Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Petitcodiac Regional Interpretation and Cultural Center

Petitcodiac Special

Written By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

There is a wonderful building in the planning stages for Petitcodiac and area.

A committee has been dilegently working for over a year to bring about a regional interpretation and cultural center to Petitcodiac. The committee has been working with the council members of the Village of Petitcodiac to have this building irrected on village property next to Hooper Lane. The committee also has been working with members of ACOA to secure financing, in part, to bring this building to fruition. Corbel Building Systems Ltd. from Moncton, have drawn up the preliminary sketches and cost analyses for the building.

The three main drivers for this project, thus far, are The Artistic Sphere Group, the Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame Inc. and the Village Council of Petitcodiac. MLA Wally Stiles has been behind this endeavour one hundred percent and has given much encouragement as well as direction.

The Petitcodiac Regional Interpretation and Cultural Center will be a two level building. The earth will be manipulated in such a way so that both floors can be entered from ground level. The lower level will be home for the Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame. The upper floor will have an art gallery where members of The Artistic Sphere Group will be able to display their art. An art studio where classes will be given.

Also, the top level will have a museum for the Salisbury, Petitcodiac, Havelock, Elgin and River Glade area. There will be a theatre to show films that pertain to our area. The theatre will also accommodate live theatre, presentations etc. There will be a kitchen and an adjacent common room. A tourism section and boutiques. The entire cultural center will have displays of all sorts to bring to the forfront the uniqueness of this region.

The first week of September 2005, a two page letter of intent will be presented to ACOA. In this two page letter the committee has answered the questions as to the cost to build and furnish such a building. The way in which the building will be selfsufficient in the future. A brief history of Petitcodiac, why the project is needed and who will be the partners. Upon examining and accepting this letter the committee will then be invited to put forth a complete and indepth proposal to ACOA. When ACOA accepts this wonderful project, funding will be put in place and the ground will be broken and building will commence.

Updates as to the progress of the Petitcodiac Regional Interpretion and Cultural Center will be posted in a timely fashion.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Family Favorite Restaurant In Business For 25 Years

John and Judy Archibald
(Petitcodiac Special)

Written By: Sharon A. Layton-Pollock

John and Judy Archibald are the owners of the Family Favorite Restaurant on the Homestead Road just east of Petitcodiac, N.B.. They purchased it on November 9, 1979. As Judy reflected over the past 25 years she stated, "We have served well and the business has served us well!"

Judy was born in Lower Ridge, Havelock to Ford and Lillian Black. She went to school in Havelock and later in Petitcodiac. There she met John Archibald. November 28, 1969 Judy and John were married.

They both worked in the Petitcodiac area. John worked as a mechanic and pumped gas for Fred Buchannan's Esso station. At that time the station was situated where the vacant Blueberry Shop stands on the Homestead Road.

Judy worked at the Esquire Restaurant (now occupied by S.P.O.T.) for Reed and Stella Ogilvie. Then she moved on to work for the Newcomes at their restaurant. It was known then as Newcomes Restaurant, then changed hands and renamed Chatters.

Today it has been converted over to a private home. All the while Judy worked she dreamed of one day having her own restaurant.

Judy and John, like many other Maritimers, thought things could get better if they moved West. The summer of 1979 they packed their worldly possessions, their little son, John Jr. and the cat, in the motorhome and headed West.

Upon arriving they stayed with friend Donny Perry, who lived in Calgary. Later they moved on to Fort McMurray and visited with Richard McFee and Terry Chambers. It wasn't long before they realized that in order to secure a good job a trade was needed, and neither had one. Not to mention the ailment that besets many a Maritimer, the longing for home and family. Once again the motorhome was packed, minus the cat, and was eastward bound.

Two months from the time they had left New Brunswick, they rolled into John's mother, Bernice Archibald's back yard on Church Street, Petitcodiac, N.B.. John recalls that winters stay in his mother's back yard and in the motorhome, how they nearly froze to death.

John soon set about finding a restaurant to buy and to fulfill Judy's dream. He talked to Ernie McLean about buying his Big M Restaurant and he also talked to Howard and Eleanor Wright who wanted to sell their Family Favorite Restaurant. After much consideration John and Judy decided upon the Family Favorite Restaurant. With help from the Federal Development Business Bank in Moncton, John and Judy became the new owners of The Family Favorite Restaurant.

