2011 — Year in Review
Join us for our
Annual Open House
Sunday, December 11, 2011
14:00 - 16:00 Hours
30 Talbot Street, St. St. Thomas
Refreshments and good cheer for all
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Ojibwa Approved in Principle
The Museum has received a letter signed by the
Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, that the
Museum has now received "approval in principle of the donation of
Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Ojibwa to the Elgin Military
"We are all tremendously
pleased" said Deborah Jarvis, President of the Museum,
"our team of volunteers, staff, consultants and engineers have
worked for close to two years to reach this point. This is a major
milestone. Project Ojibwa is now a reality rather than an
The Museum has been working through a two-phase
approval process. The first phase, now completed, involved the many
detailed technical and engineering studies and reports necessary to
prove that the Museum could make the project a reality.
"Throughout the first phase, the Museum was very fortunate to be
able to get the services of some of the leading names in this
industry" said Executive Director Ian Raven. "We started knowing
nothing, but we were able to assemble a top notch team, with top
notch plans, that have convinced the Minister that this project can
and will be accomplished."
Local support has also been key - everyone seems to be on our
side", he continued, "with many local individuals and firms all
contributing to make this project a success."
The Museum has received messages and
encouragement from across the country, several describing the
project as being "of national importance".
Key to Success
The Museum is now moving on to Phase Two, which
involves demonstrating to the Minister that the Museum has the
necessary financing for the Project. "With this approval in
principle, we now have the ability to raise the funding we require,
as we have the assurance from the Minister that when we show the
funding, we will receive the vessel. This approval has been the
final piece of the puzzle we required to show the donors and
While it seems to have been a very long process, Raven says he
fully understands why the process is so involved. "The staff at
National Defence, through careful review of our proposal, have
ensured that nothing has been missed, and that we have the greatest
possible chance of success."
More About Kangaroos
This summer, the Museum received a wonderful
donation of items relating to the Kangaroo Regiment from George
Copley, whose brother, Bill, was one of the Regiment's first
officers, drawn from the Elgin's Officer Cadre when the Kangaroo's
(First Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment) were first
Museum staff will use the Copley collection,
along with other items donated by former "Kangaroo's" to develop an
exhibit on this unique formation - the only Canadian Regiment to
have been created and disbanded outside of Canada.
In a special ceremony at the Elgin Regiment on September 3, a
Guidon was presented to the remaining members of the Kangaroo
Regiment, bearing their numerous battle honours. Following the very
moving ceremony, the Guidon was retired to a place of honour in the
Elgin Regiment Armouries.
While the Museum was only able to obtain funding
support for one summer student position (with a big tip of the hat
to the kind people at Young Canada Works), we were fortunate to
find the rarest type - a really excellent, hard worker.
Elena Shelly (Ally to her friends) was an
absolute joy to work with - friendly, helpful and a self starter -
it was a sad day when she left!
Our good friend Andrew Cadzow dropped by and
donated a WWI Medal and 'Death Penny' belonging to Roy
Robinson, a WWI veteran from Elgin County. This is not the first
time Andrew, who lives in Ottawa, has acquired a medal belonging to
an Elgin County veteran and donated it to us.
The Bock family from Sarnia has donated some
firearms and bayonets, including a rare PIAT. Some of you WW II
vets might remember Al Bock who served with the Elgin's.
Rick Morgan was at a Submariners Reunion in
Halifax and brought us back a complete collection of submariner
items that were donated by a former Commanding Officer of the
HMCS Ojibwa, Commander Wm. Irvine, MBA,
The Museum has also received a donation of SCUBA equipment and
items related to naval divers from Chuck Rolfe, a former diver and
member of the Canadian Naval Divers Association. These items will
go a long way in helping us to create an appropriate exhibit on
this vital, but rarely acknowledged, branch of the Royal Canadian
Museum Looses Key Project Member
On a much sadder note, everyone here was very
shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Alan Montgomery,
who was Project Coordinator for Project Ojibwa.
Al had worked tirelessly since the very beginning of the
Project, doing research, writing plans and policies and making
presentations. His sudden death from a heart attack on November 14
momentarily stopped us in our tracks, but, as Al always said
"everyone can be replaced".
We certainly never expected to be replacing him, and while
another body may fill the role, we will never again find another
Been There, Done That!
This is just a partial list of some of the
events the Museum has attended during 2011:
- St. Thomas Home & Garden Show
- (Winner - Community Lifestyle Award)
- Education Days - Bachus Page House, Tyrconnell
- Navy Bluesfest - Pt. Burwell
- Great Lakes International Air Show
- Seniors Picnic in the Park
- St. Thomas Fire Muster
- WWI Education Day - Fanshawe
- Pioneer Village
- Doors Open - St. Thomas
All this while also reaching new attendance
levels at the Museum!
Many thanks to all of our dedicated Volunteers
for their many hours spent on the Museum's behalf.
Thank You All!
