Ahh, the morning after the Annapolis Heritage Society Annual General Meeting. For me, I always have a great lightness of being the day after the AGM. I can probably best describe it as similar to the feeling I would get when I was finished writing my university exams. In this case, it is not so much freedom from school for the summer but happiness at having been able to gather together all of the information, print the reports, organize the agenda, get the food prepared, and make my way through the meeting without looking any more foolish than normal. Since the AGM is normally such a heavy day of preparations the next day almost by nature has a lighter feeling.
Now, imagine my dismay that my relaxed morning was broken up by fire sirens and flashing lights. As I do fairly frequently, I started my morning at the Sinclair Inn Museum where I can get an update on the site from our interpreter Ken Maher. After chatting with Ken for a few minutes I made my way back to the O'Dell House Museum. No sooner had I arrived at the O'Dell House than I heard the town's fire siren. For those of you who do not live in the area I should probably explain the siren. Whenever there is a need for the volunteer fire department (fire, car accident, etc.) there is a very loud siren which rings to alert the community. Day or night the siren can be heard throughout the town and nearby countryside. Since the firefighters all have pagers this is extra precaution but it is an interesting facet of local life. I should also mention what great respect I have for our local firefighters. These volunteers willingly come from their jobs, houses or beds to help others. Like all firefighters, their work sometimes puts their health and safety in danger. They deserve a great thanks for the work that they do.
Now, like most residents, I always get a slight feeling of anxiety when I hear the siren. Knowing that there is more than likely a problem somewhere in the community. This time the sirens on the trucks seemed much closer than usual. Being the curious sort, I stepped out in front of the O'Dell House to see if I could see where the trucks were and I saw a collection of them pulled up in front of the Sinclair Inn. The firefighters were already starting to pull hoses across the road toward the museum. With my heart quickly moving toward my mouth, I started up the street. When I got to the museum I realized that it was not the museum but the laundromat behind the museum where there was a problem. Apparently, lint in one of the driers had ignited and caused a fire. Thankfully, the firefighters got the problem under control quickly.
As a reminder of what happens when fires do not get put out quickly, I have included an archival image from Annapolis Royal's Great Fire in 1921. Approximately 1/3 of the downtown core of the community was destroyed in this fire. Ironically, Graham Johnson, the topic of the presentation at last night's AGM, was the architect who designed many of the buildings in Annapolis Royal after the 1921 fire.
All for now,