The restaurant had been built by two carpenters, Ross and Robert Prosser many years ago. Now it was in need of much repair. John recalls how he stripped it right down to the bare walls, then the task of rebuilding. New walls, windows, floors, roof, kitchen equipment and new diningroom furniture. It was just like new and ready to serve both new and old customers.

Looking back over the past 25 years, Judy said,

"I've worked hard, raised two sons, John Jr. and Michael John. I have many local customers from Salisbury, Petitcodiac, Havelock, Elgin and River Glade. I have tried to cater to my customers individual requests."

Judy added how one of her customers asked her to let them know when she was going on vacation, because they wanted only to come to her restaurant when she was there. Then with a twinkle in her eye and a big smile, Judy concluded by saying,
"I'd do it all over again!"

Monday, August 08, 2005

Artist's Work Displayed At Irving Big Stop Salisbury

Silver Fox Restaurant Interior Wall Offers Local Artist's A Gallery Exposure, Higher Visibility

The Irving Big Stop in Salisbury, N.B. is well known for its great food and service.

Not to mention a rest stop for the weary truckers who transport goods to, from, across and through New Brunswick. Destination anywhere and everywhere. The tourists who visit our beautiful province have come to count on the Irving stations for literature that help them along their way. Now the Irving Big Stop in Salisbury has gone one step further for the enjoyment of all their customers.

With spring comes the daunting task of spring cleaning, even so for Paul Lavoie, manager of the
Irving Big Stop in Salisbury.

For three days the restaurant was closed for such a cleaning, painting and miner renovations. When all was finished Paul looked at the very large wall space in his rear dining room. Before it was decorated with pictures and information of Ducks Unlimited.

Now, though the color was warm and inviting, it was bare. This just wouldn't do, thought Paul.

It was then that he came up with the idea of offering this space to the local artists.

The local artists from Moncton and the surrounding area were delighted to have a great opportunity to display their art.

Local sign painter Eric Goggin was commissioned to make a sign "The Creations of Greater Moncton Artists.
" This sign in itself is a work of art.

Then Bob Noble, president of the Moncton Art Society, received a phone call from Doug Sentell, on behalf of Paul Lavoie.
Uber Food and Fuel Man, and Community Booster Paul Lavoie and Sharon Pollock, Local Impact Blogger.
Doug asked Mr. Noble if he would like to have his group display their work at the Irving Big Stop.

Bob made a call to the chairperson of The Artistic Sphere Group, Sharon A. Layton-Pollock, and presented her with the same request. After several calls and Bob organized a date for a "A Hanging."

The local artists from Moncton and the surrounding area were delighted to have such a great opportunity. Soon the walls were full of pictures done in various mediums, oil, acrylic, watercolors and pencil sketching.

Paul is very impressed with the work of the local artists and is pleased, to say the least, at how well his idea is going over. He watches as many of his local customers and tourists peruse his gallery, enjoying and some even buying.

Two members of The Artistic Sphere Group, Marion Colette and Carol Munro, both from Petitcodiac, have sold one painting each. The paintings are changed every two months, so come out and enjoy and support your local artists work at the Irving Big Stop in Salisbury.

To see more local artist's paintings, click on Myrna Seely to view her current catalogue of featured paintings on the Artisitic Sphere Group web site.


Let's go back to the beginning of human kind. Even then art was an important tool of human existence. They depicted their day's events, their accomplishments, trials and their festivities. The walls of their caves told their story. From that time to now artists have played an intricate part in preserving our history in various ways and upon many different mediums.

Webster dictionary says:

Art (1) is a skill acquired by experience or study (2) a branch of learning (3) an occupation requiring knowledge or skill (4) the use of skill and imagination in the production of things of beauty (5)an artist is one who practices an art, one who creates objects of beauty.

New Brunswick, and this very area in which we live has no shortage of artists.

Approximately two years ago in the kitchen of Winona McLean, of Pleasant Vale, Elgin, she and Sharon A. Layton-Pollock were discussing the need for a gallery for local New Brunswick artists to display their wares. Meetings were arranged and friends gathered at The Atlantic Motel in Berry Mills. Local artists were encouraged to unit and pursue the dream.

In order to learn how to go organize an art society Sharon Pollock of Salisbury, Patty Gallant of The Glades and Mary Dykstra of Havelock visited and sat in on a meeting of The Sussex Art Society. There they were greeted very warmly and their members were more than helpful in answering questions. Their fact finding mission was most informative.

