DOMINION PRESIDENT'S Message.
As I hope you are aware from the reports presented at the Annual Meeting and the contacts made with the Branches, our website is being revamped. At the same time, we are planning to move to an online Membership Application and Renewal process. As part of the new site design, there will be a Members-only section, similar to other organizations. It is hoped that the online Membership and Renewal function will be in place for the coming year.
The project that we are supporting with Huron College at the University of Western Ontario is progressing and we have seen some of the work that they have completed to date.
A card was sent on behalf of the UELAC to Her Majesty on her 93rd birthday and a thank-you was received from Buckingham Palace a few weeks ago. A card of congratulations was also sent to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their son.
In early May, I was in the Moncton, New Brunswick area for the Atlantic Regional Meeting. As some of you may be aware, the Abegweit Branch was at a crisis point regarding Membership and those willing to step in to run the Branch. Currently the Branch is still active, but a little dormant. Work is underway to resurrect it, and anyone interested in helping should contact the Regional Vice-President, Brian McConnell UE.
On 11 May 2019, I attended the Kawartha Branch Meeting in Peterborough, which afforded me an opportunity to reconnect with Members I'd not seen in some time, as well as those I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting.
The end of May and the first of June saw many of us in Gatineau, reconnecting and enjoying the hospitality of the Sir Guy Carleton Branch who, with the assistance of Members from the other Branches in the region, hosted an excellent Conference.
On 15 June 2019, Bicentennial Branch held their 35th Anniversary meeting in the Kingsville area. Although we had to compete, at times, with a deluge of rain, it Was a great meeting and their speaker/storyteller was not only interesting, but someone who really appeared to enjoy what he was doing.
On 16 June 2019, Grand River Branch held their Loyalist Day celebrations in Simcoe, Ontario, at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church. One of the stained-glass windows in the Church is dedicated to Reverend Jabez Collver who, at age 64, left New Jersey with his wife and children and, shortly after his arrival, formed the first Presbyterian congregation in 1793. One of his descendants, Marilyn Branch UE, gave a short history of his life. Following the church service, a flag raising was held in the square and members of St. Paul's Congregation attended, as well as members from the near-by Anglican church
On 12 June 2019, I returned to Ottawa, following receipt of an invitation from the Governor General's Office to attend the inauguration for the Queen Elizabeth II Equestrian monument. The monument, normally near the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, was moved to ensure its safety during the renovation project. It is currently sitting in the centre of the round-about in front of Rideau Hall. The plan is to move it back in ten years time, but most people present felt that it should remain exactly where it is.
During the past several years, I have heard from Branches indicating that they have offered to participate at Remembrance Day Services honouring our veterans from World Wars I and II, as well as those who fought during the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Upper Canada Rebellion, etc. In some cases, Members have been encouraged by the local Legion to participate, but there have been other Legion Branches who have been less than welcoming. A letter in response to one that I sent to the Legion has been received and I have forwarded it to the Branch Presidents. Below is the final paragraph of the letter and I would encourage all Branches, where possible, to contact the local Legion Branch to arrange for their participation. This is certainly an excellent opportunity for our Members to do education and outreach but, much more importantly, to honour all those who fought to create and maintain this country.
"On Remembrance Day all organizations are welcome to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies, including the national ceremony, and to place a wreath, if they so wish and arrange, in honour of those from their Association who have fallen in military service. This includes the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada."
We are arranging to have an appropriate ribbon printed which can be affixed to the wreath and further information will be sent to the Branches when we have more details.
On 19 June 2019, I was pleased to be able to attend the Hamilton Branch Loyalist Day Celebration at the Art Gallery in Hamilton. There were a number of people from the Branch in attendance, as well as members of the community, affording an opportunity to network after the formal meeting. As we all know, these connections are vital to the ongoing viability of volunteer organizations.
The Ontario Genealogical Society held its Annual Conference in London from 21 June to 23 June. Although it was very last minute, the OGS organizing committee kindly found a space for us and, with the assistance of Ted Smith of London Branch, we were able to have a presence at the Conference. Given the number of people who left their names or took contact information, it was time very well spent. It is my plan that the Dominion UELAC will continue to be a presence at the OGS Conferences and to form a closer alliance with the OGS in future. I would like to see a similar arrangement across the country and will be asking our Regional Vice-Presidents and Regional Counsellors for their assistance with this.
I hope all of you have enjoyed a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you over the course of this coming year.
Loyally, Suzanne Morse-Hines UE UELAC Dominion President
BY SUZANNE MORSE-HINES UE UELAC PRESIDENT