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.
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.
Many thanks to film makers, Barb Urbach and Gary VanOsch, for showing “Weekend Warriors” in Glencoe at the St. John’s Anglican Church tonight. The crowd loved it. A tribute to re-enacting and the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society.
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.
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.
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.
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
Mission: to promote, encourage and foster the study of local history and genealogy including original research.
The Historical Society primarily focuses on local history within the bounds of the current Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, located in the south-west tip of Middlesex County.
The area includes:
Village of Glencoe
Ekfrid Township [Former]
Mosa Township [Former]
Local Expertise: Many of our members are experts in regional history:
land registry records for West Middlesex 1790-1973
regional settlement in the 1800’s
life and culture throughout the past 200 years
involvement in WW1 and WW2
history of local families
significant buildings and structures
building design and methods, and
textiles, sewing, quilting.
Objectives: The Glencoe & District Historical Society is an incorporated non-profit volunteer organization. It is a member of the Ontario Historical Society and the Ontario Genealogical Society. Our objectives are:
To promote, encourage and foster the study of local history and genealogy including original research.
To collect and preserve information, including books, manuscripts, typescripts, charts, maps, photographs, photostats, microfilms, tapes and related material for such historical study.
To reproduce some of the talks presented to the Society, as well as other research and materials, particularly relating to the region and to sell such reproductions.
To encourage, support and solicit research information on heritage buildings in our District as well as lend our support to other community groups who are active and interested in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings.
The founding president Reverend George Hamilton held a strong passion regarding the preservation of local history and believed in the importance of sharing knowledge and engaging people with an organization that would provide an environment focused on encouraging these interests. The Society was formed in April 1978.
by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications Inc.
Seated in the shade of an old pine tree, a group of over 40 gathered to honour those interred at the Gough Cemetery on Sunday afternoon, July 28, 2019. The community memorial service, an annual event held at a different cemetery each year, was hosted by the Glencoe & District Historical Society.
The Gough Cemetery is located at 5018 Scotchmere Dr. in Adelaide-Metcalfe.After Society president Ken Beecroft welcomed guests and area historian Ken Willis offered a dedication and prayer, historian Harold Carruthers provided some background on the Cemetery itself which is on the property settled by the John and Eliza (Kellestine) MacGoughr (later Gough) family in 1845.
The couple had a large family of 13 but their son Nelson died in 1849. His was likely to be the first burial at the site, followed by those of his sisters Hannah in 1855 and Elizabeth in 1865. Since that time, the predominant family names of those interred on the tiny property are Ash, Boyd, Gough, Hetherington, Moore, Olde, Towers, Williams and Yager. Society member Marilyn (Gough) McCallum provided a detailed history of the “MacGoughr” family that voyaged to Canada from Ireland in 1831.
The family was among the earliest settlers of township in the early 1830s with Metcalfe itself not existing prior to 1846 when Ekfrid and Adelaide were divided. “They endured all the hardships of pioneer life having cut out of the wilderness homes for themselves on land given to them by the Crown.” McCallum detailed the life of settlers John and Eliza MacGoughr who received title on the property.
Sometime in the 1850s, the “Mac” and the “r” were dropped from their name. She shared details about family members, including those buried at that particular cemetery. She recalled visiting the cemetery as a child. “We would tread softly, touch the stones, speak the names…of those who came before.”
Lorne Munro added some information about the Kellestine family before the service closed. The property was sold to Charles Towers in 1909. The Cemetery is personally maintained by Heather and Charlie Towers who were recognized for their efforts and the new fence they constructed at the front of the property. They took over the responsibility from Reta and Alex Johnson and Vern and Shirley Towers who had maintained it over the years.
The National Chapter of IODE will be 120 years old, having been founded in 1900. Historically known as Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, now simply known as IODE, it is a national women’s charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals through education support, community service and citizenship programs.
The Provincial Chapter of Ontario IODE was established in 1920 and will celebrate its 100th Anniversary. As a special project for the centennial of IODE Ontario, they are updating the IODE Ontario Members database and are currently trying to locate records of IODE across Ontario.
Archivist Helen Danby has been in contact with many museums and archives, both online and in person and has recorded materials that she has found. Now she would like to appeal to the public for any IODE scrapbooks, minutes or members lists that are valuable for this research. Perhaps your mother, grandmother or other relatives may have left some IODE information in her personal storage which Helen would appreciate you sharing them with her for this special project. Any IODE related materials will be returned or, if desired, archived in a facility close to the Chapter’s town or city.
Please contact Helen Danby, Provincial Archivist at IODE Ontario 45 Frid Street, Suite 9 Hamilton, ON L8P 4M3 (905)-522-9537 www.iodeontario.ca Follow them on Facebook
Certainly the major event of our spring schedule was to host our official opening at 178 McKellar Street, the new “Archives”, on a bright and sunny May 15th. Much planning and preparation went into making this wonderful day a success. The extended hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. planned for our event enabled visitors to come and go as their time allowed. The ribbon cutting at 11 o’clock was attended by SWM Municipal Council, our G & DHS Executive and about another fifty-five or so people. This gathering also was present for the re-dedication of the Rotary Memorial at the front of the Archive building, and for the awarding of lifetime memberships to long serving members Ina Nelms and Louise Campbell. Congratulations to them.
