Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Historical Society of Ottawa April Meeting

The topic of the Friday April 24 meeting is Ottawa civic pioneer William Pittman Lett, to be presented by Bryan Cook.

In 1820, the young family of a veteran Irish soldier landed in Upper Canada with a babe-in-arms. The child, William Pittman Lett, was destined to experience tumultuous changes in his fortune and those of Bytown on his long journey through the 19th century.
During that century, British North America and Bytown evolved rapidly through to Confederation and Ottawa’s selection as the nation’s capital. William’s life evolved with all this change throughout his 73 years from 1819 to 1892.
As Ottawa’s first and longest serving civic Clerk, he influenced the growth of the city in many ways. He engaged in the public debate over the choice of national flag, annexation, slavery, temperance, poverty, and the politics of the British connection and Imperial wars. He delivered his messages though the speeches of the mayors and city councils, public oratory, the newspapers and local societies.
His media were prose, speech, poetry and the power of holding the civic pen. He was Ottawa’s official chronicler and the city’s de facto poet laureate with a considerable lifetime production of poetry.
As usual the meeting is at 1:00 pm in the lounge of the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street at Cumberland.

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