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Monday, 20 May 2013

Omemee: Victoria Day Historically Significant!

Victoria Day Weekend Long Kawartha Lakes Historcal Connection!

Victoria Day celebrating the anniversary of Queen Victoria's Birthday has a long tradition in City of Kawartha Lakes.
This year local Facebook pages carried Victoria Day greetings, and Ruth Tait of Ruth Tait Creations Lindsay shared historic notes about Victoria Day on Ruth Tait Creations Facebook wall.
image Queen Victoria as Young Woman at Opera
Queen Victoria
Dury Lane Theatre
Long before Confederation, the first legislation regarding Victoria Day was passed in 1845 by the parliament of the Province of Canada to officially recognize 24 May as the Queen's birthday. On that date in 1854, the 35th birthday of Queen Victoria, 5,000 residents of Canada West gathered in front of Government House near present day King and Simcoe Streets, Toronto to 'give cheers to their queen,'. However, on Victoria Day 1866, the village of Omemee, now part of Kawartha Lakes, mounted a day-long fĂȘte marking the occasion, including a midnight gun salute , pre-dawn serenades, picnics, athletic competitions, a display of illuminations, and a torch-light procession.
The celebrations spread across Canada over the years, and at Queen Victoria's death in 1901, it was declared 'Victoria Day'.
In the 19th century, Canada's students led their first revolt when it was rumoured schools would remain open on Victoria Day. Students chanted:
The twenty-fourth of May, 
Is the Queen's birthday! 
If we don't get a holiday, 
We'll all run away!'
They got their holiday! In the 1960's we still chanted the old ditty, and cheerfully burned a school house firework at the end of Victoria Day fireworks displays.
Victoria Day signals the beginning of summer weather in Ontario. The long weekend has become the traditional time for opening cottages, transplanting plants into gardens, and the first camping weekend. Although celebrated on the first Monday before May 25th each year, the long weekend is also widely known as May 2-4 weekend among partiers who purchase cases of beer with 24 servings.
Locally, Bethany currently holds the largest Victoria Day celebrations in City of Kawartha Lakes.with parade, fireworks, carnival rides, car show, dog show, ball tournaments, and baking contests at Bethany Park.

Kawartha Lakes Historical Societies

2013 marks the 125 anniversary of the Ontario Historical Society, which was founded in 1888. The Ontario Historical Society lists the following member societies in our local area:
  • Kawartha Heritage http://www.maryboro.ca/Friends.html 
  • Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society (Kawartha Settlers' Village) http://settlersvillage.org 
  • Kinmount and District Historical Society Kinmount ON K0M 2A0 Guy Scott 
  • Kirkfield and District Historical Society http://www.kirkfieldhistoricalsociety.com/ 
  • Manvers Township Historical Society 
  • Omemee and District Historical Society 
  • Sheddon Area Historical Society 
  • Victoria County Historical Society 
  • Victoria, Heritage Committee http://www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca/city-hall/boar_ 26 
  • Boyd Heritage Museum http://www.theboydmuseum.com 
  • Fenelon Falls Museum, Maryboro Lodge http://www.maryboro.ca 
  • Kawartha Settlers Village 
  • Victoria County Museum, Olde Jail Museum http://www.oldejailmuseum.com   
  •  City of Kawartha Lakes and LACAC 180 Kent St.W. - Box 630 Lindsay ON K9V 4S5 Judge Reid Scott Phone 705-454-3090 
  • United Empire Loyalists' Association (UELAC), Kawartha Branch http://www.uelac.org/Kawartha/index.php 

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