| Jul 06, 2006


Feature Article - July 6, 2006

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Feature Article - July 6, 2006

Cloyne Pioneer Museum opens in style

by Karyl Steinpatz

As always, the annual opening day celebrations of the Pioneer Museum were great fun. This year’s festivities took place on June 24, and although the starting time was slated for 11am, by 10:30 the museum was teeming with folk who were eager to tour the museum and view both the permanent and special displays.

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There’s so very much to absorb in this museum as it’s full to the brim with local artifacts. Tourism through the years is exceptionally well represented, as is logging, mining, and of course there is a whole room dedicated to the pioneering of the area. Lots of attention was given to the Heritage Quilt that, for the first time, graced a wall of the museum just inside the main entrance. The quilt, a project of the C&DHS, has been in the making for four years and its squares, embroidered with names of people and places, honour the memory of many of our ancestors, businesses, and birthplaces as well as the founders of the original Pioneer Club. Many people have worked on this beautiful work of art, but special kudos to Eileen Flieler who conceived the idea of the heritage quilt, and carried it through.

The display of clocks from the private collection of Hans Steinpatz, a collector and restorer of antique clocks and music boxes, was highly admired, as were all the donations from painter Carol Brown, including one of her original works of art which is housed in the portion of the 1840s schoolhouse the C&DHS has resurrected, and rebuilt, in a prominent corner of the museum.

Around noon the sweet perfume of barbecued goodies lured the artifact-lovers to the picnic tables. Barbecue chef Hugh Rose did a fine job on the “exotic hotdogs”, as he so named them.

Just as the barbecue was drawing to a close, a very strange but somehow familiar male figure hove into view across the parking lot. His cocked hat and red uniform somehow smacked of the olden-times British uniforms in our history books. The dashing figure headed for the hall, so lunchers headed after him, wondering who and what he was all about.

In the hall, the white-wigged, red-coated figure was found to be none other than Charles Lennox, Fourth Duke of Richmond, who had been dead for 147 years and was the guest speaker. Very alive he became, in the person of Robin Derrick, who is President of the Goulborne Historical Society and has done an intensive historical study into the life of the Duke and his part in the British move into “The Colonies” (us).

The audience was held spellbound as Mr. Derrick truly acted out his part. When wearing his cocked hat he was the Duke of Richmond and Lennox . He apologized for his clothing (red uniform jacket and white breeches) being dirty. That had happened, said he, when his wagon had broken down on the very rutty Addington Road and he and his wife had had to push it in order to get to the hall. He recounted many a tale, all historically correct, of how the Duke of Richmond, from being Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and then commanding troops to protect Brussels in the battle of Waterloo, had been sent by King George III of England to Canada to check on the loyalty of colonialists. Many streets and outlying areas near Ottawa are named for the Duke of Richmond. Robin Derrick’s knowledge and recounting of his life, took the audience back in time. A perfect speaker for an “old time day”.

The Cloyne and District Historical Society, that same afternoon, received another great treat, when Faye O’Brien, Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star (Tweed Chapter) presented President Margaret Axford with a cheque for $600. Every year the Chapter chooses a worthy charitable organization to assist, always keeping donations local if possible, and this year the C&DHS was the proud recipient.

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