Melbourne Legion 70 years

Melbourne Legion 70 years

Written by JoAnn Galbraith

On November 18th, 1949, twenty-four area veterans met in the Community Hall in Melbourne with the idea of possibly forming a Legion in the village.  With backing from Glencoe Legion Branch # 219, Melbourne received its Charter February 1st 1950. In 2017, a history committee was formed  to make plans for the anniversary celebration.

Several displays of the Legion’s history have been shown to the public since the committee was formed.   Richard Hathaway scanned all the photos and memorabilia while JoAnn Galbraith has reviewed the records and minute books with a possibility of publishing a book with the Legion’s history  in 2020.   

Fifty Legion members and special guest attended a  complimentary dinner at the Legion on Saturday night November 30th. Folks viewed a slide presentation of photos from the 1950s to present day.  Also on display were original photos and documents.  

At each table setting was a place card with the front cover consisting of a photo of the first Legion building 1949 and the present one in 2019.

Zone A 5 Commander Gerry Cross gave a brief history of Branch #510. Bob Davenport, on behalf of Reg Lovell Glencoe Branch # 219, gave a brief history of the affiliation between Melbourne Legion and Glencoe Legion since Branch #510’s formation.  

Regrets were received from Peg Luce, Zone A 5 Deputy Commander, and former Federal Minister Bev Shipley.  

JoAnn Galbraith, a member of the executive and the history committee, was introduced by President Tom Jeffery.  

Pin History

JoAnn told the history of her collection of Legion pins from 1783 to 2019.  The United Empire Loyalist pin represents those who were treated as traitors because of their allegiance to the British throne following the American Revolution were evacuated to Canada in 1783. 

The 1812 to 1815 pin represents the war 1812-15. A large percentage of those that took up arms in the 1812 War were Loyalists who fought against the American forces who were trying to take over their new homeland.  The 1812 pin also represents the Battle of Longwoods.   A memorial service is held annually at the site where the Battle occurred March 4,1814, usually the Sunday prior to March 4th. 

The American flag pin represents the Civil War. The Vimy Pin marks the birth of Canada as a nation as of the April 8th battle 1917,  a WWI pin dated 1918.  A Poppy pin and the origin of its existence since 1918.  A World War II pin, a Melbourne Legion Branch pin. 

JoAnn gave a brief history of the Melbourne Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary. A First Nation’s pin representing the Native Veterans. A Canadian flag pin represented Vietnam, Korean and Afghan Veterans.  A “D” Day  Looney 2019 pin and a Poppy Wreath pin inscribed with “We Will Remember Them”.  

Even though JoAnn is only an affiliate member of Melbourne Legion Branch #510,  her family members have been very involved during war time.  JoAnn’s great-great grandfather, Thomas Lucas was a Lieutenant in the 1812-15 war,  a son of a loyalist, who is buried in Cade Cemetery in Strathroy Caradoc. Her cousin Alonzo Lucas gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War I. His parents are buried in Cook Cemetery. Her second cousin, Private Warden Lucas, a WWI Veteran, was a member of Melbourne Legion Branch #510. Her Uncle Bud Lucas, Royal Canadian Navy World War II, was a member of Caradoc-Mount Brydges Legion #251.  

In the new Mount Brydges subdivision in Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc called Edgewoods, a number of the streets are named after Veterans of Caradoc Township and the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. Lucas Avenue is a tribute to the four Lucas Veterans  who at one time or another were residents of Caradoc Township.  Two of the four are buried in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc.

On the back of the place card was a list of  Melbourne veterans who gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War I & II.   
The Lands and The Lucas’s

The Lands and The Lucas’s

Transcription of JoAnn Lucas Galbraith’s presentation:

JoAnn Lucas Galbraith’s roots in the area began in 1866 when her great-grandparents Charlie and Annie Zimmerman Lucas acquired property in the former Ekfrid Township in 1866 which now would be described as property just east of Springfield Road and Riverside Drive in Southwest Middlesex.  The subject of her presentation was two of her United Empire Loyalists lineages, Clement Lucas the first, was born 1725 in England and Robert Land born 1738 in the state of New York and of their descendants, she had on display all the paperwork required to prove she is a direct descendant of a United Empire Loyalists which qualifies her to be able to affix the initials U.E. to her name.  Clement Lucas and his family emigrated from Ireland to the state of New York in 1772.  

