Next is­sue on Au­gust 5th

New pres­i­dent rises to chal­lenge

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

The Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, which has been pre­serv­ing and pro­mot­ing the history of Stanstead and the sur­round­ing re­gion since its found­ing in 1929, has a new pres­i­dent. Na­dine Bjornes­tad, of Og­den, took over the pres­i­dency of the So­ci­ety’s Board from

Ann Mont­gomery who spent seven busy years at its helm.

“When I was asked to be the pres­i­dent, I spent a long time de­lib­er­at­ing be­fore I said yes. The Colby-Curtis Mu­seum is an im­por­tant pri­or­ity to me. Like the Haskell Li­brary, I see it as a corner­stone of Stanstead,” said Mrs. Bjornes­tad who, since mov­ing here full time in 2007, has vol­un­teered at both the Haskell Li­brary and the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum. The in­ter­view took place in the mu­seum’s so­lar­ium where del­i­cate china tea cups and saucers, pol­ished sil­ver and white linens on ta­bles awaited the pa­trons of the Colby-Curtis’ Tea Room.

In these times of wan­ing mem­ber­ships in com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, en­cour­ag­ing a greater con­nec­tion be­tween the mu­seum and the com­mu­nity will be one of the new pres­i­dent’s ob­jec­tives. “I’d like to help in­crease the com­mu­nity’s ex­po­sure to the mu­seum. It’s a ne­ces­sity to see how im­por­tant the mu­seum is, and to sup­port the mu­seum’s ac­tiv­i­ties like the Tea Room, the Bou­tique, the Ap­ple Fest…I’d like to see more peo­ple bring their friends from out of town to visit the mu­seum. We have three great guides for the sum­mer, all young peo­ple from Stanstead and Stanstead East, who give ex­cel­lent tours of the mu­seum. I’d like peo­ple to feel like it is their mu­seum; it is a com­mu­nity mu­seum.”

Another more im­me­di­ate ob­jec­tive will be to help sell tick­ets for the Colby-Curtis’ big an­nual fundraiser: the Barn Dance on Au­gust 8th. “That was so much fun last year. The weather was great and we even had a full moon. We won’t have a full moon this year but we’ll still have the bon­fire and the food and the mu­sic will be great.”

“We are cer­tainly look­ing for new peo­ple to be­come mem­bers of the Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety,” con­tin­ued Mrs. Bjornes­tad. Strong mem­ber­ships are cru­cial for his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties, pro­vid­ing much-needed rev­enue and proof that the com­mu­nity sup­ports the mis­sion and ac­tiv­i­ties of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, an im­por­tant re­quire­ment to re­ceive gov­ern­ment fi­nan­cial sup­port. In­di­vid­ual mem­ber­ship in the Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety costs only $35 per year and in­cludes free ad­mis­sion all year long to the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum, four news­let­ters, re­duced rates for lec­ture lun­cheons and more.

But new mem­bers are needed for more than just their fi­nan­cial sup­port. “In­put from new mem­bers of the Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety is al­ways welcome,” added the new pres­i­dent.

Mrs. Bjornes­tad ad­mit­ted that her ear­lier vol­un­teer work at both the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum, on the Ex­ec­u­tive Board and as

a mem­ber of the Bou­tique Com­mit­tee, and at the Haskell Free Li­brary and Opera House, as a tour guide, in­creased her ap­pre­ci­a­tion for these his­tor­i­cal land­marks of Stanstead. “You re­ally get to see how im­por­tant they are. Just imag­ine if there was no Haskell Li­brary or Col­byCur­tis Mu­seum. Stanstead would be a very dif­fer­ent place,” she con­cluded.

The Colby-Curtis Tea Room is now open Thurs­days, Fri­days and Satur­days un­til the end of Au­gust. The Tea ser­vice in­cludes a free tour of the mu­seum and its ex­hibits: the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion and “The County Fair: Agri­cul­tural Im­prove­ment and Pop­u­lar Cul­ture in Stanstead County”, and “Vic­to­rian Fam­ily Rit­ual: Mar­riage, Child­birth and Mourn­ing”, two tem­po­rary ex­hibits. For more in­for­ma­tion about the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum or the Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, call 819 876-7322.

Na­dine Bjornes­tad, seen here in the Car­roll­croft gar­den, was nom­i­nated the new pres­i­dent of the Stanstead His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety at the AGM last month.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

SHS pres­i­dent Na­dine Bjornes­tad’s first vol­un­teer po­si­tion at the Colby-Curtis Mu­seum was on the mu­seum’s Bou­tique Com­mit­tee.

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