Bernadine MacMillan

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Bernadine Christian MacMillan (born 1930 in Upper Prospect) had two sisters: Florence ("Turkey") and Thelma ("Vinegar"). Thelma was a twin to brother Clarence ("Beans"). She had another brother Herald who did not live to be more than 13 thirteen months old. Bernadine's nickname was "Porcupine."

Bernadine's parents were Blanche Mason and Russell Christian who worked on the waterfront in Halifax. Her Grandmother Rhyno was from Herring Cove and her Grandfather Mason was the community blacksmith serving not only the needs in Upper Prospect but also those of the residents in the Dovers and Terence Bay. Residents from outside areas would come by boat and stay all day until everything was finished.

Bernadine's early ambition was to become a nun. She and many others loved going to Mass at 7 a.m., then going back home to grab breakfast before heading off to a two-room schoolhouse, where she attended classes until grade eleven. One room held grades primary to five and the other went to grade eleven. She fondly remembers being taught Irish dancing and music by Sister Ellen Vincent.

Bernadine's mother started a garment club and taught the children how to sew, making aprons and blouses. Bernadine and her sisters won sewing prizes in a local competition. The prize was fifty cents each! Another of her favourite memories is eating bread with corn syrup, a treat considered to be expensive when she was a young girl. The local store would provide a line of credit that wouldn't have to been paid for a week or two. Her family planted a garden with different vegetables.

Her Uncle Tom lived across the way on Kelly's Point and her Dad would put the children in the boat and go over to visit him. She remembers eating Marvin's cookies at her uncle's. She recalls he would say, "Help yourself to the cookies."

Always close to the church, Bernadine has kept her early hymn books. She says, "We didn't have that many hymn books so we had to copy them down by hand in our books." And she fondly remembers all the fun everyone had at church picnics where they had salmon suppers, music and games. She continues to be involved with her church.