Margaret MacCallum chose to leave Pictou Island and study nursing in Montreal. However, she had to be at her first class for January of 1918; which just so happened to be the worst time to be crossing the Northumberland Strait to the mainland. Not only was there heavy ice in the Strait, but there was rough open water as well.
Margaret had to walk on the open stretches of ice, but got to sit in the boat when the mailmen rowed it through the open water. She finally arrived in Pictou safely, and traveled the remainder of the way to Montreal by train. Just in time to begin class that January as scheduled.
Margaret became known as "The Florence Nightingale of Pictou Island."
The Simpson family were always happy to give lodgings to Pictou Island ice men and travelers from Pictou Island, when a return trip could not be made.
Before the installation of the telephone system in 1927, important messages by using a burning torch.
Before 1921, when the first telephone was installed, Leslie Simpson managed a system relying on a torch of straw that he always had on hand and ready to go when the situation arose.
He would light the torch at dusk along the shore of his Bayview home. He raised the lit torch high above his head and waved it back and forth. If there was only one lit torch - it meant that illness; if two torches were lit it meant death.
Sometimes he would light the torches to tell Pictou Islanders to come to the mainland or to show the way across for the travelers at night or to see in a storm. Pictou Islanders relayed the same message to the Simpson's from their own shore, and used the lit torch system to guide the travelers back to Pictou Island when the weather or darkness hindered their travel over the Strait.