For Immediate Release
McNabs Island: Protecting Halifax and the North Atlantic during Wartime Special presentation of the Friends of McNabs Island Society – April 22, 2015(April 10, 2015) Join the Friends of McNabs Island Society for our 25th Anniversary

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and presentation on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 pm in the Small Craft Gallery of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, 1675 Lower Water Street, on the Halifax waterfront.

Special guest speaker will be Dr. Roger Sarty, professor of naval, military and Canadian history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.  

Professor Sarty, who is originally from Halifax, first became interested in military history during a visit to McNabs Island over forty years ago. This interest eventually led to a PhD thesis on the history of Canada’s coastal defences for the University of Toronto, and a distinguished career as an historian with the Department of National Defence, and later, deputy director of the Canadian War Museum.

One of Dr. Sarty’s first areas of research was the fortifications on McNabs Island.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Sarty can join us for our 25th anniversary annual meeting. His presentation will take us back 100 years to the important role McNabs Island played during the First World War, “ says Cathy McCarthy of Friends of McNabs Island.

When the Halifax garrison mobilized in 1914, some 800 troops took up station in the forts and barracks on McNabs Island.  The British Empire’s military effort depended upon supplies from North America and their safe delivery across the Atlantic depended upon Halifax as a secure haven – for merchant ships and for the Allied warships that patrolled the North Atlantic.  

“The island became a self-contained fortress, ready for action till the last day of the war,” says Dr. Sarty. “Even in the summer of 1918, as Allied armies marched to Victory in Europe, McNabs’ defences had to be reinforced as German submarines hunted in the waters off Nova Scotia.”   

Friends of McNabs Island Society is a volunteer-driven, registered charity dedicated to preserving and protecting McNabs and Lawlor Island Provincial Park. Since 1990, the Friends of McNabs have improved the trails and park facilities, organized community beach cleanups and offered guided tours to island visitors – making McNabs Island a welcoming park for everyone.

This presentation is free and open to the public. For more details contact, or visit:


Cathy McCarthy, President
Friends of McNabs Island Society
902-434-2254 or 902-456-9167