Joe Wyatt started volunteering at the museum in October 2014 and has put in over 75 hours responding to research questions, helping at events and generally pitching in where ever needed! More recently Joe has taken over posting our social media “on this day in history” posts.
How did you end up volunteering at the museum?
I have always had a passion for history and was intrigued by the museum when I visited Casa Loma after moving to Canada 2 years ago. The museum provided a great opportunity to contribute to something worthwhile.
What background do you bring with you that you think helps you contribute in this role?
My Bachelors degree in History has benefitted the analytical nature of the research role. My work in the educational travel industry organising World War I & II battlefield tours to Europe also helps to connect the importance of keeping people (particularly younger generations) informed of the military history of Canada and sacrifices made by the armed forces.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering at the museum?
The satisfaction of being able to respond to research enquiries with further information on their relatives. Finding information on Soldiers in the regiment could range from scouring through the vast quantity of photos at the museum to manually searching through a pre-WWI service roll. Generating discussion and new interest in the Queen’s Own Rifles through the Social media posts on the Museum’s Facebook and Twitter accounts is also rewarding.
What aspect or content of the museum are you most passionate about and why?
The portrait collection of the early Commanding Officers of the regiment are a great focal point when visitors come up to the 3rd floor in Casa Loma. The exhibition adds context to the chronological flow of the museum.
Is there one object in the collection that really excites you or that you think people should know about?
The tunic of Ensign Malcolm McEachren is particularly significant, as he was the first casualty of the QOR at the Battle of Ridgeway in 1866. What makes this more fascinating is that the bullet hole is still clearly visible. The D-Day landing craft fragment is a close second.
Why do you think a museum like this is important?
It allows visitors to get a greater understanding not only of Canada’s military role from 1860 to the present day through the oldest serving regiment but also how many local Torontonians impacted on that.
Would you recommend volunteering to others and if so why?
Absolutely, being a part of the museum is a rewarding experience and there are always a wide range of jobs and tasks to keep you interested.
If you’d like to help volunteer at the museum, check out our Volunteer page for information and an application.