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Heritage and creativity come together for Truro fair


Ella Rogers learned a lot about her own family while working on her heritage fair project. The Grade 5 student from Chiganois Elmentary School choose railroading in the Truro area as her subject.

“I wanted to find out more about trains because my great grandfather and my great-great grandfather worked for the railway,” she said. “I’ve learned more about what they did when they were working, and my uncle had artefacts he let me borrow.”

Ella was one of the students who took part in the Chignecto Central Regional Heritage Fair, which was held on the Truro campus of the Nova Scotia Community College on May 3. Her project included photos, a lantern, first aid box, waterproof match container and switch keys to move the track- the same as her great grandfather would have used while working as a brakeman.

Although her family has a close connection with the railway, Ella hasn’t been on a trip by train yet- but she hopes to do that someday.

One of the facts she learned that she found most unusual was that there were separate rooms for women and men waiting for trains.

Carter Winter, a Rawdon District Elementary student, did a project on apple farming and brought a basket of apples and apple juice for people to try.

“We have apple trees at home and I like apples a lot,” he said. “Something I learned while doing the project was how to pick an apple the right way. You hold the apple and twist. If the stem doesn’t snap, it’s not ripe.”

Madison Allen, a Grade 7 student at Pugwash District High School, chose the Wallace and Area Museum as her subject.

“My mum used to work there and it’s interesting,” she said. “One of my favourite things is a chest full of letters that Mary Kennedy and her husband wrote to one another when they were separated. It’s cool that there wrote so many letters.”

Hunter Douglas, another PDHS student, chose Anna Swan as his topic, partially because he’s related to her. Swan’s brother is one of his ancestors.

“I heard about Anna when I was really young, and I’m interested in giants in general,” he said. “I’d say it would be quite terrible to be a giant. It would be hard to do things, and a lot of them have health problems. With that much weight, you’d have to be careful not to hurt other people too.”

Hunter said he got a lot of information through Dale Swan, Anna’s great-grand-nephew, who works at the Anna Swan Museum.

One of the most eye-catching outfits at the fair was worn by Tessa Blades, who dressed to match her project on war brides. The Oxford Regional Educational Centre’s great grandmother was a war bride and she’s often been told she looks like her.

The heritage fair included students in Grades 4-9. Those who attend the regional fair are chosen during school-based fairs.

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