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Nicholson launches book ‘On The Ice in Pictou’

PICTOU – It was 45 years in the making, but it’s finally done.

Jim Nicholson autographs a copy of his book for long-time Pictou hockey player James Daley. KEVIN ADSHADE/THE NEWS

The lineup at the McCulloch Museum and Genealogy Centre didn’t get any shorter on Sunday afternoon, as Jim Nicholson had a book signing for On The Ice in Pictou, a two-volume set that looks back at more than two centuries of minor, high school, junior and senior hockey, female hockey and ringette in the Shiretown.

“It started out as one book but it got too big,” said the retired schoolteacher.

The seed for the book started back in 1970, where he got ahold of a photo of the 1895 Pictou Scalliwags hockey team. Nicholson was coaching the Junior B Pictou Maripacs at the time.

Once the word got out, the photographs started pouring in.

“Many, many people came forth with pictures once they knew I was doing this,” he said, taking a break from signing copies of the book, and noting that there are more than 350 photographs contained in the two volumes.

He pored over old copies of The Evening News, the Advocate, the Chronicle Herald and other newspapers, digging into the past and trying to bring it back to life.

Nicholson picked away at it over the years, but really set to work a few years ago.

“I worked on it off and on, but about five years ago, I thought, ‘I better get it done before it’s too late.’”

The first volume deals with the years between 1811 and 1955; the second volume looks at the mid-1950s “until last Tuesday,” Nicholson joked. (The final photo in the two volumes is one of the 2015-16 girls’ hockey team at Pictou Academy. Nicholson had printing delayed until the photo could be included). 

“I think the books are great,” said Pictou resident James Daley after he had Nicholson sign a copy. Daley started playing hockey in 1953, was one of the original Pictou Old Puckers (he even wore an Old Puckers’ jacket to the book signing) and stopped playing only four years ago.

“It’ll be good for the next generations to look at.”

‘On The Ice in Pictou’ is available at Fulmore’s Pharmacy in Pictou or copies can be purchased by calling Nicholson at 485-5910.

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