Digby Thompsons

Everyday Life & Observations in Digby & Area

Titanic – The Halifax Connection


Considered one of the greatest marine disasters in history, the story of the RMS Titanic began in Southampton, England on April 10, 1912 leaving on her maiden voyage. For some of those who lost their lives, Halifax, Nova Scotia is where the story ended.

On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m. the Titanic struck a giant iceberg and by 2:20 a.m. on April 15th the “unsinkable ship” was gone.  On April 17th, the Halifax based cable steamer, Mackay-Bennett set sail with a minister, an undertaker and a cargo of ice, coffins and canvas bags. She arrived at the site on April 20th and spent five days recovering 306 bodies, 116 of which had to be buried at sea. Several more vessels were dispatched over the course of many days. Of all the bodies recovered and brought back to Halifax, 59 bodies were shipped out by train to their families.

In all, 209 bodies were brought back and unloaded at the Coaling Wharf of the Dockyard in Halifax. The class barriers, as typical as they were at that time, first class passenger bodies were unloaded in coffins, second and third class passengers in canvas bags and the crew on open stretchers. Each body was assigned a number for identification purposes and those numbers appear on the victims’ headstones.

We visited the Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax where the majority of the victims are buried


A map of the cemetery identifies gravestones of the known victims, the unknown victims represented by the identification number only and the all male crew marked in yellow.


Most of the gravestones, erected in the fall of 1912, were paid for by the White Star Line (owner of the Titanic) and are plain granite blocks.


If there is no name on the gravestone, the victim was never identified, only through the number assigned when the body was brought ashore.


Friends or other groups chose to commission larger and more elaborate gravestones



The beautiful momument to the “Unknown Child”, now having been recently identified


This past year honoured the 100 years since Titanic was lost. A permanent exhibit of artifacts and history awaits at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

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Out & about in Halifax!

We have been in Dartmouth for two months and it was only yesterday that we got a real peek at Halifax. We headed for the Visitor’s Information Centre to collect some much needed maps, directions and information.


We took a nice walk on the boardwalk situated on the Halifax harbour and took some pictures.



Heading towards Lower Water Street, we came to the home of the “famous” Alexander Keith’s Brewery and the Waterfront Warehouse.


Continuing our walk up Lower Water Street, this memorial sailor statue represents the young Canadians who served and continue to serve today.


Our world famous Nova Scotian Crystal which has recently sought bankruptcy protection.


A quick drive over to the Hydrostone Neighbourhood for our favourite French sourdough baguette. This neighbourhod is located in the north end of Halifax where many of the wood framed buildings were destroyed by fire in the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917. It is mainly a residential area constructed of locally created and non combustible “hydrostone” concrete blocks to minimize the risk of fire. This area is a designated National Historic Site and voted one of the “great neighbourhoods in Canada”.


And back across one of two bridges that cross the Halifax Harbour to Dartmouth. These pictures are from the McKay Bridge and you can see the McDonald Bridge in the far distance.


More Halifax adventures to follow!

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It’s my birthday today!

Happy Birthday to Me!


For those of you that may not know, I was born in Missouri on February 14, 2007. That would make me 6 years old today. It took four days, driving cross country in a van full of puppies, to reach my Mom in Boston. Since then, I have logged thousand of miles, both air miles and car miles travelling with my parents.

Being the “condo” dog that I am, I’m enjoying our new digs in Dartmouth


Don’t get me wrong, I love Digby, with the backyard and all, but negotiating back there in the winter has its challenges. In Dartmouth, I have a clean sidewalk to walk on but it is really cold here.

My winter coat has come in handy!


But I think my favourite thing about Dartmouth is, I have found a groomer that absolutely adores me! Her name is Jennifer and she works out of her home. She only works with one dog at time which means plenty of playtime at the end. Who’d have thunk it getting a bath could be so much fun!

Here’s me on Jennifer’s Facebook page


More of me!


I was so wrapped up in my birthday I almost forgot……………………

♥Happy Valentine’s Day!♥


“Sold Out”

Having recently made the move to the Halifax/Dartmouth area, we were in for our first night out when Randy’s nephew-in-law, Ian, informed us he was visiting the area. For those of you that don’t know Ian (Randy’s brother, George (Calgary), father to Cheryl, wife to Ian – that’s the family connection) he is a stand up comedian.

Introducing Ian Sirota


Ian was the “headliner” at the local Yuk Yuk’s club, located in the Westin Nova Scotia in Halifax.



