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Public Reports

ANNUAL REPORT

 2018


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

MARCH 28, 2019

 

123 Frederick Street, Saint Andrews, N.B., E5B 1Z1. 506-529-4248. ccarchives.ca

CHARLOTTE COUNTY ARCHIVES INC.    ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2018.   

Overview.

The last year has been an amazing one of re-generation, carrying us through a transition to what we hope will be a newly energized and sustainable organization. The enthusiasm of the Charlotte County Archives (CCA) Board propels the activities of the Archives and the work of our dedicated volunteers and staff have helped us make inroads for future growth. We are working through a period where our long-time Archives Manager Janice Fairney is about to retire after 12 dedicated years of service and this week, we are beginning the search to find her replacement.

 

We now have the Town of Saint Andrews as our landlord and we are looking at upgrading all the office systems and facilities to improve productivity, accessibility, and visitor satisfaction. As we have no baseline funding, this requires intensified fund raising. We have begun to reach out to all the potential funding sources we can access. We hope that we will be able to find renewed support from funds that have supported us in the past as well as from new supporters. To help ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization, we have established an endowment fund with the Fundy Community Foundation which we hope to build on as funding becomes available.

 

So much of our operation depends on volunteers who help us run our programs. They attend to visitors and researchers; provide guided tours; run our fund-raising events, notably the Heritage Home Tour; provide technical and administrative support, archiving services, and even garbage removal and housekeeping. Our volunteers come from far and wide and contribute thousands of hours each year.

 

This annual report provides details of all the work from this past year and the results we are beginning to show.  We are entering an exciting new period in the history of the Archives, where we shall not only be upgrading our operation in Saint Andrews but also reaching out to communities across the County in a way that we have been unable to in the past. We hope to earn your continued support.

 

Mandate. 

The Board held a workshop in December to review the mandate of the organization. It was determined that events and fund-raising activities aimed at securing the financial sustainability of the organization are a necessary part of the Archives work and were implicit not explicit, in the mandate. It was decided to amplify the current mandate of the CCA to include much of what has been necessary to sustain the Archives. This change clarifies the outreach aspects of our work and the varied records that we acquire – photos, oral histories, videos, etc.

 

The revised mandate now reads as follows (changes in bold):

“The mandate of the Charlotte County Archives is to collect, preserve, conserve and interpret significant historical records relating to the history and culture of Charlotte County, and to make available the documentary heritage of Charlotte County to the public.”

 

The Lease for the Old Gaol.

In 2017 we were given notice that the Province would be turning over the Court House and Gaol properties to the Town of Saint Andrews at the end of the year and so in 2018, under the terms of our renewable Lease, the Town became our new Landlord.  The Board is participating actively in the discussion, about to be led by Councillor Kate Akagi, on the future use of the Historic Buildings and the Common green space they overlook.

 

Board Membership.  

We were very sad that long time supporter Jeannie Stinson had to resign for unexpected reasons soon after the AGM last year and Mary Casement is also greatly missed after she left the Board to attend to her varied election duties last year. We appreciate their continued volunteer work. We were fortunate to be joined during the year by Robin Burton who has taken over the role of Treasurer and interim office manager and Marie La Forest who is now the Board point person for the newly approved Seniors Conserving Memories project (see below).  

 

Financial Review and Budget.

We are pleased that, despite considerably increased staff costs, by the end of the year 2018 our Bank balance was no less than at the beginning. For full details please refer to the financial statements and budget that accompany this report.

 

Working Committees.

During the year the Board identified several key initiatives in support of our long-term strategic goals.

Thanks to the committed energy of our Board, we have established several committees that are working on reaching those goals. These committees are:

 

I.                    Financial Development.  Goal: To develop fund raising strategies and capabilities that will enable CCA to support the goals included in an annual Work Plan and a multi-year strategic plan and to become a viable and sustainable organization. Members: Jeff Holmes, Robin Burton, Sheila Washburn, Shirley Brinkhurst, Sheila Blagrave. Various grants are being applied for and applications made to Foundations. Some have been received while news of others is awaited. The Federal Government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program has approved our proposal for the “Seniors Preserving Charlotte County Memories” project that is just getting underway with the appointment of Lee Sochasky as Project Leader. We will be encouraging Seniors all across the County to get involved in the recording and preservation of local social histories, whether documents, photos or audio-visual material.    At the Committee’s request the Board established an endowment fund with the Charlotte County Community Foundation, to begin establishing the financial foundation necessary to ensure the sustainability of the CCA.  Last year we started charging admission —$2.00 for adults.