Remembrance Week 2011
As is traditional, our busiest time of the year
is the period surrounding November 11, as we try to fit in as many
school groups, cubs, guides, and clubs as we can. The youth do seem
to appreciate our efforts to honour our veterans, and we often hear
how much they enjoy coming to see our 'submarine'. We wonder what
they will think about it after Ojibwa
New Look at the Museum
The 125th Anniversary of the death of Jumbo and
our exhibit "Jumbo the Modern Icon" was a big success. The exhibit
was extended until April of this year and now the Jumbo Exhibit has
been downsized and returned to the permanent Jumbo Room. Steve
Peters has generously offered some of his collection to be here for
an indefinite period of time.
The Main Room of the Duncombe House now has new
exhibit "Peace Making, Peacekeeping", an exhibit showing some of
Canada's military involvement in the Post WW II era.
Also on exhibit is the collection of UN and NATO Badges that one
appraiser told us was one of the most complete he has ever seen
outside of the collection at the United Nations building in New
Correct Email Address?
Unlike postal addresses, people seem to change
email addresses much more frequently, when they change provider, or
upgrade their mobile devices.
Please try to keep us updated on your email
address so we can keep you up to date on the latest Museum
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warm and Toasty Thanks to Trillium
Thanks to a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,
the Museum has been able to replace the aging heating and air
conditioning systems in Duncombe House. Great progress has been
made in this technology over the past 25 years, and these new high
efficiency units are much superior to the first generation
equipment they have replaced. A clear example of this increased
efficiency is seen in the hydro consumption for Duncombe House,
which has dropped over 50% since the installation of the new
Is It Time to Renew Your Membership?
Members are reminded that the time is here to
renew your Museum membership - only $20.00. That $20.00 can save
you even more - 20% off flags, books, free admission, and more. Be
smart - save your money by buying a membership today!
Dreams of Food and Freedom Sells Well
Jeff Booth's latest publication, Dreams of
Food and Freedom, continues to sell well at the Museum. The
book tells the stories of Elgin veterans' experiences as Prisoners
of War, both at the hands of the Axis Powers, and the Allied Powers
(from several gentlemen who now call Elgin home).
Specially priced for Christmas, Dreams is available for
only $20.00 in the Museum Gift Shop. Also available is Jeff's other
publication "Opened by Censor" - letters home from Elgin
veterans overseas, also $20.00.
Get both books for only
Order your copies today.
Ship's Company Continues to Grow
Membership in the Ship's Company of
Project Ojibwa continues to grow, as supporters of the
Project, former crew members and others purchase memberships to
help support the Project.
Members receive a Ship's Company hat and
membership card, and their benefits will grow as the Project
|Free Ship's Crew Hat
Once up and running, members will receive
special access to members- only events, and preferred access to
book tours and events before they are open to the general
Membership is only $75.00 and these initial
memberships will remain valid until the site opens to the public,
when an annual renewal fee will apply.
Show your support and guarantee your access to
tour Ojibwa by purchasing a membership in the Ship's
Memberships also make a great Christmas gift!
Stay Up To Date Follow our Website
Have you visited the Museum's website lately? It
is updated regularly with the latest news and happenings at the
Museum. www.elginmilitarymuseum.ca and
Well Known American Artist Offers Museum Support
Margaret Kipp, a well known artist, has
approached the Museum with an offer we could not refuse - she will
prepare a number of limited edition prints for the Museum to sell
to help support the Museum and Project Ojibwa.
As well, she will prepare a large portrait of
any individual who donates $1,000 to the Museum - a great way to
honour a loved one and support the Museum at the same time.
Our first series of prints will be available soon - watch for
details, or contact the Museum for more details.
All Hands On Deck Huge Task Ahead
With the receipt of the Approval in Principle
for the donation of Ojibwa to the Museum, we now have the
huge task of raising the funds and completing this monumental
|Help Bring Ojibwa to Port
Burwell. Donate TODAY!
This project will be unlike anything the Museum
has previously undertaken - we will need to raise millions of
dollars in a very short time frame - and we will grow into a
regionally, provincially and nationally significant museum.
We are confident that this can be accomplished,
but we can only do this with the full support of all of our members
Any donation, no matter how small, will be
useful - and it need not be
immediate - just as useful to us will be your
pledges for support over the next few coming years - as those
pledges will be very important to help us secure the financing the
Museum will need to keep moving forward.
You may have contacts with businesses or firms
that might be interested in supporting our Project as Corporate
Sponsors - we always have a better chance of success if we have a
'foot in the door' - if you can provide that, please let us
The Museum has a proven idea, and a solid
business plan. The more we can show support from the Museum, the
local community and the region, the easier our task will be.
Since we began this Project, we have received
interest from coast to coast, and especially from across this
region - it seems everyone wants this to happen, but we now must
translate that support into actual dollars, and for that we need
you to pledge your support, and convince your friends and employers
to pledge theirs.
There is a tremendous cost to build this new
site in Port Burwell, but there is also a tremendous opportunity -
to bring a rarely seen aspect of our military history to the centre
of the country, to bring economic rejuvenation to a community that
desperately needs it, and to ensure the future of our Museum for
generations to come.
Make your pledge today, and please be generous -
time is of the essence - we need to show our ability to finance the
Project by the end of March 2012. Everything is ready to go - just
as soon as we can arrange the financing - it would be a shame to
lose now when success is so close.