St. Andrews (RC) Parish
Judique is on the edge of St. George’s Bay in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Judique is situated between Grahams on the Shore Road in the north, Beatons on Hwy 19, and the boundary between Long Point and Craigmore to the South. St. George’s Bay on the east and General Line Road to the west.
The first permanent European pioneers of Judique were mainly of Scots Highland descent and they moved to the west coast of Cape Breton Island from Prince Edward Island, Pictou, Guysborough, and some walked the distance from Parsborough. The ‘Judique Shores’ stretched from Long Point in the south to the Little Judique River just on the boundary of Port Hood, in the north.
Tradition has it that in 1775, poet and sea captain Michael mor MacDonald of South Uist/PEI, who attended the Glenaladale emigration to PEI, spent the winter near the Grand Judique River. He encountered Mi’kmaq during his stay. The ice came in before he had a chance to leave and he spent the winter there. His Gaelic song about the event, “O, Is Àlainn an t-Àite (pronounced: oh, iss ah-lin un t-ah-chuh) “O, Fair is the Place”, is thought by many to be the first Scots Gaelic song composed in North America.
Baxter’s Cove – Judique
Prior to 1787, Michael Mór MacDonald of South Uist frequently landed on the coast and partially explored it. He eventually became the mason, of Blair-Athole in Indian Point, at the north end of Judique, which is now a protected archeological site. Among the early Scottish settlers were MacDonald, Robert Innes, Hugh MacEachern, wife and family of Moidart, and Allan Ban MacDonnell of Glengarry. Michael, Robert, and Allan Ban married, about the same time, daughters of Hugh MacEachern, and became among the first settlers of Judique in 1787.
Natalie MacMaster – Fiddler
(Note: Natalie was on TV BRAVO last night – her show Natalie MacMaster and Cape Breton Friends everyone on the show was multi talented on instruments and step dancing. GTF)
Origins of the name
The origin of the name Judique is disputed. Many people in Judique believe it is a First Nations (Mi’kmaw) word meaning water. However, the name is also said to mean a river or stream where the water turns swiftly forming eddies, and is French in origin.
Quebec visitors to Judique have apparently said that a “jou-jeu” is a spinning top and used for a game named jou. “Dique,” they said, “ is ‘dike’ and could relate to the dike system in the area.
A rest from the Atlantic
Another possibility relates to Nicholas Denys, a local fisherman. One of Denys’s sea captains, on a return trip to Arichat, was reading Scripture from the Book of Judith. He was passing along the coast of what is now Judique, and was overcome by the rolling hills and greenery of the area. It is said that it was recorded in his log with the name “Judic” which may have eventually became written “Judique.”
Once an active farming-fishing community, Judique citizens also work in forestry, lumbering, and cultural industries or provide personal business services in the village. Many are employed in Port Hawkesbury.
Judique is credited with spectacular sunsets. Christy’s Look-off is half-way between the Canso Causeway and Judique where there is a view of the waterway to the Strait of Canso. Waters are warm for swimming in July and August. In spring, lobster boats depart from three harbours in the area.
Places of Worship
- St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, a large stone structure, was built in 1924 and the parish is the oldest Catholic parish developed by Highland Scots on Cape Breton Island.
- Bayview, Port Hood (grade primary – 8)
- Dalbrae, Mabou (grades 9–12)
- Judique-Creignish High School (now closed)
Entertainment and recreation
- Judique Recreation Grounds
- Judique Flyer Trails Association
- Judique Community Centre Development Association
- Celtic Music Interpretive Centre Society
- Storyteller’s Gallery
- Suidaig air an Ular Society
- 3 indoor, 2 outdoor stages
John Morris Rankin age 40 Jan 16, 2000 went over the cliff and was
killed as result of tragic auto accident – a great and terrible loss
Judique has wharves located at Baxter’s Cove, Pig Cove, and Little Judique Harbour.
- Judique and Area Development Association
- Judique & District Volunteer Fire Department
- Judique Men’s Club
Annual festivals and events
- Judique on the Floor Days
- Kintyre Farm Family Concert
- Fall Fair
- Buddy MacMaster School of Fiddling
- Celtic Colours International Festival
- Celtic Classic Golf Tournament
- St.Andrew’s Parish Bazaar
- iLand Television Community Cable Channel 3 out of Port Hood, partial coverage
- Judique DOTCOM Society C@P Site
Main routes and backroads
Highway 19, Shore Rd, Baxter’s Cove Rd, Wlaker’s Cove Rd, Centennial Road, River Denys Rd, Campbell’s Rd, Hillsdale Rd, Gussieville Rd, MacLean’s Road, Chisholm Rd, Mabou Rd, Judique Intervale Rd, Beaton Rd, St. Ninian
A light breeze is all that is needed
Port Hawkesbury: 40 kilometers (25 mi) , Antigonish, 90 km ( 60 mi), Halifax, 300 km (180 mi); Sydney 200 km, (120 mi); Inverness 80 km (40 mi)
Notable people from Judique
- Buddy MacMaster, Cape Breton Fiddler, member of the Order of Nova Scotia
- Dan R. MacDonald, Cape Breton Fiddler/Composer
- Little Jack MacDonald, Cape Breton fiddler
- John G. Gibson, writer-historian, author
- Andrea Beaton, fiddler
- Glenn Graham, fiddler
- Michael Mór MacDonald, settler, songwriter
- Amy Cotton – Olympian 2004 Athens – Judo
Andrew MacDonald – NHL defenseman, New York Islanders
(Courtesy of the Internet – GTF)