Rosemary Eaton, An Activist for Heritage & Environment

Creator(s): Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

Rosemary Cassandra Gilliat Eaton arrived in Cole Harbour in 1965, after a career in photojournalism that started in England took her the Ceylon and finally to Canada. Here she first settled in Ottawa and in the early 1950s worked with the likes of Malak Karsh and other professional photographers and journalists. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Rosemary went north. She documented the infancy of Inuit printmaking and chronicled the lives of many carvers and ordinary people.

Rosemary and her husband, Order of Canada recipient R. Michael Eaton, moved to Nova Scotia in February 1965. Very soon after, urbanization was threatening the delicate saltmarsh that was Cole Harbour. Rosemary took up the banner and worked hard to protect the fragile ecosystem. Her activism, in concert with other concerned citizens, launched CHEC, the Cole Harbour Environment Committee. Before long the changing landscape and disappearing farmlands saw the Cole Harbour Rural Heritage Society rise to the challenge and Eaton began to copy family photo albums and research and collect the past.

This project begins to document the life of Rosemary Eaton. It touches on her early life and influences, her working life and especially her passionate desire to protect the heritage of her adopted community for future generations.

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