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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

Volume 6: Number 3


Vol. 6, No. 3
March 2004 -mars 2004

News from AGB

March of 1909 was a busy time at Beinn Bhreagh. The history making flight of Silver Dart having taken place in February the flight experiments continued with the Cygnet I and II tetrahedral kites and Silver Dart. From his Houseboat on March 21, 1909, Alexander Graham Bell wrote to Mabel Bell the following excerpt:

"My sweet patient darling little wife:

You have been in my thoughts constantly and all the time and yet you have hardly heard from me at all. It is of no use my taking up time now with explanations and excuses and I will simply try to collect my thoughts and give you some intelligible account of all that has been going on here. At the present moment I hardly know whether I stand on my head or my feet - events have been happening with such startling rapidity. Babies, sheep, successful flights, aggravating break-downs, newspaper inquiries, and the interest of Great Britain and Canada culminating in the invitation to address the Canadian Club in Ottawa and meet the Cabinet! Big things are looming in the future." (The reference to babies was to the March birth of his granddaughter

Barbara Lathrop Fairchild. From Letter Books, Volume 19, page 23)

Like most of Cape Breton, we in the Baddeck area are blanketed in many layers of snow, but, the March sun, when it comes out, gets on with task of melting.

Staff on seasonal layoff are beginning to return to work - a sure sign of spring.

Author Charlotte Gray is here for the week continuing the research for her book about Mrs. Bell. The book’s working title is Mr. & Mrs. Bell: The Story of Mabel Hubbard and Alexander Graham Bell and it will be released in 2006.

The Management Plan review for AGBNHSC is complete and the draft document is now under review in Ottawa. The final draft for Canso Islands/Grassy Island Fort is being written and work has started on the first Management Plan for Marconi NHSC.

Major Energy Retrofit Project Underway at A.G.B.

The bowels of the Alexander Graham Bell Museum are a buzz of activity and sounds, with an exotic collection of bits and pieces laying around, either on their way in or their way out. The energy retrofit project is well underway.

This project which is partially funded under a "Building Demonstration Project" grant from Natural Resources Canada will be making energy and cost reductions for Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Lighting, within the facility.

As well as being able to meet 75% of the field unit’s green house gas reduction target, the project is replacing aged equipment that has been a costly maintenance problem for years. We anticipate being able to recover the costs to Parks Canada in about a year and a half. We are projecting an annual reduction in energy costs of approximately $38,000.00.

The work being done includes the conversion of the electrical heating system to oil fired hot water, replacing lighting fixtures with energy efficient units, using occupancy and ambient light sensors that will shut lights off when not required, installing effective controls on the introduction of outside air and installing a state of the art computer based monitoring and control system.

Danny Kaiser, local contractor Sean Cox and the Louisbourg Utilities Crew (known in Baddeck as the "Main-A-Dieu Maffia" ) have been diligently and proudly working on this project. They are all to be congratulated for their dedication and quality of work. This project is a showcase that we all can be proud of.

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Special Visitor

Mr. Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons together with Rodger Cuzner, MP and their assistants visited the Fortress on March 26, 2004. Mr. Milliken was quite impressed with our site and has a special interest in historic sites as he is the Honorary Commander of the Fort Henry Guard in Ontario.

New Employee

Carol Whitfield recently announced the appointment of Georgina Leslie as the new Manager, Heritage Presentation and Client Services. Georgina will be taking over Anne O`Neill`s position when Anne retires next March. Georgina will be coming to the Park early in July and so will have this time to shadow Anne.

Retirement - Lionel Wadden

A gathering took place to bid farewell to Lionel Wadden, Maintenance Supervisor who retired as of March 31st. Lionel worked for the Fortress for the past 36 years - what an accomplishment! Carol Whitfield presented Lionel with his 35 Year Award and gift and his Retirement Certificate. Tom Meagher, Manager, Asset Management presided over the ceremonies and read many messages of congratulations from fellow Park employees across the region. We all wish Lionel and Georgina a happy and healthy retirement. (See pictures at bottom of newsletter)


Our condolences are extended to Anne MacRae on the recent loss of her mother Sarah MacAulay, who bravely lived with cancer until her passing on March 19th.

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Congratulations on 
behalf of Parks Canada


Cutting the Cake

Flowers for 

Lionel’s gift - 
a new joiner

The Famous Jacket

from the Volunteers

Anyone wishing to submit an article to the Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Please forward to Donna MacNeil at  or telephone 733-3551.

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