Polls Details


Frances Edwardine (Twohig) Hansen/Cleveland was born March 21, 1928 in Somerville, Massachusetts to Ed and Luta (Wood)Twohig. The family returned to Kentville, Nova Scotia where Fran spent a wonderful childhood growing up with her three younger brothers Ed, Ron and Frank. Many stories have been told of the rich adventures of these childhood days and of their carefree youth; skating, dancing, driving and motorcycling. Early in life she became a dedicated follower of fashion, always giving great care and thought to her attire. After completing her early education at Highbury School, Kings County Academy and Edgehill, Fran went on to study journalism for two years at Kings College and one year of secretarial studies at Mount Allison University.

In 1950 Fran married Erik Hansen of Coldbrook, NS. They lived in Connecticut, New Jersey and Ontario in the early years of their marriage. When Erik took a teaching position at Acadia University they returned home to Nova Scotia with their two small daughters, Gay and Lee. In Wolfville, daughter Sarah and son Rik were born. Fran poured boundless energy into the things she loved: her children and family, cooking, sewing, knitting, entertaining, Brownies and Girl Guides, dancing, swimming, paddling, hiking, skiing and of course reading. Always reading. Summers at the cottage were filled with sunshine and salt, good food shared with family and friends, swimming lessons, boating, fishing, sailing and the wonderful books Mom would read to us on those rainy days.

As her children grew Fran continued her studies at Acadia part-time, earning a B.A., a B.Ed. and a M.A. in English. In the late 1970’s Fran left her marriage to explore new horizons.. She pursued a varied teaching career, never staying in one position for long but always enjoying a challenge. She taught for a number of years in the prison system at Springhill and taught English as a second language with CUSO which took her to Kuching, Malaysia for three years. Running and traveling filled her spare time while in Malaysia. Upon her return Fran lived in Bedford, where she ran a driving school. She eventually in settled in Kentville to be near her parents and family. She helped to manage the Twohig apartments, retiring in 1998.

After retirement Fran found new love in her current husband Eric Cleveland. Fran and Eric fell in love on the dance floor and after several months as dance partners they were married in December 1998. Fran embraced Eric’s children and family as her own and was honoured by the way they did the same for her. Eric and Fran shared many common interests such as music and theatre, the Sierra Club, Council of Canadians, Blomidon Naturalists Society, Nature Conservancy of Canada, the promotion of alternate energy use and environmental stewardship. Fran enjoyed creative writing through Acadia’s Life Long Learning Program, singing lessons and was active in the Canadian Federation of University Women.

Together Fran and Eric faced her diagnosis with Lewy Bodies Dementia and its subsequent challenges. These were difficult days for Fran and her family as she lost the ability to enjoy her many interests and had to lay aside one activity after another. Fran remained at home until 2007 when she was hospitalized and eventually placed in a Nursing Home. She continued to dance, sing and entertain during her years in care, almost always with a ready smile. In 2010 she developed breast cancer.


As July first is drawing near

Most think of our country so dear

Unless we are dull uncivic jerks

We oh! And ah! at fireworks

But when I think of that day

What comes to mind is our JohnA

Both JohnA,s from Kingston town

Served well the ages down

I count my blessings for that dear friend

May his council and faith never end

At our time in life we never count

The years as more quickly they mount

But as our bodies slowly give way

His humor and spirit stay bright as day

Though I may not be there to say

I do sincerely wish you, Happy Birthday



Eulogy for Sister Frances

We are here to celebrate the life of this woman, my sister Fran

And what a woman, talents galore, smart, independent, friendly, articulate, strong willed, and knock down gorgeous, when she was gussied up, walking regally, the eyes in the room turned to her

And what a life, a full life, her life, a life under her terms, a life that did as she directed it, not controlled by convention, responsible to her, controlled by her, enough life for four people,

I have had in my mind a picture of her at about 4 years of age, tense, steely eyed, rigid jaw, obviously annoyed at someone, probably me, but a sign of what she was and would become.

My memories go back to that time. We were close in age but she was enough older to dominate. We fought like most close siblings do. “Mom”, Fran pushed me off my tricycle and I hurt my leg. “Oh dear, she didn't mean to hurt you.” “Mom” Fran hit me over the head with the rake (she broke three small holes in the skin) “Oh dear, she didn't mean to hurt you.” “Mom” Fran threw the can of hard candy at me. “Oh dear, she didn't mean to hurt you.”( No it did not hurt me but did hurt the plaster on the wall)

We lived a few years on the farm in New Minas . What wonderful years together. Our own brook with swimming holes in the ravine, great coasting hills, the walk over the back fields and power lines to that one room school in Highbury, and playing hooky therefrom, poking sticks in hornet nests, Fran running screaming with many stings on her neck, climbing trees, falling from trees

The teen years were even better, we even liked each other. In the pre dish washer days, we even peaceably shared dish washing duties, and who could ignore the smooth pleading to do her share so she could do something so essential as going to movies, or on a date, or something. Oh well, it kept my hands clean.

