The Hastings County Historical Society is now just over 60 years old and has grown from a small group of citizens concerned with protecting and promoting local history to a very dynamic and active team of volunteers overseeing a wide range of programs and projects. Three of the larger programs in 2018 are 1) monthly public presentations held at Maranatha which attract an ever-increasing audience, speakers with interesting and informative stories to relate; 2) two historical bus tours which this year visited central and northern Lennox and Addington County; and 3) the historical brass plaque program under which seven plaques will be unveiled across Hastings County during the summer. There are many more activities touching upon all aspects of the Society’s goal to bring amazing stories from our colourful history to every resident of our area.
The Society has also formed excellent relationships with other organizations to carry out projects through partnerships. We are working with YourTV (formerly Cogeco) to bring a series of television programs entitled, Out of the Vault, examining a wide variety of local historical topics. We have worked with Belleville mayor Taso Christopher in creating the first Mayor’s Hunt for History, a contest to bring school kids into contact with our history. And so much more. The Society is widely recognized as the “go-to” organization for all matters relating to local history.
One of the great challenges is reaching the wider public in this time of decreasing newspaper readership. But the Society has moved forward, continuing the long established monthly newsletter, Outlook, and substantially updating and expanding our website, www.hastingshistory.ca. More recently, the Society has embraced Twitter where our handle is @countyhastings and will soon expand even further.
These are interesting, even exciting days for our great team of volunteers who continue their work with enthusiasm. With so much success and with so much potential for greater achievements, now is the perfect time for new people, with a taste for history and discovery, to come forward and join our great team. There are many tasks, small and large, that could be taken up by new hands. So, as we move through 2018 and rack up another year of achievements, we would encourage anyone with an interest in joining the team to contact us and discuss the possibilities, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard M. Hughes