"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, 6 December 2015


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "SPEAKING ABOUT RESPECT FOR THE OFFICE": 

11:24, I'm saying that is was located in a number of places before it was even in a PART of Church St. School.

It helps to know the history, to offset some of the revisionist history recently presented, as well as the outright misinformation. How the AHS abdicated responsibility for a "heritage centre" is a matter of public record, however much some don't want to face the facts of a metaphorical 'throwing the keys on the table.' 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 6 December 2015 at 12:21

When the Region was created and all municipal police departments were rolled into one, the Historical Society  moved into the waterworks building in Yonge Street after the police left. 

Before that they were allowed to use  a small room on the second floor of the old town hall.The collection  was started  at the same time and what there was of it,  stored in the little room.

York County Board of Education was created in 1969  and rented Chirch Street School from the town until 1976. I was Mayor when the Town and The Board moved into the new administrative centre on Wellington Street.

The town gave the entire second floor of Church Street school to the Historical Society and provided funding soon after for Jacqueline Stewart to be retained as curator. A full  program was provided. Teachers brought classes.  to the museum. Summer history camps were held in co-ordination with the recreation department, Jackie did  heritage research for the planning department. 

Special events like A Victorian Christmas Tea Party were held at the museum. 

Anyone who sought information about a family's history found Jackie ready, willing and competent to
provide it. Town history was front and foremost in the community. 

The building had been vacated for renovation when I came back to Council in 2003. A Fund-raising drive was underway. Society members had  gutted the interior ready for restoration. Thousands  of volunteer hours had been contributed, an architect retained  and plans prepared and paid for by the Historical  Society. Anumber of whom had been the last students in the school. 

Their  emotions were very much a part of the special meeting held upstairs to mark the next stage of the renovation. 

On a motion, moved by myself and seconded by Councillor Ron Wallace ,the town agreed to provide 
resources needed to complete the restoration according to the plans. It was always intended to be shared.

Fire protection was installed, especially designed for a museum, paid for by the Historical  Society. 

A decision to provide funds for the restoration from the sale of  Aurora Hydro was made before the end of the term in 2006. 

A new curator was appointed by the Historical Society.  $750.000 was obtained from Heritage Ontario. 

A heat pumps system could have been installed with part of the grant. It was more expensive to install but it would have meant no untility bills ever again. No carbon footprint.

 It was rejected. 

No public statement was ever made  to indicate the museum would not be re-Instated in the building. 

The  question of timing was asked in Council . The Mayor respondedthe Treasurer would be submitting a report. It never happened. 

An Interim Board was  appointed. Their first purchase was a grand piano. 

Clearly there was an agenda that had nothing to do with Town history. 

So ...when the claim is made the museum occupied several locations prior to being given a home 
In Church Street School.......there is no accuracy to the statement.

It was  always intended  compatible cultural events would be held in the building. 

It was never publicly recommended  the museum should have its home stolen right out from under. 

The action was sly, devious, dishonest,underhanded and unworthy of a public agency committed to doing no harm. 

No amount of revisionism will ever alter that fact. 


Anonymous said...

Revisionism simply will not work. There are too many historians living in Aurora.

Anonymous said...

Well written, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Be careful who you call an historian, 19:11. There are fewer than those that are often credited as such. A true historian has academic credentials, while a mere history buff does not.

Anonymous said...

There are also amateur historians.
It is only recently that credential come into play.
Some local amateurs have been active for many, many years.

Anonymous said...

I care nothing for the credentials, only for the experience and how it applies to Aurora - not some computer mock-up
of " comparable " towns, When I refer to historians, they are local.

Anonymous said...

Other than John McIntyre and Jacqueline Stuart, I can't think of any other proper, professional, local historians with an expertise in Aurora's history.

Anonymous said...

Ha! The comment @ 21:11 struck a nerve with "Christopher" - well, he's got the amateur part down.

Anonymous said...

We got a mayor without any political experience or credential.