Sable Island Scholarship 2020

Friends of Sable Island Society, in partnership with Parks Canada, was pleased to offer a $1,000 scholarship to promote learning and awareness of Canada’s 43rd National Park Reserve.

2020 Scholarship Award

For the eighth year, the Friends of Sable Island Society offered a 1000.00 scholarship for Nova Scotia Grade 12 students. The board received 29 submissions. The focus of this year’s scholarship was to present a breaking news story about Sable Island. Entries ranged from newspaper front pages, to newsreel videos, to interviews, to stories set centuries ago to 2033. The quality of the submissions was stellar and because of that the board decided to grant two honorable mentions with a monetary award of 500.00 each. Thank you to all students who took the time to enter their work. We hope you learned something new and amazing about Sable Island in the process.

Congratulations to Christelinda Laureijs, the winner of the $1000.00 scholarship, for her work titled, Connections to Sable Island. Kieran O’Connor received $500.00 for his honourable mention submission,
Sable Island News. Asia Ley received $500.00 for her honourable mention submission, Forgotten Treasures. Their winning entries are below.

Christelinda Laureijs – “Connections to Sable Island”

Reflective Statement

Sable Island has a rich history, natural beauty and a unique ecosystem. Its history is probably what fascinates me the most, as it is filled with drama, tragedy and surprises. I had heard about Sable Island’s shipwrecks, its long line of governors, ghostly tales, the story of the Sable Island Lifesaving Establishment, legends about the Sable Island horses, and the remarkable campaign to save them. Then, I came across a relatively little-known story about Sable Island’s important role in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. Many convoys travelled past Sable Island, bringing German U-boats to the area. The Sable Island Lifesaving Establishment crew observed all passing ships and aircraft and alerted mainland authorities to any suspicious activity. The island’s wireless mast, coincidentally, was connected to the Island’s first aircraft disaster in 1941.

Sable Island, World War II, technological innovations, tragedy and teamwork…I knew that I had my story. I decided to present my research on Sable Island through the medium of a 1940’s style newsreel. While I (clearly) was not present in the 1940s, I am amazed at how newsreels were able to influence such a wide audience. I enjoy filmmaking, and this scholarship provided a wonderful opportunity to share part of Sable Island’s story with the world.

I am honoured to create something that will support the Friends of Sable Island Society’s mission to collect Sable Island’s history and protect Sable Island for future generations.

Kieran O’Connor – “Sable Island News”

Kieran O'Connor The Sable Island Times

Reflective Statement

I was born and raised in Nova Scotia and have always heard of the elusive Sable Island. I learned about the island in my education ever since elementary school. I was intrigued by the island because of the exotic wildlife of horses that live there and the history of shipwrecks. We learned the history of the island in the early grades of elementary school while in social studies class. I have always been curious about the island since then.

As my oldest brother completed his masters of Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University, he had completed a publication about the subsurface geology of Sable Island. They eventually found out the geology was well fitted for the injection of carbon dioxide into the ground where it can be stored for millions of years. Here I take the time to interview him about his studies and a news article about why I find his work fascinating. With admiring Sable Island as a kid because of the wildlife, to now having my older brother working on studies about Sable Island, I hope to continue to study the interesting aspects of the island as I move forward with my career.

Asia Ley – “Forgotten Treasures

Reflective Statement

My grandfather is an interesting man who has had many careers from a butcher, mover, antique dealer, and his most interesting job, lighthouse tender on Atlantic Canada’s Sable Island. His stories are sometimes filled with events from his moving days in Ontario or picking old barns and basements looking for treasures but when he sat down and told me of his time on “Sable” he spoke with a passion that I rarely see in anybody. It became apparent very quickly that my grandfather has a special place saved in his heart for Sable Island and the time he spent there as a teenager. His passion for the island has inspired me to learn more about this crescent-shaped sand bar and the horses, seals, birds, and people that have called it home.

My plans include attaining an engineering degree from Dalhousie University. I have yet to decide which field of engineering I will pursue but I hope to engage my degree with the same passion my grandfather displays when talking about Sable Island. Inspiration comes from many places, for me, it comes from an old man that lights up when he thinks about living on an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean seventy-one years ago. I hope the Friends of Sable Island enjoy my presentation and will consider me a candidate for one of your generous scholarships that will be well appreciated and given to a friend of a friend of Sable Island