Recognition of Prominent Lunenburgers

The Prominent Lunenburgers program recognizes individuals, organizations, small groups and teams for outstanding accomplishments that are recognizable beyond the community. Nominations are forwarded to the Town of Lunenburg by the public and judged against an established criteria by the Town of Lunenburg Heritage Advisory Committee, who then make a recommendation to Town Council for approval.

These individuals represent the diverse talents and contributions that Lunenburgers have made in Canada and around the world.

Captain Angus James Walters

Angus-Walters photo credit – Nova Scotia Archives

b. 9 June 1881 in Lunenburg, d. 12 August 1968 in Lunenburg

Associated Places: Captain Angus Walters' House and Dairy, 37 Tannery Road; Bluenose Shed, Smith & Rhuland Shipyard; Captain Angus J. Walters Historic Sites and Monuments Board Plaque and Bluenose Historic Sites and Monuments Board Plaque; Bluenose exhibit at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

Contributions: Schooner racing, fishery

To most Lunenburgers Captain Angus Walters needs no introduction. As skipper of the Lunenburg-built racing schooner Bluenose, Walters won the International Fisherman's Race Series from 1921 to 1938. This brought him and his crew international acclaim, and invitations to the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition and King George V's Silver Jubilee. The schooner Bluenose has become a symbol of Nova Scotia and Canada, most famously memorialized on the Canadian dime.

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Norman Byron ‘Dutch’ Mason

Dutch-Mason photo credit – courtesy Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin

b. 19 February 1938 in Lunenburg, d. 23 December 2006

Associated Places: Lunenburg Academy, Mason’s Beach

Contributions: Music

A descendant of Lunenburg’s first ‘Foreign Protestant’ settlers, Norman Mason attended the Academy until the age of 12, when his family relocated to Kentville. His strong Lunenburg accent stayed with him, however, and he was given the name ‘Dutch’ by his new friends.

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John T. ‘Barney’ Arenburg

John-Arenburg photo credit – courtesy the late Francis Glover

b. April 1868, d. November 1941 in Bridgewater

Associated Places: ‘Arenburg House,’ 58 Cumberland Street; St. John’s Anglican Church; Lunenburg Armouries

Contributions: Music

John “Barney” Arenburg began his career as a band leader in the 1890s, first in Yarmouth as head of the Citizen’s Band. Two years later he returned to Lunenburg to direct the 75th Regimental Band and a band in Caledonia. In 1910 Arenburg handpicked musicians across Nova Scotia to play at Boston’s Mechanics Exposition, an appearance honoured by an invitation to play with ‘one of the finest American marine bands.’

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Mildred Pearl Oxner

Mildred-Pearl-Oxner photo credit – courtesy Nancy Haughn

b. 22 Dec. 1899 in Young’s Landing, Lunenburg Co., d. 16 June 1968 in Lunenburg

Associated Places: Lunenburg Academy; Lunenburg Opera House (290 Lincoln Street); Central United Church; 91 Creighton Street, Purcell’s Art Studio (217 Lincoln Street, formerly BG Oxner’s grocery); Hillcrest Cemetery

Contributions: Music, arts and culture

Lunenburg’s “Mrs. Music,” Pearl Oxner (nee Young) showed an interest in music at an early age, first by pretending to play an organ she had made from moss and stones, then moving to formal piano lessons at the age of 8. After graduating from the Lunenburg Academy in 1917, she studied business and music at Mount Allison University. Her first major role was in 1920 as the lead in the opera production of ‘The Chimes of Normandy’.

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The Hon. Robert Henry Winters

Robert-Wintersphoto credit – courtesy Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

b. 18 August 1910 in Lunenburg, d. 9/10 October 1969 in California

Associated Places: Lunenburg Academy; Winters family home, 289 Pelham Street; cornerstone of the ‘old’ Post Office, 16-22 King Street; Hillcrest Cemetery

Contributions: Politics

Robert Winters was born in Lunenburg in 1910, and received his initial education at the Lunenburg Academy. He attained a bachelor’s degree in Engineering at Mount Allison University and a Master of Engineering degree at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). When war was declared in 1939 Winters was working at Northern Electric but he volunteered for the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, eventually rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

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Earl Bailly

Earl Bailly Portrait

b. 8 July 1903 in Lunenburg, d. 1 July 1977 in Lunenburg

Associated Places: Bailly Home, 134 Pelham Street, paintings on display at Lunenburg Town Hall, 119 Cumberland Street, Lunenburg Art Gallery, 79 Pelham Street, and he Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, 68 Bluenose Drive; where Earl Bailly memorobilia is displayed; interred at Hillcrest Cemetery

Contributions: Art

An inspiration to others in overcoming physical challenges to lead a full, productive life. Evern "Earl" Bailly brought attention to Lunenburg with his lifelong artistic accomplishments, and his engaging personality. Striken with Polio at the age of two, he lost the use of his arms and legs, learning to write and paint with his mouth. Earl developed a highly refined sense of colour and composition, being well read in art theory and practice. He travelled to major cities in accross Canada, the U.S. and Bermuda, achieving recognition at Galleries for the quality of his Maritime scenes. In 1933, with his brother Don, Earl sailed to the Chicago World's Fair on the original Bluenose, with Captain Angus Walters.

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Solomon Morash

Solomon Morash Photo

b. 7 April 1845 in Lunenburg, d. 31 October 1933 in Lunenburg.

Associated Places: Lunenburg Academy - 97 Kaulback Street, Lunenburg Opera House - 290 Lincoln Street, St. John's Anglican Church - 64 Townsend Street

Conributions: Built Heritage - Architecture

Solomon Morash married Ellen Matilda Hirtle in 1869, and had five children, Mary Ellen, Archibald Fenwick, Mary Eva, Howard Victor and Dora Eugene.

Mr. Morash was a rominent Architect and shipbuilder, undertaking a number of Lunenburg's significant structures such as the Lunenburg Academy, the Lunenburg Opera House, the Morash Gallery and the addition onto the St. John's Anglican Church. He created some of the most beautiful and inspirational buildings that are still admired to this day and which contribute greatly to the Town's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

He became a master shipbuilder for John Bruno Young from 1906 to 1912, building such notable ships as the Mildred G. Myers in 1906; the Advocate in 1909; the J. B. Young in 1909 and the Mary D. Young in 1912.

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Wallace Wyniard Smith (Business Partnerships: National Sea Products)

wallace smith

b. 31 July 1896 in Corkum's Island d. August 31, 1989 in Lunenburg.  

Wallace W. Smith was a 6th generation descendant of Georg Michael Schmidt who arrived in Lunenburg in 1753. He was the son of Capt. Benjamin C. and Antoinette (Lohnes) Smith. He was one of the co-founding members of Lunenburg Sea Products and was instrumental in the modernization of fishing vessels. He formed the Lunenburg Fisherman's Mutual Association which drastically reduced marine insurance costs. Before the advent of Workers Compensation, he helped form the Fishermen's Relief Association. An active community volunteer, W.W. served two terms on Town Council ((1925-1926) (1946-1947)).

Wallace was a Commissioner of the Lunenburg War Memorial Community Center, Director of the Lunenburg Marine Railway, the Canada Trust Company, W.C. Smith & Co., President and Director of Lunenburg Sea Products, Senior Vice President and Director of National Sea Products Ltd. from 1945 until his death in 1989.

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Clarence J. Morrow (Business Partnerships: National Sea Products)

clarence morrow

b. 13 September 1895 in Annapolis Royal d. January 15, 1990 in Bridgewater. 

Clarence J. Morrow was the son of James Francis and Adeline Marie (Mahoney) Morrow. In 1926 Mr. Morrow, together with Wallace W. Smith and William H. Smith, formed Lunenburg Sea Products. In 1945 Maritime National Fish Company and Lunenburg Sea Products Ltd. were amalgamated under a new company - National Sea Products. He served as National Sea Products president from 1953 to 1965, and then became Chairman of the Board of Directors. On September 26, 1961 Mr. Morrow announced the Lunenburg plant's expansion and on June 7th, 1963 he laid the cornerstone for the new Lunenburg Division plant which opened the following year.

C.J. was president of the Fisheries Council of Canada, a governor of the University of King’s College, one of the original members of the Lunenburg War Memorial Community Centre Commission and president of the Lunenburg Hospital Society and was instrumental in completing the Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital. Mr. Morrow was inducted into the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Lunenburg Swimming Pool Society as well as a former Town Councillor (1953-1954).

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William C. Smith (Business Partnerships: National Sea Products)

william smith

b. 4 May 1858 in Lunenburg d. December 23, 1920 in Lunenburg

William C. Smith was a 5th generation descendent of Georg Michael Schmidt and his wife Maria Braizeda who arrived in Lunenburg in 1753. As a young man W.C. became one of Lunenburg’s most successful ¬ skippers. In 1899, he founded W. C. Smith & Company. The Company changed its name to Lunenburg Sea Products in 1926 and merged with Maritime National Fish Company to become National Sea Products in 1945. Today we know the company as High Liner Foods.

W.C. was a strong supporter of St. John’s Anglican Church and supported two major additions which are now acknowledged as an architectural gothic jewel. He was an active member of Lunenburg society and a prominent member of the Masonic Order. He also served several terms on Town Council ((1897-1905) (1907-1908) (1916)).

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Captain Alexander Lewis Knickle (Business Partnerships: Adams and Knickle)

alexander knickle

b. 31 July 1858 in Heckman's Island d. March 22, 1934 in Lunenburg

Capt. Alexander Lewis Knickle was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Knickle and was a direct descendant of Lunenburg County settlers. Alexander began his career as a fishing captain and was one of Lunenburg’s most successful skippers. In 1897 he joined forces with Harry Adams to form Adams & Knickle an outfitting company that owned and operated several schooners. The company evolved into one of the largest deep sea scallop companies in Nova Scotia and is still managed today by family decedents, David Knickle, great grandson of Alexander and Jane Adams Ritcey, granddaughter of Harry Adams.

