Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
By Tina Hennigar
Andrew and Lisa Mutch met in high school in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in their high school’s musical rendition of Hello Dolly. They went on to university, got married, and had three children. After university, Andrew accepted a position with Michelin and throughout his career, he and the family have moved to various places in Nova Scotia and the US. Over the past 34 years, they have lived in New Glasgow, Oklahoma, the Valley and South Carolina. Their children are now grown and live in various places in Canada. Andrew and Lisa moved to Lunenburg County in 2016, and they have both felt like it was home almost immediately.
“It’s like starting over every time you move and sometimes it can take up to a year to get settled in a new community and have
it feel like home,” Lisa said. Most times it was much easier for Andrew as he would often already have a network of people around him through Michelin. But with this move, it only took a few months for Lunenburg County to feel like home.
Andrew and Lisa purchased a home on the water in First Peninsula, and it only made sense to get a sailboat and learn how to sail. And since there are so many stunning trails with scenic nature all around, they’d also find themselves biking and hiking in the surrounding area. They both love music and are members of a local church. Lisa joined the bell choir and Andrew sings in the choir. Andrew, a music lover himself, joined the board of Lunenburg Academy of Performing Arts (LAMP).
“If you’re bored in this area, you need to just take a walk around,” Andrew said. “You’ll find something to do.” Andrew and Lisa
are also impressed with the spectrum of music offered and
the calibre and the abundance of artists and crafts people in Lunenburg County.
Lisa is an accountant with AC Belliveau Veinotte, an accounting firm whose head office is in Bridgewater with other offices in Bedford, Chester, Liverpool, Shelburne and Barrington Passage. The firm currently employs about 50 staff. She said everyone immediately welcomed her as part of the team when she started there in January of 2017.
The office had to be creative during COVID to comply with social distancing protocols, she said. Those who had internet access worked from home. Those who didn’t have adequate access worked in shifts at the office. “We were in tax season, and people and businesses still needed our accounting services performed during this time.”
As for Andrew, Michelin had an essential product to make. “We needed to maintain operations,” Andrew said, noting that even if people weren’t driving as much, transport trucks, emergency vehicles and the military never stop, so neither did production. Michelin, known for its health and safety precautions, already had rigorous infectious disease procedures in place prior to COVID-19. Even so, the pandemic meant they had to adapt. They were able to learn from other plants in other parts of the world who had already been impacted by COVID-19.
As Andrew sees it, the manufacturing that is taking place in Lunenburg County is world-class. “There is lots of high tech right here in Lunenburg County,” he said of the companies here in the County, “not just Michelin, but other manufacturers as well. The labour force is highly capable and competent.” He suggests the twinning of the 103 Highway, and the development currently happening in Bridgewater has the potential to bring even more opportunity to Lunenburg County.
For its part, Michelin celebrates 50 years of making tires in Nova Scotia next year in 2021; the first tire made was produced with wire that came from Bridgewater’s plant. Since that
time, the plant has established a reputation as one of the
most progressive plants in the world. “It’s a testament to the tremendous people here in this area.”