A night to honour people sharing a passion for local history

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At the Historeum: by Melanie Ballard

For 60 years, the Colchester Historical Society has been preserving local history by collecting artifacts and other archival materials

These relics are housed at the Colchester Historeum and are available to the public in the form of various exhibits, or to be used for research in the archives. The goal is not just to preserve history but to foster an appreciation for our past.


It is not only the historical society who takes on this role of a preserver. Many of us in our daily lives are using methods, recipes and other skills that have been passed down from our ancestors. When we bake cookies using the recipe handed down from our grandmother, or display with care a family heirloom, or work at the long-established family business, we are preserving and celebrating a bit of history that is quite personal to us. This type of history is not in danger of being lost.


Some people take an interest in aspects of Colchester's history which might otherwise get lost to the public record. These individuals gather and record information of heritage value, which might then be shared with the community through publication or presentation. To recognize these people who work to preserve local history, the society presents heritage awards at an annual celebration called heritage night. Open to the public, this event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Colchester Historeum.


The recipients of this year’s heritage awards have recorded and shared Colchester history each in their own way. Heather Dau has created a website focused on the family history of the Cook/Cooke families, who originated in Northern Ireland and settled in Portapique in 1761. Douglas Moffat has recorded the story of trucking pioneers Moffat Brothers Limited, with headquarters here in the hub town, in his memoir Moving Days. Sharon Corcoran of Remax Fairlane has created a series of promotional postcards which highlight the built heritage of Truro and area. Gordon Crowe researches many topics on his community's past and has given public presentations on the history of Stewiacke and area. The town of Truro will also present an award for architectural preservation.


This February also marks a special milestone for the Colchester Historical Society: 60 years ago this month Dr. Loran A. Dewolfe called to order the first meeting of the society. To mark the 60th anniversary, heritage night will have a 1950s theme with live rock and roll music. So put on your poodle skirt and join in the fun. In fact, we encourage guests to wear historic costumes (from any historic period) or a cultural costume if they desire. Whether you wish to dress up or not, come to the Historeum on Feb. 27 and help us celebrate those who celebrate our heritage.


For more information on heritage night and other events, check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/colchesterhistoreum, visit our website at colchesterhistoreum.ca, or stop in to the Colchester Historeum at 29 Young Street, Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.


Melanie is a member of the Colchester Historical Society. She lives in Onslow.


Organizations: Colchester Historical Society, Moffat Brothers

Geographic location: Colchester, Northern Ireland, Portapique Stewiacke 29 Young Street Onslow

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