The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

September 18th, 2013

Verna Jean Fisher

Verna Jean Fisher was born in Amherst on January 8th 1920.  She was the daughter of William and Harriett (Ralph) Fisher.  As an infant, when children start to walk, she developed what today is called multiple sclerosis affecting both legs and one arm which meant she was never able to walk.  At the age of five she spent many months in the Children’s Hospital in Halifax where she had two plaster casts put on in an effort to straighten her legs.  The cast didn’t help so she was sent home.  Her left arm was crippled and drawn up in the same manner which left her with the use of her right arm.  She was able to sit up at this time and showed a great interest in stories and books.  At the age of seven Vera was taken back to the Children’s Hospital but after six weeks the family was told there was nothing more that could be done for her.  For the next few years she was able to sit up and could be taken out in a wheelchair, but around the age of 18, she was not longer able to sit in the chair and went to bed where she spent the remainder of her life.

     Verna Jean never saw a schoolroom or had a teacher but she had a passion for learning and once her sister Grace taught her how to read she began reading books and looking up words in dictionaries.  By the age of 10 she wrote her first little story about the family cat.  For many years she wrote three poems a day, six days a week all without the inspiration or anything but her four walls and her imagination. She had a total of four small booklets of poetry published.

     Verna Jean wrote for the Sunshine Club, the Springhill Record and also wrote a poem for the Queen and one that was set to music and played in the Church of England.

     She lived at home with her mother until she could no longer care for her and she was moved to MacAloney’s Nursing Home where she remained for 25 years.

     Verna Jean Fisher died in All Saints Hospital on November 16, 1989.

The following is one of Verna Jean’s poems.

What Makes a Town

It’s the flowers in the windows,

And the curtains crisp and neat,

And the Cheery voices hailing as

You’re strolling down the street;

And the hearty word of welcome

  For the stranger that you meet.

It’s the Fathers and the Mothers with

Their tenderness and pride,

And a cleanly creed of living as

A never-failing guide;

That’s what makes the town you live in

Be a light you cannot hide.

It’s the folks we see about us, who

Are planning day and night,

To help the town move onward

And to set the wrong aright;

To shed in gloomy places,

Much of gladness and of light.

It’s a voice that’s always praising’

And is never casting down,

Who have learned the art of smiling,

Before they learned to frown;

Oh! Believe a truthful poet,

It is folks that make the town.

Springhill News and Advertiser Jan. 11, 1899The Old Skating Rink

    Mr. J.S. Price has decided to open the above rink for the coming season.  He has put it in first class condition, and will have the waiting rooms comfortable and warm.  The following are the rates for the season.

Gents Single Tickets$3.00

Ladies S. Tickets$2.00

Children under 12$1.00

Family Tickets at Moderate Rates on application.

Private Skating Parties accommodated at Reasonable Rates.

J.S. Price, Prop.

The rink will be open every evening in the week except Wednesday from 7 to 10, and on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 2 to 4:30 O’clock.