January, 2007 News

(This news feature is divided into topics of Genealogy, Heritage, and History)

Bonus Feature - Website Pick of the Month!

January 1st is the first day of the modern calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

New Year's Day, as it is called, carries best wishes for the upcoming year and the hope that each of everyone’s dreams come true!

“Genealogy News”

Appointed New Editor of Genealogical Publication
    Elizabeth Lapointe has been appointed as the new editor of the Ontario Genealogy Society's newsletter, Newsleaf.
    She took over as guest editor with the November issue, and was subsequently appointed as editor this past November.
    “I feel very honoured to be chosen as the editor of Newsleaf. This year, the OGS celebrates it 46th anniversary, and I will do my very best as we go forward towards the next forty-six years.”
    Newsleaf is produced four times a year. The first issue of which Elizabeth will be the full-time editor will be the February, 2007 issue.
    The Ontario Genealogical Society is the largest in Canada. The purpose of the society, as stated in its website, is “to encourage, bring together and assist all those interested in the pursuit of family history.”
    Please visit the society's website at <www.ogs.on.ca>.

New Articles Published
    Three articles by Elizabeth Lapointe have been published on the GenealogyToday.com website -

“Heritage News”

Bytown Museum To Be Revamped
    The Bytown Museum, located at 1 Canal Lane in Ottawa, is celebrating its 90th birthday this year, and it is getting a complete makeover. It closed its doors on November 30 to begin a five month renovation.
    The rebuilding programme launched a campaign in November to raise the reminder of the money needed (approximately $100,000), with the museum opening its doors on International Museums Day on May 18th.
    The museum will be fitted with a new exhibit place, will have both the floors and walls painted, and interactive programs will be added, as will up to 30 new display cases.
    The website is at <www.bytownmuseum.com>.

Ottawa's Newest Bridge Requires Name
    In the meantime, the new presidential bridge across the Rideau Canal from the University of Ottawa to Somerset Street has been built, and is now open to walkers on both side of the canal.
    But is doesn't have a name, and the Bytown Museum is doing something about it. They now have a petition online that you can sign, and they will present it to the Ottawa City Hall in the spring.
    Their idea is to name it the Corktown Bridge after the many Irish navvies who worked on the canal and lived in the vicinity, when it was called Corktown.
    As they say on the website, the workers built shanties on government land along the canal near the entrance to the new footbridge. The settlement became known as Corktown, named after County Cork, Ireland.
    Be sure to sign the petition to named the footbridge the Corktown Bridge at <www.petitiononline.com/corktwnb/petition.html>.

Centennial Flame Refurbished

    The Centennial Flame has been extinguished because it's undergoing a rebuilding to refurbish its original basin, upgrade the plumbing, lighting, and electrical works, as well as the stonework around the flame.
    It was lit on January 1st, 1967 by Prime Minister Lester Pearson, for Canada’s 100th anniversary.
    It is expected to be lit again at the end of February.
    Information about the Centennial Flame is located at <http://www.parliamenthill.gc.ca/text/explorecentennial_e.html

Rideau Canal is 175 years old

    The Rideau Canal, which goes from Ottawa to Kingston, is 175 years old this year, and it may be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in April if all goes well - and Ottawa hopes it does.
    The Paris-based UN cultural agency sent their evaluator over to take a tour of the canal in November, and his report will be given to the board in April. The decision will be announced on June 30th.
    The federal government has announced that it will spend about $20-million on repairs to the canal, and about $1.8-million on events by Parks Canada around its 175th birthday.
    If selected, the Rideau Canal will join 750 other World Heritage Sites.
    The website for the Rideau Canal is <www.rideau175.org>.

National Arts Centre Named a National Historic Site
    At thirty-seven years of age, the National Arts Centre received the National Historic Site designation on December 1, 2006.
    It was built in the architectural style
of brutalism.
    Six places were issued the National Historical Site designation in 2006, and they are -
Also, two Canadians received National Historic Significance, and they are -
As well, three groups received National Historic Significance in 2006, and they are -

“History News”

Sir John A. Macdonald
    Sir John A. Macdonald was born on January 11th and died the 6th of June, 1891 in Ottawa, Ontario.
    He was not only the first prime minister of Canada, but the first to die while in office, as well, and is buried in the Cataraqui Cemetery of Kingston, Ontario.
    If you want to know more, please go to <www.parl.gc.ca> and click on the link for prime ministers of Canada.

Chinese Head Tax Paid Across Canada
    The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, the Honourable Bev Oda, recently paid the Head Tax to the living Chinese in various cities across Canada, those people who had originally paid the Head Tax when they migrated to Canada from 1855 to 1923.
    Similar legislation existed in the Dominion of Newfoundland, which imposed a Head Tax on Chinese Immigrants from 1906 to 1949, before joining Confederation.
    Today, they live in Mississauga, Etobicoke, Edmonton, the Montreal area, British Columbia, and Newfoundland.
    Payments of $20,000.00 have been paid those Chinese immigrants on October 20, 2006, which follows an official apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper
on June 22, 2006 to Chinese Canadians for the Head Tax, which he  made on behalf of the government of Canada.
    In addition, on December 1st, Minister Oda announced that there who were in conjugal relationships with a Chinese Head Tax payer who is now deceased may also apply for payments of $20,000.00.
    The application form is available on the Department of Canadian Heritage website at <www.canadianheritage.gc.ca>. Print copies may be obtained by phoning the Canadian Heritage Help Line (888.776.8584) or Service Canada (800.622.6232). Application forms are also available in Chinese from Canadian Heritage, for use as a reference tool only.
    The payments may be expected as early as February.
    Contact the website at <www.pch.gc.ca> for more information.

Website Pick of the Month!

Regina Branch Goes Online
    If you are a Loyalist who lives in Regina, or knows someone who lives there, be sure to check the new website of the Regina Branch of the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada, Saskatchewan. It has recently joined the computer age by coming online at the new site at <www.geocities.com/reginabranchue>.
    Its website says that it is “made up of persons who have proven their ancestry to a proven Loyalist, those who are working on their proof of ancestry to a proven Loyalist, or those who support our goals and believe in the ideals of the UELAC.”
    Also, on the branch site is its history (it started in 1984), the ancestors that its members have, and upcoming events. Pictures and a newsletter will be added later.

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