“Tancook Wishing Stones” Project

Big Tancook Island is home to many adults and children who have developed a culture of caring for and about others – in little ways and big ways. One small way in which we feel we can spread this culture of caring is through our “Tancook Wishing Stones” project.

A wishing stone is a magical stone or pebble that is found on the seashore and has a white quartz ring on it somewhere. The ring must be complete with no breaks or pauses in the circle it forms. The ring can be crossed by other rings, but must have no beginning and no end in order for the magic to work.
When you find a wishing stone, stand by the seashore, hold it in your hand, close your eyes and make a silent wish. Once you’ve made a wish, throw the stone as far into the sea as you can.

We will leave baskets of Tancook Wishing Stones in hospital waiting rooms throughout the province. Each stone will be packaged in a small fabric bag with a card explaining the idea behind a wishing stone and encouraging people to leave a comment on the Tancook Wishing Stones website telling their story.  People who spend time in medical waiting rooms often feel worried or alone. Our goal is to spread some cheer and enchantment for patients and their family members with this project.

If you would like to help with this project, please keep an eye open for wishing stones as you stroll along the shore. Or, if you know of a location where we can leave  a basket of wishing stones, please let us know.

Health Care Meeting – November 23, 2017

We are delighted that Thursday’s meeting to discuss health care issues was productive and positive. The meeting was facilitated by Lorraine Burch, Manager of Our Health Centre (OHC) in Chester. She was accompanied by Gord Tate, Active Living/Transportation Coordinator, Chester Municipality; Louise Hopper, Community Health Coordinator and Barbara Carthew, Board Member, Bonny Lea Farm.

We had a good turnout and residents who attended had an opportunity to share their current and future health care needs and concerns.

This meeting is strategically significant as we have now established a valuable link with OHC , an excellent community resource at our doorstep. OHC offers a variety of services and workshops from Diabetes Education to Understanding Dementia. The Centre is open to suggestions for workshops and Lorriane has offered to investigate the possibility of bringing some workshops to Tancook.

Solving problems is very much about building relationships and this meeting did just that. To paraphrase Peter Stephens, “People cannot help us with a problem they don’t know we have.” We now need to maintain the momentum we have set in action and continue to build relationships with health care providers to ensure that we will have a healthy community especially as so many of us enter into the ‘golden” phase of our lives.

For more information about OHC programs and services please see the document below.
Summary of Programs and Services at OHC Jan 2017- December 2017

To learn more about what OHC has to offer, visit http://www.ourhealthcentre.ca/ and sign up for “The Buzz” their monthly newsletter.

More Subsea Cable Information from NS Power

“The power outage to Big Tancook this week was due to a cable failure between Blandford and Little Tancook.  The failure was on the older of the two cables that run between Blandford and Little Tancook.  We did some switching and are feeding the Tancooks from the newest cable between Blandford and Little Tancook.  We have determined the place where the cable failed and we are currently putting together the plan to make the repair.  The location of the fault is about 600m from the Blandford shore so we require a barge and divers to assist in bringing the cable to the surface to install the splice.  If all goes according to plan, this will be completed by the third week in November.

We currently have two cables that leave Blandford and go to Little Tancook.  One of these cables was put in service in 2006 and the other in 1990.   We also have two cables the run between Little Tancook and Big Tancook.  One of these cables was replaced in 2007 and the second was put  in service in the 1970’s.  We have other islands that are fed through underwater cables that would not have any redundancy.  We have replaced a cable between the mainland and each island in the past 10 years to ensure that we have a reliable supply to the islands.  The cable that has failed is on our list to be reviewed for cable replacement.  This cable has failed 3 times in the past ten years and this would factor into the replacement timing.”

Update re NS Power Subsea Cable

Update re Subsea Power Cable

After last week’s power outage there was worry among island residents that we might be without power for an extended time during the winter months.  In response to an inquiry made to NS Power a few days ago, Tiffany Chase, the Senior Communication Advisor shared this helpful information:

“Power to both Big and Little Tancook islands is supplied through a combination of two subsea cables (a primary and a backup cable) and a network of overhead lines on the islands themselves. The challenge for outages that occur on the islands is that crews must patrol the overhead sections on the islands to ensure they can safely re-energize the lines once repairs are completed.

The outage earlier this week was approximately 14 hours in duration, primarily due to the time it took for crews to secure a boat and assess the power line status on Big Tancook before the service could safely be restored to all customers on both islands. The outage was caused due to a failure on the older of the two subsea cables; one cable was installed in the 1990’s and the other was installed a decade ago. The older cable will be repaired within the next few weeks, and it is on the list for future replacement.

The repair will be a splice. We will rent a barge, and trained personnel dive down and repair it underwater. If you picture a bunch of smaller wires (conductors) inside a thicker cable, in this case, one or more of those smaller wires is faulty and to repair it, we will cut out the faulty section and tie in a new piece to re-establish the connection.

In the meantime, Tancook customers can be assured that their power will continue to be delivered via the other cable, which is in good condition.”

Roots Rodenhiser Style by David Rodenhiser

Roots Rodenhiser style: I’m celebrating 250 years of my family being Nova Scotian
by David Rodenhiser
(Son of Weldon and Patricia Rodenhiser, grandson of David and Clara “Hannah” Rodenhiser. Descendant of the Murdoch Rothenhausers.)

Squinting into a summer sunrise, Johann Philipp Frederick Rothenhauser took a deep breath of salt air, tightened his grip on his wife’s hand, then turned to her and smiled. She returned his smile, but Johann could tell by her eyes that she saw through his feigned confidence. He was actually riddled with anxiety about the journey ahead, and the uncertain future he was about to plunge his young family into.

Rotterdam was a strange place to Johann, 46, Elizabeth and their four children. They were from Klein Heubach, a German town on the bank of the River Main. Like the dozens of other German families milling about them on the dock, they had travelled many days to reach the great Dutch port. All had been lured there by John Dick, a Rotterdam merchant hired by the British to offer German Protestants free land in a North American colony called Nova Scotia.

Free land sounded too good to be true to Johann, but the New World was so far away. It meant leaving behind everything and everyone he knew. Tied up at the end of the wharf was the Murdoch, the sailing ship that would take them to Nova Scotia. To Johann, it seemed much too small to accommodate the 100 families who had signed up for the perilous voyage. But it was too late for second thoughts. With Anna, 10, Maria, 8, and Philipp, 6, in tow, and Elizabeth carrying two-year-old Hans, Johann strode up the gangplank and into his new life.

The date was June 22, 1751.

The names, places and dates are all correct. The emotions and thoughts, I’m guessing at. Johann Rothenhauser was my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. I’m shirking my regular duties as a political columnist to take my last opportunity to mark the 250th anniversary of my family arriving in Nova Scotia.

The Murdoch sailed into Halifax on Sept. 19, 1751, with 298 passengers aboard. Twenty-nine people died during the 58-day journey.

The Rothenhausers survived the trip, but Anna, Maria and Hans died within four years, presumably from disease. (Genealogical records don’t provide an answer.) Life was difficult for early settlers in Nova Scotia. But so, too, had it been in Germany: Johann and Elizabeth had lost five babies at childbirth or shortly thereafter before deciding to cross the Atlantic.

Philipp, who’d made the voyage from Rotterdam as a six-year-old, lived to the ripe old age of 84. He was my great-times-five grandfather.

I won’t bore you with a generation-by-generation account of my ancestry. But the Christmas season gets one thinking about family, and I must say that the best gift I received all year was from my brother, Andrew, who e-mailed me a genealogy database this summer that traced our family back to Johann’s grandfather, Hans Heinrich Rothenhauser, who was born around 1651 in Hoffstetten, Germany. Hans Heinrich was Hoffstetten’s mayor for some time, but later moved his family to Klein Heubach.

There’s no record of why Johann, a Lutheran by religion and a baker by trade, decided to immigrate to Nova Scotia. At the time, thousands of Germans fled to North America for economic, political and religious reasons.