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Henry (Harry) William Adams (Business Partnerships: Adams and Knickle)

henry adams

b. 2 March 1869 in Lunenburg d. February 2, 1954 in Halifax

Henry was born in 1869, son of Henry Adams and Elizabeth Dauphinee Adams. His fi¬rst venture was with the firm of Lewis Anderson & Company. On August 1st, 1891, he, Capt. Alexander Knickle and Capt. William Arenburg formed the Lunenburg Out¬fitting Company. Capt. Arenburg retired soon thereafter and in 1897 the partnership of Adams & Knickle was established. The company evolved into one of the largest deep sea scallop companies in Nova Scotia and is still managed today by family decedents, David Knickle, great grandson of Alexander Lewis Knickle and Jane Adams Ritcey, granddaughter of Harry Adams.

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Richard Smith (Business Partnerships: Smith and Rhuland Shipyard)

richard smith

b. 19 July 1871 in Lunenburg d. August 30, 1954 in Lunenburg

Richard Wesley Smith was a 6th generation descendant of Georg Michael Schmidt who arrived in Lunenburg in 1753. In 1899 Dick took over the shipyard from his father David Smith. The following year as senior partner, he entered into a partnership with George Rhuland to create the Smith and Rhuland shipyard which moved in 1905 to the yard begun by Peter Young and that site remained its permanent home. Smith and Rhuland ships sailed the world and over the years made great contributions to Maritime trade and ¬fishing along the Atlantic coast. The great achievement of the 1920’s was the building of the famous BLUENOSE, launched March 26, 1921 and christened by Dick's daughter, Audrey Smith. His brother-in-law Angus Walters was the Captain of the BLUENOSE. The partnership of these master builders lasted a productive 42 years and during that period hundreds of craft of various types and dimensions were constructed.

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George A. Rhuland (Business Partnerships: Smith and Rhuland Shipyard)

george rhuland

b. 23 September 1867 in Lunenburg d. May 6, 1950 in Lunenburg

George Rhuland, son of George William & Julia (Beck) Rhuland - direct descendents of Justinus Fredrick Ruhland, one of the original settlers of Lunenburg. In 1900 George Rhuland joined forces with Richard Smith and took over the David Smith Shipyard and the Young Shipyard to create the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard. In 1912 they purchased lands at the end of
Montague Street on Burma Road and between 1900 and 1943, the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard constructed 195 vessels including such legendary ships such as the BLUENOSE (1921), I’m Alone (1923, a rum-runner) and the Theresa E. Connor (1938).

George Rhuland took a deep interest in community affairs, having served on the Lunenburg Town Council (1907-1910) as well as being an active member of the 75th Battalion Band for 27 years, 7 years of which he served as their leader.

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Fenwick Homer Zwicker (Business Partnerships: Zwicker and Company Limited)

homer zwicker

b. 3 March 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts d. March 2, 1987 in Lunenburg

F. Homer Zwicker was a son of E. Fenwick and Ada (Dodge) Zwicker, direct descendent of one of the German settlers who founded Lunenburg in 1753. In 1789, a mere 36 years after the first settlers arrived at Lunenburg, a son of one of them, John Zwicker, established a general and West Indies business to be known as Zwicker and Company Limited , one of the oldest incorporated companies in Canada. In 1929 Homer became Secretary-Treasurer of the family firm. The Company owned and operated a number of salt bankers including the Teresa E. Conner and Sherman Zwicker and was one of the original investors in the BLUENOSE Schooner. Homer became President of Zwicker and Company in 1939.

Homer Zwicker was former Town Councillor (1946) and Mayor of Lunenburg from 1952 to 1956. As a direct descendant of the original founding members of Lunenburg, it was fi¬tting that he was Mayor during the Town’s 200th Anniversary in 1953.

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Sherman Zwicker (Business Partnerships: Zwicker and Company Limited)

sherman zwicker

b. 10 February 1930 in Lunenburg d. November 9, 2004 in Lunenburg

Sherman Zwicker was the son of former Mayor F. Homer Zwicker and Marion Zwicker, direct descendent of one of the German settlers who founded Lunenburg in 1753. In 1789 the Zwicker family founded Zwicker and Company Limited; a ship owners and salt ¬fish processors and exporters company. Sherman became President of Zwicker and Company in 1960 and served eight years as a Lunenburg Town Councillor (1959-1966) and as Lunenburg’s Mayor from 1971 to 1979.

Sherman served on over three dozen various local, provincial and national boards and organizations and was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Administration in 1989. Sherman played an important role in having Lunenburg designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as President of the Lunenburg Heritage Society and was awarded the Order of Nova Scotia on October 28th, 2004.

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