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Colby-Curtis Museum Looking Forward to Spring Reopening; Mourns Passing of Devoted Volunteer

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--February 9, 2012.

larger_shs.1.museum_0.jpgAlthough the Colby-Curtis Museum in Stanstead will remain closed for budgetary reasons, except for Tuesdays, until the end of March, the Stanstead Historical Society reports in its latest bulletin that it has already reached an impressive total in its ongoing fundraising efforts.

Ann Montgomery, the president of the historical society, says that donors have responded generously to an appeal launched by the museum board last fall. “The members and friends of the Stanstead Historical Society have responded with speed and generosity to our recent fundraising appeal,” she says. “We are grateful for, and very touched by” their “continuing and much appreciated support.”

According to Montgomery, nearly $80,000 has been raised so far for the museum’s operating and endowment funds. She reports that $36,800 has been raised from members of the board and advisory council (eligible for matching grants) in 2011, with a further $16,400 pledged for 2012 – all of it destined for the museum’s interest-generating endowment fund. A further $8,225 has been raised from regular and life members, and this will be put towards the current year’s operating budget.

In other news, Montgomery reports, Director-Curator Pierre Rastoul, who suffered a heart attack at last year’s Townshippers’ Day, is on the mend, and should be back on the job in time for the museum’s spring reopening.

Meanwhile, a number of activities are in the works for the upcoming year. These include cultural visits to Quebec City and New York City, and lectures by Rastoul (on the history of libraries in the Stanstead area) and Desmond Morton (on the War of 1812).

larger_shs.2.elane_.wilson.jpgIn addition, there are several exhibitions in the planning stages. A springtime show will feature paintings by Montreal-born artist Jennifer Brook, while two summer exhibitions will look at pioneer printers in the Eastern Townships and the art of handwriting, respectively.

Finally, and on a sadder note, the historical society notes the recent passing of Elane Wilson, a long-time friend and supporter of the museum’s archives. It was Wilson who was responsible for much of the laborious work related to producing the compilations of birth and death records that are sold in book form at the museum. And it was she who over the years, as a member of the local Women’s Institute, did so much to sustain, restore, and ultimately transfer to the historical society, the historic Mansur Schoolhouse in Stanstead East, of which she was so fond. Wilson will be missed by all who knew her.