November 5th 2010
Source: Mark Hoult - Community Press
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Havelock-Belmont-Methuen — Diane Mack has long dreamed of seeing the
community's historical artifacts and memorabilia housed in their own
"Someday this town is going to have a real museum," said the
Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Historical Society president after
receiving donations from former CP Rail employees Dave Hart and
Now, with the support of the municipality, Mack's dream is closer to
taking form. Reeve Ron Gerow has vowed to make a permanent museum
one of council's priorities.
"Council has been talking for years about the importance of
preserving the history of the community," he said. "Over the next
term we will be talking about a museum somewhere in the community
where everything can be permanently displayed."
Gerow said a local museum in a prominent location would provide a
boost to tourism by telling the story of the community's rich
heritage and the railroad, forestry and mining operations that have
sustained its people.
"There is a lot of history there, and a lot of people have given up
artifacts going back five generations, and they want to see them
preserved. So it's up to us, with the help of the historical
society, to make sure these things are preserved for future
The historical society's collection of thousands of artifacts and
memorabilia, including old photographs, newspaper clippings and
clothing, is housed temporarily in space in the old Havelock Town
Hall on Mathison Street. The collection keeps growing in preparation
for the time it will take its place in a new home, Mack said.
"Right now our goal is to save, save, save, and not let it out of
Havelock," she said.
The latest additions to the collection come from Hart, who worked
for CP Rail from 1977 to 2005. During that time, he rode the network
of rail lines between Toronto, Havelock, Hamilton, Smith Falls and
Belleville. He has survived two train collisions. "The railroad can
be a very dangerous place to work," he said.
Hart donated two sets of hand-written train orders — the last orders
of their kind issued on the local lines before CP switched to
electronic orders. In addition, he donated an old CP seniority list,
a photo of himself working as a conductor in Havelock, a pay stamp
and a well-thumbed Canadian Rail Operating Rules book.
Pollock was a member of Canada's merchant marine fleet during the
Second World War who joined CP Rail after the war. He has donated
numerous items to the historical society over the years, including
his father's battered CP lunchbox, lanterns, radios, hats, uniforms
and photographs. Pollock has also set up a display depicting life on
the railroad in a preserved yellow caboose on the south side of
Highway 7 in Havelock.
Pollock was on the train in 1961 that made the final night run
between Toronto and Ottawa. He was also on the last runs between
Havelock and Smith Falls and between Kingston and Smith Falls.