Fonds Accession 2002-070 - William C. Borrett fonds

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William C. Borrett fonds

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Accession 2002-070

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  • 11 cm of textual records
  • 9 cm of graphic material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

William Coates Borrett, author, historian and broadcaster, was born in Dartmouth, N.S. in 1894. He was educated at royal military schools in Canada and Cowbridge Grammer School in Wales. He served with the Canadian Armed Forces in both World Wars. Early in his career he was a pioneer in radio broadcasting, establishing the first commercial station in Nova Scotia in 1926 (CHNS). He was managing director until 1956 when he became vice-president of the Maritime Broadcasting Company. As an author and historian he was known for several books based on "Tales Told Under the Town Clock," a series of talks on CHNS Radio, Halifax, in the 1940s and 1950s. He was also an amateur painter of historic landmarks such as the Old Town Clock. After his retirement from broadcasting he became commandant of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires (Nova Scotia Division) and was also appointed by the Canadian government to oversee the restoration of Citadel Hill. He was honorary superintendent of the National Historic Park until 1962, supervising the early reconstruction and encouraging the opening of the Army and Navy Museums in the casemates and a branch of the Nova Scotia Museum in the Cavalier Barracks. In 1969 the Canadian government presented him with a certificate of recognition for his contribution to the work of the national historic sites programme. He died in 1983.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of material created or accumulated by Borrett. Includes biographical information, school and military certificates and commissions, a certificate of proficiency in radio, notes for various talks Borrett presented to groups in the 1950s and 1960s re: his broadcasting career and the war years, studio photographs of Borrett in military uniforms, a small calendar photo of a painting by Borrett of the Old Town Clock, 1962, and a few letters to Borrett concerning his writings and his efforts to promote the St. John Ambulance Campaign in the 1950s. Also includes an album of photographs and copies of art work by Borrett, and original cartoon drawings by Robert Chambers for Borrett's book, East Coast Port (1944).

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