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June 3, 2005

Making history here and there

The following are some notes from my file on events with an heritage perspective that may be of interest. 

Powassan’s 100th Anniversary 

From June 24th to July 3rd Powassan will recognize its 100 years of incorporation.  On Thursday June 30th a variety night with lots of local talent will be held at the Sportsplex.  History Alive Day will take place at the Clark House Museum with lots of displays large and small on July 1st.  On Saturday July 2nd there will be a big parade which will feature various community groups, businesses, schools, families with lots of anniversary floats and costumes. 

A committee has been working on a Powassan History Book, which will be a real keepsake.  It can be purchased for $25.00 at the Municipal Office (or by mail for $35.00 at 466 Main Street, Powassan, P0H 1Z0).  705-724-2813.  Watch your newspaper for further details on these and other events. 

The Powassan History Book committee that produced Powassan’s 100th Anniversary Book. Hugh Smith Photo.

May Was Museum Month 

Our many excellent museums in the area are now open and worth a visit.  The North Bay Area Museum has relocated from its Main Street location to the beautiful renovated old CPR station.  Beside the museum it will have the offices of the Heritage Gardeners, the Carousel, the Heritage Railway and the overall Waterfront Committee.  The media (except Community Voices and their history writer) were invited to tour the facility recently.  The museum is now called “@discoverynorthbay”.  The main floor includes a reception area, retail outlet and an exhibition space that will change every 6 weeks.  There is also exhibition space on the 2nd floor.  The new Wonderland Carousel is housed temporarily in one of these rooms.  There will be a one of a kind interactive railway exhibits available in the near future. 

There is exciting news on major museums in Canada and abroad.  On VE Day in May the new Canadian War Museum in Ottawa became a new venue worth a visit along with numerous other Ottawa galleries and museums. Designed by the remarkable architect Raymond Moriama who has designed several world-class museums the new museum is a major new feature on the downtown Ottawa landscape.  It, of course, honours our Canadian veterans and their contribution creating and preserving the world we have today. 

The War Museum has a highly informative website profiling their collections, special events, etc.  www.warmuseum.ca.  There is an Art and War exhibition on WWII until September 25/05. 

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights 

A new $300 million Human Rights Museum is in development in Winnipeg and will be the largest of its kind in the world when it opens in 2009.  It will be geared among other things to developing and educating young people to become human rights leaders and advocates.  On the 21st anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights the Federal government puts up 30 million dollars and later added 70 million.  The beautifully designed museum will look at human rights around the world.  Their website has a beautiful introduction showing former Canadian civil rights leaders with a quote on their point of view.  www.canadianmuseumforhumanrights.com

Memory Garden 

Germany’s Holocaust memorial opened recently in Berlin to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.  The 2,711 concrete slabs symbolize the helplessness of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis. 

Warren’s Log Museum 

The Warren Historical Society with the help of the people of Warren-Markstay are developing a museum as a centre for historical and genealogical study in the area.  They are currently looking for artifacts and donations to help develop the cabin and the site. 

Bonfield’s First Spike Project 

This project is proceeding with the acquisition of an old CPR caboose, which will be restored, and act as a museum.  I called Bonfield councilor Robt. Boisvert to find out the status of the acquisition and he told me it was being relocated to its new location near the Bonfield Municipal that very day.  I made a quick trip over to see the tricky job of relocation the caboose and take some photos. 

The relocation of the Bonfield First Spike Caboose to its new site by the Municipal Office. Doug Mackey Photo.

Womens’ Institute Recognition 

The Womens’ Institutes of Ontario have played a major role in the lives of Ontario women and in preserving our history.  The Ontario Historical Society recently bestowed the Scadding Award of Excellence on the Parry Sound WIs for their work in preserving local history. 

Manitou Islands’ Newman Headframe 

I wrote three articles on the Manitous off North Bay last year and mentioned the mine on Newman Island.  There were original efforts to preserve the headframe which could be seen from the shoreline of North Bay.  Apparently age, vandalism and neglect have won out and the building collapsed during the past winter eliminating a fascinating piece of history. 

Father Paradis’ Paintings 

After reading my recent article on the irascible Father Chas. Paradis John Wallen, the Chair of the Mattawa Museum Board contacted me regarding Paradis’ paintings.  John had recently visited the National Archives in Ottawa and received mint copies of some of Paradis’ paintings.  I visited him recently and looked at them and they are beautiful.  One of Mattawa along with the others will be available in full size as a fund raiser for the museum for $40 ($75 if framed at the Clermont Duval Gallery).  You can get all six for $180.  Contact the museum at 705-744-5495, or Box 9, Mattawa, Ontario, P0H 1V0 for further information. 

First Nation Land Claim Settlement 

While Temagami First Nation and the Algonquin First Nation await the pending settlement of their claims Ontario’s largest native land claim was settled recently for the Rainy River First Nation ninety years after their land was taken.  Several Federal cabinet ministers were present to be a part of the signing of an agreement reclaiming 18,725 hectares of traditional land.  There is also financial compensation which is expected to go into a community trust to maximize its impact.  

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