15 May 2018

Perth & District Historical Society May Meeting

The Perth & District Historical Society meeting on Thursday 17 May, 2018 is "For Crying Out Loud": Perth's Town Crier - the Tradition and History, presented by Brent McLaren.

“For Crying Out Loud” will present the history of the Town Crier and some of the stories that are part of Perth’s local history.  Brent will pose questions such as: ‘Where the first references to Criers are found?'; ‘What were the many functions of the bell ringer, if indeed they were using a bell, in their communities?’; ‘Was this a solo or a position with several Criers and specified duties?’.  From ceremonial to simply functional, the Town Crier has added to the rich tapestry of towns and villages throughout the world.  Perth’s current Crier, Brent McLaren, continues the “Loud and Proud” traditions that have been part of our story since the settlement was formed.

In the early days of the Town of Perth, it is likely that a local Crier performed a useful service to the community, but, whatever form it took, the custom apparently ceased without any mention of a Crier during the 1900s.  However, in 2005, the Town revived the tradition, in keeping with its heritage image, and, following a competition, Brent was appointed by the Town Council.  Since then, Brent, accompanied by his wife and consort, Shelley McLaren, regularly carries out his Town Crier duties at special and community events that take place in Perth throughout the year.  He is also known to assist Father Christmas during the Yuletide season.

Brent is a long-time resident of Perth.  Following his retirement from teaching at PDCI, he has been involved in a wide variety of community activities, in addition to his Town Crier duties.  Brent presently chairs the Town of Perth’s Heritage Management Committee, and was Chair of the Perth 200 Anniversary Committee.  He is a Member of the Men of the Tay Men’s Chorus; participates in community musical and dramatic theatre; a Member of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers; a Member of the Perth Citizens' Band; and assists local students with their participation in the local Heritage Fair."

The presentation is at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, 7:30pm (Toonie Donation)

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