AJAs 2018 Finalists


Date Aired or Published Dec. 12, 2018
Media outlet where first aired or published: Tri-County Vanguard
Name of Program:
If co-produced, list partner:
List awards, grants:
Running time (TV/Radio):

Short explanation of the story and how it developed:

Dismantling the past by hand photograph: I was driving from Yarmouth to Berwick for a high school hockey tournament on what was supposed to be a vacation day. I volunteer as team manager of the Yarmouth high school varsity boys hockey team – something I’ve done for six years even though this year I no longer have a son on the team. As I crested a hill in Plympton, Digby County, I was struck by the demolition of the Holy Cross Church that was taking place. Despite the fact I was on a tight timeline to get to the tournament (I was late leaving the newsroom because I had already worked 3 hours on my vacation day, not to mention I had all the team jerseys in my car) I decided to pull over anyway and take a few photos as this is part of our newspaper’s coverage area. As I was taking photos of the demolition I noticed a fellow up on the roof. “How long as this demolition been going on for?” I asked him. “Six months,” he said. “I’m taking it apart by hand.” To which I replied, “Can you come down? We need to talk.” His name was Stan Atwell and his demolition, salvage and recovery company is responsible for the demolition of this church (which closed years earlier). The goal is to reuse and salvage and divert as much away from the landfill as possible. The majority of time, he is the only worker on the site, carrying out this massive undertaking alone. I interviewed him for a story and then wanted a photo that demonstrated the enormity of the task. When he took me instead the church (which is off limits to the public) I gasped when I saw the beauty of the woodwork dating back to the 1940s, which he is taking apart piece by piece, but also when I saw how huge this church is. The churches windows are gone, but the sunlight still shone their outline on the floor, so I positioned him in one of the window’s outlines on the floor. Because we were high up on a hill, when I looked out of the windows it felt as if we were floating in the sky, or perhaps up in the heavens. (Incidentally I did make it to our first tournament game on time, with 26 minutes to spare!)

Resources of the newsroom (money and time) available to complete the story:

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