Throughout the day guests and visitors were encouraged to sign the guest book and enter the draw for prizes. Visitors also toured the building and displays, chatted with volunteers and members and enjoyed the refreshments provided. In the early evening, we were pleased to have historical author Guy St. Denis talk about his fascinating new book “The True Face of Sir Isaac Brock“.
Much appreciation goes out to those who made this day possible and to the approximately 180 people who came through our doors. We were pleased to have the opportunity to share “who we are and what we’re about” with our community.
On Wednesday evening April 17, 2019, the Glencoe & District Historical Society hosted the Annual Meeting at the new ARCHIVE facilities. President Lorne Munro welcomed those attending and introduced the guest speaker, our own historian Harold Carruthers. Fifty people attended this event, the first program to be presented at 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe.
Although President Lorne introduced Harold, no introduction was needed. Harold mentioned that the presentation is a continuation of one that he did last April 2018 at Glencoe’s Historic Train Station.
Harold showed 300 images spanning the period between the 1880’s and the 1960’s, focussing on the street scenes of Glencoe Ontario. Harold also focused on the human perspective, highlighting parades and social events. Many people, long gone, were recognized by members of the audience.
Upon conclusion of the display at 8:15 p.m., President Lorne Munro thanked Harold for his interesting narrative. A time of fellowship followed the presentation and audience members enjoyed exploring the new facility. The Annual Meeting and Election of Executive Officers led by President Lorne Monroe followed.
Presentation by Stan Grizzle as part of Black History Month. 2 p.m. February 20, 2019 – Held at The Archives, 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe, ON
Stan Grizzle and his father both have devoted their lives to fighting racism. Stan discussed the start of the slave trade in Africa at the end of the European middle ages and the era of Portuguese exploration. European exploitation of the western Senegal coast continued for centuries. Slave ships and unspeakable conditions prevailed. The colonization of the West Indies and the American south grew with the economic dependency upon the slave industry.
Early Canada did not actively take part in slavery and over time became a haven for runaway slaves from the south. Pacifist religious groups such as Quakers and Mennonites, along with free slaves in the north, developed the “underground railway”, that is a network that assisted the movement and transportation north to U.S. Abolitionist communities and to Canada.
Stan talked of the three waves of struggle to get to Canada, particularly during times of conflict such as the American Revolution, The War of 1812 and of course the American Civil War.
Getting to Canada was not easy. It is difficult to imagine the hardships of the escape and the struggle to survive upon arrival. Many communities were developed in Canada by the escaped slaves and their network of supporters. Today we realize that our heritage and identity has benefitted from this cultural diversity but it was not always so. Even here in predominantly European Canada, the struggle for racial equality has been difficult.
Stan continued with the amazing story of his father, Stan Grizzle senior. Stanley George Sinclair Grizzle was a Canadian citizenship judge, soldier, political candidate and civil rights and labour union activist. Born in 1918 in Toronto to slave descendants, he was the oldest of seven children. Stan felt the systemic bigotry and prejudice growing up and into his youth, and vowed to make a difference wherever he could.
While working as a railway porter as a young man, Grizzle became active in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). Upon his return to Canada after serving in Europe during World War II, Grizzle became more active in the union. He was elected president of his union local, and pushed the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to open the management ranks to blacks.
Stan Grizzle Sr. plunged into other causes and was a leader in Canada’s civil rights era of the 1950s, working with the Joint Labour Committee to Combat Racial Intolerance. He worked hard. He understood the value of an education which was so difficult for a person of colour to obtain. He achieved a degree at Ryerson in Toronto.
In 1959, Grizzle was one of the first Black Canadian candidates to run for election in Ontario politics. Although he wasn’t elected, he caused Ontario to take notice. In 1960, Grizzle went to work for the Ontario Labour Relations Board. In 1978 he was appointed a Citizenship Judge by Prime Minister Elliott Trudeau. In recognition of his work with the BSCP and his civil rights work, Grizzle received the Order of Ontario in 1990. As further recognition, he received the Order of Canada in 1995.
On November 1, 2007, a park on Main Street in Toronto’s east end was dedicated the “Stanley G. Grizzle Park” in a ceremony hosted by Toronto Mayor David Miller. Judge Grizzle died in November 2016 at the age of 97, six days before his 98th birthday.
conclusion and brief time for questions and answers, at 2:50 p.m., President Lorne and Ken B. thanked Stan for his presentation and presented him with an honourarium, which he graciously donated back to historical society. He was also given a Glencoe & District Historical Society medallion and pen as mementos of his visit with us.