28 September 2016

Historical Society of Ottawa: September meeting

The hot topic this Friday, 30 September 2016 for the Historical Society of Ottawa is The Fire of 3 February 1916 that Burned Down out original Centre Block, to be presented by Don Nixon.

"The Centre Block we have today is not the original one, There used to be another one in the same spot, but it burned down in a horrible fire the night of February 3, 1916. In this presentation, Don Nixon will provide an overview of the fire, focussing in particular on its early stages, and on possible causes. Was it careless smoking as Prime Minister Borden maintained, an electrical fire, or spontaneous combustion? With World War I raging, many believed it deliberately set by a German saboteur. We will never know for sure. But, with the evidence presented, you can decide; spoiler alert: Don believes the fire was deliberate."

Don Nixon retired in 2006 after a long career in Public Works and Government Services Canada. For the last 19 years before retirement, he was a project manager on Parliament Hill. There, he worked on a wide range of interesting projects including the stabilization of chimneys, towers, turrets and rooftop masonry, the conservation of the Peace Tower and the front of the Centre Block, the statues on Parliament Hill, the conservation of the War Memorial, the making of the Queen Elizabeth stature on the Hill, and the installation of the "Evolution of Life" series of stone carvings in the House of Commons chamber. After retirement, he wrote an off-beat history of Parliament Hill titled "The Other Side of the Hill"

The meeting strats at 1 pm at the Routhier Community Centre, 172 Guigues Street in Ottawa.

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