Top News

This Is When celebrating 500 episodes

Dale Fawthrop, or Norman Albert Code, is celebrating the 500th episode of This Is When on Tantramar Radio CFTA. The show began in early 2018 upon the conclusion of the 1867 News that was a Canada 150 volunteer project led by Fawthrop, a retired schoolteacher and former town councillor and deputy mayor of Amherst.
Dale Fawthrop, or Norman Albert Code, is celebrating the 500th episode of This Is When on Tantramar Radio CFTA. The show began in early 2018 upon the conclusion of the 1867 News that was a Canada 150 volunteer project led by Fawthrop, a retired schoolteacher and former town councillor and deputy mayor of Amherst. - Darrell Cole

Features stories of life in Canada over 300 years

AMHERST, N.S. —

Toward the end of 2017, as the 1867 News was coming to a conclusion, Dale Fawthrop realized he was onto something – telling stories about the history of Cumberland County.

It was soon after that he came up with the concept of This Is When, pitched it to Tantramar Community Radio and the rest is, well, history.

This Is When is surpassing a significant milestone on Friday, Dec. 13 when it’s 500th episode will play.

“I enjoyed telling the stories so much and learning so much about Maritime history. I was also getting tremendous feedback from people about how much they listened to the show and the subjects I was talking about,” Fawthrop said. “Of course, the 1867 news was all about the years leading up to 1867. I figured if I wanted to tell stories after then I would have to come up with a new name and This Is When was born. I could go back two years, 20 years, or 300 years to tell stories.”

The 1867 News, which featured 264 episodes that ran twice daily between Monday and Friday, was a Canada 150 volunteer project written and broadcast by Fawthrop, a retired school teacher and former Amherst town councillor and deputy mayor.

This Is When is hosted by Norman Albert Code, the great grandson of the host of the 1867 News. Norman Albert Code is Fawthrop’s birthname.

“When I go around town people will stop me and say how much they love the show and by now they’ve figured out I’m Norman Albert Code,” he said. “They like the series because it’s telling their stories. I’ve had people come up to me and say ‘You know that tug of war story you told? That was about my great grandfather. I didn’t know he was in tug of war.’

“This area has an amazing history and it has been challenging at times. There was a note from the 1800s written by someone in Minudie. It said, ‘Nov. 16 going to Amherst. Nov. 18 returning from Amherst. At that time, it was quite the trip from Minudie to Amherst. Now, it’s something you do in 25 minutes.”

While it might have been challenging to produce more episodes following the 1867 News, Fawthrop said coming up with subject matter hasn’t been difficult at all and he loves doing the research.

He also used various themes throughout the year. October used the theme of Women’s History Month while November was all about Remembrance Day and sharing stories of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders. This month has a Christmas theme to it.

“It’s amazing to think that I’ve gotten to 500 episodes and it’s even more amazing that I have another 500 stories to tell,” he said. “There is just an amazing number of stories out there. I picked up a collection just today of articles by Ernest E. Coates and I’ve selected a number of his stories to be featured in the new year.”

Fawthrop said the community has been a huge resource. When he launched the program, he asked the community for ideas for stories and they responded with personal and family stories as well as historical tidbits that he was able to research and turn into one of his programs, that average between seven and nine minutes and run at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Fawthrop said there is a wealth of information at the Cumberland Public Libraries as well as the Nova Scotia library system and another resource is the internet archive that has almost every piece of writing for which the copyright has expired.

He said the program wouldn’t be possible without the support of CFTA and Ron Bickle and James Hand, who do all the editing and produce the show.

“What I do is just the tip of the iceberg. They do all the technical work to make it come across,” he said.

Recent Stories