In memory of Emily Tuck, the young fiddler from Portapique

In the home where she and her parents were murdered, 17-year-old Emily Tuck lifted her bow and played a song. 'They were their happiest there in Portapique.' The post In memory of Emily Tuck, the young fiddler from Portapique appeared first on Macleans.ca.

In memory of Emily Tuck, the young fiddler from Portapique

You can see Emily Tuck’s shy pride in the video her father made of her last month for a kitchen-party Facebook group that Nova Scotians created to share tunes during the pandemic.

Tuck, 17, is holding her fiddle, dressed for quarantine in gym socks, pyjama pants and a T-shirt, standing in the living room of the Portapique home where she and her parents Aaron and Jolene were later murdered.

“OK,” says her dad. “Your contribution to the COVID kitchen party.”

“Herbie MacLeod,” she says, and smiles shyly, and then bends to her fiddle and lifts her bow.

“Wicked,” he says, right proud of her.

The song is In Memory of Herbie MacLeod, a sad but sweet air, written by late Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland in honour of a friend in Massachusetts who often hosted travelling Capers. It is slow waltz, wistful and lilting, with a bittersweet Celtic sadness, and in the video Emily plays it well, head bent, intent.

Then, when she finishes, she grins at her dad, her chin stuck out with pride. “There’s some fiddle for ya.”

Sean Fougere…heres my daughter…Emily Tuck

Posted by Friar Tuck on Thursday, March 26, 2020

In Memory of Herbie MacLeod was the first tune that Emily learned.

At the time the family was living in Sydney, where Aaron had roots. He and Jolene had met in Alberta, while he was out there working. They fell in love, had Emily and eventually moved to Cape Breton when Aaron’s mother, who lived there, was ill.

Emily was having some difficulty in school and Jolene hoped that the fiddle would help her.

“One of the things that was pretty tough for her was confidence,” says Shawn Macdonald, who taught her to play. “They didn’t have very much in line of money or anything like that. They worked really hard. So it was really hard for her to grow up where everything is always designer this or designer that. So Jolene enrolled her with me and you know, helped boost her self confidence.”

Her dad brought her to the lessons and sat and listened to her, encouraging her.

“He was pretty rough around the edges but deep down he was a great guy,” says Macdonald.

“Every time that Emily came over to my house, he wanted to sit in the lesson room and listen to her play. Never missed a lesson. And sometimes I would go over to her house, when their car was on the bum or whatever, and I’d spend an hour with her in their living room, and he’d sit there and have a beer, and listen to her and say, ‘By Jesus that’s good, Emily. You know, honey. That’s great.’ He was always trying to give her encouragement.”

Paula Williams got to know Aaron 25 years ago when they were both single and childless, both working in shops at the Truro Mall, down the road from Portapique. One night they decided to go to the Engine Room Pub for a beer and a few games of pool. Aaron introduced Paula to a friend who later became the father of her children. She remained close with Aaron, staying in touch over the years. Aaron sent her a link to Emily’s fiddle video when it was posted, for instance.

When Aaron’s father was dying, he stayed with Paula’s family for a while. He was a doting husband and father, Williams says.

“If he didn’t call them one thousand times a day he called them a million times a day,” she said. “Jolene and Emily were his life. And he would say, ‘Did you do your fiddling today’ ‘Yes, Dad, I did.’”

She often played for visitors.

“Anytime you went to visit them they always asked Emily to bring out the fiddle and play us all a tune and she gladly would,” says Lisa Floyd, a friend from Sydney.

“She was the light of his life as well as Jolene. He loved those two girls more than anything.”

The family moved to Portapique two years ago after Aaron’s father, Bruce, passed away and Aaron inherited his house, not far from Portapique Beach. At that time, Aaron started going by “Friar,” which had been his father’s nickname.

“I feel like Jolene and Aaron and Emily were their happiest there in Portapique the last two years,” said Tammy Oliver-McCurdie, Jolene’s sister, who lives in Alberta.

Oliver-McCurdie, who is grieving her sister, has established a fund to help the family manage the funeral expenses and start a bursary in Emily’s name.

While the family lived in Portapique, Jolene was working at the Engine Room, the same pub where Aaron and Paula became friends. Emily was attending the Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro. She would have graduated in June.

Aaron, who had previously worked as a cobbler and mechanic, had hurt his back lifting an engine, so he couldn’t work. He kept busy improving their home, though, and working on the family’s clapped out Pinto, which Emily enjoyed helping him with.

The house, which had no running water or power when they moved in, needed a lot of work and they steadily made progress on it. Aaron got the water to run, and surprised Jolene with it. They added a greenhouse. Aaron made a hand-cranked washing machine. Friends say the door was never locked, whether they were home or not, and they welcomed everyone in their home.

Emily was happy working with her parents on the place.

“It’s very seldom you see a 17-year-old girl that loved spending time with her parents,” says Cheryle Blaikie, a friend from Truro. “True family love. When Aaron spoke of her his eyes beamed with pride. They didn’t have a lot but they loved each other.”

Friends say that Aaron had spoken of a conflict with their neighbour, who last week murdered them. But nobody who knew them wants to talk about the killer. They want to celebrate the family. On Facebook, thousands of Canadians have shared the video of Emily playing her fiddle.

