Historical Society of St. Catharines General Meeting, 23 September 2010

Held at the St. Catharines Historical Museum.

President John Burtniak welcomed members and guests at 7:30 p.m. There were 49 in attendance.

First on the agenda was Dr. John Bonnett from Brock University’s History Department. He gave a presentation on the 3D Virtual Buildings project that his students will be working on this year. They will be doing research on the Canada Hair Cloth building and the hope is that members of HSSC might be of some assistance. Dr. Bonnett also invited the Historical Society to participate in the War of 1812 conference which will be held at Brock University in November of 2012. We are to contact Renee Lafferty of the History Dept regarding this event.

Next, Kathy Powell of the Museum made a brief presentation related to the evening’s main topic. She brought a wine bottle from the museum’s collection, dating from 1920 – 1939. Its origin was a winery belonging to Frank Langdon Furminger, former chauffeur to the Woodruff family. She gave an interesting history of this man and his winery.

Our main speaker of the evening, Linda Bramble, was introduced by Elizabeth Finnie. Linda gave a presentation, “How we got here from there,” based on her extensive research and writing on the history of the local wine industry, starting in the 1800s through prohibition up until recent times. Her presentation was informative and entertaining, with some interesting photos from the early days of our wine trade. She brought along some copies of her latest book, Niagara’s Wine Visionaries.  Paul Lewis thanked the speaker.

Announcements followed:

– The newsletter is now out, thanks to Gail Benjafield, Bill Stevens and John Calvert. John Calvert made some comments regarding a questionnaire in the newsletter.

– October is Canadian Libraries Month. Kevin McCabe announced the Literary and Heritage Book Fair which will be held at the St. Catharines Public Library Saturday Oct. 23. HSSC will be participating.

– November 11, Remembrance Day. HSSC always lays a wreath at the Cenotaph. If any of our members are veterans of any wars or peacekeeping endeavours, and would like to lay the wreath, they are asked to contact John Burtniak.

– John Burtniak announced there is now a city bus running to the museum from the Pen Centre.

– The Burgoyne Bridge is to be replaced. There is a possibility that the Merritt monument may have to be moved at that time and HSSC should be prepared with some input regarding its future.

– Joanne Atkinson announced that 2010 is the Year of the Home Child, and that there is a commemorative stamp as well as an event at Niagara College in May of the coming year. Apparently 1/10 of Canadians are descended from Home Children.

– Elizabeth Finnie announced that Prof. Gordon Barker of Bishop’s University will be speaking at Brock University Fri. Oct. 15, (Sankey chamber, 3 p.m.) on the topic of Anthony Burns. HSSC members are invited to attend.

– Tom Malcomson will be the special guest for the next HSSC general meeting, Oct. 28, 2010.

The meeting closed at 9:15 with a short interval for socializing and refreshments.

One thought on “Historical Society of St. Catharines General Meeting, 23 September 2010

  1. My grandfather, Ernest A. Baker was a British Home Child, and I am looking for any records of his first years in Canada. From what I gather so far he was placed with E.A. Bessey R.R. 4 in St. Catharines from 1914 for a couple of years (age 16), which I have further found is Creek Road in Virgil.
    Can you tell me if there are any records kept of British Home Children in Niagara.

    I appreciate any information or resource that you can point me to.
    Robert (Bob) Baker
    51 Hillsdale Court
    Dundas, Ontario
    905 628 4099

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