Monday, Sept.13th saw the official start to the City of Fredericton's declaration of "Middlemore Atlantic Society Week". A flag raising took place in front of the City Hall building, Queen St.. with Mayor Brad Woodside, Sidney Coles BHC, Emily Hathaway representing Elsie Hathaway BHC, Marion Crawford President of the Middlemore Atlantic Society, and Kathy Sullivan Good Will ambassador for Fredericton. Members of the Society later set up a BHC display and sale of 2010 Year of the Home Child memoribilia items at the Kings Place Mall.
A very successful 30th annual reunion was held on Saturday Sept.18th at the Fredericton Legion to honor our British Home Children. We are greatful to our Honored guests, The Honorable Graydon Nicholas, Hon. Keith Ashfield , Barbara Mottram, and Jean Guy Perrault for their participation.
British Home Children and descendants celebrated their 30th annual reunion on Saturday Sept.18th at the Royal Canadian Legion, Fredericton, NB. Our members attending were greeted by our Good Will Ambassadors and fellow descendant, Kathy Sullivan (Fredericton) and Murray Carpenter (Saint John). Our emcee for the event was Jodi Corey, granddaughter of our Home Girl, Elsie Hathaway.
The morning events included greetings from Lieutenant Governor, The Honorable Graydon Nicholas. Mr Nicholas spent time talking to families and individuals, seeing their display of memorabilia items and learning their stories. He shared the pleasure of cutting the cake with our BHC Sidney Coles and Elsie Hathaway. Mr Nicholas took time as well for several photos with the families and a group photo. It was our great pleasure to have him present to share the morning with us.
The Hon. Keith Ashfield delivered his own encouraging comments to the Middlemore Society for marking the 30th reunion; quote: “a feat in itself”. Along with his own congratulations, Mr Ashfield brought with him a personal letter to the Society from The Hon. Jason Kenney. Mr. Kenney added his comments and congratulations for the major roll that our Society played in the success of Motion 438 being declared as 2010, Year of the British Home Child.
Mr. Jean Guy Perrault, President of the Legion Branch #4 brought greetings and welcomed the attendance during the morning session. A special Prayer was given by Father Stuart Allan (Saint John) and Grace was sung by all and lead by William Hill (Nova Scotia). After a delicious meal put on by the Legion Ladies, there was time for many to get a close view of the BHC Memory quilt that is touring Canada. Being one of two exquisite quilts to commemorate 2010, this quilt from Hazel Perrier of Claresholm, Alberta, was greatly enjoyed and well photographed throughout the day.
Although our guest speaker, Mr. Phil McColeman was unable to be with us in body, his Parliamentary Assistant, Barbara Mottram, was able to show a video prepared by Mr. McColeman to address our Society’s reunion. Barbara Mottram continued with the presentation and explained the process for the Motion that took place on Dec.7th/2009. Our Society was very grateful for her presence and making the time available to us from her very busy work schedule. Mr. McColeman also sent along several collector stamps and First Day Cover Envelopes; recently issued by Canada Post to commemorate the BHC. These were dispersed as door prizes. A very special thank you goes out to Mr. Phil McColeman for the heartfelt video and gifts to our members and to Barbara for their involvement with our Society over the past year.
At our annual meeting, election of officer took place. It is with great pleasure that we have Nancy Avery-Easter returning as Secretary and Mary Dobbelsteyn returning as Treasurer each for another two year term. The President position was opened for nomination due to the retirement of Marion Crawford and we are very pleased to welcome as new President, Ricarda Bradley. Marion will remain on research and web site duties.
Our day concluded with drawing of prizes which is our annual fund raising event. Donations were from throughout the Province and included Barbour’s Food, Fundy Mutual, Sussex Co-op, Gould’s Flowers and Lawton’s Drug Store all from Sussex area. There were gifts from Fredericton businesses, members, and Elsie Hathaway and family donated several item again this year. There were over 90 gifts to be won. Marion was presented with a lovely engraved plaque and bouquet of flowers for her years of assistance to the Middlemore Atlantic Society.
One of the most important discussions during our day was to continue with these reunions and to strive to share the BHC story with others, be it on a personal level or to take your stories to local historical groups, schools or other events to present this part of history. One such example was to go to your local Post office and ask to have a poster of the BHC placed into their bulletin board.
A special thank you goes out to all who volunteered their time and energy which resulted in a very comfortable and well received event for all. Jason & Josie Curtis, Don & Ann Coles, Mary & Joe Dobbelsteyn, John Toon, Catherine Weston-Cote, Jodi Corey, Connie Jeffrey, Kathy Sullivan, Murray Carpenter, and Richard, Marion & Devin Crawford, and Sam Christie.