Sharon Rideough demonstrate her spinning abilities at the Heritage Day display at the Pembroke Mall on Saturday, Feb. 23. The event is held jointly by local museums and heritage groups.
Anthony Dixon / Observer and News
Heritage Day was celebrated in Pembroke on Saturday, Feb. 23 when several museums from Pembroke set up temporary shop in the Pembroke Mall to encourage passersby to take an interest in local history.The annual event, which for the last few years has taken place at the mall, wrapped up Heritage Week in Ontario which began with provincial Heritage Day on Monday, Feb. 18. Organizers felt attendance may have been down a little at the event this year, but still, many curiosity seekers perused through the artifacts, displays, photo albums, collectibles and maps. The event ran between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.Several organizations were featured including the Champlain Trail Museum and Pioneer Village, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 72 Museum, 42nd Field Regimental Museum (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish), the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group and the Pembroke Business Improvement Area.Head organizer, Bob Clauson of the 42nd Field museum, said the event is an important opportunity for area museums and history groups to come together and showcase local history.“For example, we have photos and pictures of old buildings and downtown, businesses that aren’t there anymore? If we don’t preserve these things how do you remember them?” he said. “There’s a lot of businesses that were downtown that people don’t remember. Through events like this we can remind people of our history, show them a different time – we have to do that before it gets forgotten.”Several area dignitaries attended the event at 1 p.m. to bring greetings on behalf of their respective organizations including Mayor Mike LeMay on behalf of the City of Pembroke, branch President Stan Halliday on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion Pembrke Branch 72, and Champlain Trail museum curator Angela Siebarth.Clauson felt that public attendance may have been impacted by the weather warnings for later in the day on Saturday, which may have prevented some folks from venturing out to the mall to do their Saturday shopping and stopping by the Heritage Day display.Heritage Day was established in 1973 by the Heritage Canada Foundation to encourage the preservation and promotion of Canada’s nationally significant historic, architectural, natural and scenic heritage.The local Heritage Day event hosted by local museums was first held back in 2008, also at the Pembroke Mall. For the next seven years, however, the location was changed to the hall at Calvin United Church. In 2016 it returned to the Pembroke Mall where it has been held annually since.ADixon@postmedia.com