Our distinguished speaker, Roger Litwiller, is a Canadian author, historian and lecturer. He has written two books, White Ensign Flying and Warships of the Bay of Quinte as well as numerous articles for magazines and newspapers. HMCS Cobourg was a modified Flower-class corvette that served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. She fought primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort and was named for Cobourg, Ontario.
Roger served in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve, working with cadets and his civilian career was as a Paramedic for 37 years. Following his retirement from Paramedicine, the Canadian Coast Guard employed Roger under contract as their historian. Roger’s research has contributed to documentaries and several Canadian and International museums, providing information for exhibits and repatriating recovered historical artifacts. When Roger is on a lecture tour, he is often introduced as, “the storyteller, who can save your life.”
Officers and Skeena Cadets have been invited to attend. We look forward to welcoming them!
Join us on Tuesday, April 18 for an informative presentation. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Note that this is the third Tuesday rather than the usual fourth Tuesday of the month. All are welcome. Bring a friend or two! Members free - Guests $5.00.
Our presenter on March 28, Karin Wells, is best known as a CBC radio documentary maker and author. Her work has been heard on radio networks around the world and has been recognized by the United Nations and is a three-time recipient of the Canadian Association of Journalist documentary award. Wells worked - briefly - as a line worker in a pea factory, a school teacher and as an actress. She has a graduate degree in law and in 2011 was inducted into the University of Ottawa's Common Law Honour Society.
Wells will highlight women from the Cobourg area including Canada's first astrophysicist and a doctor who discovered a treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Celebrating Women's History Month, speaker Wells' new book is aptly titled for this month's celebration.
Karin will include new details of Mina Benson Hubbard whose story she presented last year as the first chapter and will share new source material with us. This is our opportunity to celebrate women who have made a difference.
Join us on Tuesday, March 28 for an informative presentation. Doors open at 7:00 pm. All are welcome. Bring a friend or two! Members free - Guests $5.00. Karin's latest book will be available for purchase if you would like an autographed copy.
A study of Churchill’s ninety years of life show him to be a true Renaissance Man. He had a huge breadth of existence not only as a WWII leader but as an author, painter, bricklayer, pilot, horseman and all with a notable wit! Learn the myths and truisms from the Chairman of the International Churchill Society-Canada, Randy Barber.
Randy resided in Markham with his wife Solveig for over 40 years. Between 1994 and 2000 he served as Ward Councillor for the Town of Markham and is a newly elected Cobourg Councillor. He has held federal government appointments as an Administration Law Judge for the National Parole Board, CPP Disability and EI appeals. He now consults to the legal cannabis industry relative to compliance and regulation. Randy is a collector of rare books, antiques, military artifacts, Winston Churchill memorabilia, and hand carved decorative decoys. He speaks on Trench Art, Sir Winston Churchill and the History of Barbering at every opportunity.
Join us on Wednesday, February 22, in Victoria Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Guests are always welcome. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. All are welcome so bring a friend or two. Note the change from the usual meeting date. See you on February 22!
Our speaker, Peter Delanty, is a former Cobourg Mayor, Principal, and recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. His past and continuing commitment to many organizations and causes, include his position as Treasurer in 1980 at the then newly minted Cobourg and District Historical Society.
The ferries and their passenger significantly influenced Cobourg’s residents and the local economy for almost 50 years. The company and the actual ferries were unique in Great Lake sailing. Peter’s presentation will include vintage photographs of the ferries, details of the Captains of these unique ships and the ultimate fate of the ferries. He will explain both why the ferries existed and, perhaps more importantly, why Cobourg was one terminus for their runs.
Join us on Tuesday, January 24, in Victoria Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Guests are always welcome. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. All are welcome so bring a friend or two. See you on January 24, 2023!
Janet Kellough has written and appeared in numerous stage productions that feature a fusion of storytelling and music. As well, she is the author of seven books in the Ontario history based Thaddeus Lewis Mystery Series, the fifth book of which, Wishful Seeing was short-listed for the 2017 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Best Novel Award and subsequently developed into a play of the same name by Ontario’s 4th Line Theatre. She has also written two contemporary novels and the speculative fiction thriller The Bathwater Conspiracy, which was nominated for a 2019 Alberta Book Publishing Award.
As a storyteller, Janet released two CDs – Swear On My Mother’s Grave, a collection of Prince Edward County tales; and Fowke Tales: Live at Lang, a journey into the roots of Ontario folk music.
Janet will lead a discussion on using local setting, period detail and documented historical characters to add authenticity to historical fiction, and explore how fiction can be used to illuminate and generate interest in local history.
