This is the first in a series of interviews profiling our museum volunteers. We begin with Jim Lutz (at right in photo above) who has served on the museum board of governors for several years. A US veteran of the Vietnam war, Jim also served for many years as a civilian instructor with the Queen’s Own Rifles affiliated 17 Upper Canada College Rifles, 96 Trinity College School and 2881 QOR cadet corps.
How did you end up volunteering at the museum?
As a member of the QOR Trust Fund, I was involved with the City staff in transitioning Casa Loma to the Liberty Group, and I have stayed involved with the Museum because of my interest in history.
What background do you bring with you that you think helps you contribute in this role?
I have a strong background in military history, having been a graduate student of C.P.Stacey at the University of Toronto. I have been associated with the QOR for over 30 years, so I know its history well and have known many of its distinguished veterans.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering at the museum?
I enjoy helping to preserve our history, and meeting the other volunteers.
What aspect or content of the museum are you most passionate about and why?
I enjoy reading all the documents in the archives, which tell so much about the history of the QOR.
Is there one object in the collection that really excites you or that you think people should know about?
Two items: The Paardeberg bugle, and the number side panel from one of the D-Day landing craft that was preserved by the Lieutenant Colonel Elliot Dalton who commanded one of the QOR companies in the first wave on D-Day.
Why do you think a museum like this is important?
The Museum shows the volunteer spirit of Torontonians who served in the QOR, and how these people participated in some of the most important events of modern history.
Would you recommend volunteering to others and if so why?
Depends upon your interests – if you love history, or if you have served in the QOR, or if you enjoy re-enactment, or if you value local history, then any of these is a good reason to volunteer. Also, you will see tangible results of your work, which will be shared with all the visitors to Casa Loma.