They have also shared a video of her heartbroken teacher, playing the same tune, his tribute to her.

So sad , my heart is broken. RIP Emily Tuck , and her parents Aaron & Jolene.

Posted by Shawn P Macdonald on Monday, April 20, 2020

“I want the world to know that this kid had a future,” says Macdonald. “Whether it be a musical future or some kind of future. She had something that she was working at, and she was good at it, and she had confidence in herself doing it. You can tell when she was playing that air on the kitchen party. She had a smile on her face. She loved it. It was an accomplishment for her. Glad to be a part of that. And that’s why I posted it last night. I just wanted the world to know. This 17-year-old deserved to live. Did not deserve to die.”

The post In memory of Emily Tuck, the young fiddler from Portapique appeared first on Macleans.ca.

Source : Maclean's More   

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‘We don’t know what they were firing at’: Mounties’ gunfire during hunt for N.S. mass killer under review

HALIFAX—A watchdog is reviewing the actions of two RCMP officers who fired shots outside a fire hall that was being used to help evacuees during the Nova Scotia massacre.The head of the province’s police watchdog says the gunman at the centre of authorities’ manhunt wasn’t on site at the time of the incident Sunday and that “We don’t know what they were firing at.”Shots rang out early Sunday morning at the Onslow Belmont fire hall, which was being used as staging area to shelter evacuees while the RCMP hunted for a gunman.Inside, fire Chief Greg Muise and the four people inside heard the shots around 10:20 a.m. and hustled into a back room, away from the glass front doors.“Our hall was fired at,” said Muise. “Not really sure who fired, because I was inside the building when it happened and nobody contacted us to say who was shooting.”A few minutes later, after the shooting stopped, he said, two RCMP officers called in to make sure everyone was OK. A few minutes after that, they were told that they were clear to come out. Muise said they found several bullet holes in the wall of the hall, and some in their fire trucks. Asked what the RCMP told him about the incident, Muise said: “They didn’t say a word.”The fire chief said there had been an RCMP officer in his vehicle outside the hall before the shooting began. It’s unclear how the incident, which is now being reviewed by the police watchdog agency in Nova Scotia, fits into the broader context of the hunt for a man who killed 22 people over the weekend — and was himself dressed as an RCMP officer at times. A Facebook post initially put up by the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade then later removed, however, hinted at the confusion on the ground that day among residents. “Two people who appear to be RCMP officers enter our property, one to the front and one to the rear,” said the post, which was recorded by the Truro Daily News. “No one identified themselves as an RCMP officer. They left our property shortly after the gunfire.”The Serious Incident Response Team, which invesitgates incidents that arise from the actions of police, has confirmed that two RCMP officers were firing their weapons. Pat Curran, SIRT’s interim director, said that the two officers “arrived at, or about the same time”, that they were near each other, and that the suspect in the mass shootings was not on the scene.“We don’t know what they were firing at.” With files from Ted Fraser

‘We don’t know what they were firing at’: Mounties’ gunfire during hunt for N.S. mass killer under review

HALIFAX—A watchdog is reviewing the actions of two RCMP officers who fired shots outside a fire hall that was being used to help evacuees during the Nova Scotia massacre.

The head of the province’s police watchdog says the gunman at the centre of authorities’ manhunt wasn’t on site at the time of the incident Sunday and that “We don’t know what they were firing at.”

Shots rang out early Sunday morning at the Onslow Belmont fire hall, which was being used as staging area to shelter evacuees while the RCMP hunted for a gunman.

Inside, fire Chief Greg Muise and the four people inside heard the shots around 10:20 a.m. and hustled into a back room, away from the glass front doors.

“Our hall was fired at,” said Muise. “Not really sure who fired, because I was inside the building when it happened and nobody contacted us to say who was shooting.”

A few minutes later, after the shooting stopped, he said, two RCMP officers called in to make sure everyone was OK. A few minutes after that, they were told that they were clear to come out.

Muise said they found several bullet holes in the wall of the hall, and some in their fire trucks. Asked what the RCMP told him about the incident, Muise said: “They didn’t say a word.”

The fire chief said there had been an RCMP officer in his vehicle outside the hall before the shooting began.

It’s unclear how the incident, which is now being reviewed by the police watchdog agency in Nova Scotia, fits into the broader context of the hunt for a man who killed 22 people over the weekend — and was himself dressed as an RCMP officer at times.

A Facebook post initially put up by the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade then later removed, however, hinted at the confusion on the ground that day among residents.

“Two people who appear to be RCMP officers enter our property, one to the front and one to the rear,” said the post, which was recorded by the Truro Daily News. “No one identified themselves as an RCMP officer. They left our property shortly after the gunfire.”

The Serious Incident Response Team, which invesitgates incidents that arise from the actions of police, has confirmed that two RCMP officers were firing their weapons.

Pat Curran, SIRT’s interim director, said that the two officers “arrived at, or about the same time”, that they were near each other, and that the suspect in the mass shootings was not on the scene.

“We don’t know what they were firing at.”

With files from Ted Fraser

Source : Toronto Star More   

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