 

II.                  Facilities Development.  Goal: To develop a facilities strategy that: ensures the longevity of existing buildings and grounds and reflects their historic significance; ensures protection of historical records; ensures effective use of space, and provides opportunities for user (staff, volunteer and visitor) enjoyment. Members: Shirley Brinkhurst, Sheila Washburn, Jeff Holmes. Much of the work of this group so far has been on improving working conditions in the office, sorting through much accumulated material and substantially clearing out the attic over the jail. Many old leather-bound books were stored there but have no direct relevance to Charlotte County and so they have been sorted and moved to new homes, notably to Minister’s Island, which needs appropriate books for its book shelves. Active attention is being given to ways to improve the working environment for the administration and to make further improvements to the storage facilities in the vault.

 

III.                Program Development.  Goal: To develop programming that supports the mandate of the CCA and encourages an appreciation for the culture and heritage inherent in Charlotte County. Members: Ernie DePatie, Janice Fairney, Shirley Brinkhurst. This Committee has been working on developing new ideas for events, activities, and services. Shirley has established a children’s “Dressing Up” activity in a side room of the Courthouse, which helps divert young children while their parents get a guided tour of the historical building. Last year a successful “Open House” was held on the Common and another called “Jailhouse Rock” is planned for this year on Saturday, July 13th.  Our Hockey Film showings drew robust crowds and resulted in brisk sales of the DVD later in the year. The Heritage Homes Tour, run by a team of over 40 volunteers was, as always, sold out and appreciated by 250 people from across the province. This summer we will open the Archives on Saturdays to make our facilities even more accessible to researchers and visitors. A recent study of campground visitors’ activities shows the importance of weekend opening whenever possible.

 

IV.                Marketing and Communications.  Goal: To develop a marketing and communications approach that will significantly raise the public profile of CCA and generate increased support and funding. Members: Barb Rayner, Sheila Blagrave, Jeff Holmes. This Committee provided publicity, including e-blasts, public service announcements, news releases, and media follow-up for events. The Fall Newsletter in October 2018 was distributed by mail to some and by e-mail to everyone possible. The distribution list was over 500. A Spring Newsletter for 2019 will be circulated shortly. A new brochure has just been created to publicize the work of the Archives and all that we offer, including tours of the Gaol, the Courthouse, and our ever-popular Ghost Walks. The brochure will be distributed to all tourism centres in the County and throughout major towns in the region. We have worked with the Town on getting improved signage put up in the spring to help tourists find us more easily. For much of the year we continued to be listed as the second most-attractive location on Trip Advisor. Felicity Cooper will help with our social media outreach going forward.

 

V.                  Board DevelopmentGoal: To become an effective Board that achieves the goal and objectives set out in an annual Work Plan. Members: Robin Burton, Marie La Forest, Sheila Blagrave. The Annual Work Plan is almost complete and attention will turn next to development of a longer-term strategy and completion of a new business plan.

 

VI.                Organizational Development. Goal: To ensure the organization has sufficient, well- trained and effective staff and volunteers able to carry out the goals and objectives of the strategic plan. Members: Robin Burton, Marie La Forest, Sheila Blagrave, Janice Fairney.  Last summer we hired a part-time Heritage Services Manager, Rebecca Moffatt, who helped Janice Fairney in the office and made a great contribution to our public events. A revised job description for the position of Archivist Manager to replace our retiring Archivist has been completed and recruitment for this position will begin in April. We are hoping to employ someone full time for April to October during the peak season, extendable once additional funding has been secured.

 

VII.              Archival Development. Goal: To ensure the acquisition, provision, care, management, and preservation of significant historical documents relating to the history and the culture of Charlotte County. Much of the Archives Manager’s time last year was taken up with managing the office, training and supervising the summer students and the seniors’ group in the Fall. Together they made significant contributions to the Archiving function, as described below. Changes to the office layout have recently been completed to separate archival from administrative functions and we are now beginning the search for a new Archives Manager to take over from Janice Fairney who will retire shortly.

The Photographic Collection.

One of the very important volunteer groups at work in the Archives is led by the Photographic Curator, Irene Scarratt. Her team has collected, digitized, and indexed over 24,000 photographs — and counting. Lila Haughn has been working on this collection for 25 years and remains steadfast in her enthusiasm. Mary Myers and Donna Walsh complete the team, laying down and preserving the photographic record of the County in readily accessible form.

 

Throughout the year, they generate revenue from the many requests for photographs with historic significance, including:

·         Homeowners researching the history and historic architecture of their home;

·         Students working on history projects;

·         Television and film directors looking for photographs relating to special topics;

·         Individuals seeking images for public presentations on history topics;

·         People creating historic movies of Saint Andrews;

·         Business Improvement Association (BIA) members creating the St. Stephen Memories project;

·         Creators of the Money Saver “Historic Charlotte” annual calendar; and

·         Individuals requesting family photographs to be reproduced as gifts, etc.