Ian played to a sold out, mixed crowd, with one laugh after another. As his bio relates, he is a two time Gemini nominee and described as a cross between Denis Leary and Don Rickles. His role playing jokes and his bookful of lies he tells his young daughter, where especially entertaining. We laughed til we cried and laughed some more.

Should you ever get the chance to see Ian live, we highly recommend it! And we’re not saying that just because we are related………..

Cheryl – you have a VERY funny husband! And a special thanks to Ian for an unforgettable and entertaining night out and, of course, the tickets!


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Movin’ on up…………

As most of you are probably aware by now, Randy has secured a job with the Imperial Oil Refinery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia as a Facilities Manager and began working Wednesday, January 2nd.


This is a two year opportunity as Imperial Oil has put the refinery on the auction block. In the case of this refinery, the oil is shipped in from oil producing countries, like Venezuela, for example. Other refineries pipe their oil in which is more productive in terms of revenue dollars but there is no pipeline to Nova Scotia. This makes for a very costly refining process; hence the sale.  However, the opportunity to have this on one’s resume is huge.

We were able to find a really nice, 2 bedroom condo for rent approximately 10 minutes from the refinery and we have settled in nicely.


We have a beautiful view from our balcony


We are even able to barbeque………….yay! It’s a little rusty…but hey…it was free!


Of course, I took over the second bedroom……..along with Bandit!


We continue to go to Digby every weekend to work on the house, rest and relax. Oh and of course, Digby is the ONLY place to go for scallops! Can’t wait for the weekend!


2012 in review……..

The year 2012 certainly brought us lots of challenges; personally, healthwise and professionally. Not once did we doubt we were doing the right thing by packing up and leaving the hectic city life. Yes, it was extremely difficult to leave family and friends but we knew in our hearts that everyone wanted the best for us and so we pushed on.

We created the blog in August 2012, keeping in mind that our main focus was to craft a website where family and friends could watch our accomplishments, tag along with us on our many road trip adventures and maybe even appreciate the little piece of heaven we have here in Digby, Nova Scotia.

Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged us along the way! And thanks for reading! And thanks for your comments!  We will endeavour to go into 2013 with new adventures, posts and most importantly, keeping all of you informed of our latest shenanigans!

And as Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Happy New Year to our family and friends! May the New Year bring happy times and good health.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our blog

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

In 2012, there were 50 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 639 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1 GB. That’s about 2 pictures per day….and we started late!



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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…………..

Our first major winter blast today!



Somebody’s gotta shovel it!


And its still coming down! For “come from aways” that were told we don’t get any snow in Digby………………HA! Maybe as Torontonians we brought the good weather with us!

As for my Uncle Tom – this message is from Randy……….lock up that snow blower……we’re coming to get ‘er!

Cheers! Bring it on!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Digby, Nova Scotia to all of our family and friends! We were fortunate to have our very first WHITE Christmas!


Santa brought Randy these BIG binoculars; he could probably catch lobsters with these suckers!


Handmade scarf and crystal butterfly catcher from Mom


Bandit even got into the Christmas spirit!


And, eventually the “clean up”


Thanks to all who sent cards and well wishes!



Christmas Cheers!

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Santa arrived early!

Santa must have known we were VERY good this year and brought our present early! And what a BIG package it is! It even needed a hydraulic tailgate to get it off the truck!


What a beautiful day to take our time and unpackage this well packed, fragile item. It needed Randy’s expertise with a drill to carefully take out all the screws.


Even came with a well made address label


One panel down


Lots of  “uncrating” directions


Lots of “encouraging” words on the inside panels


Time to move to the indoors to finish the unpacking


And the BIG “reveal”

Our very own lighthouse, complete with working fresnel light!



A BIG THANK YOU to Doug and Nancy Koohtow, who while visiting us this past summer, hatched  this idea and which did indeed come to fruition.


And if you think this is “just” a lighthouse, stay tuned for all the special features of this working lighthouse.

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Tis the season………

A week early, but having accomplished everything on our “honey do” list, we decided to decorate for the holidays. First thing was to find everything in the basement and then drag it up into the livingroom. Just like Christmas…..its a surprise with every box you open!

First things first……………..the tree!


Light ‘er up!


The stockings were held from the chimney with care


The table is set


Moving outside to the lights


Even decorated the back patio……….gives our neighbours something to look at!


We think we are ready……23 more sleeps til Santa arrives!



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Everyday Life & Observations in Digby & Area

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Everyday Life & Observations in Digby & Area