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Meetings

Monthly meetings are held in Cobourg's Victoria Hall.

Cobourg and District Historical Society Meetings are held every month except May, June, July, August and December.  Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday in the Month.  Meetings start at 7:30 pm but coffee and cookies are available starting at 7:00 pm.  Meetings are $5 for non-members and free for members of the society and students. 


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News

Our upcoming speaker on Tuesday February 26 is our own Gerry Brown. A retired history teacher who loves to write, Gerry suggests that historical fiction has an important role to play in our understanding of people in other times and other places, and uses examples from his recent book, Memories of a Grey Wooden Box, about daily life in Cobourg during and following WW1.

His prime contention is that much of our historical study focuses on major world events somewhat in isolation from its influence on ordinary people leading their lives, be it here in town or in other cities, other countries. How were those who stayed home influenced by the horrific battles in Europe? How did they cope with hardships, loss of workforce, deaths in the family and in their circle of friends? How has our town changed since then? Through the eyes of his main character, Arthur, we see it all: the battles, the mud, the barbed wire, the boys he knew who didn't make it home and the ones who did who were never the same. You will recognize real names and real places so you know for sure that it's Cobourg, but this great story could be a slice of life in the wartime era for any small town in Canada. Gerry's writing makes you feel like you were really present in Cobourg during WW1.

Join us on Tuesday, February 26, at Victoria Hall to hear more about this story from Gerry Brown. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. Annual membership is $25 for individuals and $30 for a family. All are welcome so bring a friend or two!

 

Dave Mowat is the quintessential historian — dedicated to the subject he is presenting, possessed of massive amounts of detailed aldervilleknowledge and at the same time is a warm and engaging man, one committed to expanding the understanding of the indigenous people, their culture, their values and their place in the broad picture of Canada. He has an amazing amount of detail, specific facts related to the topic at hand, be it contemporary relations, the contribution of members of the Alderville community or the individuals who fought at Crysler’s Farm against the American attempt to capture Montréal in order to isolate British and colonial forces and so hand us over to the American nation. I am looking forward to his presentation!

Join us for Dave’s presentation on Tuesday, January 22, at Victoria Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. Annual membership is $25 for individuals and $30 for a family. All are welcome so bring a friend or two!

 

We are pleased to welcome back to the Cobourg Historical Society meetings author and speaker Dan Buchanan. Dan's newest book is entitled, 38 Hours to Montréal. This book chronicles the adventure of William Weller, the Stagecoach King of Cobourg who was Dan Buchananchallenged to get the Governor General from Toronto to Montreal in less than 38 hours. Dan will be entertaining us with the story chronicled in his book, outlining the adventure as it starts at Beverley House in downtown Toronto and ends at the Exchange Coffee House in Montréal. Considering the state of roads in the 1840s and the stagecoach experience, the attempt to traverse this distance in just over a day is an amazing challenge. So come to the meeting and see how Cobourg's own William Weller accomplished this feat. Dan Buchanan will also have copies of his book for sale for those of you who want to know every detail.

Join us for Dan's presentation on Tuesday, November 27, at Victoria Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 PM. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. Annual membership is $25 for individuals and $30 for a family. All are welcome so bring a friend or two!

On October 23, 2018, we will be hosting Professor Christopher Dummitt, Professor of History at Trent University's School for the Study of Canada and also the co-founder of the Canada 150 project. Dr. Dummitt will be talking dummittabout the secret life of William Lyon Mackenzie King who served as Prime Minister for twenty two years and died as a respected but not particularly charismatic leader. After his death, Mackenzie King's private diaries were made public and the world learned that he was a man who led a double life. He was an eccentric bachelor who communed with the spirit world, his deceased mother and his beloved dog Pat. He also connected with prostitutes believing that he could "save" them. Christopher Dummitt's recently published book, Unbuttoned: The Secret Life of William Lyon Mackenzie King, is about both the story of the man and the story of the diaries themselves. This promises to be an intriguing evening which will raise questions about the public vs. private persona, the role of executors in destroying documents, the role of historians in exposing secrets and, of course, who William Lyon Mackenzie King really was. You can read more about Professor Dummitt and his work at https://www.christopherdummitt.com/.

Join us for Dr. Dummitt's presentation on Tuesday, October 23, at Victoria Hall. Doors open at 7:00 PM for coffee and cookies. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission, including refreshments, is free for members and $5 for non-members. Annual membership is $25 for individuals and $30 for a family.

All are welcome so bring a friend or two!