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Information last updated: December 31, 2015
A fond history, it should be said, for the building served us well. Not only did it provide an adequate and very reasonably priced space, but it also bolstered our audience most nights with residents looking for some entertainment. It also had a piano, and residents like Esmond Skidmore would show up to play some introductory music to our meetings.
The gatherings were advertised as "meetings" of the Historical
Society, although in truth there was rarely any real business conducted
there. Most of that stuff was done by an energetic board of directors.
The meetings consisted primarily of a preliminary feature called Minus
One Hundred, followed by the guest speaker of the evening. Minus One
Hundred was a little vignette in which a member of the Society presented
a short glance at events in Belleville a hundred years ago, as gleaned
from newspaper files in the library. Our guest speakers drew most of the
crowd. A while ago we experimented with advertising our events as
"public presentations", not as "meetings". Attendance immediately
jumped, as casual drop-ins no longer feared being recruited
involuntarily into a Society role. If you get too close to history, it
might bite you!
Our gatherings grew to more than a hundred history-starved souls, straining the capacity of the QLC facility. New technologies for visual and audio presentations beckoned elsewhere, as did more sumptuous seating, and the directors realized it was time to move. After exploring several possible locations, the directors settled on Maranatha on College Street West. The first public presentation on Jan. 20, 2015 will feature Brian and Renee Porter, re-enactors posing as Sir John A. Macdonald and his wife, Lady Agnes. Since it is close to Macdonald's birthday, I expect there will be cake and candles.– Orland French, past-president, HCHS