June 19 was Loyalist Day here in Ontario, a most important remembrance for a good number of our 14,000,000 citizens whether they know it or not. To celebrate this day I went with my husband to a small village close to Turkey Point on Lake Erie and met other Loyalist descendants there. Vittoria boasts this fine building below, the present day Christ Church Anglican Church still standing on the site where the original judicial centre for London District was built at Tisdale’s Mills (Vittoria) in 1815.
When it burned 10 years later the judicial centre was moved to London. The present building was built on the previous foundation, the cornerstones of which can easily be seen today.
Inside this church we found a lovely old treasure, beautifully maintained, although certainly not air conditioned. For washrooms we had to walk a few hundred feet to go inside another of Vittoria’s historic buildings, the town hall, also lovingly maintained.
The Grand River Branch of U.E.L.A.C. provided this banner upon which I recognized a Mohawk Indian and a uniformed Butler’s Ranger as well as King George III’s badge.
Partway through the event we followed the piper across the lawns to raise the Loyalist flag on the property. I’ve even included a short video to give my readers the flavour of what we heard that day. There’s nothing like a piper in the great outdoors!
Most of the crowd tried to stay out of the sun for the presentation of this unveiling of the new Long Point Settlement Plaque and I did the same. That’s why my picture is from the side. Here local MPP Toby Barrett is bringing greetings from the province.
Upon completion of the ceremony I moved to a better vantage point and took my pictures. I dropped my camera away from my eyes when I noticed some of the artwork used. It is the same picture as I have on my third book cover!
After the formal part of the festivities, I had a moment to chat with MPP Toby Barrett about something he mentioned in his greetings. He was sad that our provincial legislature is doing nothing to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the creating of the Province of Ontario. He compared it to what his government did 25 years ago. I suspect those in power feel that the 200th anniversary was more of a moment but still, we need to celebrate our history. You can read more about it here.
For more reading about American and Canadian history told through a family’s experiences, try my historical fiction.