Roundup: COVID count climbs, Antigonish looks to become bike destination, Kiwanis Christmas concert returns, remembering local hockey legends

Plus: Clayton was once just a name on a clothing business — as the family’s fortunes ebbed and flowed, they helped shape their city

Nova Scotia has 200 known active cases of COVID-19, with 61 new cases and 31 recoveries reported in the latest government update. Thirteen people are hospitalized with the disease, including four in ICU.

Of the new cases, 33 are in the Northern Zone, 24 in the Central Zone, and four in the Western Zone. “There is a new cluster of cases in a localized community in Northern Zone, say health officials, “and there is also evidence of limited community spread” in Halifax and parts of Northern Nova Scotia.

“While there is a low level of ongoing community transmission in the northern part of Nova Scotia, the higher case numbers we’re seeing in the area yesterday and today are associated with a cluster of cases in a defined group of largely unvaccinated individuals,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says in the press release. “They are co-operating with local public health and the cases appear to be contained within this group.”

The government also announced four more school exposures, including Beechville Lakeside Timberlea junior and senior elementary schools in HRM.

Photo: Katie Ingram

A name that shaped Halifax
Their name is well-known to Haligonians, but the Clayton family’s history in the city stretches back long before the sprawling development that bears their name. 

The family’s influence on the city began far from Clayton Park. On the site that now houses Scotia Square, Clayton & Sons, a clothing manufacturer, was a Halifax mainstay for almost a century, one that started with a small second-hand clothing store on Duke Street. 

Originally from England, Mary and George Clayton immigrated to Nova Scotia with their eight children in 1863. The next year, George, who worked as a tailor, died from a stroke. 

“He died rather quickly and unexpectedly,” says Erika Wilson, curator of collections at the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry. “They had quite a few children and his widow, Mary, was left to try and come up with a way to support her family.”

Katie Ingram explores the family’s story in this new Unravel Halifax post.

Antigonish looks to become bike destination
Tourism advocates are calling on the Town of Antigonish to spend $30,000 on infrastructure to help make the area a destination for bikers.

Paul Curry, from the Antigonish Tourism Association, recently made a presentation to municipal staff.

“Our goal is to help make Antigonish the leading bike tourist destination in Atlantic Canada. Large in part, because we already have this asset in Keppoch Mountain sitting in our backyard,” he says. “Among the people in the mountain biking (world) they see this as the premier mountain biking destination in all of Atlantic Canada; I didn’t know this until recently and a lot of people in this town don’t know that very well.”

Drake Lowthers has details for The Reporter.

Kiwanis Christmas concert returns
After celebrating its 90th anniversary virtually last year, due to pandemic precautions, the Kiwanis Club of Liverpool is bringing back its annual Community Christmas Concert and fundraiser.

Organizer Lorraine (Cookie) Trainor says the event won’t feature any choirs this year because of COVID-19 regulations, but will still showcase lots of local talent.

“We start out with the Mersey Band, who have been doing that for a number of years,” she said. “Then what I try to do is get as many children involved as I can. We are going to have a lot of piano and vocal solos this year and once again local John Wiles is our emcee.”

Kevin McBain has more for LighthouseNow.

Remembering local hockey legends
Pictou Advocate columnist Hugh Townsend is a walking treasure trove of Nova Scotian sports history. In his latest column, he reflects on the careers of Stellarton hockey stars Sonny and Hughie MacDonald, who once dominated the sport in this province.

“There’s a good reason I’m talking about them in a sports column,” Townsend says. “They were unique in hockey circles because at the height of their careers, they were both goaltenders, both among the very best netminders in the Maritimes … often playing against one another in the best leagues in the country. Their careers are worth remembering.”

Read more.

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