Robert and his wife Phoebe Scott Land settled in the Delaware Valley in 1856 where he was appointed  a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace, a position he held when the 13 colonies broke from England in 1775. He was also a veteran of the seven year war.  Robert and Phebe move to and settled at Cushutank Pennsylvania where he was also a farmer and a wood turner.   At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he was a courier for the British along with being one of Chief Joseph Brant’s volunteers and worked as a spy and recruiter for the British Indian Department in Pennsylvania and New York.  In 1779 he was captured by the militia brought to court and charged as a British spy found guilty and sentenced to hang.  His conviction was overturned by George Washington and while out on bail,  Joseph Brant and Band and escaped to Canada West and settled in the Niagara area.

JoAnn Lucas Galbraith of Middlemiss was guest speaker at the Glencoe District Historical Society meeting in Glencoe on Wednesday night October 16th.
JoAnn Lucas Galbraith of Middlemiss was guest speaker at the Glencoe District Historical Society meeting in Glencoe on Wednesday night October 16th.

A Quaker friend of Roberts by the name of Ralph Morden was hung in his place. While en route to Niagara Falls , Joseph and his band met a group of natives who had captured Roberts son Abel as a slave.  If Abel could run the gauntlet Brant could claim him as a slave.   Robert settled in the Niagara area near Lundy’s Lane 1782, he hunted and fished for a living and is said to have grown the first wheat and corn in the area.  Phebe Land and her family had taken Refuge along with Clement Lucas and his family in New York City a safe British Haven.  In 1783 after the war the Loyalists who had gathered in New York we’re loaded on sailing ships and evacuated to Nova Scotia / New Brunswick.  Clement Lucas and his son Clement II, who had married Phoebe Land, a daughter of Robert Land and Phebe Land (wife of Robert) and her son Abel all acquired land in Nova Scotia / New Brunswick.  In 1791 lieutenant John Graves Simcoe’s land-grants in Upper Canada sounded attractive. Phebe and Abel having heard rumours that an English man by the name of Land was living at the head of the lake in the Niagara area.  

Phebe, daughter Abigail and son Abel packed up and decide to move from New Brunswick.   Robert and Phebe who had lost contact for 11 years were finally reunited 1791. By 1794 Robert Land, his sons and daughters had acquired over 1000 Acres of what today is downtown Hamilton.  Robert and his sons and daughters laid the foundation of what today is the city of Hamilton.   Robert and Phebe  had eight children, seven who grew to adulthood, William died, while Phebe was living in New York and is buried there.  

Ephraim Land was a son of Robert and Phebe and was a signer of the first bylaws of the Barton Masonic Lodge. The Land men were very involved with the Masonic order. The Masonic apron worn by Chief Joseph Brant is in a museum in Hamilton. Joseph joined the Masonic order being one of the first natives to join.  During the War of 1812-15 Ephraim’s wife Mary , hid the Masonic regalia and jewels and their values under a peony bush in their garden.  

I have a list of all the descendants of Robert and Clement who fought in the 1812-15 war. There are a number of those who left their mark in Canadian and American history descended from Robert and Phebe. Here are a few examples John Land Birney 1836-1921, son of Abigail was said to have invented the first glass milk bottle.  John, Robert and Phebe Lands oldest son was imprisoned during the American Revolution.  He was able to retain some of his dad’s land after the Revolution. Today his home “The Old Red House” is a landmark in Wayne County Pennsylvania, being one of the oldest houses still remaining in Pennsylvania.

Mary Christina Pettigrew was a founding member of the Toronto branch of the U.E.L. Society.  Charles Henry Land, grandson of Ephraim married Evangeline Lodge. He was a dentist who invented a gold and porcelain inlay system, a process of artificially replacing enamel on defective teeth.  Evangeline Lodge Land married Charles August Lindbergh a lawyer and US Congressmen they had one son.  Charles Augustus Lindbergh who started out as an engineer but after two years he enrolled in a flying School in Lincoln Nebraska. He served as a Wingwalker , Barnstormer, and was one of a small band of hardy Aviation Pioneers who risked their lives by flying mail. He was lured into his great adventure by a $25,000 prize for the first transatlantic non-stop flight from New York to Paris. He is still today known by his nickname The Lone Eagle. 

JoAnn Lucas Galbraith has traced her Lucas line back through DNA to the Vikings. The original name Lucas possibly comes from Latin word Lucca or Luce which means light bright or shining which may mean to lighten dark places.  It can be either Greek or Celtic.  According to my grandfather they were Huguenots who emigrated from Hungary during the time of Mary Queen of Scots and William of Orange.  Through family research I’ve traced them back to the 1600s in England. My 4th great-grandfather Clement the first,  was born in England 1725. Clement the second,  my third great-grandfather was born in Ireland 1764. 

