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Life of Lawrencetown’s outdoorsman Roy Beals subject of museum exhibit

Roy Beals has led an extraordinary life as a hunter, fisherman, trapper, and artisan, amassing a large collection of trophies and works of art. He’s the subject of an exhibition at Macdonald Museum in Middleton starting Feb. 18.
Roy Beals has led an extraordinary life as a hunter, fisherman, trapper, and artisan, amassing a large collection of trophies and works of art. He’s the subject of an exhibition at Macdonald Museum in Middleton starting Feb. 18. - Contributed
MIDDLETON, N.S. —

The name Roy Beals probably pops up pretty often when local outdoors enthusiasts talk about fishing, or hunting, or getting their camp ready.

Black bear, wild boar, antlers, scrimshaw, furniture, giant striped bass – think Roy Beals.

The Macdonald Museum in Middleton has delved into Beals’ extraordinary life that reads like an adventure novel and is turning it into an exhibit that is sure to attract more than a few nature enthusiasts, gun collectors, hobbyists, and historians.

In a way, Beals represents a way of life in rural Nova Scotia and in its description, the museum boils it down to this: “In celebration of Nova Scotia Heritage Day -- Carpenter by trade, collector by hobby, family man by heart, Roy was an avid hunter, trapper, fisherman, and collector,” it reads. “View his extensive collection of hunting memorabilia, including his prize Bear ‘Blackie.”

The exhibit opens on Heritage Day Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. and will be in place until April 30, giving people a good chance to take in this show of hundreds of objects that will take more than a few minutes to fully appreciate.

Roy Beals has led an extraordinary life as a hunter, fisherman, trapper, and artisan, amassing a large collection of trophies and works of art. He’s the subject of an exhibition at Macdonald Museum in Middleton starting Feb. 18.
Roy Beals has led an extraordinary life as a hunter, fisherman, trapper, and artisan, amassing a large collection of trophies and works of art. He’s the subject of an exhibition at Macdonald Museum in Middleton starting Feb. 18.

His granddaughter Elizabeth Llewellyn recently wrote a biography about Beals. He was born on May 5, 1934 to Gordon and Jennie Beals of Lawrencetown and married the love of his life Edith Bezanson in 1955 and raised five sons and four daughters and has 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

She describes her grandfather as an avid hunter, trapper, fisherman, and well-known antique firearms collector who has been sharing his love and passion for his hobbies with enthusiasts for years. He’s been invited to join countless firearms shows, set wild game records, has watched while his love of life and hobbies has spread down through his family over the years.

“Mr. Beals was the first ever Canadian to hunt and harvest a wild boar in Nova Scotia, holds impressive records as he hunted one of the largest black bears on record in the province, and has had the honour of being recognized and invited to many exhibitions for his once-astonishing antique firearms collection,” his granddaughter wrote.

He worked as a carpenter, moving often to where the work was, and was foreman for many large projects throughout the Annapolis Valley, retiring at 14 Wing Greenwood in 1995.

Beals lives in Bridgetown now and museum director Janice Slauenwhite hopes he will be able to attend the opening on Feb. 18.

Details

The Life of Roy Beals exhibit opens at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 at Macdonald Museum in Middleton at 21 School Street. It runs until April 30.

Hours are: Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 825-6116

Go Online: www.macdonaldmuseum.ca

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