The owner of Fundy Writers Retreat Fred Hall of Alma describes himself as "eclectic."
That personal assessment would indeed be accurate considering his diverse interests. A retired high school
teacher (31 years in the classroom), he still supply teaches "all up and down the line," from Hillsborough to Dieppe. He's
also a professional magician "on the side," paints seascapes in oils, and is learning how to play the piano and the electric
He's also devoted to his two grown children: Susan,and Jonathan.
A native of Halifax, Fred has established the Fundy Writer's Retreat in Alma.
"The Fundy Writer's Retreat is a place for writers and burned-out teachers, not administrators," he stresses,
"but burned-out teachers that want to get away from it all and recharge their batteries. Also, there's opportunities for writers.
I've had writers come down here to share their books and also we're doing workshops and that type of thing eventually."
Fred himself is working on a book that will feature two of his passions, teaching and the environment (including
the aerial forestry spraying of the herbicide glyphosate). His dedication to the environment though is not limited to writing
a book about it. He's also a village councillor in Alma, and sits on the board of the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation
- and more.
"I think I've always been busy," says Fred, "especially when it's relating to the environment. ... I'm lobbying
government, and also putting on a yearly summer concert against aerial spray here in the province of New Brunswick. We already
had one concert (at the Fundy Writer's Retreat featuring the Leaky Basement Band)."
Often it's the actions of a few that benefit many, and he enjoys making a difference. Fred understands the
value of staying positive no matter what issue he's tackling, because "you never get anything done with a negative attitude."
Being an "environmental watchdog" has been a 30-year commitment for him, and he served as an official intervenor
against the Sable Offshore Energy Project. He brought along four students who had intervenor status, and they too presented
evidence against that project.
"I've also taken people up to Murmansk, Russia where we had an environmental conference," he says. "The students
found that there were over 60 nuclear reactors that had been dumped off the Bering Sea coast, along with the dumping of nuclear
waste by the northern fleet."
Well-placed concern about the size of our carbon footprint carries Fred Hall forward with powerful motivation,
and he's equally committed to helping others understand the ongoing need for that concern. Therein often lies the challenge.
"There's a heck of a lot of mess out there, and I think it's very important that everyone pitch in and try
to do their best to clean up that mess for the sake of our children and our grandchildren.
"I feel that we're caretakers of the environment," he says with conviction, "and we should leave this place
better than we found it."