The World is a Stage

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‘June is bustin’ out all over’ is a song from ‘Oklahoma.’

They are singing about nature in the song, but here in Tillsonburg June is just bustin’ out at the seams with things to do!

Besides Turtlefest tonight and tomorrow, there are a lot of other events coming up. Like tomorrow, Saturday, June 15th, St. John’s Anglican KIDS are having a lawn sale so you might like to pop over to it while you are downtown with Turtlefest. (Ridout W & Bidwell in the hall).

After last year’s celebrations for the Queen’s 60th Jubilee, you might find it confusing that there will be a Coronation Tea on Wednesday, June 26th this year. Well, Queen Elizabeth became Queen the moment her father King George VI died, but she chose, however, to wait a year before being officially coroneted. It allowed her a period of mourning for her beloved father and the time to plan the coronation properly.

So she became Queen on Feb. 6, 1952 but wasn’t actually coroneted until June 2, 1953. Hence it is perfectly logical to use the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesties Coronation as an excuse to have a cream tea. Well, any reason is a good reason! Think about it… homemade scones, strawberry jam and real clotted cream! No whip cream here; no, this is a real English tea!

Speaking of tea, there will be a special blend of teas, direct from England: Fortnum and Mason’s Coronation Tea.

Once again, St. John’s Anglican Church Outreach committee is doing a series of fundraising teas. The cost is $6 from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday the 26th. There will also be a display of Coronation memorabilia and all will be ‘royally’ decorated.

Now where did I put my hat and gloves after last year’s tea? You don’t have gloves or an appropriate hat? Not to worry, you don’t have to get gussied up, you only need to come and enjoy! Mmmmmm, I can taste it now!!

Now that I have talked about the sweets, I shall let you know where you can get your main course!! June 29th, to the day, is the Tillsonburg Museum’s 40th Anniversary and to celebrate, there will be a Steak & Lobster Tail Dinner. Oh… I love lobster! First will be soup to start, and with the steak and lobster will be potatoes and veggies, and cake for dessert. (I am really hoping for chocolate for the cake!)

Dinner is hosted at the Carriage Hall at 25 Brock St. W, by Chrissy’s Catering and tickets are $40 a person. The plan is: 5:30 p.m. Social; 6:30 p.m. Dinner; Cash Bar; Silent Auction and a "brief" formal program following dinner. A few people will have something to say and if you are really lucky, maybe a wee presentation with pictures!

Please call Annandale National Historic Site if you would like to celebrate with us (519-842-2294).

The museum began with Mary Byerlay and seven university students who were able to apply for a government grant for a summer project, to form a museum. They had to have a parent organization to oversee the operations and so Preston Williams and others formed the Historical Society and a Board of Management that would work with the Town of Tillsonburg, who would partially fund the museum through an annual grant. Now the infrastructure was in place, but where would the museum be?

Well, today on lovely Lake Lisgar you see the remnants of the first museum at the Water Park’s Summer Place. Originally there was a large barn-like building there which had been built in 1928 by Fred Bushnell Sr. as a dance hall. Over the years it became a roller-skating rink, badminton club, an armoury during WWII and Lions Club Community Centre. It also had a rifle range in the basement and the Tillsonburg Little Theatre was allowed to store their flats and other necessities there.

The Tillsonburg Museum officially opened on June 29, 1973, and Mary and her students converted it into a museum. Over that last year, the artifacts had begun pouring in. Many of these artifacts were donated by the remaining families of our original settlers, and were used in the first display “The Evolution Of The Household.” 

On June 29, Ted Tillson, a direct descendent from George, cut the ribbon. The museum was run by volunteers.

We’ve come a long way since then. The old building was not the most appropriate facility for a museum and Dr. Coreless’ Coniston House, (called Annandale House by the Tillsons) was for sale in the early 1980s, which allowed the opportunity for the people of Tillsonburg to merge the two and create a House Museum many large cities are envious of.

Although Annandale House seems to steal the thunder, it is in fact only the museum’s biggest artifact!  Come join us for this great birthday celebration!

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