Posted in Event Review


This week, we held a Board meeting of the Ernest Buckler Literary Event Society (EBLES). We invited Sandra Barry to attend because of her experience with the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia. There were two main agenda items:
a) how to support local writers
b) keynote speaker for the Summer event

3bookcoversEvidence suggests that there has been a long tradition of self-publication in the Annapolis Valley. Anne Crossman arrived with a canvas bag full of books by local authors. Two notable historic treasures were Andrew Merkel’s narrative poems, The Order of Good Cheer and Tallahassee. Both published by Abanaki Press, Lower Granville, Annapolis County 1946. Second, Charles Hanson Towne’s Ambling through Acadia, 1923. It describes a trip from Yarmouth along the Annapolis Valley – Digby, Bear River, Annapolis Royal, Bridgetown, Wolfville to Halifax, with a side trip to Parrsboro.

Describing Bridgetown,

“No town is too small to have its Nickelodeon and the ‘Pathe News’ reaches the most forlorn regions. Soon the radio will penetrate the dullest hamlets, and the whole world will be linked as it never has been. But alas! all this has its drawbacks too; for it sounds the death-knell of privacy; and in a few years there will be no such things as an obscure farmer.” p.130.

This prescient passage was written almost a hundred years ago.

We discussed several options for a keynote speaker. Sandra advised us on the intricacies of the Writers Union of Canada. We will see what happens next.

brexitbritexAs we were discussing the relationship between ‘place’ and ‘writing’, I remember an earlier blog by Dick Groot on Highway #201 and the BRITEX plant in Centrelea. Centrelea was the home base for Ernest Buckler.

BRITEX is the abbreviation for Bridgetown Textiles. With changes in the manufacturing sector and global competition, BRITEX closed down a number of years ago. Whether the building can be repurposed, is another question.

What intrigued me, playing with words, was that BRITEX could be transformed into BREXIT. We live in a time when the trade relationships between Great Britain and the European Union are at risk. Whatever the final outcome it seems that this six-letter abbreviation has outlived its shelf life.

Finally, it should be noted that the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting will be Saturday, June 22nd at Great Village. The keynote speaker will be Harry Thurston, writer and naturalist.

This blog was written by an ex-Brit, now a resident in Canada


Thank you to Anne Crossman, Jane Borecky and Sandra Barry for their input at the EBLES board meeting. To Edward Wedler for his graphics contribution


Andrew Merkel. 1946. The Order of Good Cheer. A Narrative Poem. Abanaki Press.Andrew Merkel. Tallahassee. A Ballad of Nova Scotia in the Sixties. Abanaki PressCharles Hanson Towne. 1923. Ambling through Acadia. Crowell Publishing Co.
Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia



3 thoughts on “BRITEX to BREXIT

  1. I’ld like to respond to your reference to Britex. When I interviewed one of the vice presidents of the company he mentioned two aspects of the closure. When it was running well many farmers quit farming and started working at when you travel in the area there is indeed a surpising number of abandoned farms. The other impact was the number of wives of fishermen from the Fundy side came to work there. Thus with the closure of the mill the impact went beyond Bridgetown. On the websites and there are bogs with many comments on the britex closure by people who lost their jobs, some very bitter. I shall not comment on the Brexit irony.

    Sent from my iPhone



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