Roundup: Antigonish consolidation continues amid opposition, murdered man’s son hopes for justice, COVID update, Pictou approves major housing development

In Mons, Belgium, an elementary school bears the name of Nova Scotian George Price, the last British Empire soldier killed in action during the First World War. Photo: Tammy Fancy

Plus: The last soldier to die — the tragic story and lasting legacy of Nova Scotian George Price

The move to consolidate Antigonish’s town and county governments continues, despite opponents’ concerns with the process.

“I have three concerns over the whole process,” says Councillor Donnie MacInnis. “This all started as a merger, it’s now changed from a consolidation to a dissolution (of the town government). The second is we have not seen any draft financial statements. And lastly, it’s evident to me that the people want to have a plebiscite. This should not be a decision of two councils but a decision of the people.”

Drake Lowthers has more for the Reporter.

Donny Lohnes. Photo: Submitted

Murdered man’s son searches for justice
Donny Lohnes was walking near his Lunenburg County home on Oct. 25, 2020 when someone brutally attacked and robbed him. A week later, the 57-year-old lumber mill worker died from his injuries.

More than two years after the killing, police have made no arrests.

“It’s just frustrating,” says his 18-year-old son Merek Lohnes, adding that he tries to focus on his memories of his father as he awaits justice. “He would always put others before himself and always had to help people. I looked up to him. He was always proud of me no matter what. He taught me how to respect others and be the person I am today.”

Keith Corcoran reports for LighthouseNow.

COVID update
WHO reports 160,985 confirmed new COVID cases around the globe in the last 24 hours. So far, the disease is known to have killed at least 6,582,023 people, including 46,710 in Canada and 602 Nova Scotians.

Pictou approves housing development
A multi-stage housing development, planned to include at least 130 homes over the next decade, is good news for Pictou, says town chief administrative officer Kyle Slaunwhite.

“The great thing is that we will accrue considerable tax revenue from the developer,” he adds. “These are going to be new houses with a minimum assessment of $250,000. It would be a 20-per-cent increase in the number of dwellings in Pictou if all the units are sold.”

Steve Goodwin reports for the Pictou Advocate.

George Price

The last soldier to die
In Nova Scotia, few recall an infantryman named George Price from Falmouth. But in Mons, Belgium, his memory lives on: a prominent bridge and the local elementary school both bear his name.

In that town, a German sniper shot Price dead on Nov. 11, 1918 at 10:58 a.m., two minutes before the ceasefire began. He was the last British Empire soldier killed in combat during the First World War.

His pointless death has become a metaphor.

In 2018, I visited his grave in Belgium and wrote that it’s not “really, or at least not exclusively, about Price … Had he escaped the war unharmed, he would have returned to the farm and only his descendants would know his name. He lives on as symbol. His cruel death, two minutes before peace, underlines the banal brutality of war and the fragility of life.”

Learn more about how Belgium remembers him in this post, originally published in November 2018.

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