15 May 2012

Stepping into the Breach

It wasn't another American invasion but rather a horrific collision on the 401 Highway that caused our scheduled speaker to get trapped in a traffic snarl near Nappanee.

But, just as disaster loomed, our Canadian Militia stepped forward to fill the gap in the line.

John Bradshaw, Infantryman

John Bradshaw described life as an infantryman in the home forces including the care and handling of your musket.

Mike Janssens, a Pioneer

 Mike Janssens described how a Pioneer had (and still does) to do just about any job, from cutting paths, preparing and guarding defensive positions and handling sensitive stores such as fuel and ammunition, to bricklaying and carpentry.

Peter Johnson, Fife Player

 Peter Johnson talked about the life as a drummer and fifer.  A position that made you a prime target for the enemy.
Bruce Bedell, our Crier

And in finale, Bruce Bedell cried the news from Michilimackinac in fine poetic form.

And there were lots of questions and discussion...

The full story will be in September's issue of Outlook.

Story and pictures Nick White

13 May 2012

My Mother

There are interesting finds everywhere in an archives.

This hand written copy of a poem entitled "My Mother" was found tucked into the front cover of the 1912-1921 Fire Log Book for the Moira Fire Company No1.

The words written by poet Ann Taylor (1782-1866) must have resonated with the firefighters in the early part of the last century and are an interesting addendum to the list of fires and events in the log.

Research by Al Cleary, digital images by Kieren Delany, Belleville and Hastings County Community Archives file number 3398-1

My Mother

The log is a handsome embossed book
Who fed me from her gentle breast,
And hushed me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
            My Mother.

When sleep forsook my open eye,
Who was it sung sweet lullaby,
And rocked me that I should not cry?
            My Mother.

Who sat and watched my infant head,
When sleeping in my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
            My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
            My Mother.

Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the part to make it well?
            My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray,
To love God's holy word and day,
And walk in wisdom's pleasant way?
            My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be,
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me?
            My Mother.

Oh no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare,
I hope I shall reward thy care,
            My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old, and gray,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
            My Mother.

And when I see thee hang thy head,
'Twill be my turn to watch thy bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed,
            My Mother.

07 May 2012

East of the Moira Returns

The Archive Angels hearing the story of the 2102 edition

Lois Foster and Lindi Pierce have been in cahoots for the past six months, updating the book 'Heritage Buildings East of the Moira', which was first published by Heritage Belleville (our Municipal Heritage Committee, formerly known as LACAC) in 1991. The book is an inventory of historical and architecturally significant buildings, with research conducted in large part by Lois Foster and Beth Green, supported by Elaine Preston, Mary Hall and Shirley Birchard, all of the Hastings Historical Society Building Research Committee. Rodger Greig of ACO provided architectural descriptions; city staff and summer students provided additional help.

With the support of Alderman Kay Manderville and the Heritage Belleville committee, the book was published in 1991 and has been an invaluable, if rare, resource to building researchers and 'old house nuts' for over 20 years.

Last year, Lois and Lindi began work on an update of 'Heritage Buildings East of the Moira'. Lindi compiled the corrections and new data which Lois had been collecting since the book's publication. Lois devoted hours to researching some Front Street properties whose story intrigued her.

The members of the current Heritage Belleville Committee approved the cost of reprinting the updated book and producing a PDF version on USB stick - a paperless version of the book. The 2012 edition of 'Heritage Building East of the Moira' has been presented to the Reference desk and Canadiana Room at the Belleville Public library, and has 'come home' to the Community Archives at the Heritage Centre. The book will provide an extra resource to volunteers and members of the public researching our built heritage.
Sharon White, archivist, receiving a copy of
Heritage Buildings East of the Moira
from Heritage Belleville member Lindi Pierce 

'Heritage Buildings East of the Moira' provides background on several hundred historic structures in Belleville, including brief family and building histories, notes on architectural style and detail, and interesting quotes from the the press of the day. Properties are listed alphabetically by street. The book contains a black and white photo of each building, and several maps.

02 May 2012

120 Years of Service (and Jubilee Pin)

Carol Pettit (whom I don't know, but who must be a volunteer, because she 'gets it') is credited with the following quote: "Volunteers just don't do the work - they make it work".

The truth of this statement was celebrated earlier this month when six of the Historical Society's outstanding volunteers, the Archives Angels, were honoured for their contributions to the society - a combined total of 120 years of volunteer work! The annual Ontario Volunteer Service Awards banquet was held on May 2 at the Banquet Centre on Alhambra Square. Marney Black, Adele Dibben, Lois Foster, Beth Green, Diane Sule and Mary Jane Throop received awards.

Beth Green 30 year pin
Lois Foster 30 year pin
Adele Dibben 20 year pin
Diane Sule 20 year pin
Marney Black 10 year pin
Mary Jane Throop 10 year pin
The awards presented on behalf the Provincial Government by MPP Todd Smith, recognize volunteers for each 5 years of volunteer service to their organization. The six individuals from the Society who received pins this year are listed on the right. These ladies, and the many other volunteers who devote so many of their hours to the work of the Historical Society, truly are "the heart of our community".

This photo shows Adele Dibben, Beth Green, Lois Foster and Marney Black with Todd Smith and Dick Hughes at the awards ceremony.

Dick Hughes pictured with pin recipients Mary Jane
Throop, Lois Foster, Diane Sule and Marney Black

The second picture, taken at the Hastings Heritage Centre shows Mary Jane Throop and Diane Sule holding their certificates with the pins. As Mary Jane and Diane were not able to attend the official ceremony, they received their pins from Society President Dick Hughes.

In addition to their regular pins each volunteer was awarded a special Jubilee pin, created in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the throne.

The special Jubilee pin shown next
to the 30+ years service pin