- 1899 - 1981
Mary Helen Doucette was born Mary Helen Lord in Boston in 1899. Her mother was Mary MacDonald from Port Hood, N.S. Her father was Charles Lord of Baltimore, MD. Mary MacDonald returned to Inverness, NS with her two children and became a housekeeper for the local Parish Priest. Charles Edward Lord, brother to Mary Helen Lord, died in a mining accident in Timmons, Ontario in 1926. In 1918 Mary Helen Lord was accepted as a teacher, and along with two other girls from Inverness, she went to teach at the South Ingonish School Section. There she met John (Jack) Doucette and they were married in 1922. The couple had two children: Leo Keats and Gordon Doucette.
Mary Helen and Jack moved to Boston for some time. They returned to Ingonish when Jack obtained a job in the gypsum mine. The mine closed in 1928 and the family moved to Halifax.
In 1936, Jack, who had been in poor health since having been wounded overseas in WWI, developed TB. Jack had to go into a sanatorium and the rest of the family returned to Ingonish. Mary Helen returned to teaching in Ingonish and Jack was in and out of hospitals until his death in 1956.
Mary Helen was always interested in what was going on in the community and contributed articles to several newspapers. Most of these articles were kept in her scrapbooks. Following her death in 1981, her son Gordon donated the books to The Cabot Archives. On the first page of the first scrapbook, Mary Helen writes, "NOTES OF INGONISH AND ITS PEOPLE FOR MY GRANDCHILDREN".