Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
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The public may provide input, and receive feedback, via those who serve on that board, including Brooks and other local representatives Margot Belanger (chair, DSHMI) and Gerry Reasbeck (V.P., Watson's Mill).  

Ron Wilson and Brian Earl gave presentations on real and model railroads.

Ron Wilson shared slides and impressions from his visit to the rail museum at Steamtown USA, in Scranton Pennsylvania.  According to Wikipedia, the U.S. Congress established that National Historic Site in 1986 “to interpret the story of main line steam railroading between 1850 and 1950”. It is run by the National Parks Service, a branch of the Department of the Interior.

Wilson was amused by staffers’ “Smokey the bear” hats and impressed at the scope of the restorations and how engines and rolling stock were restored with the strictest attention to historical accuracy with respect to original ownership, company logos, and builder’s plates.. There were 5 or 6 very large steam locomotives with boilers and fireboxes being rebuilt.

Fellow presenter Brian Earl began by donning his denim jacket encrusted with embroidered patches  from various model railroad events. Earl spoke of his own affection for model railroads and presented the claim that they represent the 'world's greatest hobby'.  (Proponents of other fine hobbies may disagree and a fair number of women in attendance shook their heads and smiled in bemusement!).  

    Left to right, Marg Rogers, Ann Scott , Margot Belanger, and Brian Earl examine model railroad exhibits.

Left to right, Marg Rogers, Ann Scott , Margot Belanger, and Brian Earl examine model railroad exhibits

The June 16th meeting took place at Knox Presbyterian Church in Manotick, with 32 members and guests in attendance.

After regular business and reports, the first speaker was City Councillor Glenn Brooks, representing Ward 21 Rideau-Goulbourn.  (Disclaimer: due to our summer hiatus, the June meeting's activities are being recounted in September, during the election campaigns.  No preference or endorsement is intended by reporting on the incumbent councillor's activities.)  

    The presenters, Brian Earl, Ron Wilson, Glenn Brooks

The presenters, Brian Earl, Ron Wilson, Glenn Brooks

Brooks pledged financial support for Coral Lindsay's forth-coming Kars on the Rideau, RTHS's main publication for 2010.  (Editor's note: $1000 was later contributed toward that project from the councillor's discretionary funds.)

Brooks mentioned that his weekly newsletter reaches roughly 3200 email subscribers and is printed in local papers.  Noting the society's many interests and activities, Brooks says he welcomes relevant submissions and announcements for inclusion in this outreach effort.

Brooks also chairs the recently-formed Mill Quarter Board which was established to manage city-acquired buildings in and around Dickinson Square, a subject of direct interest to RTHS through its volunteer operation of Dickinson House for the past three years.  

Brooks recounted that the city's legal advisors have advised that Mill Quarter Board business must be conducted in camera (as a closed and private session).

Glenn Brooks on the Mill Quarter Board; Brian Earl and Ron Wilson on Railroads

Presenters: Glenn Brooks, Brian Earl, Ron Wilson

Article by Lucy Martin