Presentation of January 2015
Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

Presentation January 2016:
The Annual Bring & Brag
 RTHS Members
Article by Scott Cameron 

Along with being the Annual General Meeting of the Society, the January 2016 meeting featured our annual Bring and Brag night. Once again the members came through with a wealth of interesting and artistic items which were presented to the meeting and then laid out on the tables for inspection after the meeting.

John Palmer presented a seven foot long lithograph of what appears to be a 360 degree view of Halifax harbour possibly dating from 1813. Little is known about this piece as it was acquired at a garage sale. It is possible that this piece was sketched as its potential artist Auntie Jones is listed on the bottom corner of the piece. Mr. Palmer appealed to the membership for any further information on the origin of the piece.

Val Lister presented two lighting pieces. The first was a taper jack from the Victorian period. It was used to apply seals to letters with wax. The beehive shape allowed the hot wax to drip down onto the letter providing the seal. There wasn’t a lip to hold the wax so it required a degree of skill. It was based on the models from French King Louis XIV. The second piece is known as a go to bed late; a British piece that allowed the owner to place matches inside it and light them. By the time the matches burned out the owner was to be in bed.

Brian Earl presented three items. The first was a menu from the Canadian National Railroad Children’s dining car. Patrons had a choice of several breakfast items including cereal and bacon & eggs among other choices. All items were 75 cents.

The second piece was a war rations book from the Second World War that was not completely used. The final item was a trench art door stop made by an artillery officer from German Mauser shell casings for a seventeen pounder.

aspidistra pot

A beautiful Aspidistra pot shown by Dennis Osmond

Dennis Osmond brought two Aspidistra pots received as wedding gifts. The first a black pot was made in Longton in Stoke on Trent likely in 1927 by one of the pottery companies that were based out of that area. The second pot (blue) is porcelain and made by the Dow Pottery company before it was purchased by Derby. After much research it is estimated that the pot was made between 1747-1764.

Owen Cooke brought an Omamori from Sumiyoshi Taisha Japan a good luck keep sake. It is three marked stones that are taken from a Pre Buddhist shrine (estimated 2nd century BC) These stones are marked with powers and there are five; knowledge, wealth, fortune, long life, and physical strength. They are kept in a small pouch to protect them and if opened the owner is given bad luck by the gods.

The two Brians

Brian Earl presents his items while Brian Sawyer checks his notes.

Melanie Hayes brought a portrait of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria that was purchased in Nova Scotia. What was fascinating was that underneath were several old newspapers that were still legible with headlines such as. Nuns and Monks interned in 1933 by the Nazis; several very old and unwell; 75 dead in motor car crashes over the weekend in the US; several hundred others injured, some serious; 11 pedestrians dead as they walked across streets or highways on April 28 1935; US planning air base near Canadian border; possibility of Canada being caught in Japan-US web.

Eleanor Aass brought in a horse snowshoe that was given to her as a birthday gift from a retired officer in the Norwegian military. These horse snowshoes were developed in Newfoundland.

Jane Anderson brought in vases that were her mothers’ she didn’t know anything else about them.

Brandon Kassis brought in a Brownie Hawkeye camera from 1953. It was the first camera in his family and he managed to clean it and restore it to working order. He also brought in some pictures that he was able to develop from the camera.

Scott Cameron brought in a map that was purchased at a pawn shop in Toronto. It is double sided with one side outlining the Western Front of WW1, along with the casualties of every battle involving Canadians and a redrawing of the map of Europe post war. On the other side was a map of the world with all the shipping lines marked and the capital cities outlined. It was confirmed to have been produced in the United States in 1920.

Susan McKellar brought in her father-in-law’s medals that he earned from service as a Lancaster Bomber navigator. From Glencoe Ontario John McKellar successfully flew 30 bombing missions with the RCAF mainly over France and Germany.

Brian Sawyer brought in three items. The first was a Welsh loving spoon which is a traditional spoon hand carved by male suitors for their girlfriends or fiancés. The second piece was a carriage clock from the 1840s. These clocks were designed to allow the owner to tell time while on the road or away from home and were commonly used in carriages (hence the name). This clock is still working and is very durable.

The third item was “an Ookpik, which is a popular Inuit handicraft toy. It is a small, souvenir owl with a large head and big eyes, a beak, and small black talons. They are often made from wolf fur, sealskin and other traditional materials.”  (Courtesy Wikipedia)

An Ookpik