But other things in return paid me well. What early teen boy had a sister that instilled dancing skills second to none or a sister that would dance with him in public or a sister that let him have her best friend as his first real love, and facilitated their meetings in the orchards between Kings and Edgehill.

Then our lives separated. Fran off to university and I elsewhere to study and work. Our locations and our interests parted. Even our politically interests parted. I wonder, to this day, how she could vote for her brother, if she did, who ran under the P.C. Party standard. If she did vote for me it was a sisterly sacrifice.

But the life, that she lived her way, went its own way and treated her terribly. She had no choice but to get rid of it. But we are left with the memories and the stories. Her first motorcycle drive, the driver-less car, the TV winning golf club party and many more.


A friend drew my attention to a You Tube recording of a young activist protester speaking on the steps of the Legislature building in Winnipeg. I was impressed with the effort taken in preparing and delivering the speech on “ Our tax dollars being spent on murdering innocent civilians”. It is heartening to realize that there are concerned young people dedicated to correcting the wrongs that they have identified in our country and the world. However, it is not enough to only protest. It is necessary to do the things necessary to return our country to Responsible Government. It is not enough to change the Political Party in power. We have seen many changes of party over the last 50 or more years, but the deterioration of governance and our economy continues.

The generations younger than I are able to use the information and communication tools now available to them in this new digital world. Maybe with the help of they these tools, they will be able to avoid the violent means for change that young citizens have had to apply in other countries. They have a wealth of immediate information about what is wrong with the world and what part Canada plays. Protesting what is wrong is commendable, but at what point will they realize that, if their elected representatives can do little to influence and change Government, as ordinary citizens they can do less. When they see no improvement they may give up or become violent. Or, they can get to work and do something effective, as well as protest.

It may seem mundane, boring, too low key, too time consuming and too much hard work to learn why and how their Government does the things that they are protesting. If they are able to absorb more than the video clips and headlines on their TV screens, they will learn why our Representative Democracy is deteriorating. By reading books like, “Tragedy in the Commons” “Irresponsible Government” “ What I learned about politics” and others, they may realize what changes are necessary before their protests can have any effect. They must learn why wealth is being accumulated in the hands of the few. Even by only watching economic documentaries on You Tube they can learn how the actions of the financial industry and the “New Economics” are leading us to the edge of a 25 year recession.

I look at these smart, vital, dedicated protesters marching and waving their placards and wonder when, and if, they will learn what they must do to make a difference. I know that if those 25 or 50 or 100 joined together behind a qualified, thinking, dedicated, independent candidate in their constituency, and personally explained and asked every voter in a constituency to vote for that candidate, our legislatures would no longer be controlled by the political parties and rich elite. The millions of advertising dollars poured out to control the minds of voters will not convince a voter like a knowledgeable and dedicated canvasser, face to face.

Protesters who turn their efforts to working toward a truly democratic system will effect change. They can attract the experience and knowledge needed to organize a constituency from the many who have been involved in politics, and those who have been previously elected, who now see that we must take control back from the party organizations and leaders. Those of us who have seen the insidious growth of undemocratic governance may be so overwhelmed by the effort required, that we need younger leaders to motivate us. With those who use their minds and vote their consciences in our legislative bodies, our Governments can again be responsible.

Wendy and Guy

I have never met Wendy Smith or Guy White
I am very pleased for their wedding invite
What I have heard of their strange romance
Says that this wedding is not simply by chance
They could not see each other through the curtain
But they talked and talked till both were certain
That they must see each other face to face, and soon
Before either departed from that hospital room
Guy maneuvered his wheelchair in the room so narrow
Cupid was watching and took good aim with his arrow
The Love arrow was planted and grew at a rapid rate
As the lover's health continued to rehabilitate
Time in rehab center helped the friendship grow
As they spent time together they got to know
By dining and talking and sharing their days
That they liked each other more, in many ways
They have the spirituality that comes from God
And have carried their burdens where few have trod
I give thanks for you sharing this happy time
And the unusual story of romance so sublime
May you both enjoy a long and happy life
As Guy and Wendy, husband and wife.

