Friday, November 09, 2007
Dorchester New Brunswick
Been exploring my roots by going back to the place where my mother went started first grade at 6 and left at 16, all grades in the same schoolhouse!! Latin, geometry and French included. This has been a high point of the trip in some ways because of the "Maratime Hospitality" afforded me. As soon as I arrived the locals got on the phone and started calling around for any people who might have known my Mom or her dad. Truly amazing how generous these people are. I am also fascinated by history and this region is rich from its preeminent location for ship building back in the 1800's to the establishment of the prison as Canada underwent Confederation. Learning more about my Mum's past has been very rewaarding as it has been showing me better who I am. I am very much Canadian in many ways. When I arrived in Dorchester last night I was surprised to see a town that was much smaller than what I had imagined from what my mother had shared with me in the past. I learned that in recent years the population had shrunk due to out migration to to the neighboring towns of Moncton and Sackville. The older generation have stayed, but the younger folks have left for jobs elsewhere. The primary employer in Dorchester is the Penetentiary where my granfather, John McPhereson Grant was a guard, eventually rising to the rank of "Head Keeper" (Head Guard). A retired guard of 25 years took me around the town today and showed me everything there was to see. They call this "Maratime Hospitality" and it is amazing. I have to catch a train to Montreal in about half an hour so gotta go, more later.