“Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” now on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg has an extensive marine history and the Gibson Gallery is the place to go to learn more about it.

“Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through Oct. 21. It was co-ordinated by David Cozens, president of the Fort Malden Guild of Arts & Crafts board of directors, and a team of local residents who are no strangers to the water.

“I think it turned out very well,” Cozens said of the exhibit.

John Dupont, Cliff Morrison and David Cozens show a trophy that is part of the “Ahoy! Amherstburg’s Marine Past” exhibit now at the Gibson Gallery.

Cozens estimated that there are at least 75 artifacts on display, including an underwater diving suit that dates back to around 1880. There are also over 100 photographs around the gallery. He said when the River Town Times printed an article in early August appealing to the community to loan their materials to the exhibit, it was very helpful.

“We were overwhelmed by the response with photos and artifacts,” he said.

There are also fleet pennants displayed at the gallery including pennants from Canada Steamship Lines, Algoma Central and Lower Lakes Towing. The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans also helped out, he stated.

An opening reception was held last Thursday evening and “we have at least four people here who worked for McQueen Marine,” Cozens said. He thanked Cliff Morrison, Al Jackson, John Dupont, Wes Ball and Dave Goodchild for their help with the exhibit as well as Meg Reiner from the Marsh Historical Collection.

Cozens explained that his love of the water and marine life dates back to his youth.

“When I moved to town in 1962, we moved into Capt. Penner’s house,” he said. “Our neighbour to the north was Capt. Hackett. Capt. McQueen was to the south of us. I’ve been a boat nerd ever since.”

He added: “To this day, if I hear a boat in the middle of the night, I have to get up and see what it is and where she’s from.”

David Goodchild and Al Jackson also worked at compiling materials for the exhibit, which runs through Oct. 21.

Cozens also thanked Ron Deneau for his financial support of the exhibit and all who helped make it possible. He said he felt it was important to preserve this piece of Amherstburg’s history and show it to the newcomers to town as well as for future generations.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and is open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

For further information on the Gibson Gallery, call 519-736-2826 or visit their website at www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

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