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“True Grit” puts a unique spin on local community builders — past, present and future

May 15, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

 

True Grit opened at the DCMA on Saturday evening, and no, it was not either of the motion pictures by the same name. Rather, it was an outstanding exhibition of Dufferin County pioneers and community builders, both past and present.

It is a unique exhibit consisting of split displays, highlighting both a past example of the subject matter and a current one. Each of the past representations is comprised of numerous photos and artifacts from the museum archives, while the current subjects are represented by wonderful portraits, taken by local photographer Pete Paterson and items from today.

The exhibit was curated by Sarah Robinson, of the museum staff and is well worth a visit to experience her efforts, first hand. There are examples of many different aspects of life and existence, in the County and they are all fascinating to view. One such, is the past and present of firefighting in Dufferin.

One half this display is comprised of the Orangeville Fire Department of the late 1800s, while today shows the Rosemont District Fire Department, in all their modern gear, which is a far cry from that of their predecessors!

Another display showcases Pete Paterson and photography then and now, and another the art of brewing beer, featuring Tom Smellie, the co-founder of the Hockey Valley Brewing Company, a well-known Dufferin County business.

At the opening, Sarah was quick to point out that it was only possible due to the efforts of the entire staff at the Museum, from the Director to the volunteers. She spoke at length of the many people in Dufferin who had helped with the project and some of whom were a part of it.

One such person, was local Shelburne musician Sohayla Smith who, along with her band, The Smith Brothers, comprised of her husband Adrian and brother-in-law Nathan, played for the assembled guests.

Also in attendance, were brothers Spencer and Emerson Horner who live and breathe hockey.

Both play for the Honeywood Hurricanes and aspire to play in the NHL.

Although only 8 and 9 at the moment, both boys are, nevertheless, determined to achieve their goals, just as Aaron Downey of Melancthon had done before them. Aaron played for the Detroit Red Wings when they won one of their many Stanley Cups.

Sharing their display, is a photograph of the 1919 Shelburne Flyers, which just happens to be the oldest hockey photograph in the museum archives.

True Grit took over a year to compile and it will be mounted until December 31 of 2018.

In all, there are 26 displays to be viewed and each one reveals a slice of how Dufferin County has evolved over the years. It is both entertaining and informative and is well worth an afternoon at the DCMA.

         

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