Spot­light on wa­ter­ways her­itage

His­tory groups gather in Mel­bourne

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - Sub­mit­ted by Que­bec An­glo­phone Her­itage Net­work (QAHN)

More than a dozen mu­se­ums and cul­tural or­ga­ni­za­tions from across the Town­ships will gather in Mel­bourne Town­ship this month for their se­cond an­nual Eastern Town­ships Her­itage Fair, spon­sored by the Que­bec An­glo­phone Her­itage Net­work (QAHN) and hosted by Rich­mond County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

This year’s cel­e­bra­tion takes place on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 20, in the Mel­bourne Town Hall, and will fea­ture a num­ber of dis­plays ex­plor­ing the in­flu­ence of rivers and lakes in the his­tory of Town­ships com­mu­ni­ties.

“The Mis­sisquoi Mu­seum in Stan­bridge East was the in­spi­ra­tion for the theme,” said Fair or­ga­nizer Dwane Wilkin. “Their ex­hibit this year in­vites vis­i­tors to re­flect on the his­toric im­por­tance of the Pike River, and changes in how our so­ci­ety re­gards and treats wa­ter­ways.”

Last year’s Her­itage Fair was hosted by the Ea­ton Cor­ner Mu­seum and at­tracted lo­cal his­tory buffs and her­itage en­thu­si­asts from across the re­gion and as far away as Mon­treal.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Sher­brooke Na­ture and Sci­ence Mu­seum, QAHN has put to­gether its own se­ries of in­ter­pre­tive pan­els out­lin­ing the his­tory of the St. Fran­cis River, in­cor­po­rat­ing a num­ber of rarely seen archival images from Eastern Town­ships Re­source Cen­tre at Bishop’s.

As al­ways, the Her­itage Fair is an op­por­tu­nity for mem­bers of the pub­lic to meet the many vol­un­teers who are ded­i­cated to pre­serv­ing and sharing Town­ships his­tory and cul­ture. Vis­i­tors can learn how to get in­volved in her­itage ac­tiv­i­ties where they live, find out about up­com­ing ex­hibits, or get help with a fam­ily his­tory project.

Ad­mis­sion is free of charge, and vis­i­tors can round out their visit with stops at the lo­cal farmer’s mar­ket and the nearby Rich­mond County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety Mu­seum.

Guest pre­sen­ters in­clude Julie Gre­nier from the Con­seil de gou­ver­nance du bassin ver­sant de la riv­ière St-françois and Drum­mondville city coun­cil­lor John Husk, who re­cently over­saw mu­nic­i­pal ef­forts to clean up and re­store a ma­jor trib­u­tary in this his­toric river sys­tem.

Wilkin said that his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties and mu­se­ums can con­trib­ute vi­tally to peo­ple’s un­der­stand­ing of her­itage con­ser­va­tion by of­fer­ing a lo­cal, his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive on global is­sues.

“Ac­knowl­edg­ing the harm­ful prac­tices of the past can help com­mu­ni­ties un­der­stand and deal with en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges we face to­day,” he said.

Live pi­ano mu­sic for the day is cour­tesy of Francine Beaubien. Books and mu­sic by lo­cal au­thors and mu­si­cians will also be avail­able for pur­chase from the "Town­ships Ex­pres­sions" kiosk.

Doors are open to the pub­lic be­tween 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mel­bourne Town Hall is sit­u­ated at 1257, Route 243, Mel­bourne Town­ship, Qc.

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