Looking Back: Flummoxed by flamingo flock


Edited from the Courier Weekend Week of Friday, Oct. 27, 2006

It’s not every day the mayor of your community calls with the news he has a group of pink flamingoes on his front lawn.

“Is it your birthday?” he was asked.

“No,” came the reply.

“You’ve been flamingoed then!”

“No, I’ve been flocked,” came the laughing reply from Mayor Bob Brown.

At least that’s what the sheet of paper in his mailbox states. That piece of paper cleared up some of the mystery for the mayor and his wife, Barb, as to how this unlikely bunch of colourful birds made their way onto the lawn.

Students at the St. Stephen Middle School are raising money to fund a trip to London, England, during March Break. For a donation you can send the 12 flamingoes to take up residence on a local lawn.

CBC spotlights river – and Courier
The CBC News at Six will feature St. Stephen this week on its popular Your Town New Brunswick segment. The special airs tonight, Friday, Oct. 27.

It looks at an important piece of local history, the Fenian Raids of 1866. At the time, St. Stephen and other border communities were threatened by a group of Irish-American radicals that wanted Irish independence from England. They believed they could capture or disrupt British Crown Colonies, starting with Campobello Island.

It’s currently the subject of a new book by military historian Robert Dallison.
In his television feature, reporter Bob Mersereau interviews Dallison along the banks of the St. Croix, and uses vintage photos of the town and the area to help visualize the St. Stephen of 1866.

Also, the camera crew visited the offices of the Saint Croix Courier, which reported on the Fenians during its very first days of publishing.

Border concerns raised
Representatives from the office of Senator Susan Collins were at Bernardini’s restaurant on Wednesday to discuss border issues with business people from both sides of the border.
Robert Strayer, Counsel for the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, answered questions concerning long border waits, passports and identification cards, and new usage charge on commercial vehicles.
There were many concerns about the usage charge of $5.25 that will be placed on commercial vehicles after Nov. 24.
The issue that was on most minds Wednesday was everyday border crossing, and when people would need the new pass cards or passports.

20 YEARS AGO – 1996

Civil war general gets memorial
Last week the only recognition accorded John Caldwell was his name and the dates of his birth and death on a moss covered stone in the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery.
Today, thanks to Len Close, John Holt and Wayne Wilcox, the Civil War general has an additional gravestone describing who he was.

“This was a great man,” says Wilcox, a historian from Eastport. “General Caldwell was one of the eight pallbearers at President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral and he’s buried here in the St. Stephen Rural Cemetery.”

For years historians believed General Caldwell was buried in East Machias, Me., where the Caldwell family lived. However, it is the general’s horse, the one which went through the Civil War with him, that’s buried there while Caldwell himself lies in St. Stephen.
The reason is that he died during a 1912 visit to his daughter, Mrs. Henry Murchie, in Calais, and was buried in the Murchie lot.

Heritage businesses honoured
They have been called the backbone of this border community and the engine that drives democracy.

They are the businesses – the mom and pop stores and the major manufacturing plants – that make up the economic sector of St. Stephen. They helped build this town and are now keeping it afloat and on course for the future.

In the year of the town’s 125th birthday, the St. Stephen Area Chamber of Commerce chose to honour heritage businesses as its annual dinner Wednesday. Thirteen businesses, each at least 75 years old, received awards marking their contributions by both serving their customers and providing jobs in this area.

Here is the complete list of businesses honoured Wednesday: Royal Bank, NBTel, Flewelling Insurance, Bank of Montreal, Dinsmore’s Hardware, Riverside Grocery, Charlotte County Hospital, S.O. Mehan & Son Funeral Home, Bank of Nova Scotia, Ganong Bros., Guy R. Day & Son, Courier Newspapers Ltd. and St. Croix Printing & Publishing.

30 YEARS AGO – 1986

Judge Rice attains national profile
Local provincial court judge Douglas E. Rice has been elected president of the Canadian Council of Provincial Court Judges and has been appointed to sit in on a federal judicial project.

Rice, a native of Petitcodiac and judge of the provincial court in St. Stephen since 1971, was elected to the distinguished position as president of the CAPCJ at their annual meeting in Saint John Sept. 19.

Lots of apples
The St. Stephen Volunteer Centre Food Bank came into a windfall recently. McKnight’s U-Pick donated all the apples left on the trees if the centre would pick them. So Diane Jordan, Teri and Edgar Guitard, Sharon Adams and Volunteer Centre co-ordinator Angela Cline headed out to St. David Ridge earlier this week. They were busily cleaning up the cooking apples before heading across the road to the eating apples.