Fairview Historical Society Articles Archives

Fairview People Gone but Not Forgotten

Submitted by Devonna Edwards

The Sandoz Family of Fairview

Oscar Sandoz lived on Dutch Village Road in Fairview, with his parents, George and Evelyn and his siblings. Today his house was where Ken’s Seafood is now located. The actual house is still there behind the brick façade that was added. Many people may still remember the large radio tower in their back yard.

The owner of the house was George Andrian Sandoz who was Cathie (Maher) Hubley’s grandfather. George was a designer and maker of medical instruments for Dalhousie University. He was originally from Lausanne, Switzerland and because he spoke six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Danish) he was able to help the Canadian military in the World War Two as a translator for the prisoners of war that were brought into Halifax. He also assisted with radio transmission regarding weather, etc, when necessary.

Oscar Sandoz

“Oscar Sandoz did not do espionage”

There was a rumour among some people in the Fairview area, during World War Two, that Oscar was a spy. The true story is that, this man was a senior research assistant with the National Research Council engaged on naval problems which were top secret during the war years. In fact Oscar was a highly intelligent man whose war effort helped tremendously. The rumour began when people became suspicious of him because he would not talk about the work he was doing, his foreign accent and because he did not fight overseas.

Oscar was born on October 30, 1921 in Nova Scotia. He obtained his B.S. degree in physic in 1941, a diploma in engineering in 1942 and the Master’s degree in physics in 1947, all at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S. He entered the university on regional scholarship and was a student instructor throughout his under and post graduate years. His post graduate work was in the field of electro-acoustics.

During the period 1942-43, he was a senior research assistant with the National Research Council. He then joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served in the Torpedo School and later HMC Naval Research Establishment, dealing with mining, antitorpedo, and antisubmarine work. He along with Mr. Harry Scott and a Mr. Lewis undertook the design and construction of a system of perfecting the problem of octave filters for frequencies down to 24 HZ. They solved the problem by making multiple capacitive “pads” which accepted the desired frequency bands for sharp filtering.

There is so much more information on the nature of his work that it is impossible to do him justice or to explain in Iayman’s terms, so its suffice to say that he was a brilliant man who was instrumental in scientific Naval development during World War Two.

He was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant in 1946 and returned to Dalhousie University. When the Naval Research Establishment became a DRB Laboratory in 1947, he joined the staff and was employed there until 1956 as a scientific officer with the underwater Physics group. As a senior staff member he was responsible for many development aspects of the underwater acoustical program.

He was then assigned to the Radio Physics Laboratory of Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment Ottawa, as leader of the Ionospheric Propagation and Arctic Predictions Section. In August 1958, Mr. Sandoz was appointed assistant to the Chief Superintendent of the DRTE. Prior to his appointment, he was leader of the Applied Propagation Section of the Communications Wing. Thank you, Cathie (Maher) Hubley, for the information on your uncle.

Ruth (Tully) Bell-Davidson

Ruth Tully was born in Halifax in 1908 and moved to Fairview in 1935. She always loved dancing, appearing in her first concert at the age of 3 years old. She began her formal instruction in a summer camp held at Petite Riviere under the direction of Josephine MacLaughlin from Boston and continued her professional career under the direction of Hylda Davies in her school called “Madame Hylda School of Dance.”

In 1926 Madame Hylda and her students were invited by the theatre manager to begin holding live prologues before the movies at Halifax’s Majestic Theatre on Barrington Street. They did this for fifteen years well into the 1930s, when the Majestic was replaced by the Capital Theatre, they still continued to perform. Madame Hylda had many dedicated students and among the first was Ruth Tully with Marial Mosher and Betty Davison. Madame Hylda closed her studio in 1943.

During the years Ruth danced at Madame Hylda’s studio, her dancing ability became so well known that she was offered a position with the famous Ziegfeld Follies (elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York). She declined their offer because of family commitments.

She married George Bell and had two children, Ken and Barbara and as a busy mother she still found time for her community. She was president of the Home and School Association and also president of the Grace Maternity Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. She opened her own studio called, The Sunnybrae Dance Studio, in the basement of her home on Sunnybrae Avenue in Fairview. She taught ballet and tap dancing class to many children from the Fairview and surrounding areas and held Dance Recitals every year at various school auditoriums, such as Armdale Junior High School.

She is fondly remembered as a dedicated and kind lady who was so patient with her little pupils. “Tuck those derrieres in girls,” was one of her favorite sayings.

Years after her husband George passed away she married Wilford Davidson. Ruth died in 1998 at the age of 89 years old. She was still active until the very end; for after spending five hours working in her garden, she decided to have a little rest on her bed and there, she passed away peacefully.

“Thanks to Ken Bell for the information on your mother.”

John MacAloney Sr.

John and his wife Annabel lived on an estate in Fairview that was bounded by Titus Street, Evans Avenue and Main Avenue (formerly known as the Duke of Kent Street). He served as Deputy Treasurer for the province of Nova Scotia. In the Halifax City Directory for 1891-92 he was listed in there as Provincial Cashier with his home in Fairview and again in the McAlpine Directory for 1920-21 he was listed as the Provincial Cashier. He obviously held that position for many years.

His house was described as a beautiful three story white mansion. It was said that two antiques, a chair and a dinner platter once owned by the Duke of Kent occupied his home. On his property, in back of his house, he had a large nursery which also contained Beehives. He built two greenhouses which were the largest in Nova Scotia at that time. After World War Two, they were bought, dismantled and re-erected at Rosedale Nurseries in Dartmouth.

The day after the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917, John was riding his horse and buggy on Mumford when he found a piece of the anchor from the French ammunition ship SS Mont Blanc which had exploded in Halifax Harbour after it was struck by the Belgian relief ship Imo. John had his workmen remove it to his property. The anchor was donated to the congregation of Calvin Presbyterian Church and is now on display on the churches property on Ashburn Avenue. John MacAloney was born in 1857 and died in 1928. John’s father William and mother Issabella (Leetch), both came from Northern Ireland to Parrsboro where they settled.

John Senior’s house was later bought by B.D. Stevens who tore it down. One of his five children, Charlie built a large four bedroom, second house on the property in 1919 where he and his wife Autlay lived. Charlie joined the RAF in 1919 where he served as an observer and a pilot. Charlie was a Land Surveyor and civil engineer. In McAlpine Directory for 1920-21 Charles was employed with the Highway Commission. His brother Ralph was killed in a FAF Flying boat crash in 1919.

Ken Bell, a long-time resident of Fairview, adopted Charlie and Autlay MacAloney’s as his grandparents because he spent many memorable hours there when he was younger. He learned to tend the beehives, grow large gourds in the greenhouse, and was taught how to identify birds, butterflies and moths, etc. Charlie’s wife sold their house and the balance of the property to the B.D. Stevens Group and the house that her father (a ship builder from Stewiacke) had built, for Autlay and Charlie, was demolished.
Today an apartment building called the Prince of Wales stands on the site.

Thank you, Ken Bell, for the information.

Similar Posts