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March 25, 2011

History Notes in Perspective March 2011

Something Old Something New

I have been a fan of North Bay’s remarkable Lynn Johnston and her For Better or Worse cartoon family for years especially Elly Johnston (My wife’s maiden name is Elly Johnston) .I have given her books as gifts for years.  Her work appears in 2000 newspapers in numerous countries. She recently, on the brink of retirement, went back to former plotlines and went in a different direction, much to the pleasure of her fans.

New For Better or Worse book by Lynn Johnston 2011 

Her new hardcover book Something Old Something New has stories from the past, plus new ones with personal annotations and is a real joy. Available at Gullivers and other fine bookstores. 

Backroads Background 

Teresa Miller, a resident of Chisholm Township and a new Municipal Councillor with a Management System business in Powassan is producing a new monthly “coffee-read” 12 page free publication called Backroads . It has notices of events, updates, food, games, humour, and ads, etc. Jamie Toeppner has a 2 page History & Ancestry column. Backroads  is available in numerous locations in the Powassan, and in the Callander, Restoule, Trout Creek, Astorville area with new locations being added. Call 705-724-9559 or drop in to 31 King Street Powassan for copies, for sale ads , etc. 

Rotary Club Canada Centennial  

I recently spoke at the North Bay Rotary Club and was impressed by their work. Rotary started in the U.S. 106 years ago, became international over 100 years ago and came to North Bay 87 years ago in 1923.  W.K.P. Kennedy in his book on North Bay profiles the club and lists the original members. He was president in 1937. There are 34,000 Rotary Clubs in 200 countries. 

Rotary International Logo 

They have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to the new North Bay Hospital, Nipissing Library, the Waterfront, etc. They sponsor Rotary Scholars who go on to make great contributions.  M.P. Monique Smith is an example. They also have a Rotaract Club in North Bay for 18-30 year olds that does good work as well.  A recent 12 page publication in the Nugget profiled their successes and encourages membership.  Call President Tom Tucker for information 705-497-0681.  For Rotary information log on to www.rotary.org

Heritage Matters 

Heritage Matters, a publication of the Ontario Heritage Trust, profiles  remarkable heritage activities in Ontario. (Digital copies online at www.heritagetrust.on.ca) 416-325-5-15. Several items in the recent issue were of special interest. A report on 10 years of Doors Open where various heritage sites are open to the public starting each April and running through the summer and fall was fascinating (a Retrospective Guide will soon be available). 

New communities are added each year & thousands attend. North Bay participated in 2007 and I was a host at the Empire Living Centre – the former Empire Hotel & dozens enjoyed a visit. See my May 4, 2007 article online. Hopefully North Bay will become involved again.  For a free guide to the active communities you can visit log on to www.doorsopenontario.on.ca or call 1-800-668-2746.  

Canadian Canoe Museum  

The highly successful Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterboro is a decade old and has gone through a complete “reimaging”. They have great plans for the future including Champlain’s Trent River travels 400 years ago in 1615 & Canada’s Sequicentennial in 2017. They are also looking for a new site. For information on the Museum and a copy of the new strategies plan visit www.canoemuseum.ca 

Doris McCarthy’s Fools Paradise 

Heritage Matters also profiled the donation her property  for artists in the future, after her death at 100 in November. Called Fool’s Paradise – a natural heritage site on a narrow plateau overlooking the Scarborough Bluffs and a ravine watershed – she donated it to the Ontario Heritage Trust. For information check www.heritagetrust.on.ca

Callander Bell Project 

A school bell from the 1909 Callander Public School, demolished in 1970. has been located on a pad at the Callendar Bay Heritage Museum. Board volunteers & curator Carol Pretty decided to build a cupola like the original for the bell and place it on the front lawn of the museum.  Plans were drawn up & cost estimates provided and the project was launched. 

Callander Museum Curator Carol Pretty with Natalie Vallee drawing of bell and plan of Cupola. . D. Mackey photo.

People who donate will get their name on the structure. M.P. Monique Smith bought the first name plate at the opening of the event which showed a photo of the school and class photos. Hollywood’s Michael J. Fox was in the 1968 class photo. For further information contact the Museum on Thursday, Friday, Saturday until May. 

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