Sable Island has been the focus of human interest and activities for over three centuries. Mapmakers, settlers, fishermen, mariners, shipwreck victims, lifesavers, naturalists and scientists, prospectors, educators, students, artists, journalists and visitors have explored, survived, studied, and otherwise experienced Sable Island—directly, with toes in the sand, or from a distance. For many, their fleeting or long-term encounter with the island was memorable—tragic, perplexing, inspirational, mildly interesting, inconvenient, educational, life-changing, joyous. And through these people and their work, adventures and misadventures, connections with the island extend beyond them and into the lives and communities of others who may not have touched or been touched by Sable Island.

In this series of “Connections”, special moments and lasting impressions are shared by people who have experienced Sable Island first-hand or have a distant, but enduring, relationship with the island.

A Legacy – Cindy Clancey, 2009

My family’s connection to Sable Island began almost fifty years ago when we lived at the West Light while my father was employed there as an electrician. In 2008 I returned to the island for a brief visit.

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Tousled Manes – Mary Filbee, 2009

As a child I was fascinated by my godmother’s painting of Sable Island and the story she told of the dunes and shipwrecks. A family friend, Barbara Christie, engaged me with stories of the island’s horses.

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Early Days – Ian McLaren, 2009

In 1967, I began research on the Ipswich Sparrow. The next summer, my wife Bernice assisted me, and with our three young children, we set up home in the unused radio operators’ house at the West Light.

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Briefly Met – Don Pentz, 2009

Over the six days on Sable, I completed 20 watercolours. With each image I can recall the time and place—the wind, the smell, the lay of the land as I crested along the dune tops or circumvented the ponds.

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