Branching Out 2001

Spring 2001

Grand River Branch

In September, we took our display to Norfolklore, Norfolk Historical Society’s genealogy fair in Simcoe.  In October, we held genealogy/history workshops for over six hundred Brownies and Girl Guides in preparation for their Heritage Badge.  We set up picnic tables at the Backus Conservation Area and the girls learned about genealogy and Loyalist history and then wrote with quill pen and ink and tacked their papers to dry on the barn. 

Flags were presented to Woodhouse United Church to honour its 200th anniversary and St. Paul’s Presbyterian, Simcoe, when a special service honoured the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday.  Branch President, Marilyn Branch, sent a congratulatory letter to the Queen Mum and received a reply.  Grand River Branch twinned with Manitoba and forwarded a copy of our book Loyalist Families of Members of the Grand River Branch UELAC to celebrate this new and happy relationship. 

The biggest event of the year was our Millennium Partnership Project with Norfolk Historical Society: A Loyalist Journey – The Long Point Settlement in the Eva Brook Donly Museum, 109 Norfolk Street, Simcoe, in the heart of Loyalist settlement.  A large mural depicts a family travelling in dense forest with oxen and wagon. Five panels tell Loyalist history: Trouble in the ColoniesWho Were the Loyalists?Escape to CanadaSettlement; and Loyalist Legacy. Official opening April 22, 2001 at 2:30.

Fall 2001

Grand River Branch 

In April, The Branch celebrated the opening of our permanent exhibit, Loyalist Journey–The Long Point Settlement, at the Eva Brook Donly Museum, Simcoe, ON. This display starts with a large mural depicting a Loyalist Ontario family, in a cart with oxen, arriving in dense forest.  The Loyalist story is told in five panels: Trouble in the ColoniesWho Were the Loyalists?Escape to CanadaSettlement; and Loyalist Legacy. The display is enhanced with artefacts, some of which were donated by Branch member Fred Blayney UE.  The $9,000 required for the project was obtained by a Canadian Millennium Partnership Program 2000 grant in partnership with the Norfolk Historical Society, with the co-operation of the Society’s President, Sheila Hastie, and members Dr. Jim Cruise and Robert Ryerse UE. 

Branch member Bill Yeager UE, Curator of the Norfolk Historical Society’s collection, was most helpful in the display’s design and execution. 

On Heritage Day, Jim Sweet, Robert McCarey and Doris Lemon displayed our research books and answered questions at Dunnville’s Marine Heritage Day. A follow-up letter to the Dunnville Chronicle, praising the recording of Dunnville’s marine heritage, received good press.  This method of obtaining of press coverage is recommended highly to all branches as local editors print complimentary letters and put our name before the public. 

Doris Lemon UE presented her costumed dramatization of Mary Titus Williams, Loyalist Wife, to the Kitchener Men’s Probus Club and the K.W. Professional and Business Men’s Club.  She talked and showed overheads to Grade 7 and 8 students at Drayton Public and Kitchener Laurentian (private) schools.  The students enjoyed writing with quill pens and ink. President Bill Terry spoke at Lynn Valley Women’s Institute and Houghton Public School. 

At the Boy Scout Regional meeting at Port Burwell, Robert McCarey with Frederick Reeves and his grandson gave history talks, wrote with quill pens and distributed genealogy charts to 465 Boy Scouts.  Labour Day weekend our display was at the Paris Fair. 

We made a display and new banner for the Cornwall Conference and, with the aid of local Mennonite craftswomen, created boy and girl dolls in 1783 costumes to take to classrooms.  They cost $57 each. Long-time and faithful members Dora Mae Blayney and Fred Blaynev UE received Ontario Volunteer Service Awards.  Jim Sweet UE set up and maintains our Branch website. Please check it. 

Grand River Branch invites all UEs and spouses/friends to mark June 6-9, 2002 on calendars NOW, for Conference 2002.  We are planning for your pleasure: tours of Mennonite Country, Long Point Loyalist Settlement and Eva Brook Donly Museum, Grand River and Six Nations; an outstanding guest speaker; local entertainment; and traditional UE hospitality. 

Doris Ann Lemon UE, Education/Outreach Chair.

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