MacDonald, Lester V.

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MacDonald, Lester V.

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1896-1983

History

Lester V. MacDonald was born on 31 December 1896 in Sherbrooke, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. He was the son of William H. and Helen A. (Hattie) MacDonald. The early Sherbrooke settler and settlement official, Hugh MacDonald, was his great-grandfather. After Lester V. MacDonald graduated from school with his senior matriculation, he began his working life in his father's blacksmith shop. When the First World War broke out, he served in the Royal Flying Corps as a mechanic, at one point stationed in Texas. After some education at Dalhousie University and industrial work in Boston in the 1920s, he returned to Sherbrooke in 1925 to establish MacDonald Garage and Equipment, which offered mechanic, plumbing and heating services, as well as car sales. Between 1931 and 1937, he was contracted to carry mail from Sherbrooke to Antigonish and from Sherbrooke to Sheet Harbour, a daily distance of 200 miles. He was involved in numerous community, labour, and religious organizations, including fraternal and temperance societies, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 56, the St. Mary’s Amateur Athletics Association, and St. John’s United Church. He served as a stipendiary magistrate for the courts and was the deputy registrar of deeds. He was also involved in economic development initiatives as a member of the St. Mary’s District Development Association, where he lobbied government for greater community investment, particularly in the areas of natural resources and tourism. Lester was an active supporter of the Sherbrooke Village Restoration project, a large-scale community economic development initiative that proposed to restore a portion of the streetscape of Sherbrooke to that of a typical village of the mid-to-late 19th century. In 1970, he was appointed as one of the first members of the Sherbrooke Village Restoration Commission, the governing body of the living-history museum, on which he served as chair. Lester V. MacDonald was an avid local historian and genealogist. During the development of Sherbrooke Village Restoration, Nova Scotia Museum curators frequently relied upon his historical knowledge. He married Irvis Mae Pryde in 1927, and together they had four children.

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Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia

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