Celebrating An East Hants Local Legend
Celebrating The Life of an East Hants Legend; Pansy Flemming
Quite an important person in the 50’s and 60’s history of East Hants, was a woman named Pansy Flemming. She was the daughter of a prominent businessman from the Shubenacadie area, Newt Zwicker. Her name was Pansy; but she was far from the garden variety flower her name may represent. She became a dominant personality in the administration of municipal affairs in East Hants. Newt Zwicker was a partner of Senator Charlie Hawkins, who was in the lumber business. Hawkins became a prominent politician and together with Newt Zwicker became important businessmen in Nova Scotia.
Pansy married a young man from East Hants, Geordie Flemming. Mr. Zwicker gave her a new home for a wedding gift and Pansy started out as an ordinary young wife, building a family and making house. However, being Newt's daughter and full of energy, she wanted to do more.
Pansy began working with the Municipality of East Hants, an area which was showing significant growth along the corridor. Within the municipality, an Assessment Department consisting of Murray Clark, Enfield, and Willie Mackenzie, Shubenacadie. Council was usually made up of prominent businesspeople, storekeepers and lumbermen from all the villages of East Hants. Many of which were usually asked to run for council because of their knowledge and experience in their respective fields. Remuneration, if any, was not great, public service was the objective, not pay. Some councilors in 1964 included, Seth Withrow, Rawdon, Carl Grant, Milford, Dr. Tim Snow, Kennetcook (who later became warden), Alsworth Main, Noel, Percy Sanford, Walton, and Mrs. Shirley Parker, Shubenacadie.
Times were quite different then. Once the school board chairman, Percy Sanford, joined council later. He would arrive at meetings with his topcoat off, tie askew, hands and white shirt filled with black grease. He quickly apologized for his disheveled appearance, pointing out that the water was off at the high school and, as chairman, he had to rebuild the pump. Council early on had only one employee. She was bright and talented, she could remember things like no one else, and most memorable a ferocious appetite for hard work. That was young Pansy!
By: John Hawkins
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