Nova Bannerman's work in District One recognized by Council

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Warden Robert Parker, left, and District 1 Coun. Don Butler present Nova Bannerman with a plaque of recognition for her dedication to her community and her work with the Barney’s River School House Museum.

 PICTOU, NS – The Municipality of Pictou County recognized Nova Bannerman for her dedication, foresight and leadership in her community and to the Barney’s River Station School House Museum.

District 1 Coun. Don Butler said Mrs. Bannerman is a true teacher at heart and gives testimony to the principle of livelong learning through her work with the museum and her career as a school teacher.

“The sound of the school bell made a lasting impression on the life of a young Nova Bannerman as she attended a one roomed school house in Sutherland’s River,” he said. “The same bell she heard as she took her Grade 11 and 12 at New Glasgow Academy and then onto the Normal College in Truro.  By the age of 16, she was ringing her own bell in the one roomed school house in Marshy Hope.”

Mrs. Bannerman’s teaching career took her to a number of rural schools, finishing up at the Frank H. MacDonald after a 34-year career.  She touched the lives of thousands of children along the way, planting them a seed for life long learning.

She and her husband, Donald, raised a family of four children, all of whom excelled to higher education.

In 1971, the Barney’s River School, build in 1875, was closed. The bell which she had run for the past five years was to be silenced for ever,” she said. “A group of concerned citizens, calling themselves the Barney’s River Station Community Club was formed.  The first item of discussion was the fate of their former schoolhouse.

Some people wanted to tear it down, others thought it should be burned to the ground and still others thought it would make a nice little country store, Coun. Butler said.  But Mrs. Bannerman could see the true potential of this building which ad prepared so many young men and women to go into the world and distinguish themselves in so many fields. Here was an opportunity to preserve the history not only of this schoolhouse, but also the history of the community.

“She picked up the bell and led the charge,” said Coun. Butler.  “In 1994, the building was officially registered as a Municipal Heritage Property to be known as Barney’s River Station School Museum.  Over the past 25 years, she was been the driving force behind this little museum, tucked nicely on highway 4, just off TCH Exit 29”

Its doors open from 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday, during the months of July and August. Visitors have come from the far corners of the world, some making this their destination as they plan an Atlantic vacation.

“The museum is filled with items donated by past students and community members, all lovingly displayed to tell the rich history of the community 

and the supreme sacrifice made by some in war times,” he said.  “It captures the learning environment taught so many years ago in this and hundreds other one roomed school houses scattered throughout all of Nova Scotia.

More information on the Barney’s River Station School House Museum can be found on its Facebook page.