Four families share a toboggan, Protestant manse in background c. 1959

Four families share a toboggan, Protestant manse in background c. 1959. Anne Louise MacDonald smiling for the camera in front of Pushie, Gillis, and Taylor children. Photographer: J. J. MacDonald. Courtesy of Anne Louise MacDonald.

B7 - Four families  share a toboggan,  Protestant manse in background c. 1959

Email from Anne Louise MacDonald:

It’s got many of the elements of the social determinants of health;  Religion (the old protestant manse in the background), community support (there are children from four families playing together) and outdoor sports and activities (tobogganing! Geeze, we got to have tobogganing  LOL)

This was the era of the dreaded one-piece snowsuit. By the time mother got them on all four children and all out the door, at least one was coming in to peel off and pee. An endless cycle of cold cheeks and wet foot prints to the bathroom. And hot cocoa when done. Yum.

Email of June 30, 2014:

So my educated guess is (left to right): from the age this sledder has to be a Pushie or an Archer; Bobby or Joey Gillis (twins, so cant’ tell); my brother Jay MacDonald; maybe my sister Nancy (barely visible); Michael Taylor (my best friend when I was three); Dianne Taylor; Jackie Gillis. The Sears also joined us along with the Murrins and McVicars. We could have over 30 children in our yard on a given day. None in the pic but me around Antigonish (Michael Taylor is deceased), but most have family in the area.


Posted in Recreation and Sports and tagged , , , .



    Just back from a visit to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, across the river from the Parliament Buildings. Soon to become the Canadian Museum of History. The First People’s Hall caught our attention, particularly this reference to the toboggan in the Modes of Transport section.

    The word “toboggan” (tobakun in Mi’kmaq) means ” to put something on top.” People traditionally used the toboggan to transport everything form personal possessions to animals killed in the herd.

    Sounds as if we need to cross-reference this photo to another essential condition for community health: Infrastructure, Housing and Transport.

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