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April 2000 

Examining The Options
At a public information meeting held on April 27 in Musquodoboit Harbour to consider the Development Application by Sobeys for a commercial development called the "Village Centre", a lot of positive feelings were expressed encouraging the expansion and development of a news Sobeys shopping center in the area, but much dismay was expressed by area residents concerning the scale and esthetics of the so called "progress". It appeared that what is lacking is a comprehensive and co-ordinated "Vision" for our Village of Musquodoboit Harbour.

The word "Village" comes from the word "ville" meaning city and the word ville derives from the word "vie" or "vita" meaning life! So Village means a place in which people live which is smaller than a town or city. Our Village of Musquodoboit Harbour is such a place - a smaller place where people live and work and interact with one another and have common interests which bring them together. Webster's Dictionary describes "community"as " a group of people living together as a smaller social unit within a larger one, and having intrerests, work, etc., in common".

Since the "Great Amalgamation" this idea of identifying ourselves as a smaller social unit within a larger one has never been more needed or more threatened. All of this should lead us to the conclusion that a "Village Centre" is the centre of the life of a community.

When one thinks about the words "Centre" and "Life" and "Community" and "village" what comes to mind? Probably many different things to many different people; but what is important to note is that there are some things which we as residents of the Musquodoboit harbour Area all hold in common - some concepts and ideas of village life which we all find to be desireable and which are the reasons why we live here.

Such things as a quieter pace, friendly hospitable people, familiar faces and places, the countryside close at hand, recreational opportunities such as The Musquodoboit Trailway, the Ball Field, the Exercise Gymn, Martinique Beach and the Musquodoboit River, the advantages of having our neighbours operating a Post Office, Bank,Library, Restauarants, Drug Stores, Shops etc. in close proximity; the convenience of having Elementary Schools, the High School, the Community Centre, Hockey Rink, the Railway Museum, and the Churches; the security given to the community by the presence of the Police Station, the Volunteer Fire Department, the Twin Oaks Hospital and the Birches Seniors Centre; - these are some of the things that we like about our village.

There are a number of things that we all hold as desireable developments for the future - things that would make our village an even better place in which to live if and when they come about. All of these things which we hold in common are the essence of our "community". In other words the things that we like about our community NOW and the things that we would like to see in our community in the FUTURE are the very things that make us a community.

It is always easy to look at what we've got now and see what we like and dislike about it, but it is when we try to look into the future that our community of thought seems to begin to unravel. What is needed is a vision for the future of our own community.

What are the options?

Let's get together and pool our resources and ideas and determine what WE want for our Village Centre. We owe it to ourselves and to our future generations to plan and develop our own community along guidelines which would protect what we like so much about our village life at present, diminish or eliminate the things that we find to be undesireable, and develop a Village Community Centre that would make us even more pleased and proud to be a part of Musquodoboit harbour and Area.

We should not be against "progress" for its own sake.... real progress is a very desireable thing. But progress need not always carry a high price in destruction of what is and has been our way of life in a rural community. There are alternatives....for instance let's re-design and re-develop the present Sobeys Store in Jeddore....build the Sobey's Centre where it will enhance and encourage development of the entire area...and also lessen the detrimental effects of such a develoment on the Village.

The village needs a shot in the arm.... let's re-design it, dress it up and revitalize our village life in the process without destroying its essential small town rural and historic character.

We have had enough of leaving it to others......
Let's do it! Let's do it NOW!
(by Adrien Blanchette)

What do you think? Write to us


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Highway7 E-zine, a publication of Hatch Media, is an electronic journal with a focus on commercial, historical, cultural and ecological issues concerning the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia in Canada. Topics include a growing resource of currently more than 300 articles. More articles and image galleries are added frequently as new material is brought to our attention. With Highway7.com, our primary aim is to serve, inform and reflect the rural communities on the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia, as well as to acquaint new residents, visitors, tourists, and investors with the special beauty and enormous potential of our region.
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