Muriel Elizabeth Condgon Bartlett

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Muriel Elizabeth Condgon Bartlett, born in Great Village on the Cobequid Bay in 1914 moved to Terence Bay and married Harry Eldon Bartlett in 1947. His grandfather was the first Bartlett to settle in Terence Bay. Eldon left school in grade seven when his father died and he was left to support his mother and eight children.

Muriel's father James was a farmer in Great Village and her mother Elizabeth came from Truro to teach in Great Village. There were six children in Muriel's family. She remembers her mother making clothes on an old treadle sewing machine and laundry being done with a scrubbing board in an old tin tub. She and her sister took turns doing the laundry.

Muriel became a teacher like her mother and her sister became a nurse. Her first teaching job was at the age of sixteen in Bass River, not far away from Great Village. Later on, she arrived in Terence Bay to teach. When she got the position, she didn't know where Terence Bay was. Comparing it to Great Village, a kind of boom-town from shipbuilding and trade, the first thing she noticed was that not many houses. She boarded with her future husband's mother, Mrs. Bartlett on Bartlett's Road. There were 113 students registered at the school in her first year (1931) as teacher in Terence Bay.

Muriel came to Terence Bay during the Depression when people in the fishing village were very, very poor. She found the people to be kind and generous with what they did have. She says, "I have seen the community grow and it's grown for the better. There were hard times...I know, growing up through the Depression as I did, it wasn't easy."

She continued to teach in Terence Bay for six years and then went to Goodwood to teach for the next two years where she boarded with Jesse Drysdale. After that, she taught in Spryfield from 1941 to 1947 when she married and moved back to Terence Bay. Eld, her husband-to-be, joined the Forces the day World War II broke out and he was gone for about 5 years.

From 1969 to 1978 Eld was the Lighthouse Keeper on Betty's Island. Muriel was still teaching at the time, but she spent a great deal of her free time on the island, which she loved. Betty's Island Lighthouse was automated in 1978 while Eld was the Keeper.

While married, she and Eld travelled extensively to Nice, France and to Australia where they accidentally found a family of named Condgon in Adelaide. It turned out that her great grandfather was brother to the Australian Congdon's great grandfather. One brother came to Nova Scotia and the other settled in Australia.

Today she is visited by former pupils, a popular teacher, who extends her opinion that, children spend too much time with television and computers even though she is in favour of both inventions, and that they don't spend enough time with their families. Muriel comments, "I don't how many families in any given area, does everyone sit down together to have a meal."