Later on their way home they stopped at The Blue Bird Restaurant for coffee and much conversation. Names for the art group were tossed around, ideas were jotted down on napkins. From that meeting and from the notes upon the napkin came their name: The Artist Sphere Group." The emphases on the word SPHERE, a double meaning. First, a circle of artists, most appropriate. Secondly, the letters represented the areas they were from...S-Salisbury, P-Petitcodiac, H-Havelock, E-Elgin, R-River Glade, and the last E-Elsewhere, thus allowing artists from outside the area to join.

Over the past two years The Artistic Sphere Group holds meetings once a month at The Irving Big Stop in Salisbury. At the meetings discussions, briefings and designing of "The Petitcodiac Regional Interpretation and Cultural Centre" are had. Plans are made as to how to promote the group. The Artistic Sphere Group has a membership of 25 and there are members from Salisbury, Petitcodiac, Havelock, Elgin, River Glade, Wheaton Settlement and Nauwigewauk, N.B.

Some of the things that The Artistic Sphere Group has done in the past two years are:

1. First art show and sale was held in the Petitcodiac Kiwanis building.
2. Purchased a booth to display and sell their works at The Westmorland County
Agricultural Fair.
3. Had a fundraiser to pay for this booth by selling ads on a placemat that was
used in local restaurants.
4. Members displayed and sold their art at Turner's Christmas at the Coliseum in
5. Displayed art in the Petitcodiac Gazebo during Westmorland County Fair parade.
6. Different members did the Sackville Art Tour.
7. Smaller groups from within the membership have put on day workshops, visited a
beaver dam and sketched what they saw.
8. Bob Noble, president of the Moncton Art Society came to Petitcodiac and put on a
watercolor workshop.
9. The Artistic Sphere Group has joined with the Moncton Art Society to display
their work at The Irving Big Stop in Salisbury.
10. Our members were invited to take part in the 20th., Annual Provincial Art Fair
and Sale held April 30 to May 8/05 in Highfield Square, Moncton. Member Terri
Stott of Harewood received a ribbon of "Honorable Mention" for her beautiful
mosaic table and Angel wall hanging.
11. Members got together for a day trip to Albert County and take in the Fundy Studio Tour. These tours allow for artists to share in what each other is working on and to get new ideas from and to encourage each other to hone their skills.

If you are interested in joining The Artistic Sphere Group, membership is $20.00 a year, please call Sharon A. Layton-Pollock at (506) 756-9894 or e-mail at sharon.layton@hotmail.com We would love to have you join us!


The first meeting of the Maritime society of Artists was held in the library room of the Moncton City Hall on October 2, 1931 with president Mary E. Redmond presiding. Soon after that meeting the name was changed to it's present name, "The Moncton Art Society."

In 1941 Wanda Lyons joined and worked diligently for the good of the society. Then in 1966, she and fellow members, Anna Brewster and Edward Leger signed the necessary documentations to have The Moncton Art Society incorporated.

Today's president in Robert Noble of Berry Mills, N.B.. Bob is a well known painter of delighful watercolors. He and the membership of 135 hold monthly meetings and monthly workshops. During the months of December and June the members join together for a special dinner meeting. The June dinner meeting is combined with the election of officers.

Commencing again this summer Bob Noble will be organizing as well as teaching five day workshops from the Thomas William House on the corner of Highfield and Park Street in Moncton. There are workshops especially designed for children, teenagers, adults and seniors. So, as you can see no one is left out.

The Moncton Art Society and it's members are presently working on a project to establish an art and cultural center to be called, "The Greater Moncton Art Center Inc." At the present time they are working on getting the name registered and applying for a charitable status.

The Moncton Art Society is celebrating it's 74th., anniversary this year, and as part of the celebration they are offering a special five day workshop. It will be held in the Rotary Lodge in Centennial Park from September 5th., to 9th., with art instructor Vaughn Butland from Kamloops BC. Mr. Butland is originally from Alma, N.B.. The cost of the workshop is $250.00 (taxes included).

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Moncton Art Society or taking part in the September workshop come to the Moncton Art Society's gallery in Highfield Square. Membership is $20.00 for the first year. For more information call Bob Noble at 852-3811

Local Impact Launches

Sharon Pollock, a local Greater Moncton writer writes about the people and places in New Brunswick that make an impact on local community life.