Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tribute to Ned MacDonald

On Friday we lost a very special colleague.  Ned MacDonald, curator of the Inverness Miner's Museum, and a strong proponent for sharing Nova Scotia's heritage in creative and educational ways, passed away at the ANSM Spring Conference in Port Hawkesbury.  Words cannot express how shocking this was, or what a hole this will leave in the heritage community and in the community of Inverness County.  Ned was a retired teacher and had been a municipal councillor since 1988.  His latest appointment was that of Deputy Warden.  He was the last of the original group that established the miner's museum in 1977.

Ned’s passion extended to many spheres in his life.  To anyone who met with Ned in his office, it was clear that this was a true family man.  His desk was covered in family photos.  He was also devoted to his community, creating learning and job opportunities for youth, and sharing the town’s history with anyone who would listen.

He always thought about the big picture and looked for ways to move the museum forward.  Ever positive, Ned was always eager to hear about the latest developments and special projects that would help to boost the profile of both the museum and the community in educational and creative ways.  Over the past few years, this has meant photographing the collection and sharing artifact records and stories on the Virtual Museum of Canada.  In 2009, Ned’s paintings were the inspiration for our pan-provincial research project on art objects in museum collections.  He was typically Nova Scotian in his modesty about showcasing his own works online, and asked numerous times if we wouldn’t rather show off something “better”.  The museum had also just received a contract from the Canadian Heritage Information Network to complete a Community Memories Project, a virtual exhibit entitled "The Broken Ground: A History of a Cape Breton Coal Mining Community".

Because of his busy schedule, Ned did not often get to attend regional workshops or heritage meetings.  When he walked into the conference on Friday morning, he was grinning ear to ear.  He glowed with pride as he shared the success stories of the Miner’s Museum; he relished the opportunity to share the news from Inverness.

We extend our deepest sympathies to Ned’s family and friends.  His enthusiasm and dedication will be greatly missed.  It won’t be the same without him.


Lynn MacEachern said...

Throughout 2008 and 2009 I was privileged to work with Ned through the Passage Project. As a fellow Cape Bretoner, I was immediately pleased by Ned's dedication to the heritage of Inverness. Even more than this, I was touched by Ned's genuine appreciation for the people he interacted with. Ned had a gift for making people feel valued.
My deepest sympathies to Ned's family, friends and co-workers.

Lynn MacEachern

Bria Stokesbury said...

While I never met Ned MacDonald it is clear from Karin's comments that he was a true advocate of heritage in this Province. On behalf of the heritage workers and volunteers in Kentville, Nova Scotia I extend deepest sympathy to his family and those that knew and worked with him

Bria Stokesbury
Kings County Museum
Kentville, Nova Scotia

Bill said...

I had the distinct pleasure of a guided tour of the Miner's Museum in Inverness with Ned when I was developing the Nova Scotia Railway Heritage map during the summer of 2003. I clearly recall how keen he was to bring together the links on the broad chain of some fifty themed railway attractions throughout Nova Scotia. I shall miss his enthusiastic support for the preservation and interpretation of Nova Scotia's industrial heritage.

Bill Linley
Treasurer, Orangedale Station Association and Industrial Heritage Nova Scotia

Lisette said...

I was truly shocked when I heard the news and can still not quite come to grips with the fact that Ned is no longer with us. As Executive Director at Les Trois Pignons in Cheticamp, I had the pleasure of getting to know Ned through various Municipal functions. When I had to present to Municipal Council, I could always rely on Ned's friendly face and nods of encouragement as I attempted to present some new developement project for my community.
My deepest sympathies to his wife, children and family and also th his fellow Councillors in Inverness County.

He will be missed..

Lisette Aucoin-Bourgeois
Executive Director
La Societe Saint-Pierre
(Les Trois Pignons)

Sherry Griffin said...

Although I did not know Ned, it was clear from his comments that he was a passionate and dedicated volunteer for his museum. On behalf of the members, volunteers and staff of the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum in Middleton, I extend sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Sherry Griffin

Jennifer Bawden said...

I also worked with Ned through the Passage Project in the last couple of years. Ned's commitment to his community came across in his enthusiasm for Inverness' heritage and his dedication as a municipal councilor. Although Ned was busy with the many hats he wore, you never felt as though you had anything less than his full and sincere attention when you spoke with him.

My deepest condolences to his family and friends. Ned you'll be missed!

Aidan Norton said...

Ned's passion and commitment to his community and to his museum were immediately evident. His passing represents a loss for all of us. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Aidan Norton
Colchester Historical Society

Cathy MacIntyre said...

On behalf of the Dominion Heritage School House Museum we extend our deepest condolences to Ned and his family members and friends. The members of every museum across Nova Scotia have lost a very dedicated and knowledgeable individual.

God Bless!
Cathy MacIntyre - Chair on behalf of the members of our Muesum in Dominion.

Sandra said...

I will always remember meeting Ned at the museum two years ago and how much I enjoyed my visit there. He was so dedicated to all things mining and Inverness. The Heritage community has lost a true champion. My deepest sympathy to Ned's family and friends.

Sandra Dunn, Whitney Pier Museum