The United Empire Loyalists of Canada - Bicentennial Branch (Southwestern Ontario)
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Bicentennial Branch UELAC met on Saturday, November 18, 2006 at the Church of the Epiphany in Kingsville, Ontario. Dominion President Peter Johnson U.E. attended as our guest speaker. Peter began military re-enacting in 1977 as a musket man and remains active in Revolutionary War re-enacting, primarily as a fifer. Peter joined us wearing the uniform of the New Jersey Volunteers.

Peterís involvement with the UELAC began in 1982 and since that time he has held numerous positions within the Association. He traces his Loyalist ancestors to the Bay of Quinte area. Educated at University of Toronto, Peter received three degrees leading to a career in Visual Arts. He is recently retired after thirty years with the Toronto Board of Education.

At the age of seventeen Peter became involved in genealogy partly through an interest in Victorian photographs. The first photograph made is credited to Joseph Niepce of France who produced a photo of some Dutch figures on a dish in 1825. The first commercial photographic process available to the public was the daguerreotype in 1839. Peter shared his interest in the evolution of the photographic process with examples of the ambrotype, the tintype, the card photograph and cabinet cards. Those who brought along early photographs were able to identify the date by the type of process used.
Dominion President Peter Johnson U.E.

Branch genealogists, Margaret Lewis and Grace Austin recognized descendants of Loyalist John Wendel Wigle, Loyalist Philip Fox, Loyalist Benjamin Knapp, Loyalist John Helmer and Loyalist William Crowder III, a first time certificate to this ancestor for our branch. Five UE certificates were presented at this meeting.

Central West Region Councillor Bonnie Schepers reported on the October 28, 2006 Dominion Council Meeting held in Toronto. Items of interest from that meeting included the announcement that the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable MichaŽlle Jean has accepted our invitation to stand as Patron of the UELAC.

On November 5, 2006 a new national monument was unveiled in Ottawa. The Valiants Memorial is a collection of nine busts and five statues depicting individuals from critical periods of conflict in our nation's history and a large bronze wall. Two figures included in this memorial of particular interest to our organization are Captain Joseph Brant and Colonel John Butler. The inscription on the wall reads Nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo. ("No day shall ever erase you from the memory of time"). The Memorial is located on the northeast side of the National War Memorial in Ottawa (the Sappers Stairway). More information is available at

One of the main concerns among UELAC branches is attracting and engaging new members. Please renew your memberships and encourage others to join us. Branch Treasurer Dianne Noble reported that Bicentennial Branch membership reached 117 members in 2006.

Kim Hurst, Outreach/Education displayed a copy of the August 2006 Duval Press publication called Their Stories, Our History: Canadaís Early Years. In chapter five of this grade seven history book, on pages 132 and 133, are three photographs taken at a Bicentennial Branch Loyalist presentation at the Gen. Isaac Brock Public School earlier this year. This is an exciting achievement for our branch in its goal to promote local Loyalist history.

The 2007 UELAC Conference Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with conference activities May 31 - June 3, 2007 in Windsor, Ontario. We have many opportunities for you to use your talents and abilities. We are looking forward to showcasing the rich history of the Windsor/Detroit border region and the north shore of Lake Erie to visitors from across Canada. Essex County has a unique story to tell of its early settlement by Loyalists fleeing persecution in the colonies during the American Revolution.

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