Join us on Tuesday, November 22, in Victoria Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Guests are always welcome. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. All are welcome so bring a friend or two. See you on Tuesday, November 22!
It started out as a straightforward architectural inventory of Hamilton Township’s older buildings. The township had never catalogued its heritage and in 2016, Tom Cruickshank proposed that he was the guy to do it. Retired from a career in journalism, he has an abiding interest in local history and heritage architecture which is a subject that he has pursued in no less than five books. His works include Old Ontario Houses, Old Toronto Houses and The Settler’s Dream. He also worked as editor of Century Home and later, Harrowsmith Country Life. Currently he freelances for Watershed Magazine.
Tom started to document all the farmhouses, bridges, churches and schoolhouses as a kind of archive of Hamilton’s history. As he toured the backroads and villages along the way, the project quickly took on a life of its own. In addition to cataloguing the wonderful architecture of the township, he also dove into family histories, newspaper searches and genealogical accounts. Now and then, some peculiar facts and even some family secrets emerged. While Tom’s talk will focus on the heritage architecture, it’ll also veer into personal histories and news events from the 19th century. After all, what’s more interesting: a slide show of pretty houses or a slide show of pretty houses that have stories to tell?
Join us for our second meeting of the 2022-2023 season on Tuesday, October 25 in Victoria Hall’s Concert Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Guests are always welcome. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. All are welcome so bring a friend or two. See you on Tuesday, October 25!
In the 20th century's greatest war, the North Atlantic battlefield held the key to victory or defeat. It took 2,074 days and nights to determine its outcome, but the Battle of the Atlantic proved the turning point of the Second World War.
For five and a half years, the German navy attempted to destroy Allied transatlantic convoys, mostly escorted by Royal Canadian Navy destroyers and corvettes, as well as aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1939, Canada's navy went to war with 13 warships and about 3,500 sailors. During the desperate Atlantic crossings, the RCN grew to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men and women in uniform. By V-E Day in 1945, it had become the 4th largest navy in the world.
Ted Barris will present the fascinating details of this epic battle. Ted is an expert on military history and has published 20 non-fiction books with many them winning awards.
Join us for our first meeting of the 2022-2023 season on Tuesday, September 27 in Victoria Hall's Concert Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Guests are always welcome. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. All are welcome so bring a friend or two!
Every community has its favourite prohibition characters and stories. It was a time we think of now as almost cartoonish in nature and we use it more as a punch line than anything else. In reality, it was all based on money and could often be very dangerous. Can you picture gun battles on Lake Ontario?
In Brighton, one of our prohibition characters was Ben Kerr, the notorious rum-runner who worked out of Presqu'ile Bay for a couple of years near the end of the 1920s. He was handsome and easy with money when he liked you. He had a fancy car and a honking speedboat. The mechanics at Wright's garage were particularly attentive when Kerr brought his car in for repairs.
How did Ben Kerr end up in the quiet little town of Brighton? It is the story of prohibition from start to finish, beginning in Hamilton and developing through the decade of smuggling and speakeasies. Of course, this all happened because politicians deemed it so. What on earth were they thinking? This presentation explores all of that and more. Strap in; it's a fun ride.
Join us in the Concert Hall of Victoria Hall on April 26, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and learn more about the life of Ben Kerr. All required public health measures must to adhered to. Admission is free for members and $5 for guests.
We are delighted to have Maureen Jennings at our March 22 meeting as our first in-person presenter in over two years. Maureen has written four series in the crime fiction genre for a total of seventeen novels.
The first series is set in 1895 Victorian Toronto and features detective William Henry Murdoch. Her Murdoch Mysteries television series, broadcast by CBC, is currently in its fifteenth season. She has written for the show for the past eleven seasons and is the creative consultant.
The Detective Inspector Tom Tyler series is set in rural England, during WW2 and is currently optioned for TV. These books were the inspiration for Bomb Girls, a 2012 television series that is now available on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
Another book featuring detective William Murdoch, Let Darkness Bury the Dead is set during WW1 when Murdoch is older, and his son, Jack, returns from the war.
Her most recent book series starting with Heat Wave, features a female private investigator named Charlotte Frayne. The setting is Toronto, 1936. In between writing these books she has created four plays and a short film called Viaticum. Three of her plays are in the mystery genre and all of which have been professionally staged.
Maureen Jennings was born in Birmingham, England and emigrated to Canada as a teenager. She has a BA in psychology and philosophy from the University of Windsor, and an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto with her husband Iden Ford, who is a professional photographer and their dog, a Labradoodle named Murdoch.
Join us in the Concert Hall of Victoria Hall on March 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and learn more about William Murdoch. All required public health measures must to adhered to. Admission is free for members and $5 for guests.