Community rallies to upgrade dock at Old Man Bay in NS

Work continues tomorrow on the Old Man Bay dock in North Side as the community pulls together to put some fine points on the place where community fishermen launch their crafts to catch fish and then clean their bounty. 

North Side Member of the Legislative Assembly Ezzard Miller has been the driver of the effort and has rallied men in the community to donate their time. 

The materials for a shaded area for fishermen to clean their catches were donated by Kirk Home Center, Cox and Deals at a value of about $2,000. 

“The work is being completely free of cost by the men in the community,” Mr. Miller said. 

It is a hut to provide shade for the fishermen to clean prepare and sell their catch. 

The cost of the project is nil because labour, materials, food and refreshments are all donated. 

The project is slated to be finished Saturday. 

“It is being done by the community for the community and provides a great opportunity to socialise and foster that great North Side spirit,” Mr. Miller said. 

The work comes a few weeks after plans were announced for a community park at the dock. 

Plans call for cabanas and six street lights on three poles in the area; plans that Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, minister for District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture, has endorsed. 

“I am confident it will get the approval of Cabinet,” she told a crowd gathered at the site in August. 

Such approval is necessary because the dock area is public land. An adjacent parcel, between the dock and Over the Edge Cafe, is privately owned, but Mr. Miller said he is asking for permission to use the land as part of the recreation area. His rationale to the owner is that making the seaside more attractive will increase the value of the inland part of the parcel. 

The project encompasses 660 feet along the coastline, and a width of 92 feet between the water and the road. Some existing seagrape trees would be removed to make room for 10-foot-square cabanas, while other trees would be added in areas now without shade. Plans call for coconut palms and rocks as a roadside border to require parking in paved areas on the inland side of the road. 

Facilities will include restrooms and a volleyball court. A few of the cabanas will be designated for district cooks and craft workers to bring their home cooking, straw work, crochet and other products to sell. Mr. Miller said he wanted the park to be a place where residents and visitors alike could enjoy the environment during the day or come to watch the sunset. Mr. Miller hasn’t requested any money from government for the project, but said he believes “if the community does this project it will have more meaning and ownership will ad respect for the project”. 

Marco Whittaker, who drew up the plans, said the existing boat dock is 70 feet long, so a sense of proportion will be maintained.  

Mr. Miller said detailed drawings will be submitted to the Planning Department as soon as Cabinet permission is received. Once planning approval is obtained, “I believe we can do this as a community project,” he said in August, because people in North Side have the expertise. 

North Side dock

Members of the North Side community work together to put a roof on the dock at Old Man Bay in North Side. – Photo: Tammie Chisholm

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