The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 23 no 4, October 2011. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.
The rich legacy of our past will enrich our future development. That was the starting point for Cantley 1889, a young, year-old association of local residents who came together in 2010 with a mission to discover, catalogue, protect and promote our heritage.
In its own short history, Cantley 1889 has held two public events. In February, some 90 people came out for a lecture by Bob McClelland about Cantley's centennial houses and churches. In June, we led a well-attended tour of three cemeteries of Cantley, with three speakers recounting the history of the dear-departed characters and the forebears of our settlement.
But behind the scenes, we are working on many more projects.
Logging on the Gatineau River is an important part of Cantley's history; its symbol, the tugboat, proudly serves as emblem on the Cantley flag and logo. We want to feature our own original tugboat, restoring it in a place of honour, in Parc Mary-Anne-Phillips, where it would stand, silhouetted against the Outaouais skyline and the ripples of the river. It will take heaving it from its current location on the river shoreline to the park's highest point, directly above, then landscaping, integrating artifacts to create a unique children's play area, making an observation deck for the incredible view and installing plaques explaining our history. We think, with the Municipality's support, our efforts will enable us to create a unique place in Cantley, a focal point for our history, and a place to be enjoyed by all ages.
We are building an oral history of Cantley, through the voices of our most venerable citizens who actually remember Cantley's earliest days, or the way it was told to them by the original settlers. We are recording the voices of our oldest citizens and stories for history.
We are developing a photo archive of the historical landscapes, people and buildings of Cantley. With the support of the Municipality, some of the finest of the old photos will soon, we hope, be displayed in public places such as the Municipality building to share with our fellow Cantleyans as a reminder of our past.
Cantley 1889 has high regard for our war veterans, and we would like to hear from them and work with them to plan an annual Remembrance Day ceremony that would give Cantley our own memory of those who have fought for Canada through the decades.
We were invited to propose historical names for new parks in Cantley. President Margaret Phillips recently made a moving presentation to Council, thanking the Municipality for seeking our assistance and offering our continuing support in choosing names that remember our past.
We are continually researching all aspects of Cantley's history and are working to catalogue this with the archives of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.
We inform you, readers of the Echo of Cantley, about Cantley's heritage, its historical places, people and issues, in this, our monthly column.
And, of course, we will plan more public events and speakers.
For all of this, we need your support.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to become a member of Cantley 1889.
Even more, we need your ideas and contributions. Do you have photos? Do you know someone who can tell us stories from our history, or do you have suggestions of people or events to be honoured in street names? Or would you like to hear a speaker talk about a particular aspect of Cantley's history or people or industries? Just let us know.
Cantley 1889 is an organization of volunteers and a collective effort. Please join us!