Nova Scotia Society 125th anniversary


SYDNEY (NS) – June 13, 2012 – The Mining Society of Nova Scotia (“MSNS”) celebrated its 125th anniversary last week by holding its Annual General Meeting at the historic Keltic Lodge, Ingonish, Nova Scotia. A record-breaking 200 attendees included people from across Canada, including the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s (CIM) President, Mr. Terry Bowles, and President Elect, Mr. Bob Schaeffer.

The 125th AGM ran from June 6th to June 10th and included over sixteen technical presentations from mining stakeholders from across Atlantic Canada.  Presenting companies included ScoZinc/Selwyn Resources, Erdene Resource Development Corporation, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and Xstrata.

“The caliber of the technical presentations and keynote speakers, the high level of entertainment, and the fellowship and networking amongst those involved in the mining industry, came together to make our 125th anniversary celebration most successful” says incoming President Willie McNeil.  “I look forward to working with our executive and council in the coming year to promote and celebrate the mining industry and what it means to Nova Scotia.”


Luncheon Keynote speaker on Thursday was Dr. Howard Donahue, Retired Geologist with the Nova Scotia Department of  Natural Resources and past president of the MSNS who provided a history of the MSNS.  The attendees were attentive as the Friday keynote luncheon speaker, Mr. Terry Bowles, President of the Canadian Institute of Mining and also President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation spoke about Canada’s role in the global mining industry.

The Thursday evening keynote speaker was the Honourable Minister of Natural Resources Charlie Parker who provided words of welcome to all from the Province and spoke about how important the mining industry is to Nova Scotia.  On Friday evening, Captain Royal Canadian Navy (Hon.) Fred George who is also the former President of Gammon Gold, the largest single gold mining producer in Mexico.  Mr. George kept the audience captive as he spoke of how he took Gammon Gold’s market cap from $10 million to over $2.4 billion in five years. Incoming President Willie McNeil presented Mr. George with the MSNS President’s Citation for Lifetime Achievement award.


The lineup of entertainment was impressive – and memorable. Thursday night’s entertainment was provided by a visit from Canada’s own leading political satirist and comedian and host of the CBC hit series “This Hour has 22 Minutes” Rick Mercer who shared many stories of his adventures over the years with the audience.  Fitting to any celebration of mining, the Friday evening came to a close with a moving performance by “The Men of the Deeps”, North America’s only coal mining chorus.  The crowd rewarded the Men of the Deeps with two standing ovations.


The business portion of the weekend saw Willie McNeil, Manager of Stantec Consulting Ltd. Sydney being named the President of the MSNS for the upcoming year.  Reagan Isenor, Operations Manager of Merrex Gold Inc. was named 1st Vice President.  Ed Carey, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, BCG Engineering Inc., Cape Breton office was elected incoming 2nd Vice President of the Society.  Florence Sigut long time member and advocate for the MSNS remained in the position of Secretary/Treasurer. Fenton Isenor, Geologist and longtime professor of Geology at Cape Breton University and past president of the MSNS was awarded the life member award by outgoing President Matt Ferguson.  The President of the CIM, Terry Bowles presented Dr. Dave Forrestor with the CIM award.

“The Keltic Lodge was the ideal venue to hold this iconic celebration” said Matt Ferguson, the outgoing President of MSNS.  “The MSNS has a rich history of holding their AGM and celebratory events at the Keltic Lodge. It was a natural fit for us to hold the 125th anniversary there to celebrate the history of mining in our province, region and country.  This event will be remembered by all in attendance for a long time.