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Richmond County Historical Society Wins 2013 Richard Evans Award

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--June 6, 2013.

larger_evans.sm_.jpgThe Richard Evans Award is presented each year by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) to a group of volunteers who, collectively, have contributed to preserving or promoting their community history, including some aspect of Quebec’s Anglophone heritage. This year, QAHN is pleased to announce that the 2013 Richard Evans Award has been presented to the Richmond County Historical Society. RCHS president Bev Taber Smith was on hand to accept the award at QAHN’s Annual Awards Ceremony, held in Stanstead, Quebec, on Saturday, June 1.

Founded in 1965 on the occasion of the 165th anniversary of the arrival of pioneer Elmer Cushing, the RCHS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012.

An outgrowth of a committee appointed by the Richmond County Women's Institute to compile a history of the county, the historical society’s aims are: “to discover and rescue from the unsparing hand of time the records which yet remain of the earliest history of Canada; and to preserve while in our power such documents as may be found amid the dust of yet unexplored depositories, and which may prove important to general history and to the particular history of this province, county of Richmond and adjacent areas.”

In 1998, the archives were moved from the museum to the Melbourne Township town hall. Hundreds of requests from around the world are handled annually by the archivist. The museum is open to the public with guided tours on weekends during the summer months. Special events have focused on Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish heritage, Richmond County Women's Institute, New England heritage, post-World War Two immigrants, French Protestant and Huguenot heritage, and manufacturing in the Richmond area. Several bilingual calendars have been published, featuring early images of the railroad, churches, schools and pioneers. of the celebrated Canadian artist, Frederick Simpson Coburn. The RCHS`s dramatic presentation, “Café and Coburn,” written and produced by Nick Fonda, was a serious depiction of the artist’s life and work in New York, Europe and Melbourne, Quebec.

The production featured original music written and performed by Francine Beaubien and a Powerpoint presentation of Coburn`s life and paintings. The Upper Melbourne town hall was filled to capacity for each performance. In 2012, a number of special activities took place to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Society. Among these was the creation of a time vault.

Designed to be opened in 2062, the time vault contains more than 100 time capsules buried in a concrete cavity, with a 7-foot bronzed steel tree mounted on the lid, complete with leaves featuring the names of long-gone communities.

In accepting the Evans Award on behalf of the historical society, Bev Taber Smith said that the time vault project had been “a real community effort involving members of both the English and the French communities.” She also said that “we were pleased that there had been so many young people involved, people who will still be here in 50 years when the vault is opened.”

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization engaged with its members in promoting preservation of the built, cultural and natural heritage of Quebec. QAHN aims to advance knowledge of the history of Quebec’s English-speaking communities by informing, inspiring and connecting people through its activities. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Quebec history, heritage and culture.

QAHN encourages cooperation and communication among members, and assists member-organizations to obtain the necessary services for their activities and facilities. Members include individuals interested in Quebec’s heritage, and organizations such as historical societies, museums and cultural groups.