It was a lovely spring day in 1913 when my beautiful sister Dorothy was born.
Her parents, Herbert and Ida Peppard, looked on their newborn daughter with pride and joy (their joy would be short-lived for there were eight more children to follow). The amazing thing about this birth was the fact that this occurred 100 years ago! My sister is now 100 years old!
As Dorothy became older, she became very meticulous in her deportment and dress. She would never think of leaving the house unless she was well-dressed. Her makeup would be perfect, and she would never, never leave the house without her precious high heel shoes on. Yes, Dorothy was the picture of fashion whenever she left the house.
Dorothy was the eldest child in our family of nine children. It was because of this that I looked up to her. In fact, Dot was like a second mother to me. She was always so dedicated and caring toward the rest of us children.
At the tender age of 16 years, Dorothy left grade school to attend the teachers college in Truro. This teacher’s training school was called the Normal College at that time. After attending this college for one year, she graduated and received her Teacher’s Certificate. It was then she started looking for a school where she could apply the education she learned at Normal College.
The only vacancy she could find was a one-room schoolhouse in a location called Tancook Island. To get to this locality you had to take a boat from the mainland of Nova Scotia. The town you would sail from was the town of Chester.
This school was an eye-opener for a young girl at the age of 17. There was a big wood stove in the centre of the classroom. This stove had to be stoked continuously during class in cold weather. This was not Dorothy’s only dilemma. Many of her students were older than her. Also, many were bigger than her for Dorothy was a small, neat person. She taught in Tancook for a year-and-a-half. However, home sickness and a longing for Truro brought her back to her family. Here, she was always welcomed with open arms.
With all her shining attributes, my sister had one glaring flaw! She could not sing. Of course this did not stop her from trying. One of my other sisters said that whenever Dot was working – like scrubbing the floor, dusting, or washing the dishes – she would sing at the top of her lungs! That was comforting to her but a form of torture for the rest of us!
Dorothy married Bernard DeCoste. He was from Havre Boucher, Nova Scotia. They were married in Truro on May 15, 1935. Bernard worked at the Eastern Hat and Cap Factory.
Later on, Bernard was offered a position in Montreal. The wages and working conditions pleased him so he accepted the offer.
It was shortly after that they were gifted by a lovely daughter, Carole Anne.
Bernard passed away a few years ago. However, Dorothy still lives in Montreal.
Every summer, she comes to Nova Scotia and stays with her sister, Louise. They usually spend the summer at Louise’s cottage in Economy, Nova Scotia. Every day, while at the cottage, they have a stroll up to the highway, which is quite a distance! Of course, last year Louise was only 94 and Dot was a chipper 99!
Editor’s note: Dorothy (Peppard) DeCoste passed away July 20, 2014, at the age of 101.