27 October 2012

Big Al's Birthday

It was a night of bedlam and comedy as the Hastings County Historical Society hosted its annual banquet and celebration of local history on Saturday, October 27th.   The Travelodge Hotel Ballroom was a sell-out for the comedy murder mystery dinner theatre, “Big Al Capone Celebrates his Birthday with Rumrunner Buddies from the Bay of Quinte”.  Professional actors from “It’s A Mystery To Me Productions” of Hamilton animated the evening.

As the evening began, one of Big Al’s gangster buddies, recently released from prison, showed up by surprise at the party.  However, he was electrocuted  as he took the microphone to make a speech.  For the rest of the evening, Big Al Capone and four of his gangsters were pursued by Detective Karumba, who bore a striking resemblance to TV’s Detective Colombo.  

Many of the audience dressed in 1920 costumes,
shady gangsters, sparkling molls, stylish
flappers delighted the audience and
added to the atmosphere of the 1920s.
The audience was fully drawn into the action, with loud “ohs” and “ahs” as the mobsters moved through the crowd avoiding the questions of the Detective.  As dessert was served, the decision on the guilty party was turned over to be voted on by the audience.  These votes were reviewed by Detective Karumba with hilarious results.  The final winner was . . .

The best male costume prize went
to John Lowry, a particularly sharp
underworld figure with his own
tommy gun in hand.
The best female costume went
to flapper, Judy Cleary.




The styles and times of the 1920s were also brought to life in a
display of historical photos and a video show of local scenes.

This evening was an important fund raising event for the Historical Society.  Twenty-five local businesses and individuals sponsored the event, raising funds for the new Community Archives.  

Door prizes were donated by several Prince Edward County wineries, brewery and cider maker.   Many thanks go to these generous local businesses. 

Story Donna Fano, pictures by various. . .

An album of pictures can be viewed at the link here. Thanks to Marney and Diane for all their work on this.

25 October 2012

History Fair at St. Theresa's

The Society together with the Community Archives again participated in the History Fair organised by the Renaissance Society at St.Theresa Catholic Secondary School.

Seen here are Al Cleary and Lindi Pierce setting up the new display "Hastings County at War 1812 to 1814".

And of course, talking to the students.



But the stars of the show were definitely the redcoats.


Especially when you got to try on the uniforms.


After a very fine lunch provided by the school it was back to the classroom. Pictured below is Bill Kennedy talking to a history class on the Society's project "People of Hastings County in the Great War 1914 - 1918".

Pictures and story Bill Kennedy and Nick White, you can view more pictures in the album here.

16 October 2012

A Royal Evening

Featuring Jane Ann Thompson McCaw (pictured right) as the guest speaker, the Society's October meeting was another "they're still coming, we'd better put out some more chairs" event.

One empty seat visible

The evening was opened by by our colourful and poetic Crier, Bruce Bedell (pictured in full cry to the left).

Followed by Sylvia French who took the attendees on an excursion back to times 100 (with a dash of 200) years ago.

Jane Ann Thompson McCaw holding a royal standard
with Katharine Mills on the right  

With the stage firmly set in the past, Jane Ann took the stage and entertained the crowd with stories and displays of memorabilia about our Queen and her family.

A lot of stories, some amusing, all interesting and a reminder of the Royal Family's connections with Canada and our area.

If you want to hear about those stories, like the one about the royal standard (being held by Jane Ann to the right) you will have to ask Jane Ann.

Perusing one of the the displays

Jane Ann and our Crier in the autumn leaves

Pictures and story Nick White an album of pictures from the evening can be viewed here