Canso Causeway anniversary memories

The official opening celebration for the then new Canso Causeway was on August 13, 1955.

By: Yvonne Fox

The Port Hastings Historical Society had its first meeting in 1979, preparing for the 25th anniversary of the official opening of the Canso Causeway on August 13, 1980.

The first meeting for the 50th anniversary was held in June 2001 which then was the responsibility of the Canso Causeway Anniversary Society. We have an extensive Canso Causeway collection in the archives at the Strait Area Museum; one being the 34 pages that were sent in to the “Memories of the Causeway” web page.

Wayne Reynolds sent in the following on May 20, 2005: “Back in 1980, I had the privilege of driving Mr. Sandy Boyd across the Causeway during the 25th anniversary parade. As we waited for the start of the parade, Sandy regaled me with stories of when he marched at the grand opening 25 years earlier. I was so enthused with his storytelling that I didn’t notice the heat gauge on the car going up. The day was very hot (a rock splitter) and at that moment, Parade Marshal Graham (Tiny) Gagnon in his enormous voice announced Paaarade…. Forwarddddd.

“As we pulled away from the parking lot at the scale house, it was then I noticed the heat gauge. I thought that when we got moving and the soft breezes coming off the water would cool the engine I could continue with my distinguished passenger.

“About half way across, steam started emitting from under the hood of the car. It was at that point that I turned to Sandy and said, ‘Mr. Boyd, you walked across the Causeway 25 years ago, how would you like to get out and march the rest of the way today?’ Sandy replied, ‘Me thinks not Laddy, I’m having a grand old time up here, besides the Causeway has grown longer since 1955.’”

Pictured during the 25th anniversary celebration on August 14, 1980 is piper Sandy Boyd.

This is the tenth in a series of columns from the Port Hastings Historical Society celebrating the 65th anniversary of the opening of the Canso Causeway, and marking the closure of the Mulgrave ferry.