Clement the first and his family emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1773 hoping for a better life.  During the American Revolution he and his family like a number of other British subjects took refuge in the city of New York. In 1783, the  Clement the first and his family were loaded onto a ship called Bridgewater and relocated to a spot called Parrtown in New  Brunswick. Clement as a UEL  was given Land by King George the third for his loyalty  to the British Crown. Clement the first died in 1806  and is buried in New Brunswick.   Clement the second , who had married Phoebe,  a daughter of Robert Land and Phoebe (Scott) Land,  left New Brunswick with some of their family in 1807.

As a son and daughter of a UEL where allotted land in Nelson Township, in what today is part of the City of Burlington.  Clement the second and Phoebe had eight children, their eldest son Thomas as a son and Grandson of a UEL was able to purchase 200 Acres of Crown Land for a 6 lb 19 Shillings and four pence in Nelson Township.   Thomas who married Mary Llewelyn daughter of another UEL had a family of 11. In 1861 Thomas and Mary decided to join his younger brother Clement the third who had acquired land in 1855 near what today is the Village of Mount Brydges.  Clement and a number of his family are buried in Cook Cemetery as well, Thomas and Mary were buried in Cade Cemetery in Caradoc Township now Strathroy-Caradoc.  

Charles the eldest son of Thomas and Mary decided to move closer to the family, purchasing land in Ekfrid Township in 1866.  Following the death of his father Thomas,  Charles had married Annie Zimmerman whose family had moved from Pennsylvania in 1793 and settled near Beamsville.   Charles and Annie had a family of 13, two of the youngest Charles II my grandfather was born Ekfrid Township in 1868 and Matilda in 1870.  Today 153 years later there are number of 10th Generation descended from Clement Lucas and Robert Land who live in the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex and  and 164 years in Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. 

Lucasville near Petrolia was settled by another Lucas line that came to the area and from Ireland in 1811 Landing first in Quebec and then settling in Brook Township in 1820.  

The history of my family was taught to me , one would say the day I was born.  I had a great aunt born in 1850 , great uncle 1852, great aunt 1857, my grandfather Charles 1868 , and my dad 1909, who loved to pass the family history on. In 1977, I inherited genealogy that had been researched  back to Clement the second , which my Uncle George born in 1893 had helped to compile from 1864-1937.   The house my grandparents Charles and Elizabeth Bawden Lucas purchased in 1896 and raised their family of 11 in , still exists today in Middlemiss.  The house I live in was built in 1890, and one time was owned by my great grand-mother Annie Zimmerman Lucas.  Today there are 11 houses in Middlemiss that one time or another were owned by descendants of Charlies and Annie Lucas.

On Sunday October 20th , the Dutton-Dunwich Doors Open Heritage Tour , featured as one of the sites the Bobier/Lucas house near Tryconnell purchased in 1883 by John Lucas, eldest son of Charles and Annie where a number of his descendents occupied the house for 85 years.  Another home as part of the family history is the John Lucas house where Clement the second passed away in , is a tourist site at the Agricultural Museum near Milton since it opened in 1975.  The Clement Family through generations have been recognized for their musical and artistic, medical  and writing talents. There are so many in the family who have excelled with their talent but I have just selected four. 

Clarence Reynolds Lucas born 1866, great great grandson of Clement the first, a composer, writer and music critic, was born near Brantford on the First Nation Reservation where his father Daniel Van Norman Lucas was a missionary.  He died in Paris France in 1947. In 1997 the National Library of Canada received 350 original lost works by Clarence of compositions, for voice, choir, piano, organ, chamber, ensemble,  band, and full orchestra, several overtures, as well as correspondents, photographs, books, and newspaper collection.  

Clarence’s documents will be preserved as part of Canada’s publishing heritage.  Clarence is recognized as one of Canada’s leading composers of music and was well-known throughout Europe and the United States.   Wilfred Lucas third son of Daniel was born 1871 in Canada, died 1940 in Hollywood California. In 1908 he got caught up in the excitement of the film industry to work in the flickers, in the United States. He started directing a number of films from 1908 to 1939. He was bested known for starring in the Laurel and Hardy comedy rolls.   Wilfred had one son John Meredith Lucas 1919 to 2002 who was born in Hollywood.

“The history of my family was taught to me, one would say, the day I was born.” 

