Board Chair’s Remarks
2016 Annual General Meeting
Presented by Donna Muir
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
This past year has been an exciting and busy year at the Charlotte County Archives. It is always a pleasure to deliver good news. Through the dedicated work of our volunteers, many of whom have reached milestones in their service, our summer students, and our Archivist/ Manager, Janice Fairney we have accomplished much. I want to thank my fellow board members with whom it has been a pleasure to serve this past year and thank them for all that they have contributed. I am pleased that the Board now has finalized a Marketing Plan which will carry us forward into the next few years.
I also want to sincerely thank all of our dedicated volunteers for without your continued support and generous giving of your time and talents, there is much that could not have been accomplished. We are a richer organization from the invested time of our volunteers. As well, I extend our collective thanks to Dr. Janice Fairney and I would like at this time to thank her for her on going work here at the archives and for her committed dedication to the many tasks we ask of her on your behalf.
We remain indebted to the Province for our continued use of the Gaol and for their maintenance of that facility and extend our thanks to John Morrow and his crew who are quick to respond to our issues and concerns.
We are always grateful to our many friends and sponsors who generously give each year at our appeal time. The Spring and Fall Appeal continue to demonstrate the support we have in the local community as well as from various parts of Canada and even the US and we are thankful for that reliable support as it allows us to continue to operate and to allow us to develop specific projects that we can offer the public. We have again had great support from St. Andrews and St. George town councils and we will continue to reach out to other municipal governments within our county to seek their ongoing support of our activities.
This past year we received a grant from Fundy Community Foundation which allowed us to increase our Remembrance Day Commemoration by having additional portable display cases allowing us this year to mount exhibits for St. George and St. Stephen as well as our exhibit in St. Andrews. A grant from Heritage Branch allowed us to replace our cooling system for the vault and thereby allow us to maintain temperature control over historic documents and pictures in the vault. I want to acknowledge and thank Christian Larson, for his generous donation to the Archives of a microfilm reader. Christian has been a professional genealogist since September 1989, and has researched many families from the Parish of Pennfield.
We were also fortunate to have the services of three summer students this past summer... Nicolas Gibeault who came to us through the NB SEED program; Emily Forster from the program Young Canada Works ; and Johnny Matheson through Canada Summer Jobs. We were fortunate, as well, to collaborate with the Town of St Andrews and hire a graduate student who worked with their Heritage Committee and advanced the total accounting of Heritage Properties in town.
Our newsletters continue to be well received and traffic to our webpage www.ccarchives.ca is strong. Be sure to check “What’s on the Docket” often in the weeks ahead as we update you on special activities we are planning.
Last June we launched our first genealogy class for beginners researching their Charlotte County roots. The result was an immediate call to have a second class in the fall to take them further on their path. Two separate curricula have been developed and the informal delivery of assistance was well received.
Canada Day was a “captive” event. We were able to “arrest” and hold in jail many friends of the Archives as well as the general public who all had to make arrangements to be released after the payment of the “fine”. Some saved themselves the incarceration by paying for a Get out of Gaol Free card. I want to thank everyone who participated in this fun event and especially to the High Sheriff, Jailor, and other warrant servers who spent time with us that day to the delight of our participating audience and passersby, thank you!
For the first time we launched a theatrical performance of an historic event. Our sincere thanks to Bill Breuer for his outstanding play: Murder in Black’s Harbour: The true story of the trial of the British Airman charged with the brutal death of Bernice Connors, daughter of well-known businessman, Edwin Connors, one of the founding brothers of Connor’s Brothers in Black’s Harbour. The well attended performances spoke volumes about the success of this endeavour.
On August 8, we held our second Heritage Homes Tour. The event was again a resounding success. The feedback from those on the tour was extremely positive and we are planning our third event for August of 2016. We will let you know when the tickets go on sale. I predict they will sell out quickly.
From 1914 to 1918, thousands of Canadian men and women were called upon to contribute to the effort required for the First World War, an event that transformed our nation, culture, economy and identity. In our ongoing commemoration of the men and boys who served we hosted two events in our Speaker Series: Soldiers in St Andrews, by our senior summer staff member, Nicolas Gibeault on July 28th followed on August 4th, by a presentation by noted author, John Cunningham on his recent book: The Summer the Soldiers Came to Town. As well, we mounted three displays in our portable cases of War memorabilia and had them on display in St. Andrews, St. Stephen and St. George.
Our ghost walks have been well received and we are grateful that Miss Demeanor, Felicity Cooper, has such talent in keeping the tours interesting and a little spooky. Some tours have already started again this year. We continue to provide tours of the old gaol and the historic Charlotte County Court House as well.
Our number of visitors remains relatively constant with last year. There was a modest increase in visitors from our own province, as well as the Atlantic Region; however, there was a decline in the number of visitors from our neighbouring American states. This may be improved with the greater value of the American dollar in relation to ours as more tourists may come this summer.
Financial sustainability remains our goal, but we are quick to recognize that this is no easy feat in our present economic climate. As we work toward financial sustainability, we are reminded what a privilege it is to have such a magnificent repository of Charlotte County’s vast and varied history and how important our role as caretakers of that repository is in maintaining and conserving the richness of our collected history and how important it is to make that history available to everyone. The jewels in our vault need, from time to time, to be taken out and allowed to shine. We are committed to “Preserving our Past and Enriching our Future” and together with our volunteers and friends of the Archives; we continue to work to have that realized.
Contact Us >