Thanks, Colchester Historeum

Published February 2, 2016 by A.J.B. Johnston

The members of Truro’s Colchester Historical Society put on a wonderful gala at the Colchester Historuem on Saturday evening, 6 February 2016. I was honoured to be one of those asked to say a few words, and decided to write something rather than speak off the top of my head. The text of my brief remarks is found below. Before that text I am posting a couple of photos of the evening sent to me by Dale Ells, who was taking photos for the Historeum’s newsletter. One catches me at the podium; the other I am with Rod Norrie, drummer of the legendary Lincolns, who were a force to be reckoned with when I was a teenager. We are in front of the banner that celebrates the Lincolns’ impact on Truro and much of Nova Scotia back in the 1960s. They played a powerful mix of Soul and R&B and Rod Norrie was the drummer.

Historeum gala Dale Ells shot


Historeum with Rod Norrie by Dale Ells


I want to thank the organizers of this evening’s event for giving me a spot at the microphone for a couple of minutes. That’s because I have some heartfelt thanks to express.

On behalf of my co-conspirators at Camus Productions, JP and Sally Camus, I want to acknowledge the many individuals who contributed to what together we achieved in transforming this space from what it used to be — a somewhat uninspiring, windowless big room — into what it has become — a multi-faceted interpretive installation that celebrates both the building’s original architecture and the rich depth of the history and culture of Colchester County. We hope the approach is one that intrigues and entertains as it educates.

I will not try to thank you all by name, for fear of leaving someone out. But I’m pretty sure you know who you are. You were the ones who expressed a hope or a sentiment, an idea or a complication, an object or an image, a document or a story, or maybe someone who possessed a skill or a resource that could be brought to bear to make this project succeed. You were the ones who told us in words or with a smile or a nod that our ideas sometimes had merit, or you let us know when you felt or thought that they did not. You were also the ones who found ways to keep the momentum going when things stalled, because there were some long halts, times when the funding for next steps was not apparent. It took persistence, creativity and flexibility for you to find trails through the funding forest, as it always does. Our hats are off to you.

I think it is fair to say that along the way in this project we became something of a band of brothers and sisters, soldiering for our common cause. That cause was to tell the story of Colchester County in fresh ways that seek to engage the people of the 21st century, citizens of Colchester and visitors from elsewhere.

JP and Sally Camus cannot be here tonight, but I know I speak for them when I say thanks to all of you — thanks for letting us play our parts in this wonderful project, along with the talents, dedication and determination you showed. Like you, we see greatness — past, present and future — in this, the Heart of Nova Scotia.
Thanks to all of you.

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