He was a director writer and producer and served as crew on several films in production. He is known for directing and producing screenwriting, some of which are Zorro TV series 1957,  Sign of Zorro 1958, Alfred Hitchcock 1955 TV, Ben Casey 1961 TV,  Star Trek episodes number 37 to 69, and Star Trek TV series 1966.   Professor G. H. W. Lucas  son of Charles and Elizabeth was born in 1894 until 1974 B.A. M.A. and PHD. ,  attended Public School in Middlemiss,  High School in Melbourne,  London Central Collegiate,  University of Toronto.  He held a number of medical appointments one being The Banting and Best chair of medical research 1924-1926,  Professor of Pharmacology 1926-1963 University of Toronto, Professor of Emeritus  1963. 

He was author and joint author of over 30 scientific publications, member of some 30 scientific Societies in Canada and U.S.. He was a co-discoverer of the cyclopropane anaesthetic gas with V.E. Henderson.  In a new subdivision in Mount Brydges the streets are named honouring Veterans.  Lucas Ave, is named after Thomas Lucas War of 1812-1815, Alonzo Lucas WWI, who gave the supreme sacrifice, and Charles Hazel Bawden Lucas WWII, all of who at one time reside in Caradoc Township. 


Rural challenges

Rural challenges

by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications Inc., Sept 2019

Spending a few hours involved in a municipal economic development strategy session this past week proved both enlightening and frightening, as would be the case in any rural community across Canada.

It’s no secret that rural communities face their own advantages, along with their own unique challenges. The reasons rural communities both suffer and thrive  have changed over the years, as have their demographics. 

In 1851, nearly nine in 10 Canadians lived in rural areas. The early census’ of this nation contained questions about the number of acres of land attached to a dwelling, the number and type of animals owned as well as the horsepower of equipment used on the property. During that time period, the Canadian economy was based on the primary sector more than today, led by agriculture and natural resources like wood or coal.

The proportion of those living in rural areas has steadily declined, eventually falling below 50 per cent between 1921 and 1931, due mainly to shifts within the Canadian economy.

Between 2006 and 2011, Canada’s rural population did increase by 1.1 per cent, compared to the nation’s overall growth rate of 5.9 per cent. However, in the same period, the rural proportion of the population declined. Ontario is one of four provinces that have the proportion of their population living in rural regions near to or lower than the national average. In fact, Ontario sits second lowest at 14.1 per cent. In a nutshell, today fewer than one in five live in a rural area.

The 2019 demographics indicate that rural communities overall are still facing a declining population, although many from cities are heading out of the urban centres for more reasonable housing prices. While the shift in search of housing is welcome news, it also comes with its own challenges as urbanites learn to cope without round-the-clock store openings, the anonymity of city living, internet options and, at times, even the scents of rural life.

Some opt to simply use their rural homes as residences, putting any involvement within their new communities on the back burner. They have continued to shop, dine and seek entertainment in the cities, places  that they commute to everyday for work, instead of seeing what their local communities have to offer. 

As many who live in rural areas are aware, there is a lot to offer and many opportunities beyond the farm life although agriculture may have the main economic impact, often followed by motor vehicle parts manufacturing and construction. 

While rural Ontario is not attracting the major immigrant population that cities are, it is changing in other ways. No longer are children automatically expected to take over the family farms. As a result, some have opted to sell to neighbours who have often severed the rural homes off and amalgamated the land to create larger farm parcels. 

Businesses, which no longer need a storefront thanks to the internet, are growing in rural areas but empty storefronts create unease among potential residents. The challenges small rural businesses face are multiple, ranging from attracting customers who are apt to drive to the city for perceived deals to simply getting the financing to even open their doors. Community businesses, which can be ignored by both newcomers and long-time residents, inevitably remain a target for fundraisers of all types which ultimately cuts into profits.

Rural municipal governments face their own challenges with the need to attract and retain both residents and businesses, to find funding for downloaded services while handling both application bottlenecks and increased regulations for everything from wastewater treatment to building permits. These communities face hurdles attracting and retaining health care professionals and keeping the doors of schools, arenas and churches open. 

On the horizon are even more challenges as baby boomers become retired seniors, needing support and housing. Without suitable housing to accommodate an aging population, rural communities may lose even more residents. That is something that census figures are already demonstrating with the number of seniors living in rural Canada being lower (15 per cent) than those living in small and medium centres. Rural Canada is also unique with a small proportion of young adults aged 15 to 29. In 2011, 17 per cent of people living in rural areas were aged 15 to 29, a proportion lower than the national average of 20. Many leave their rural homes in search of higher education and employment, never to return.

There are no magic answers. What must happen closest to home is getting involved in rural communities, buying local and supporting the businesses that in turn support local events and teams. The success or failure of the local economy hinges on the support of the community.

“A successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area’s workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today’s global economy.” –Rod Blagojevich


Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications