Tantramar Tantramar Heritage

Calendar of Events 2017

Friday, 17 November 2017 The Tantramar Heritage Trust presents its annual "Taste of History" Fundraising Dinner, this year celebrating Canada 150 by recognizing three people who were instrumental in celebrating our Canadian identity during the Centennial: John Fisher, aka Mr. Canada; Alex Colville; and George Stanley. All three have ties to Sackville. We'll also have a sing-along of all your favorite Canadian songs (remember the Log Driver's Waltz?). Cash bar on site. Meal by Sandpiper Catering. Tickets $50 each, includes a $25 tax receipt. Limited seating. St. Ann's Church Hall, Westcock, NB. 6 p.m.

Sackville Resident's Interest in Heritage leads to fund-raising opportunity
for Tantramar Heritage Trust

Sackville resident Ray Dixon is well known for his interest and commitment when it comes to Tantramar's heritage and his own family history, and this fall it will pay off for the Tantramar Heritage Trust's fund-raising program.

This past winter Ray was looking for a wood-working project and he decided to make an exact reproduction of the 'nanny bench' in the possession of the Tantramar Heritage Trust and on display in the front hall of the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre on Queens Road. Ray had a special interest in the piece because it came through his family and was very generously donated to the Trust.

The Trust has gratefully received the donation of the reproduction bench and will be raffling it off this fall. Tickets are available at the Boultenhouse Heritage Centre and from members of the Trust's Board of Directors.

The nanny bench allows two adults to sit and rock, but its greatest use is with the insertion of a side that allows an adult to rock while the baby is cradled on one end of the bench.

As near as Ray can determine, the bench was built by his ancestor Charles Dixon, who was born in 1803, founded Dixon Shipyard and built the celebrated vessel the Sarah Dixon , but was also a builder of houses and maker of furniture. (He was the grandson of Charles Dixon who came to Sackville with his family from Yorkshire, England in 1772.)

"The lines in the original nanny bench resemble other furniture in town that was the confirmed product of Charles Dixon," says Ray, which strengthens the family story of the origins of the bench. Ray describes Charles Dixon as "the most talented in the family" when it came to building.

Ray remembers his grandfather Walter Dixon telling him that he rocked Ray's great uncle James Leaman Dixon, who was a younger sibling. J. L. 'Lea' Dixon would go on to found the local enterprise that eventually became Atlantic Wholesalers.

There's also heritage interest in the raw materials that were used to build the reproduction. Ray says that the seat is constructed from materials that came from his grandfather Walter's workshop, while the arms and back are from furniture that came from another ancestor, Samuel Edward Dixon. "The dowels are about the only thing that are new," he says.

As in the original style, Ray says that the piece should be painted, given the variation in age and appearance of the wood that was used.

Ray is not new to support for local heritage, having been the recipient of the Tantramar Heritage Trust's Volunteer of the Year award, and as the author of Sackville Built Australia Bound: The Story of the Ship Sarah Dixon , published by the Trust.

Trust Vice-President Geoff Martin, who is spearheading the raffle, says that this is a lovely, sturdy, practical piece of furniture, based on a local nineteenth century design, and built from reclaimed heritage materials. "As a bonus Ray is acknowledged as the builder on the underside, which will make it even more attractive to his friends and acquaintances," Martin says.

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and the draw will happen at the Trustís fund raising dinner November 17.

For more information, call Karen Valanne at 536-2541.

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