Belle Vue Conservancy receives boost from United Empire Loyalists

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

As the original builders of Belle Vue had Loyalist roots, this generation’s Loyalists are recognizing that.

Representatives of the Bicentennial Branch Essex-Kent of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada (UELAC) were at the historic 200-year-old Dalhousie St. home last Thursday morning to give the Belle Vue Conservancy a cheque for $5,000.

Michael Prue, the treasurer of the conservancy, thanked the UELAC branch for its donation.

Members of the Belle Vue Conservancy accept a $5,000 cheque from the Bicentennial Branch Essex-Kent of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. The cheque presentation was made last Thursday morning with the funds being turned over to the Amherstburg Community Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the town and money the conservancy raises for the town-owned building is put towards it.

Members of the Belle Vue Conservancy accept a $5,000 cheque from the Bicentennial Branch Essex-Kent of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada. The cheque presentation was made last Thursday morning with the funds being turned over to the Amherstburg Community Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the town and money the conservancy raises for the town-owned building is put towards it.

“You are doing a great service to history and to the town,” he said.

Prue noted the conservancy is continuing to raise funds, with the aim of raising at least $1 million. They hope to land a $1 million federal grant to aid in the restoration of the building.

Other groups are also looking into making a donation, Prue added.

“We just keep going and going,” he said. “So far, between cash and in-kind (contributions), the conservancy has raised over $100,000.”

Dan WJJT Griffin UE, president of the Bicentennial Branch Essex-Kent of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, noted this area of the province is heavily populated with people of Loyalist roots.

“The main reason (for the donation) is this is a vital part of our history,” said Griffin.

Robert Reynolds, owner and builder of Belle Vue, was the son of a Loyalist and his father Thomas Reynolds lost his land in Detroit and was forced to move to Amherstburg. People forced off their land in the U.S. fled to what is now Canada and rebuilt their lives and, as British refugees, the government gave them free land to repay them for their loyalty. UE stands for “Unity of the Empire.”

“(The Reynolds) were a family that put money into this beautiful building,” said Griffin.

The future plans for Belle Vue will be part of back-to-back meetings presented by the town. There will be an “informal public consultation meeting” June 15 in the Libro Centre’s community room with the Duffy’s property to be discussed from 5-7 p.m. and Belle Vue from 7-9 p.m.

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