Kudos to Dr. Matsusaki for so eloquently putting into words what I have been thinking since I returned to Digby in 2012.
I came back to care for my elderly and now deceased mother, after an absence of 35 years (when I graduated high school). I had spent the previous 25 years in Toronto, a city full of culture, diversity and - dare I say it? - growth. I
have been suffering culture (or lack of culture) shock ever since. I had forgotten that Digby had, for as long as I had known it (since 1966 when our family moved here), been reluctant to embrace change. In fact, it had rejected any kind of progress; I remember the objections to the possibility of the Michelin plant setting up here.
I had hoped that I might be able to stay here. I had hoped that I would be able to find gainful employment here, so that I could continue to enjoy the house I grew up in, the spectacular view of the harbour at sunrise. Sadly, that is not going to happen, unless the good people of this town wake up and realize the potential that is here. Sadly, intelligent, creative, entrepreneurial people will continue to leave this town to pursue the life they would love to be able to lead here.
We do not need discount furniture stores on our main street. We need to refurbish the main street to include theatres, book stores, cafes - to offer stimulation for our youth, our elderly and our middle-aged residents. This is a town that ‘could be’.
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What if - and this is just pie in the sky thinking - we were to emulate Parry Sound, Ontario, who hosts the Festival of the Sound every year, where all forms of music are celebrated and musicians from all over the world come to share their talent? Parry Sound is not a huge city!
What a beautiful spot to have a music festival in Digby! I can imagine listening to a string quartet or a jazz combo, or a bluegrass band playing on the waterfront, with the beautiful background of the Annapolis Basin. This area is so rich in beauty, but we have to build on that beauty and embrace progress and change!
What if there was more than one pub downtown, one that offered live entertainment on a Sunday afternoon in the winter? There is so much talent in this end of the province, and if this town were to become a cultural centre that people from across the country and abroad considered a year-round destination - imagine the possibilities!
Until and unless Digby decides it is worthy of being a vibrant, living community, we will continue to face lack of industry, employment, culture and doctors.
I sincerely hope that the self-esteem of this town will grow to the point that it will accept and invite diversity and growth.
Jan Morrigan, Digby