Colchester County is a growing, vibrant community. Its branches reach far and wide, supported by a solid foundation.
That strength comes from its diverse people, each with a unique story to tell about their connection to this land.
We, the reporters at the Truro Daily News, have had the pleasure of spending time with several community builders who have chosen to make this area home.
Their ties to the area and the legacy each has created is a testament to the strength of this culturally diverse, historically rich, innovative place to live, work and play.
Here is a look into the passions, the memories and lives of some of those pillars, deeply rooted in Colchester County.
Les Mullings was born and raised in the outskirts of Toronto, spent a few years as a running back in the Canadian Football League and, at 30, has ended up a third grade teacher in Tatamagouche. Interview and photos by Randi Beers. Video compiled by Raissa Tetanish.
Johnny (Chucker) Matheson is a lifelong Brookfield resident, school teacher and community volunteer. Chuckerball, a children’s softball program established by Matheson more than 40 years ago, is still popular today. Interview and photos by Joey Smith. Video compiled by Sherry Martell.
Deeply Rooted - Rick Butler
Author Rick Butler is an entrepreneur with two hotels under his belt, along with releasing his third book – his first of fiction. Butler, who spent most of his childhood in Truro, still owns and maintains the home his father purchased on Pleasant Street, as well as has homes in California and New York. Interview, photos and video compilation by Raissa Tetanish.
David Swan is a West New Annan resident who has dedicated his career as a professional engineer to producing clean energy. After working in the United States for most of his adult life, he moved back to his Nova Scotia roots bringing his energy storage business with him. He has earned a place in the Guinness World Record book, played an integral role in the establishment of a wind farm in Spiddle Hill and is a devoted community volunteer. Interview, photos and video compiled by Sherry Martell.
Deeply Rooted - Joe Gillis
Bible Hill resident Joe Gillis is a life-long harness racing trainer who runs a stable at Truro Raceway with his wife Arleen. The couple's daughters, Christina and Chantel, have also been bitten by the bug, making the sport a family activity. Interview and photos by Matt Veno. Video compiled by Sherry Martell.
Deeply Rooted - Fred Hamilton
Fred Hamilton is a seventh generation farmer on his cow and sheep farm in Lower Onslow. Among other things, a love of the land and the work he does keeps him in Colchester County. Interview and photos by Randi Beers. Video compiled by Raissa Tetanish.
Deeply Rooted - Dick Akerman
Dick Akerman is a longtime Great Village resident who feels blessed to be rooted in Colchester County. He loves the people and volunteer opportunities in his community and nearby Truro, and is constantly enriching the lives of others by helping broaden their knowledge of the area through his efforts at the Colchester Historeum in Truro. Interview and photos by Monique Chiasson. Video compiled by Raissa Tetanish.
Deeply Rooted - Joe Lockhart
Joe Lockhart is a retired masonry worker who lives in Bible Hill. Following his retirement, Joe became involved in building birdhouses and from there expanded to building scale-version replicas of homes and other structures, primarily during the fall and winter months. A secondary passion is his potato garden (that he tries not to share with the deer) of which he is very fond. Interview and photos by Harry Sullivan. Video compiled by Sherry Martell.
Deeply Rooted - Judy Burgess
Debert resident Judy Burgess can't remember a time in her life when she wasn't offering assistance to others in the community. She is currently volunteering at Immanuel Baptist Church and the Salvation Army thrift store in Truro. Her past endeavours have included being a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester County and various church and children related activities. Interview and photos by Monique Chiasson. Video compiled by Raissa Tetanish.
Deeply Rooted - Merle Sullivan
Merle Sullivan was born on Nov. 26, 1919 on what is now Sullivan Road in Nuttby, Colchester County. At almost 94 years of age, he continues to live in the same house where his father Everett was born in 1881 and where he has lived for all but four years of his life. Together with his late wife Gladys (nee Smith), Merle raised six children there. From planting and harvesting his own garden vegetables to roaming the woods looking for fiddleheads and waiting for long, cold winters to break so that the maple syrup season can begin, the old mountain remains Merle’s number one passion (outside of family and friends) and, from his perspective, there is no reason nor desire to live anywhere else. Interview and photos by Harry Sullivan. Video compiled by Sherry Martell.
Deeply Rooted - Zach Julian
Zach Julian is a Millbrook resident who has become an ambassador for his community. From forming the first all-native lacrosse team, to volunteering at children’s camps and learning Mi’Kmaw traditions to pass on to the next generation, Julian has done it all for his community. Interview and photos by Matt Veno. Video compiled by Sherry Martell.