasts from 150 years ago, when Canadians were preparing to enter into the federation known as Canada.

“Marconi had not invented the radio in 1867, but if there were radios back then we figure this is what it would have sounded like,” Dale Fawthrop of the Tantramar Radio Players said.

The show will be hosted by Fawthrop as Norman Albert Code and will feature History as it Happens with Cousin Morris ‘Code’ as well as Household Tips with Bill Hertz’s daughter, Mega, and ‘My Aunt Fanny.’

There will also be social news and birthday announcements. For example, Fawthrop said, on March 28, 1867 Esther Cox will be eight years old.

There will be medical news with Dr. Tupper and weather and science with Uncle Alexander Graham.

Each two to three-minute show will follow the 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. news headlines at 107.9.

While Fawthrop is researching news from 1867 from across the province and what would become Canada, he said there will be some humour and he’s hoping people will make submissions. He admitted it has been a challenge collecting information from 150 years ago.

“We’re thinking there are people out there with things like family histories or diaries that we could borrow to use,” Fawthrop said. “There is one woman we’re working with already who has a diary from when her grandfather was setting up an industry in Amherst.”

Fawthrop said he is working with the Cumberland County Museum to collect information and hopes to go to the Nova Scotia Archives to look at copies of the Gazette on microfiche. The Gazette was the paper of record in Amherst in 1867.

The Amherst Daily News was not founded until 1893 and Amherst itself wouldn’t become a town for another 22 years.

He hopes it leads to a greater connection with the past.

“I’m sure Amherst was a fascinating place in 1867. It was the shiretown for Cumberland County, so people would come in Friday night or Saturday by horse and wagon to do their shopping and pick up supplies. It’s hard to believe there were four Fathers of Confederation from this community. It would’ve been interesting to listen to the discussion around the community 150 years ago to hear what people were saying about this new idea of a country called Canada.”

James Hand of CFTA will serve as producer. Although he has only lived in Amherst for eight years, he finds the town’s history fascinating.

“Every community is trying to celebrate its history in its own special way and I believe this is very unique,” Hand said. “I really doubt any other ommunity is doing something like this.”

People can send information to 1867news@gmail.com .

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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