In Nova Scotia, Johann received a land grant at First Peninsula, near Lunenburg. His surname took on several Anglicized versions, including Rhodenizer and Rodenhiser.

Johann’s great-grandson, John Leonard Rodenhiser, acquired land on Tancook Island, at the mouth of Mahone Bay, around 1840. My father, John Leonard’s great-great-grandson, was born there.

For those curious about their own ancestry, tremendous genealogical resources are available on the Internet, particularly through the Nova Scotia GenWeb Project,  www.rootsweb.com/~canns/index.html.

I’m indebted to them.


A Visit to Tancook through the Eyes of 2-Year Old Melissa

Hi, everyone. My name is Melissa and I was 2 years old in March. This is my second September vacation at this house on  Tancook and I want to tell you about the wonderful time I had with my family. I took my Mommy, my Grandmother, my great Grandmother and my two great -great Aunties with me. We all loved it, but me most especially. I felt right at home in the house and it had everything in it that the old people needed to look after me.

I liked to run in the grass and go to the beach to collect treasures. It rained on Wednesday and my Nanny took me down the road and let me jump in all the mud puddles. It was awesome! One day we went to the ferry in the car that goes with the house to meet some cousins who were coming to visit. They liked the house so much they are going to bring their grandchildren down next summer! They had to go back on the 4:30 ferry because Auntie Di wouldn’t let then sleep in her big bed!

Auntie Sharon took me out to see the crane flies. I was not impressed with them but I went with her because I love it outdoors. I really liked the visit over to the beach by Hillary’s Wishing Stones Gallery and Museum. The water was warm on the sand flats and I could walk out really far in the water. – almost to Grassy.  I cried when they made me go home for supper. But I loved the BBQ hamburgers!

I enjoyed the relief ferry trips very much. I played on the bus and watched the waves. Imagine that! I rode on a bus on the water! Some of my cousins who live on Tancook helped to entertain me. The ferry crew were very nice and helped the old people carry on & off our stuff. I was sad to leave but they promised me they’d take me again next year. I can’t wait to go puddle jumping again! And I LOVE the ocean and throwing rocks in the water. The waves chased me! It was wonderful fun! I slept really well because I had lots of fresh air and exercise. Thank you for sharing this great place!

XOXO Melissa.
P.S. See you next year!

Request from Kelly Mosher Crooks

A request from Kelly Mosher Crooks:

Brent has been in contact with Heritage Memorials for the past 18 months or so. Elroy’s stone is in serious need of an adjustment and so is Russell and Violets. The company doesn’t want to travel to Tancook for an entire day for such a small job and have told Brent they are waiting to see if there is another placement/adjustment before they go down. If anyone has a loved one whose stone needs to be reset and the stone is by Heritage Memorial it is usually covered under warranty and will be done at no charge. If the stone is by another company, they will still do the reset, but there will be a charge (I don’t know what that charge would be). Just thought I would put this information out there in case there are others who may be interested. If we can get several “jobs” for them it is more likely that they will come down. Their toll free number is 1-800-565-5032.

Hunting the wild chanterelle

On a recent Sunday afternoon hike led by Bonny and Rosa we were excited to be introduced to the chanterelle mushroom, growing throughout the woods after a day of rain. Chanterelles are especially prized because they only grow in the wild – they cannot be domesticated.

“It is the Chanterelle mushroom which many of the world’s great chefs prize above all others.
Their fragrant aroma, fine flavor and pleasing texture make chanterelles one of the most versatile of all mushrooms and have earned them a well-deserved place in kitchens around the world.”

Source:  http://www.earthy.com/Fresh-US-Chanterelle-Mushrooms-from-Earthy-Delights.aspx

Honourary Tancooker Ceremony

One of the highlights of the weekly lunch provided to the Backroads hikers by the Tancook Rec Centre is  being sworn in as an Honourary Tancooker.

It’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to kiss a lobster and be banded.