A special Exhibit of the Works of famous Irish Poet James Joyce will be on display at the Museum for THREE DAYS Only–during Museum hours on October 14-16th from 1pm to 4pm. During the three days of the Exhibit the Museum will be open in evening from 6pm to 9pm with members of the Irish Society acting as hosts.
Bathurst Heritage Museum turns Heritage Day into Heritage Month
Where we come from is important in who we are today.
The Bathurst Heritage Museum will spend the month of February celebrating our heritage.
National Heritage Day is the third Monday of every February, falling on Feb. 17 this year.
The museum has some events lined up from Feb. 11 to 14 to celebrate the occasion.
Jessica Ryan, president of the Bathurst Heritage Trust Commission, said people should visit the museum on 360 Douglas Avenue.
“To learn about their heritage and their culture, that’s the main thing,” she said. “And to learn about Bathurst. Everything upstairs has to do with Bathurst and their businesses.”
On Feb. 11, local singing group Friends and Song will perform at 7 p.m., followed by a presentation by about the Nepisiguit conducted by Rod O’Connell.
On Feb. 12, a film called “A Bit of Nostalgia” will be shown at 7 p.m. It is of a play that took place in 1984 in honour of the 200th anniversary of New Brunswick. It is written by the late Connie Fellows.
There will be many familiar faces in the film such as Bathurst Mayor Stephen Brunet who plays a part in the play.
On Feb. 13 the mayor and city council will hold a “5 to 7”, which is like a wine and cheese party.
All members of the community are welcome.
On Feb. 14, Mayor Brunet will set up shop at the heritage museum instead of at City Hall. People who visit the mayor to voice questions and concerns will do so at the heritage museum.
In turn, those people may want to have a look around at the many documents and artifacts the museum holds.
“The last time I held my office here people came in, long-time Bathurst residents, who had never been in this building,” said Brunet during the Bathurst Heritage Trust Commission’s meeting on Jan. 29. “So again I hope it entices people to come in and see what’s in this building and enjoy our history.”
To Ryan, the entire month of February needs to be Heritage month.
There will be more activities throughout the month. All month, the museum will air DVDs of the early concerts by Fellows.
Gilbert Sewell, an elder from Pabineau First Nation, will be at the museum to share some of the traditions of the local First Nations people. The upstairs gallery will be filled with the crafts and art of people from Pabineau First Nation.
Heritage Day stated in 1973 and was placed in February because there is no holiday between New Year’s Day in January and Easter in April.
“There is no holiday from January the first to Easter and as many as 25 years ago one of the talk show hosts from Canada, he had suggested that heritage day, which is always the third week of February, would be a day off for a holiday,” said Ryan.
(This article was published in The Northern Light in February, 2014.)
Remembering Our History and Being Proud
New Brunswick became a province in 1784. In 1984, two hundred years later, the people of the province celebrated this anniversary.
In Bathurst, the citizens felt that this was a great time to announce their love and respect for not only the province but our town/city.
A major city committee was set up and Clare Wilt became the president of the group. They decided to celebrate every day of the year.
There were dances, parties and every event throughout the area would be dedicated to this theme. Costumes became a fun thing and everyone became involved. Wilt had costumes made for sale or for loan.
Every month of the year had a special theme. January became “Feed the Birds Month” and so on every month. The Heritage Commission sponsored several costume workshops which were very successful. Many people wore the costumes on a daily basis. Parades and special groups became very colourful and fun.
Everyone on the committee were asked to do something significant to commemorate the year. Jessica Ryan of the Heritage Commission decided to write a radio program A Minute in History which aired every evening over CKBC just after the news. This became a popular program.
This program was accomplished with the use of a cassette tape recorder. There was one full week of research and writing each story. One written page – 8.5 x 11 inches – took one minute to read. Some of the info came from old The Northern Light’s and at one point, Louise Wafer (then city clerk) even called the NB Archives and we received copies of the original minutes of the Town Council at its inception.
After recording on Sunday the cassette was taken to Al Hebert and he saw to it that the program got on the air all year. Every one loved the stories as they called the next day especially if a family name had been mentioned. No harmful info was given. Many school children were using the facts at school history class.
The original cassettes and notes were requested by the NB Archives to be placed in the section of NB History as oral history. Copies of all of the program are filed in the archives of the Bathurst Museum. A similar program of some of the stories was recorded in 1998 telling some of historic events on the 200th anniversary of the Holy Family Parish 1798—1998.
The year 2014 will see New Brunswick turn 230 years old as a province of Canada.
(Editor’s Note: The article was written by Bathurst native Jessica Ryan who is an Order of New Brunswick recipient, president of the Bathurst Heritage Commission, and manager of the Bathurst Heritage Museum.)
(The following was published in The Northern Light in January, 2014.)
Letter To The Editor (The Northern Light, October 10, 2013)
Below is a reprint of a letter to the editor (The Northern Light, October 10, 2013), from Linda and Jess Chanan, visitors from London, England.
To the Editor:
My daughter and I decided on a trip to Canada for a special celebration. Last year, I donated a kidney to my daughter as she had chronic kidney disease. Luckily it was possible for me to donate and we are both now very well.
My daughter, Jess, had always wanted to visit Canada so we decided to do it.
I love travelling by train so we planned the trip by train.
When we planned it we decided that we wanted to see smaller towns, rather than just the cities. So after New York, Niagara, Toronto and Montreal, we took the overnight train and stopped in Bathurst. It was a random decision based on wanting to see something of New Brunswick and to be by the coast.
We have been welcomed with open arms by everyone here. We enjoyed the Heritage Museum and spoke to two very friendly volunteers. So we have learnt a lot about Bathurst.
The lady at the tourist info office was also very helpful and suggested a couple of ideas to us. Firstly Daly Point, which have thoroughly enjoyed. It was very peaceful to be in the woods, by the shore and we took lots of photographs. Thanks to Janet, we had a very warm welcome here.
We are looking forward to the second suggestion. We have tickets for our first hockey game.
So thank you Bathurst for giving us an insight into New Brunswick life and for welcoming us so warmly.
Tomorrow we get back on the train for Halifax, our final stop before flying back to England.
Linda and Jess Chanan