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March 14, 2008

Heritage News & Views


James Bartleman Patron of PALS Program 

On February 29 former Lt. Governor James Bartleman became the Patron of the PALS program where members of various local libraries can acquire free library privileges at Nipissing University at no cost.  PALS is an acronym for Public and Academic Libraries Sharing.  Various people from libraries in Bonfield, Mattawa, North Bay, Powassan, Temagami and West Nipissing have taken advantage of the arrangment  

James Barleman speaks to guests at Nipissing University – Brian Nettlefold, Nipissing library CEO and Helen McDonnell, Powassan Library CEO on left.  D. Mackey photo.

A large group of Canadore and Nipissing staff and Board members and members of the Blue Sky Region Community Network met to hear Bartleman speak.  He was the former Lt. Governor of Ontario from 2002 to 2007.  Bartleman, a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation grew up in Port Carling and went on to a 35 year career in the Canadian Foreign Service in many senior positions.  He is the author of four books. 

As Lt. Governor he had several objectives including getting Native children to read.  His book drive collected 1.2 million good used books for Native Friendship Centres across Ontario.  A second drive brought in 90,000.  He also started several literary summer camps in First Nation Communities. 

In his talk Bartleman told how he learned to read by scrounging comic books from the garbage dump at Port Carling – a story that had the audience smiling.  Helen McDonnell CEO of the Powassan and area library and chair of the Library Network and Bruce Nettlefold presented Bartleman with a certificate of appreciation.  Bartleman has taken on other duties since the end of his previous role and is now the Chancellor of the Ontario College of Art and Design. 

To become a PAL take your library card and go to the front desk at the Library at Nipissing and their full library is available to you whatever your interest may be. 

Northern Ontario Reads 

As mentioned last week CBC Sudbury is running its Northern Ontario Reads program to highlight recommended books.  Gilles Blunt’s detective story based on North Bay called Forty Words of Sorrow and Mary Lawson’s novel The Other Side of the Bridge are two novels recommended, as was a book of short stories called Outcrops.  Suzanne Brooks at Gullivers Books North Bay recommended my book The Kiosk Story.  You can vote by calling 1-800-461-1138 or email pointsnorth@subdury.cbc.ca.  Voters are included in a draw for copies of the books.  The competition ends at the end of March with the winner announced April 1st. 

Hummel School Reunion

The old Hummel School, outside of Trout Creek (SS#3 South Himsworth) held a reunion last October and had a large display of memorabilia. These items are now on display in The Downstairs Galley in the Powassan library during March so you can get in touch with the way schools were in those days. The Reunion donated a nice check for the purchase of books after the event. Library closed Wednesday and Sunday.

Reunion photos at Powassan Library Downstairs Gallery Exhibition.  D. Mackey photo

North Bay Exhibitions 

There is a lot to see this month in North Bay including the Ice follies which ends on the first day of Spring , March 20th.  Have a look at the Bridges to Home Art & History exhibition – a cultural exhibit on immigrant women in Canada (Tues-Sat – North Bay Museum).  There is of course the fine exhibitions at the White Water and the Kennedy Gallery and at Art on Main, etc.  What a great way to spend a day! 

Two Ice Follies constructs on North Bay Waterfront.  D. Mackey photo.

New Book on CN Railway in Area 

Ian Wilson who has written several books on the CNR has a fine new one Steam in Northern Ontario.  It is a hard cover book of 192 pages with numerous photos, maps, area photos, timetables, etc. – 8 pages in colour.  A real treat for train buffs and others connected to the CNR.  More information online.  The North Bay Library has a copy in their Reference Section and one in circulation. 

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