Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Museum Travels - Shelburne County

Time to play catch up with the site visit posts.  If you allow me to backtrack a few weeks, in this edition we'll be traveling down the south shore of Nova Scotia.  Our first stop is Barrington, home of the Cape Sable Historical Society, Seal Island Lighthouse Museum, the Old Meeting House, Western Counties Military Museum, and Barrington Woolen Mill Museum...Barrington really likes museums.  And the variety means that no matter what you're interested in, they should have something to accommodate you.   
It was a busy place when I visited, with visitors coming and going, and summer staff working on sprucing up the Society building in preparation for their CMAP evaluation. 

From Barrington I took the Lighthouse Route back to Shelburne, one of the "official" scenic routes in the province.  Having traveled the same highways and main roads so often, it's nice to take a back route sometimes for variety.  Taking the back roads also drastically increases your chances for wildlife sightings.  This trip's count (other than all the birds, squirrels & chipmunks) came to 1 coyote, 2 deer, and a porcupine that decided to show off for the camera.

My visit to Shelburne was a special one, because of a surprise retirement party being held that afternoon for the Shelburne County Museum's Curator. Finn has been with the Museum for 31 years, and so has become synonymous with the organization.  The concept of one existing without the other seems very strange.  I wish I'd gotten a photo of her as she walked into the room because she had no idea that around 40 people were quietly waiting for her.  The look on her face was one of total shock.  She told me afterwards that she had a lovely lunch with her coworkers the day before, and so she figured that would be the end of it.  She had no idea that something much bigger was planned.

Having worked with Finn for the past 5 years on various special projects and the usual database support stuff, I have always been impressed by her high standards of professionalism, her enthusiasm for learning, and her seemingly infinite knowledge of the collection and Shelburne's history.

Finn attended as many workshops and conferences as possible, and made sure to apply what she learned to her work at the museum.  Her reputation and many connections in the field saw that her retirement party was jam-packed with museum workers, historical society members, friends, and family.  Those who couldn't attend in person made sure to send cards or greetings.  This is truly an end of an era. 
From all of us at ANSM, we wish Finn the absolute best in her retirement, and that there are many sunny gardening days ahead.  The new bench will make a great rest and reading spot.

1 comment:

J Goreham-Penney said...

You were in my hometown! Nothing like Southwest Nova hospitality. This summer I really need to make the time to visit the UFO Museum in Shag Harbour- I've been to the Don Ledger lecture before, but not since they made a museum and started a festival. So many great little museums tucked away in the Municipality of Barrington.