"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hurricane Fiona and Great Village

One of the most iconic buildings in Colchester County was damaged by Hurricane Fiona, which roared through the eastern part of Nova Scotia on 23-24 September 2022. The 112-foot steeple of St. James Church, now the Great Village Arts and Entertainment Centre, took a direct hit from wind, which knocked it off its axis. This structure, a registered heritage property, has stood for over 125 years, taking all kinds of weather. So that the winds of Fiona caused this damage indicates just how intense a storm it was.

All who drive along Highway 2 from Truro to Parrsboro see this building, which stands at the centre of Great Village. It is the heart of this historic community, which has been immortalized in the writing of the poet Elizabeth Bishop, who grew up under its spire.

Below are some images of the damage and the process to remove the steeple. Just what will happen is still up in the air (no pun intended). From my perspective, I hope the will and the resources either to repair and restore it, or to rebuild/replace it) exists.

Great Village Antiques (directly across the road from the church) has been sharing images and updates on its Facebook page. As has the Arts Centre, on its Facebook page. Word about this damage has spread far and wide, especially in the EB world. I have received messages from people as far away as the U.K. and the U.S.

In today’s Chronicle Herald, John Demont has written about the damage to the church, and to other natural iconic structures that did not survive the force of Hurricane Fiona:

JOHN DeMONT: How disasters teach us to how to master loss | SaltWire

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