Thursday, 8 November 2018

BIFHSGO November Meeting

Beechwood National Cemetery: Its History, Stories and Records is the topic for the main BIFHSGO presentation at 10 am on Saturday, 10 November*.

Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services was founded in 1873, on a 160-acre tract of land on the outskirts of Ottawa. It became a prime example of the type of rural cemetery that emerged in the U.S. and Canada in the nineteenth century, characterized by winding roads, picturesque vistas, wooded groves, and unique landscaping, as well as monuments and markers of considerable architectural and historical interest. Originally Ottawa's Anglo-Protestant cemetery, today Beechwood is a reflection of Canada’s identity as a multicultural, multi-faith society. Since the creation of its Foundation in 2000, it has grown in national significance: home of the National Military Cemetery (2001), recognized as a National Historic Site (2001), home of the RCMP National Memorial Cemetery (2004), given honorary recognition as the national cemetery of Canada (2009), and home of the Ottawa Police Service Memorial Cemetery (2011). With almost 400 famous burials, and over 75,000 total burials of people from all walks of life, Beechwood serves as a place of national tribute and remembrance for all Canadians.

About the speaker

Dr. André M. Levesque is a leading expert in history, heritage, commemoration and recognition. He served with the CAF Army Reserves for 35 years and retired in 2008 at the rank of lieutenant-colonel. In his civilian career, he worked in the area of planning and economic development with the City of Ottawa. In 2001, he became a public servant with DND and in 2006 was appointed Director Honours and Recognition for the CAF. From 2013 to 2016, he was DG Commemoration at Veterans Affairs and is currently a visiting scholar with the Royal Military College of Canada. André holds a B.A. and M.A. in geography from Carleton University and in 2013, he completed a Ph.D. in history from the National University of Ireland, Cork. Since 2016 he has been Chief Historian (volunteer) with Beechwood Cemetery. He was admitted in the Canadian Who’s Who, and is an Officer of the Order of Military Merit and a Knight of the French Legion of Honour.

At 9 am Marilyn Lindsay and Pam Cooper will give an Introduction to the Scottish Special Interest Group: who we are, how the group works, and some examples of what we do.

Marilyn Lindsay was born in Montreal and moved to Ottawa in 1982. Her four grandparents emigrated from the Edinburgh, Midlothian area between 1864 and 1905.  She became interested in her family's history when going through papers left to her by her family. She is a member of BIFHSGO, OGS, and several other family history societies, and is a member of the planning group for the Scottish SIG. She is interested in continuing to expand her family's story.

Pam Cooper has been actively working on her family history for about four years.  She had three Scottish-born grandparents who emigrated to Canada between 1907 and 1913, and her Ontario-born grandmother in turn had three Scottish-born grandparents who emigrated to Canada West in the 1840s. She is applying the skills honed during a career in the public service to researching her family history and is working towards her next research trip to Scotland in 2019.

The meeting is open to the public at The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario.

* Note that in the unlikely event the event has to be cancelled owing to adverse weather or other reasons emails will be sent to members by 8 am on the day.

No comments: