Courtesy of Deby Nash, 2021
It was the dance that brought them together, and throughout 57 years of marriage they retained their love of dance.
When Hedley Ransford Nash (1912 – 2002) and Devorah “Dorrit” Buss Avrohom Hacker (1923 – 2007) first met at a Serviceman’s canteen in wartime London England, it might seem that the odds of becoming a couple were stacked against them. Dorrit was an Austrian-born Jew, who in 1939 had fled the Nazis in the famous Kindertransport; Hedley was a descendent of Black Loyalists, the son of Sydney Nash and Amy Holmes of Lakeville Corner (Sunbury County). His was a large family of ten brothers and two sisters.
At the age of 11, Hedley left school to work on a farm and earn money for his family. Over the next 19 years, he engaged in seasonal farm work, laboured as a coal miner, and helped out as a mechanic in his uncle’s garage. Because Hedley was busy supporting his family, it wasn’t until 1942 that he volunteered for the Canadian Army—not out of a patriotic spirit, but simply in order to place food on the table. Posted to England, Hedley worked with the Army Service Corp in London as an electric-light plant operator. At this time Dorrit was also working in London as a ”Rosie the Riveter”, welding tailpipes for fighter airplanes. It did not take long for the two to meet. With different skin colours, religions, nationalities, and backgrounds, it seemed fortuitous that they won a dance contest on their very first date at the Club Trocadero.
Before long, both knew they were falling in love. They were married in London in June 1945. When the Second World War ended, Dorrit and Hedley returned to Fredericton, where they raised their family in South Devon. They remained in love throughout 57 years of marriage… and also retained their love for the dance.