The World is a Stage

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Many people think of a museum as a boring, stagnant place, that once visited, there is no reason to return. I must admit I have been in a few like that, but our museum, Annandale National Historic Site (ANHS), is anything but static.

Displays change regularly and right now until Sept. 4, the Pratt Gallery has ‘A Tisket A Tasket, An Exhibit of Baskets.’ The baskets are from Annandale’s collection as well as other local museums and collectors and show that baskets are not only very practical containers, but beautiful works of art.

The exhibit currently in Annandale’s Quarter Ceiling Room, on the second floor, is ‘Light Up The Town,’ an exhibit featuring historical lighting devices and accessories. Come see how many you recognize from your past.

Museums are not just for adults, but also for children, and Annandale is inviting children from 5-9 years of age to their Heritage Horseplay Day Camp. There is a different theme every week and kids can sign up for as many days as they like each week. The themes are: July 11-15 - A Medieval Romp; July 18-22 - Happy Holidays; August 8-12 - An Olympic Adventure; and August 15-19 - Fairy Tale Fun. It runs from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., with the cost of $20 per child per day. (10% discount each additional sibling!) Please call Annandale NHS 519-824-2294 to register your children and find out what it includes.

Do you have old birth certificates, letters or other documents from previous generations that are getting tattered and torn? You need to join retired County Archivist, Mary Gladwing and learn how to protect and preserve your important documents on Tuesday, August 23 from 1:30-3 p.m. Call the museum for more details and to reserve a spot.

Even when the museum is closed, there are still events going on outside. One of the most popular and growing events is Music On The Lawn, presented by the Tillsonburg & District Historical Society and sponsored by the Tillsonburg Retirement Residence. This takes place Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., on the lawn and you need to bring your lawn chair or a blanket to sit on. Goodwill offering will be taken.

The schedule began in June, but here is the balance of the schedule: July 10 “Braided Together” - Mark Hasson & Special Guest Soloist Donna Holt; July17 - “George Fulop”; July 24 “Celtics” - Larry Donnelly; July 31 “Blue Sky” - Archie & Shawn Wright; August 7 “Braided Together” - Mark Hasson & Special Guest Soloist Donna Holt; August 14 “George Fulop” at 6:30 p.m.; August 21 “Back to the Fifties” - Jim Foris; August 28 “Back to the Fifties” - Jim Foris.

Evenings may be cancelled if the weather is unsuitable for the musicians. If there are no musicians set up at the regular times of performances, the evening is cancelled.

A new outdoor event has been added to Thursday nights, July 21st and August 18th at 7 p.m. - Free Yoga On The Lawn! Certified yoga instructor John Schieven invites you to an hour of yoga instruction on the lawn. Beginner or any level are welcome. Please call the museum at 519-842-2294 for more information.

Annandale NHS as never been all about people... occasionally animals are highlighted as well. Turtlefest saw turtles, tortoises and skunks on their lawn. Not to be outdone, birds want to use the lawn as well and on Sunday, August 21st from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union will be commemorating the role of pigeons in World War I. They were the cell phones of the day, flying vital information from the front line to the strategists and pleas for rescued from many soldiers. More than 100,000 pigeons were used as messengers. Many were shot and killed and a few even received medals.

This event is part of the Oxford Remembers Project, honouring the 100th anniversary of WWI.

You might also want to book another Oxford Remembers event, a Lunch and Learn on Oct 28th at Annandale NHS, with lecturer Patricia Phelps, curator, who talks about Tillsonburg and the ongoing war in 1916 in “Pack Up Your Troubles.” Cost is $20. Plus HST and lunch is at noon.

There is never a dull moment at our museum! 

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