Historical Society of St. Catharines

Celebrating the history of St. Catharines and its vicinity

Archive for the ‘World War I’ Category

Meetings – September 2016 to June 2017

Posted by dsharron on September 8, 2016

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September 2016 to June 2017.  Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Rochelle Bush welcomes us to the BME Church on Geneva Street where she will discuss “Another Side of Harriet Tubman,” about an under-researched aspect of the life of Tubman.  The address for the BME Church is 92 Geneva – http://salemchapelbmechurch.ca/index.html.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 – Richard Merritt presents an illustrated talk entitled “Training for Armageddon”, describing the role that Camp Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake played during World War I.

Thursday, November 24, 2016 – Stan Skrzeszewski presents an illustrated talk entitled “Facer Street, the Foreign Quarter Stands Alone.”

Thursday, January 26, 2017 – The Historical Society presents its annual evening of Show and Tell, where Society members and friends are invited to bring in their family’s favourite local historical artifacts, and step forward to explain their history and meaning.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 – Dennis Gannon gives an illustrated talk about “World War I on the Home Front in St. Catharines.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017 – Isabel Bachmann will give an illustrated talk entitled “Medical Services on the Welland Ship Canal, 1913-1932,” describing measures taken to care for the workers injured while doing the dangerous work required to complete that project – field hospitals, first aid stations, doctors on call, ambulances, and the like, from one end of the Canal to the other.

Thursday, April 27, 2017 – Debra Antoncic, Director/Curator of the RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston, will give an illustrated talk about “Art and Poetry on the Canal,” reviewing the art and poetry inspired by the four Welland Canals, 1824 to date – this a preview for a special exhibit on that subject that will open at Riverbrink in late September of this year.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 – Sarah King Head – Thorold’s Honourary Historian – will be giving an illustrated talk about “Tragedy at Lock 6: Worker Deaths on the Welland Ship Canal.”

Thursday, June 22, 2017 – Retired Brock History Professor Wes Turner will discuss the background to Confederation in this, the 150th anniversary year of Confederation.


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Fall 2015 Meetings

Posted by dsharron on September 8, 2015

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September to November 2015

Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Every Picture Tells a Story.  David Webb, former staff member at Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, will give a World War I family photo study. Members of the audience are asked to bring in family photographs related to World War I. David will analyze the photographs, trying to draw out more information about the wartime experiences of those family members.

Thursday, October 22, 2015 – The Standard and WWI.  Dave Willer, HSSC board member and newsletter editor, will give a presentation on the St. Catharines Standard’s coverage of the Great War.

Thursday, November 26, 2015 – Experiences of a front line nurse in WWI.  local author, Elizabeth McLean, will present on the Mayholm Foundation’s newest book, “They Called Her Canada: The War Diaries of Nursing Sister Bessie Beyer.”   The book details the experiences of this front line nurse from St. Catharines during WWI.  Bessie also happens to be the mother of Corlene Dwyer-Taylor of the Mayholme Foundation.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the meeting.

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Treasures from the Vaults – St. Catharines Museum – March 2009

Posted by dsharron on April 1, 2009


Curator Arden Phair holding the Trans-Canada / McKee Trophy won by Murton Seymour in 1940.

At every meeting, the St. Catharines Museum brings out one of the interesting artifacts from its collection to share with the Society.

This week Arden Phair selected the McKee / Trans-Canada Trophy.  This trophy was awarded to Murton Seymour in 1940.  Murton Seymour was born in St. Catharines in 1892.  When a young boy, his family moved to British Columbia.  Out west, he learned to fly and helped to start one of the first flying clubs in Canada.  His interest in flight eventually led him to joining the Air Force during World War I.  

After the War, Seymour returned to St. Catharines.  He represented the City as a solicitor for over forty years.  He was also responsible for incorporating the St. Catharines Flying Club in 1928 and became a founding member and director of the Canadian Flying Club Association.  When the Second World War broke, Seymour’s influence was pivotal in converting flying clubs all over Canada into training facilities for war pilots.  For these critical efforts, Seymour was given the McKee / Trans-Canada Trophy in 1940 for his efforts undertaken in 1939. This award was bestowed to the individual who best advanced aviation in Canada.  Seymour was also inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and was made an officer in the Order of the British Empire.

The Trophy was donated by Elizabeth Seymour – 2002.172.1.

Posted in Special Events, St. Catharines, William Hamilton Merritt, World War I, World War II | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »