Category Archives: Museum

BEHIND THE SCENES: CATALOGUING AND STORAGE PART II

By Cheryl Copson, QOR Museum Collections Officer. Cheryl has a BA in Archaeology from Boston University and a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. When she’s not volunteering at our museum, she is a Collection Technician: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Near East and the Islamic World department at the Royal Ontario Museum.

The museum regularly receives new donations, large and small, as outlined by our Curator in Part 1. But once they arrive at the museum, where do they go? What happens to them? How are they tracked and managed? Are they placed in a warehouse like in Indiana Jones? Left in the dark until a researcher or curator calls on them?

Through this post, I will take you through some of the steps we take to properly care for, track, and make our collection accessible to the public.

First task – Numbering!

As a bit of a refresher from Part 1, once the legal title is transferred to the museum each gift is assigned a unique “accession number”. This is based on the year the gift came to the museum and what number gift it was for that year:

The first gift of 2020 = 2020.01

The 15th gift of 2020 = 2020.15

Then each object within that gift is assigned a unique “object number” based on its accession number. This forms a “tri-part” number:

The first object in the first gift of 2020 = 2020.01.001

The 15th object of the 15th gift of 2020 = 2020.15.015

Let’s get a bit crazier! If one object has two parts – say a pair of shoes – we go even further!

Shoe 1: 2020.01.001.1

Shoe 2: 2020.01.001.2

(Okay, that’s probably far enough!) We use these unique object numbers to easily track and maintain the vast collection. For those of you familiar with our collection you might also know that we have a “5-digit” numbering system….

In the past, the QOR Museum assigned a “5-digit” sequential number to objects. Example – the white “pith” helmet in our collection – Object Number:  01141. Each artefact still gets a unique number in this series however, unlike in the “tri-part” system it is not apparent when the artefact came into our collection or with what other material. We have been working hard to re-establish those connections, and where possible reassign a tri-part number.

01141 – “Pith” Helmet https://qormuseum.pastperfectonline.com/webobject/73608F36-9D59-4928-8454-350462751772

Okay, let’s get cataloguing!

Once an object receives a number it is individually catalogued. This includes noting dates, previous owners, use, condition, dimensions, a detailed description, among other fields. We have many dedicated volunteers who catalogue the collection using paper forms like the one below.

Part of the Object Form used to catalogue material in the collection. From the PastPerfect database.

These forms are then entered into the database. Why not enter straight into the database? Well, currently only one person is able to work in the database at a time. While this creates a little extra work, it allows us to double check information as it is entered off the paper catalogue sheets and ensure it is entered into the database in a consistent manner. Consistency is key when trying to search for collections for researchers or for exhibit updates! The catalogued objects then go to our photographer, Anne, who captures them in detail. The artefact images are linked directly into our database along with being uploaded to our Flickr site. Once complete the objects are ready to be put away.

Where do the objects live?

A small portion of our incoming artefacts go immediately on display. On average, museums generally display about 10-15% of their collections. This is due to (you probably guessed it) space! For the 85-90% of objects not on display, it does not mean they are any less valuable or important. In many cases these objects may be too vulnerable to light to be brought out for extended times, are used to rotate into displays, or are duplicate examples of material already on display.

For artefacts not on display they go into storage. In a historic house that means…closets! In a few previous posts we have mentioned that our office is a former bathroom (also used for archive storage). Not surprisingly, the third floor of Casa Loma has many closet spaces. For us, these now serve as collection storage. Objects are organized based on type into several spaces – Uniform Closet, Photo Room, and the notorious Closet B! Each room has shelving or racking with a unique assigned location code. When an object is put away, this location code is recorded and inputted with the rest of the aretfact’s information into our database. Anytime an artefact is moved, the location code is updated to ensure that we always have an accurate picture of where our collections are.

Image of the shelves in our Closet B. These boxes hold fragile and oversized books.

How are artefacts stored?

The storage requirements for artefacts vary depending on many factors including their material, size, and fragility. Each artefact is assessed when it comes in and determinations are made about the best way to store it. Some standard storage methods we use are:

Uniforms – hung on padded hangers (to alleviate stress on their seams and reduces creasing), and then placed in individual Tyvek© garment bags to protect from dust, light and moisture.

Volunteer Meryn with a newly constructed padded hanger.

Books – smaller books have custom covers made for them. This reduces friction between books when removing them from storage and allows us to label the spine with important information (i.e. title and object number!). Larger or more fragile books are stored horizontally in book boxes (as seen above in our Closet B photo).

Custom book covers on shelf. Note the titles and Object Numbers on the side in pencil for easy identification!

Framed photos – placed upright on shelves (much like books would be stored) with partitions between them to ensure the backing on one frame does not damage an adjacent frame.

3D objects – placed in bags or bins to protect them from any dust and keep them organized.

What happens next?

More research! We are constantly revisiting collections to add additional information, upgrade storage, or refresh exhibits. Although many of our artefacts live in storage rooms, the QOR Museum has worked hard over the past several years to ensure much of our collection is available online. This is a good tool for researchers and family members looking for information and allows us to share our material worldwide. Many times we also receive information from the public through our website or social media on our artefacts or personnel pages. We welcome this wholeheartedly! As a volunteer-run museum, things can progress slowly sometimes – but we are always looking to grow and improve!

Fifty Years at Casa Loma

Today marks exactly fifty years since our Regimental Museum opened at Casa Loma under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel William T. Barnard, ED, CD (Ret’d) and with City of Toronto Mayor William Dennison cutting the ribbon.

Also present were Mrs Reginald Pellatt, widow of former Commanding Officer and Honorary Colonel,  Colonel Reg Pellatt, VD; the Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel John G.B. Strathy, CD; and then Honorary Colonel, Colonel C. O. Dalton DSO, KStJ, ED.

As many of your will know, the museum was originally established in 1957 at the Regimental Depot in Calgary. The Depot Adjutant, Captain Joe Schmidt was the first Curator and the museum was authorized by the Regimental Executive Committee to help train new recruits in the regiments history.  It was officially opened by Major General Chris Vokes, General Officer Commanding Western Command.

Major General Chris Vokes, CB, CBE, DSO, CD – General Officer Commanding Western Command – signs the guest book while officially opening the new QOR Regimental Museum at the Depot in Calgary, 1957.

Original QOR Regimental Museum at the Depot in Calgary.

However in the late ’60s the Depot was closed and a new location was found for the museum in the historic Casa Loma, built by Toronto financier and the Queen’s Own’s longest serving Commanding Officer, Major General Sir Henry Pellatt,CVO, DCL, VD.  After the First World War, Sir Henry has lost Casa Loma to the City of Toronto for back taxes. It would sit vacant before serving as a short lived hotel, and eventually be taken over by the Kiwanis Club which ran it as one of Toronto’s most iconic tourist attractions for 80 years.

Arrangements were made with Kiwanis to occupy most of the third floor which needed considerable painting and plastering to make usable.  Museum objects were shipped from Calgary to Toronto, and new exhibits set up. And on June 7, 1970, the ribbon was cut and the museum officially opened.

Mayor Dennison cuts the ribbon at the foot of the stair case assisted by Lieutenant Colonel John Strathy.

Left to right: A future RSM and Major Harry McCabe (partially visible in WWII uniform), Honorary Colonel C.O. Dalton, his wife Helen, Mayor William Dennison, Mrs Reginald Pellatt, Lieutenant Colonel John Strathy, and Rifleman Johnny Bennett in period uniform at the present arms.

From left to right: Mayor Dennison, Mrs. Reginald Pellatt, LCol Barnard, and a young Sergeant Jerry Senetchko standing sharply to attention while the Curator tells about the Ensign McEachren Tunic.

Lieutenant Colonel John Strathy points out something of interest to his mother and father, retired Colonel of the Regiment J.G.K. Strathy.

Guest enjoying refreshments at the opening.

Of course a lot has changed since 1970. In 1988 LCol Barnard was succeeded as curator by his assistant, Captain Peter Simundson who would continue in the role for another 22 years.  On Peter’s retirement in 2012, Major John Stephens assumed the curator’s role.

LCol Barnard with then Colonel-in-Chief, HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent at a museum relaunch event in the 1980’s.

Changes of space allocations and upgrading exhibits, labels, and interpretive panels has continued over those past fifty years. In 2014 came a new operator as the Liberty Entertainment Group replaced the Kiwanis Club of Toronto, and a new relationship with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Trust that operates the museum on behalf of the Regiment.

Behind the scenes there was also continuous improvement in storage, cataloging and IT systems – and of course in more recent times, embracing the opportunities to reach a much wider audience through various social media platforms such as this website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr.

Today we had hoped to host an event at the museum to celebrate this anniversary but of course the best laid plans “of mice and men” can be sabotaged by a viral pandemic. Despite that our museum team continues to work remotely as best we can on a variety of projects, and we look forward to celebrating this anniversary throughout the coming year when Casa Loma and our museum return in some fashion to a new normal.

For now though we want to thank all those in the Regimental family who have supported the museum over the past fifty years – through donations of objects, financial support, and their time and effort to get us where we are today!

And while you can’t visit the museum in person right now, we encourage you to browse through our online catalog – the random image option usually brings up some interesting objects!

QOR Regimental Museum Team 2020

In pace paratus!
Your museum team.

#casaloma #qormuseum #qorofc #fiftyyears #50years

Behind the Scenes: Acquisition and Accessioning Part I

“Acquisition and Accessioning: Taking legal ownership of objects, especially (but not always) to add to your long-term collection through the process of accessioning: the formal commitment by your governing body to care for objects over the long term.

In legal terms, acquisition involves a ‘transfer of title’ from the previous owner to you. [It] gives you proof of ownership, and it assigns a unique number that will link each object to the information you hold about it.

Accessioning has a very specific meaning: it brings with ethical responsibilities to preserve objects over the long term…”

Collections Trust UK

Many of you will be familiar with our physical exhibits at Casa Loma, and many more of you will be familiar with our social media posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course this website.  But much of what our volunteer team does is actually behind the scenes as we acquire, accession and catalogue new objects, and then either add to our exhibits or put them carefully into our collections storage so they will be safe and we know where to find them.

This post will explain our acquisition and accessioning process and Part II will explain what happens next.

Where do our objects come from?

Before we dive into the details, you might wonder where we acquire objects.  The vast majority are donated to the museum as gifts – from serving soldiers, veterans, and relatives of former QOR soldiers.  Occasionally they will also come from donors who have picked them up at flea markets and yard sales. From time to time we may actually purchase an item from E-Bay or online medal auction sites however our acquisition budget is extremely limited and so these are generally only very unique or rare items.

How do we decide what we want to accept?

Like most museums around the world, we have limited storage space and have to give careful consideration to what items we accept into our collection. Don’t get me wrong though – we are very grateful when people contact us with objects they think might we might want!  From time to time however we have to say “thanks but no thanks.”  This begs the question of how we reach those decisions.

First we have to consider the museum’s 1956 mandate:

to encourage the study of Canadian military history and in particular the history of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, to rescue from oblivion the memories of its members, to obtain and preserve narratives in print, manuscript or otherwise of their travels, adventures, labours and observations, to secure and preserve objects illustrative of the civil, literary and military history of the Regiment, and to maintain a museum and a library.”

The museum’s interest also includes the six First World War Canadian Expeditionary Force Battalions perpetuated by the Queen’s Own Rifles and soldiers who served in them.

So clearly we’re looking for items related in some way to the regiment itself (or its perpetuated battalions), or to any members who served in it.  And for the latter, these would generally be related to their service with the QOR.

There are exceptions to this. For example items that might illustrate a particular period during the regiment’s service which are not already in the collection.  Recently we acquired a WWII two-piece mess tin from another museum.  It was not connected any in way to the regiment or anyone who served in it but it was a common WWII object that we did not have in our collection. Another was a WWI Victory Bond Flag – again not specifically related to the QOR but certainly an important part of WWI history.

Once we’ve established that the object or objects might be relevant or useful, there are still some further considerations:

Is it legitimate?

Sometimes – particularly for sale on the internet – objects are represented as something they aren’t either intentionally or from ignorance.  Sometimes half-forgotten family lore just doesn’t quite fit the facts. Is this “19th century” cap badge really from the 19th century?  Does the condition of a medal ribbon and other “facts” seem reasonable?

2019.08.001

For example a recent donor claimed a bugle (2019.08.001) had been played at the Battle of Ridgeway.  The bugle cord that came with it was clearly not 150+ years old but the engraving of “Captain Sherwood’s Company” made sense.  It also had the makers mark engraved on it and after some research we found that particular mark was only used for a five year period that spanned 1866.  None of this proved that it was actually played at the battle but it did confirm that it was from the correct time period and certainly could have been played, so we agreed to accept it.  We also need to have some assurance that the person donating the objects has the right to do so – in other words is actually the owner, or perhaps the executor of an estate.

How unique is it? 