 

The Audio-Visual Collection.

The audio-visual collection in the Archives includes 13 videos on the YouTube Channel called “Historic Home Movies of Saint Andrews, N.B.” This is the main part of the collection; the other parts are the digitized collection of Community Channel programs from the 1990s and the list of mostly audio recordings of public speaker events held in Town. The earliest of the film/videos dates from 1923 and the latest from August 2017.  They were assembled, edited, and produced by Franklin Cardy with the assistance of a team of collaborators who provided commentaries for the videos.

 

A major addition last year was the hour-long video “Hockey in St Andrews 1900 to 1980s” based on the films of Bill O’Neill. Two theatre presentations of this were made as fund raisers and it has been released as a DVD, available from Serendipin’ Art and the Archives Gift Shop for $20 for the Archives. At the “Open House” in July, the Teddy Rooney video collection already available on You Tube was displayed on a screen in a Court House side room through-out the day. In July a former inmate at the Jail visited and was videoed as he stood reminiscing in the cell where he spent 21 days in 1976. Three more hours of Bill O’Neill’s films from the 1930s and 40s are nearing completion, with explanatory commentaries by many current residents.

 

Heritage Home Tours

The Annual Heritage Home Tours 2018 was a major fund raiser for the Archives. Last August 18 we presented four houses and the Greenock Church, thanks to the generosity of Deborah Firestone (Peacock Farmhouse); Sheila and Mark Blagrave (Oriole Cottage, 6 Queen Street); Barbara Stanley and Malcolm Macleod (45 Water Street); Jeff and Ardeth Holmes (Robert Pagan house, 235 Queen St); and the congregation of the Greenock Church, 146 Montague Street. The event raised $6,250 in sales. We are grateful to the many docents and volunteers who provided refreshments, knowledgeable input on the houses, and good cheer throughout a rainy day. And to Charles Carson who painted pictures for presentation to each home owner.

 

Fund-raising dinner at the NBCC.

Thanks to the generous support and skills of the NBCC catering staff and students, we were able to hold a sold-out fund-raising dinner in their Lady Dunn Dining Room in November, raising $2200. Archive volunteers helped with co-ordination of this special event, which included a special preview video and place-card quizzes to compare and identify old Archives photos. 

 

Staff and Voluntary Contributors.

Our volunteers, our summer students, grant-supported staff, and our Archives Manager, Janice Fairney, all deserve our thanks for their hard work, enthusiasm, and passion for the ongoing work of the Archives. They do an essential job in providing an energetic and dynamic customer service for the Archives. This report shows the work they have been doing and how the volunteers are a crucial element in the success of all aspects of our work.

 

The Board are all volunteers who raise the money and grants to pay for summer students and for our part time Archives Manager. But even our Archives Manager Janice Fairney has volunteered much of her time. She will soon retire and we will greatly miss her as she has been the one above all, who kept the Archives functioning through the last twelve years. We hope that she will soon be fully recovered from her recent illness and will still be available to help train the summer students and hand over to a new Archives Manager as soon as we can recruit one.  Last year we were lucky to also have Rebecca Moffatt working with us on a paid part-time basis, and she also put in many volunteer hours helping us throughout the summer rush. We were very grateful for her support.

 

Summer students. Last year we were fortunate to have two strong students funded by the Federal Government, who helped staff the office, provided tours, helped researchers, and dove into individual research of their own. Megan Murphy led the group and researched the legal papers of Judge B.R. Stephenson in the mid 1980s. Emma Simard helped with tours and researchers and she also researched and wrote a piece on the Irish Famine and Immigration to New Brunswick. Shari Hogart, sponsored by the N.B. Govt’s Heritage Branch, Museum Program, supported researchers and did a transcription of the account by the summer visitor we filmed who was an inmate in the Jail in 1976.

 

Fall Seniors program. In the fall we received federal grants to employ three seniors for 10 weeks. They did a wide range of valuable work for us, helping with visitors and tours, helping researchers, and with the preparations for the fund-raising dinner, as well as providing support for Janice. Mary Myers assisted Janice with managing the office and stood in for her when Janice was on vacation. She also did the labelling and organizing of approximately 826 manuscript file boxes. Susie Newman took on the task of researcher. She did research for requests that came in and assisted visitors with their research questions. Caroline Acheson worked with manuscripts and compiled a detailed manuscript data base that is now available and was forwarded to the New Brunswick Provincial Archives. 

 

In Summary

2018 was an invigorating year at the Archives. Thanks to the enthusiasm of our dedicated volunteers, staff, Archives members, and those who raised funds or supported us financially, we are entering an exciting new period in the history of the Archives. We are not only upgrading our operation in St Andrews but also reaching out to communities across the County in a way that we have been unable to in the past.