Old St. Andrews



60 Years Ago Today



St. Croix Courier, Dec 15, 1949
"Shiretown Items" by Dr. Frederick Worrell
Sixty Years Ago Today

I am sure there will be few reades who can look back and say that they definitely remember Dec. 10, 1889. To me, however, that is one of the outstanding dates in history. It was the day on which my father and mother, with my brother, my sister and myself moved to St. Andrews from Debec June, Carleton County. We talk much abou the seasons changing and about the old fashioned winters we used to have. Today the ground is covered with snow and the temperature away below the freezing point.

I have a clear recollection fo the same date 60 years ago. The streets were bare, the sun was bright and the day was mild. This new world with all its unfamiliar surroundings made a deep and lasting impression on my youthful mind. I had never seen the sea before but loved it at first sight. We moved into a house on the immediate harbour front and I used to stand on the bank by the hour watching the rise and fall of the tides and listening to the wild cry of the seagulls. When the tide was out I filled my pockets with curious seashells. I had a great admiration for the larger ones with the delicate coils and spirals and their variegated colors. To the native boy they were just common periwinkes but to me they were works of art and a never ending cause for wonder. I would hold them to my ear and listen for aht message from some far off land which I had been told could thus be heard. No message was ever heard in a physical sense but to my receptive mood, perhaps, there may have come some communication not realized nor understood, which gave me my first glimplse of truth and reality and filled me with a lassting respect and reverence for that great First Cause.

St. Andrews, which seemed a big town to me then, had many other features so different from the small inalnd village from which I had come. I marvelled at the long streets, wide and stright, and with their coat of red sandstone from the nearby beach, glowing brightly in the sunshine. I loved the smell of burning driftwood with its salty tang. I enjoyed standing in the door of the smoked filled room across the street where herring and haddock were being cured for local and foeign markets. I admired the proud ships riding in the harbor and sailed with them in my imagination to the far corners of the earth.

Many changes, some for the better, some for the worse, have occurred in life here during the past sixty years, but the natural and many other attractions have remained. These allurements, so difficult to explain or even to understand, have so affeced my life, that, rather than to go elsewhere wher meoney is to be made in my chosen vocation, I have elected to remain here to eke out a precarious existence, exposed to the hazards of poverty and the consequent insecurities of old age.

On gloomy days I have consoled myself with the thought that prosperity and security are not the highest aims in life. As to what these aims are, how closely we may have approached them or how greatly we may have failed, it is not for us as individuals to say, but I can say this--that, in spite of its vicissitudes I can look back on a full and happy life and that I would not exchange St. Andrews, as it is, for any spot on the face of the earth.