Remembering Alcorn, Supporting Students
by Angus MacCaull
I was nine when my grandfather Alcorn died. I remember walking along a leaf-strewn path behind the Havercourt Funeral Home in Whycocomagh in October of 1990 with my cousin. We puzzled through the new fact in our lives together. Grampy’s death had been sudden—a car accident. We wondered how someone could be there and then just not there anymore.
My cousin and I walked until we reached a nearby school. In the playground, hanging from the jungle bars, we talked more about death. Then we went back through the woods to rejoin the large crowd at the wake. Someone at some point gave us candies.
My grandfather’s death affected a lot of people beyond our family. Alcorn had been a visible and vocal member of many communities, participating actively in public life as an advocate of economic and cultural development. He was part of a group that proved instrumental in routing the highway from the Canso Causeway to North Sydney through Whycocomagh and Baddeck in the 1970s. He organized the very first meeting of the Nova Scotia Division of the Clan Munro Association of Canada. And he established a foundation for the network of strong, trust-filled relationships that’s still at the heart of one of Nova Scotia’s most successful independent brokerages, A.A. Munro Insurance.
One of the ways we now honour and remember Alcorn’s name is through the A. Alcorn Munro Post Secondary Entrance Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded each year to one high school graduate in Atlantic Canada. With a value of $1500, it can be applied to any accredited post secondary education program at least two years in duration, anywhere in the world.
Alcorn himself graduated high school in Mabou. He then took a degree at Mount Allison and studied pre-med at Dalhousie for a time before he decided to go into business. Among eight siblings, Alcorn was the only one who had the opportunity to pursue higher education. The scholarship that is awarded in his name seeks to help young people with potential to realize that potential. The scholarship committee looks for students who engage with others as volunteers, who are well organized, and who have a good academic track record.
Applications for the A. Alcorn Munro Post Secondary Entrance Scholarship are available at high school counselling offices and are due at the end of April each year.