Thursday 23 May 2019

Ballyhack story makes newspaper headlines in Nova Scotia

Betsy White
Betsy White

David Looby

The warmth and generosity of spirit of Ballyhack NS pupils and a local historian has been recognised in an article published in a Nova Scotia newspaper.

The Courier-Gazette, based in Rockland, Camden, Nova Scotia, ran an article featuring Betsy White, whose great-grandfather captained the Alfred D Snow, which was shipwrecked off the County Wexford coast 130 years ago.

The article features a photograph of Ms White with local historian Jimmy FitzGibbon from New Ross,

Ms White shared her journey to Ballyhack in 2017 at a special presentation in July called: 'The Alfred D Snow: The Ship, The Captain and the Great-Great-Granddaughter'.

Her great-great grandfather, Capt William Wilby of Thomastown, and a crew of 29 lost their lives in January 1888 when the Downeaster Alfred D. Snow encountered a raging storm at Broomhill. Wilby's body was washed ashore in Arthurstown and several of the men were buried in Ballyhack graveyard, the remaining men being shipped back to Thomastown, Nova Scotia. Ballyhack NS students erected a memorial plaque at Ballyhack Cemetery honouring the unknown sailors from the shipwreck who had been buried there.

Ms White was escorted by Mr FitzGibbon during her visit. She said she was thrilled to hear that some of the wood from the shipwreck was used in the construction of a house in Ballyhack, while more was used to create benches near the house and Ballyhack Castle. She recalled the wreath laying ceremony at the village cemetery, complete with ribbons representing the Irish and Canadian countries and a flag from the lifeboat station. 'It blew my mind,' Ms White said.

New Ross Standard