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(Activities of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada).

I have been surprised by some of the positions I have devoted my time to in this Association, but taking on the The Loyalist Gazette is not one of them. Many years ago, Okill Stuart and the late Gerry Rogers as much as predicted that I would be involved with the magazine sooner or later.

Many will know me from long involvement with the Toronto Branch newsletter, and from the time spent with Angela on genealogical matters. I won't go into biographical matters here, as there was a rather flattering item in that regard in the previous issue, when I was looking after reenactment news.

The Loyalist Gazette has been favoured with two long-term editors during its history of some thirty-plus years: John Chard and David Dorward. It would be a cliche to remark that they are a hard act to follow, but it's true. Every editor likes to leave a stamp or trademark which sets a publication apart from those nursed by previous and following editors. My interest in Visual Arts will serve as one indication of this, but I also intend to include an editorial page, and I will be an Editor who has opinions. When I see good things about Loyalists in or out of the Association, I will comment on them, and when I see troubling things, I will not hesitate to do the same, beginning with this issue.

The designation of June 19th as Loyalist Day in Ontario has been one of the best things to happen to Loyalists in a long time. Harry Danford MPP has done the Association a great service, and it was a pleasure to see him receive a certificate for John Kemp, UE (Roger's King's Rangers) at the Banquet in June. If Mr. Danford is so inclined, he has other Loyalist ancestors that could be traced. For example, Mr. Danford appears to be a descendant of William Ketcheson Sr., (British Legion), who settled in the Maritimes and then moved to the Bay of Quinte area of `Ontario'.

Maclean's, the publication that claims to be Canada's national magazine, ran a piece on Canada's 100 most important people in history. By now you probably know that not one Loyalist made the list. Only Laura Secord was given that designation, but obviously she is famous for her War of 1812 service, so in terms of the Loyalists of the American Revolution, the designation was not quite correct. I had hoped that Maclean's would be flooded with letters from members of this Association, but it seems either the members couldn't be bothered, or the magazine chose not to print such items. I was pleased to see that my letter was one of those included.

Now that the finances of the Association are a little healthier than they were a few years ago, it is a good time to do a little soul-searching about membership, especially the attracting of, and retention of younger members, or at least members under retirement age. Those at Kingston in June will recall Lois Dickinson's passionate plea to encourage and educate younger members, but the unwritten by-law of the Association appears to be the encouragement of younger members, as long as they are willing to work at the `menial' tasks, and not aspire to higher offices. How many younger people do you know who have been `turned off' the Association? I know some.

Election procedures at the AGM need some attention too, especially the use of proxy votes. Apparently, one delegate carried nine votes. Count `em! Nine votes! On any close issue that delegate could control the vote. Who runs the Association? The president or delegates festooned with an excess of proxy votes? Perhaps this is academic, as coming reforms may correct this problem.

To close on a happier note, the Ketcheson family, whom I mentioned earlier, are heading for a special anniversary in the year 2000. You read it here first! That year will mark 200 years since William Ketcheson, UE took up his Bay of Quinte land grant, and the property is still in that family. The family has held annual gatherings since at least 1911, so look for a bigger celebration that year.

Peter Johnson, UE.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Johnson, Peter
Publication:The Loyalist Gazette
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 22, 1998
Words:699
Next Article:Our '98 conference, Kingston.
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