By Roxanne Delage
CORNWALL, Ontario – On the eve of the 100th anniversary of Canada’s involvement in WWI, two local museums joined forces to mark the day.
The Cornwall Community Museum and The Military Heritage Museum of the Three United Counties pooled its resources to tell the story of Canada’s, and in particular this area’s great contribution to the war, with a small ceremony and reception, held on Sunday, at the Armouries.
“Of all the United Counties, which would, have been a very small population at the time,” explained Katelyn Beaudette, of the Cornwall Community Museum, “more than 700 men were brought to Europe to fight, and of them, more than 200 were killed and more than 300 were wounded, so it was a very large contribution from this area.”
Attended by dignitaries, representatives of the SD&G Highlanders, and local historians, the gathering gave those in attendance the opportunity to view some WWI uniforms and artefacts, a number of information text panels, and in particular, a beautiful, silk flag given to the 154th battalion, by the Ladies of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire(I.O.D.E.).
In 1916, the I. O. D. E. presented the 154th battalion with three flags, explained Leon J. Chamois, curator of the Military Heritage Museum of the Three United Counties, located in the Cornwall Armouries.
This one flag, in particular had been missing for decades, but eventually returned to the regiment last year, and is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
“We brought it out today, because it was very apropos,” said Chamois. “It is generally kept in storage. We just don’t have the space for something this big, but it is the hope that it gets properly mounted in a display case and kept on exhibit in the museum.”
Historically it’s a very important piece, he said. Because its age, and because of the alterations to the lettering and numbers on the flag, due to a changes made by the military at the time.
Although the Military Heritage Museum doesn’t have regular hours, the public is welcome to book a viewing of its permanent display, through Chamois.
The eight information text panels describing the different aspects of Canada’s contribution to the First World War will be on display at the Cornwall Community Museum, starting Wednesday, until the end of the season, in mid-December (closed mid-December to mid-February).
For more information about the Cornwall Community Museum, contact Katelyn Beaudette at 613-936-0280 (Wed-Sun, 10-4) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit www.cornwallcommunitymuseum.wordpress.com.
To book a tour of the Military Heritage Museum, contact Leon Chamois at 613-936-9124 or email email@example.com.