Sunday, February 15, 2009

Heritage Weekend and Heritage Tapestries

Today is the Sunday of Annapolis Royal's 2009 Heritage Weekend. It has been a busy time so far but, as always, it has been a pleasure to work with Alan Melanson, the President of our sister organization the Historical Association of Annapolis Royal. For those of you who have been on the candlelight tour of the Garrison Cemetery in Annapolis Royal, you will remember Alan as the guide dressed in Victorian mourning attire. For those of you who have not been on this tour, it is simply the best interpretive tours I have ever seen. Part showman and part historian, Alan weaves a fabulous tour which combines the history of Annapolis Royal with the stories of people burried in the cemetery. Alan has presented this tour to over 60 000 people over the past 18 years. The photograph in this post is of Alan speaking at the 300th birthday party for the deGannes - Cosby House last summer.

On Friday night, there were a couple of historical presentations at ARTsPLACE in Annapolis Royal. The first presentation was by Sherry Griffin of the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum. Sherry, was speaking on her new book Middleton: History From the Heart. Sherry gave a very engaging speech about the history of Middleton and was able to share some archival pictures of the community.

Our second speaker on Friday was the aforementioned Alan Melanson. Alan was discussing the creation of the Fort Anne Heritage Tapestry. The tapestry, a project to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Annapolis Royal, was the idea of Dr. Barry Moody. The tapestry consists of four panels which measure 8 feet X 4 feet (2.4 meters X 1.2 meters). Each of these panels pictorally represents one of the past four centuries. Alan discussed how complicated of a process it was to complete the tapestry and the massive volunteer effort which went into its creation.

Today at Fort Anne, we are privileged to have a section of a heritage tapestry being created by our sister community Annapolis, Maryland. This tapestry is being created to celebrate the 300th anniversary of that community. We have been invited to place a few stitches in a section which depicts the four Maryland signers of the Declaration of Independence. I must admit that my irony sensors were going off when I realized that this particular section had arrived in Nova Scotia. This is after all one of the destinations for those who chose to stay loyal to the British Crown. No matter, I am happy to have the opportunity to contribute to Annapolis, Maryland's anniversary and I will gladly make my stitch. To keep the irony going, perhaps I will sew while while humming Rule Britannia.

All for now,

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