Sunday, 16 November 2014

CELEBRATE: BIFHSGO 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago today. on the 16th of November 1994, Industry Canada issued Letters Patent for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

While the society has remained true to its mandate "to encourage and facilitate family history research, and its dissemination, by people with ancestry in the British Isles" how it's done that has changed.

Then, in the first issue of Anglo-Celtic Roots, potential authors were asked to submit typewritten, double-spaced copy on standard 8.5 by 11 inches paper to the society post box address.
Today we're requested to submit in electronic format using MSWord-compatible software via email.

Then the first issue of ACR contained none of the terms internet, www or http.
Today every major article published has web references.

Then monthly meetings were held at a facility associated with the Ottawa Family History Centre and attracted an attendance of a few dozen.
Today monthly meetings are held at Library and Archives Canada (about to change) rarely attracting fewer than 150 and sometimes more than 200 attendees.

Then out of nine society directors one was a woman.
Today out of eleven directors eight are women including the president.

Then the society was just finding its feet.
Today it is an important part of and partner for Ottawa's heritage community, Canada's genealogical community and contributing world wide through social media, most recently through a major lecture on its YouTube Channel.

What hasn't changed is that its all been possible thanks to volunteers contributing their skills and enjoying the friendship that comes with it.

BIFHSGO has come a long way.


Anonymous said...

Anne the BIFHSGO Secretary says,
"Thank you for writing this. Our annual conference with speakers from all over North America and Britain is worth mentioning as well. It surprises me that despite having a membership of over 550, and a great Publicity Director, there are still many people in Ottawa who have not heard of us. When I tell people interested in British and Irish genealogy about the Society I can never understand why they don't all join, especially when the lectures are for free."

Susan said...

Congratulations BIFHSGO, to all the volunteers and members that make it a vibrant and welcoming society. Happy and proud to belong!

Barbara Tose said...

Thanks for posting this momentous event on your blog, John. It has been an eventful 20 years thanks to the hard work and dedication of so many members over the years. You have played no small part yourself in making the society as successful as it is. I am grateful for the continued support of our members and the many friendships I have found within the society. I expect the next 20 years will be just as eventful and successful as the last twenty.

Barbara Tose
President, BIFHSGO