Christmas Travel Account

My Christmas travel story goes back to the days when the only paved road from Amherst to the rest of Nova Scotia was through Springhill and Parsboro and snow plowing was not considered as critical as it is today. I was 17 years old and working in Amherst. The day before Christmas was off work so I boarded the Acadia Lines bus for Kentville and Christmas. The big bus at that time would be a small bus today. Snow was already falling and was heavy after we passed through Parsboro. As we neared Truro the bus became stuck in the heavy snow. In spite of leather shoes and spat rubbers, I joined all other able bodies to push the bus. We pushed it through the drift and made it to Truro by late afternoon. There was to be no Christmas eve at home. I checked in to the old hotel in Truro and phoned my schoolmate Dave Wilson. He came to pick me up in a Jeep and I enjoyed Christmas eve with him delivering presents and visiting his family and friends. The snow storm eased during the evening and Christmas day was clear and sunny. The buses were running and I made it home for Christmas dinner.

Birthday 80

8 0

Oh! N0!

Eighty years already past

Are surely not by far the last

Eighty years have been just fine

With much good food and red wine

Me thinks that work is the spice of life

The very the worst of life is personal strife

Throughout all those wonderful eighty years

There has been much laughter and some tears

Interesting people and travel in the foreign lands

Challenging financial deals and the business plans

Many things that have made life so special and good

The best have been family and friends who by me stood

Pine Trees

Pine trees have always been part of my life. The majesty of them, the smell of them and the utility of them have been a part of me. My grandfather sawed them in his mill. My father logged them and I worked with their wood. They were majestic on our farm. Some would tower 60 to 80 feet on the side hills and in the ravine. They were left standing because they were red pine and not valued for building. Spruce was the preferred construction material.

The crack of lightning felling one of these giants shook our house from ½ mile away. That was scary and we children ran to mother and dad. The next day we went looking for the site of that strike. The fallen tree and blackened stump prompted some boys, wows and other exclamations. Luckily the storm had lots of rain to dampen any fire.

There is great satisfaction in working with soft white pine. The hard woods look very nice, but are a lot more work to make things with. A good sharp saw will cut and shape dry white pine with ease and sanding smooth does not take the effort of harder woods. Pine was usually the chosen wood in manual training class at school. How proud we were of the cutting board with its pattern of inlaid wood of darker color. It was made with our own hands for mother. That training was put to good use during high school years after being hired for a time job by the woodworking shop. We made store fixtures, school desks and were busy before Christmas making wooden toys.

The nice soft pinewood was great for woodworking but damned poor for climbing. This was learned the hard way. There was a wood of young pine on the path my sister and I took to the little one room country school. We had heard the older kids talk of playing hooky. We decided that we should try it. So, one bright spring morning we did so. Time passed slowly and when we heard children’s voices down the hill at school, we did not know if it was recess or noon. I decided that I would be able to see the playground from a tall tree. So up 30 feet, maybe 40, limb by limb, up to the top, swing back and forth, laugh at the kids at school. But, the pine is a soft tree so the top broke off. Down, down, but luckily the tree was on a side hill for a rolling landing. After what seemed forever, I could breath again. The lesson here was (1) that pine trees are not very strong and (2) school is better than hooky.


Talya with the hands so soft

Massages in her bright white loft

At massage school she learned well

The body’s parts each one to tell

If there was pain or they were sore

Just what her soft hands could cure

The healthy feeling is so sublime

As joints are worked upon the spine

The arms and legs and even feet

The gentle strokes she does repeat

As muscle tightness is washed away

The pleasure is more than one can say

Soft oiled skin and if one should ask

She adds the odors of sweet lemon grass

Whatever she does requires no measure

Other than her grateful patients pleasure

Gentle treatment for stress and pain

Her customers always come back again




We called it our Dreamcatcher home

Now I can't live here all alone

The dreams I caught are memories now

I will remember them and get by somehow

Memories of the things I liked best

About that beautiful Oceanside nest

Floors and ceiling of Knotty pine

The wood has aged with a patina fine

In my painters studio on the western side

I created pictures that I could show with pride

The room on the east was the writers den

Where the volumes came from the writers pen

The living areas between, for food and fun

Also with view of the water, trees and sun

The sounds of birds and the waves upon the shore

The full moon at night, who could ask for more

How wonderful the memories of the trees

The whispering aspen in a gentle breeze

Seemed to talk to the many other kinds of trees

Surrounded by popular,birch,fir and spruce

Gave home all the privacy they could produce

Friends and family coming to visit or stay

Were a pleasure to have for a week or a day

But those ocean memories are the best of all

High tide or low, spring or summer or fall

Swimming or playing or digging for clams

Each day it was hard to stick to your plans

Children and grandchildren came every year

Those are the memories that are most dear

Thats when I could see them play and grow

And hear their dreams and love them so

Now the Dreamcatcher must catch other's dreams

For me to leave will not be as bad as it seems

With many wonderful memories I will grieve

As I pack my bags “The Dreamcatcher” to leave!