As I do at least a couple of times a week, I was peering into my mailbox in the lobby of our building in Dartmouth. It was a Friday morning and the little cubical was stuffed.
There was a copy of Clyde Macdonald’s latest book, Pictonians at Home and Afar. There was my monthly bank statement, the latest issue of The Hockey News, another L.L. Bean catalogue and, it being Friday, The Pictou Advocate.
It was The Advocate’s front page that caught my eye as I walked back to the elevator. More specifically, it was the large picture of a man standing on a sidewalk in front of some commercial buildings. And, yes, I identified it as downtown Pictou.
The name “Ferguson” in the headline of the accompanying story wasn’t what grabbed my attention. There are a lot of Fergusons in and around the Shiretown.
Moments later, I was back in my La-Z-Boy when I opened the paper. Hey, I thought, that’s a pretty familiar face on the front page. I looked a bit closer and, sure enough, it was Scott Ferguson, a man I got to know well in Halifax through the years. Heck, our paths crossed regularly for something like a quarter of a century.
What’s he doing in Pictou?
I began reading the associated story with acting editor Raissa Tetanish’s byline and the first words about Ferguson that stood out were that he had “moved to Caribou River earlier this year.”
Really? The last I heard, he had gone off to New York City to take a serious position with an international trade centres organization. No surprise that he got such an impressive job. He had been at the World Trade Centre in Halifax since 1985 and had climbed the ladder to president and CEO in 2009.
Sports events at Nova Scotia’s biggest entertainment facility is where Scott and I got to know each other. It didn’t shock me when he went off to the huge metropolis south of the border because I always felt he was doing a great job in Halifax, dealing not only with hockey, basketball and other sports, but with major conventions, conferences and other significant events.
I was quickly updated by Raissa’s story.
I knew Scott, a native of Glace Bay, had gone off to the biggest of cities in the States, but I lost track of him soon after.
Now he reappeared on the Advocate’s front page—with news that he was living in one of the lovely areas of the county.
I was fascinated.
Mind you, I would never blame anyone for leaving New York. It’s far too massive for my liking, even though it was in the borough of Brooklyn that my mother trained to be a nurse way back in the 1920s. She loved the place, even went to every play that came to Broadway in her four years there. It was hard keeping her from visiting there again and again.
That’s why I noticed Scott has been centred on Broadway in his position as CEO of the World Trade Centres Association, responsible for more than 300 trade centres in some 90 countries.
Time to learn about the next phase in his life.
His presence on the front page was announcing that he had been appointed chief executive officer of the Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network (REN).
I was equally interested that he’s living in Caribou River, one of the several Caribou communities a few touchdown passes from Pictou on the Sunrise Trail.
Years ago, before the new highway system was built in the province, it was the familiar Sunrise Trail that took me out of New Glasgow to sports events in Toronto, Montreal, Boston and, yes, New York.
I always loved that part of the county—the quaint spots like Central Caribou, Caribou Island and, of course, the Caribou ferry terminal. Any location along the Northumberland Strait suited me.
This isn’t the first time, of course, that Caribou River has come into the spotlight.
It’s that same picturesque little place where Canada’s new Governor General, Mary Simon, and her husband bought a cottage, giving them a little taste of Pictou County.
But back to Scott.
When he joined the Trade Centre in Halifax, second in command behind Fred MacGillivray, he was a well-educated and prepared young man. He had an arts degree in economics from Acadia University, a master of business administration from Saint Mary’s University, and executive courses from Harvard University and University of Toronto.
Many matters crossed Scott’s desk, but since this is a sports column, I’ll single out his involvement in sports. If it weren’t for those connections, we may never have met.
He was a sports fan to begin with, and many national and international events occurred at the downtown location.
Among positions he took on, he was Halifax’s chair for the 2008 men’s world hockey championship and that, with 48 countries involved, became Canada’s sports event of the year. Three years later, he was heavily involved with the bid committee for the 2011 Canada Winter Games, the largest ever multi-sport event in Nova Scotia.
When you consider the arrival of the Halifax Mooseheads and their tremendous success for over two decades, you can see why Scott frequently had sports on his worksheet. Add major university basketball and hockey championships at the centre and you can better appreciate his numerous responsibilities in the sports category.
And so, after three and a half years, he’s moved from New York to Caribou River.
In her story, Raissa explained his many responsibilities during his tenure in New York. With that experience, as well as his long run in Nova Scotia’s largest entertainment venue, he appears ideal for his new development challenges with Pictou County REN.
I’m delighted, with Pictou County still in my heart, that someone of Scott Ferguson’s stature is taking on the substantial challenges that he now faces.
Welcome back, old friend.