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The History of St Martins
(1796-1967)

Page...9

INCORPORATION OF ST MARTINS for fire protection; street lighting; and sidewalk facilities:

During the years 1949 and 1950 St Martins experienced the tragedy of three major fires which resulted in the complete destruction of three buildings, two of which were in the village proper, namely the Anglican Rectory and the B.A. Service Station. The third and most tragic fire occured at Bayview where two young children of the Donald and Percy Hatfield families were burned to death.

This fully awakened all the citizens of the community to the utter inefficiency of its fire fighting equipment and a meeting of the ratepayers was called by the Councillors with a view to studying the possibility of incorporation under the Social Improvements Districts Act, primarily for the purpose of fire protection. In addition, it was felt that the two other services of street lighting and sidewalk facilities to be done at a later date should be included in Incorporation. The main speakers at this meeting were the Deputy Fire Marshall and the Commissioner of Municipal Affairs of the Provincial Government. They outlined the course of procedure necessary for incorporation. A committee of five ratepayers was appointed to draft boundaries for this original incorporation.

A later meeting was called on the idea but due to poor support given by the people, St Martins was not incorporated.

A fire truck was purchased by the Parish and at present it is housed at the Texaco Service Station and operated by Donald Clayton and volunteer firemen.

The St Martins Marsh was first dyked completely by R.F. Bentley, Herbert Jackson, and Clarence Love. The land was used for farms and pastures. Later the dykes fell into disrepair and the lands were bought by George McLeod, Knowlton Thompson, and Craig Morrison. A new dyke was constructed by the Federal Government under the Marsh Land Reclamation Act, in 1962. Part of this was washed out during a severe storm and was repaired in 1963. During storms of the winter of 1963-1964 it was again washed out, only to be repaired during the summer of 1964. Plans are to use this marsh land to pasture beef cattle.

St Martins was organized as a Local Improvement District in August of 1966. In January 1967, by legistlation of the Provincial Government, all Local Improvement Districts, among them St Martins, became villages.

Street lights were installed in 1967. Centennial Old Home Week was held in July 1967. This was so successful that it has become an annual undertaking.

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