QOR Silent Butler
2019.17.001

Generally we only need so many of the same items in our collection.  When a wooden ash tray stand painted like a QOR soldier (2019.17.001) and used in the Sergeant’s mess was recently offered to us, it was a no brainer to say yes.  However unless it was in mint condition (see below) we aren’t going to accept any more copies of Chambers 1899 history of the regiment as we already have six.

How big is it? 

The practicalities of limited storage space unfortunately mean we just don’t have room to accept everything – and the larger the object, the more relevant this consideration.

What condition is it in?

Aside from storage limitations we also have a limited conservation budget so if something is in poor condition and may take considerable effort and expense to properly conserve and preserve it, then we certainly need to consider that carefully. If we already have examples of this artifact in our collection, we’ll also want to determine if the item being offered is in better or worse condition than those we already have.

Can we safely store this? 

Occasionally safe storage is also a consideration.  Live ammunition, or nitrate film – which has a tendency burst into flames under the wrong storage conditions – would be two examples.  We recently had to find a way to safely dispose of the contents of a WWII polish tin which had become corrosive (not to mention the strong odour!) and threatened damaging other objects; however we did manage to save the tin with its paper label.

Can this still be used by the regiment?

Officer's Crossbelt
2018.03.003

Perhaps somewhat uniquely, our acquisition policy allows for the museum to send accoutrements in useable condition to the reserve battalion if they are needed.   The most common example of this would be sergeants’ and officers’ crossbelts which are expensive and hard to source these days. These would be acquired and accessioned but not catalogued in the next steps of our normal process.

We’re going to accept them – now what?

Once we’ve taken possession of the objects we’ve agreed to acquire, we enter the donor and donation information into our accession database and assign it a number.  The accession number 2020.02 would represent the second accession of 2020. An accession could be one item or hundreds of items as long as they are all being donated by the same person at the same time. An item (or object – I’m pretty much using the two interchangeably) could be a uniform piece, book, artwork, photograph, weapon, or collection of archival material such as correspondence or meeting minutes.

Once that’s done, our database allows us to quickly prepare a “Deed of Gift” which lists all the items, indicates that they person donating them is the legal owner, and legally transfers ownership (and copyright if held by the owner) to the Museum, to do with as it sees fit.  It is critically important establish this ownership for the future. Luckily now, much of our administration can be handled by email including sending thank you letters and deeds of gift to be signed.  Once the signed deed is returned to us, we scan it and upload to our database and also file the original copy in our office files.

The process for items that are purchased is almost identical except that the receipt is used to establish the museum’s ownership instead of the deed of gift.

The database also allows us to record the provenance or history of the ownership, as far as we know it. Provenance gives value to objects. For example a pair of WWII boots is valuable – but much more valuable if we know they belonged to Rifleman X who wore then on the D-Day landing and through to the end of the war.  Or to record family lore such as “grandfather said he got the epaulettes off a prisoner of war he was escorting from the trenches to the rear areas.”

The objects are now ready for cataloging and storage but our Collections Officer will explain that process in Part II.

What if we don’t want the items?

Sometimes items offered to us have no connection to our mandate or other use to us.  In that case we try our best to find and connect the donor with a more appropriate museum.

Sometimes some of items are of interest and some are not and so we can decide to accept some, all, or none.  An example is a donation of 10 antique rifles – several were relevant but three were not but it was an all or nothing donation. We accepted all but eventually would sell the three and use the funding to supplement our acquisition fund.  This was made known to the donor before making the donation and they were fine with this arrangement.

Sometimes we’ll accept donations for our education collection particularly when we might already have several in our museum collection.  These can be used or tried on (for example uniforms) by visitors or school groups – definitely not a recommended practice for items in the actual museum collection.

And if all else fails, we just have to say thank you for thinking of us, but no thanks.

What happens next?

Next comes the detailed cataloguing of each items in the accession, including labelling and photographing, and then finding safe and appropriate storage, which is recorded so we can find it again when we need it!  Our Collections Officer will describe this process in Part II of this blog series coming soon!

March/April Update

We wanted to take this opportunity to provide a brief update from our Museum Team during these rather unique circumstances.

Before we do that however, I think it’s important to step back for a moment to look at the bigger picture. While some of us are able to stay and work from home, many of our regimental family are front line workers who don’t have that luxury – fire fighters (a LOT of firefighters actually), EMS, doctors, nurses, and many others that work in businesses deemed “essential.” We know that many others have had their livelihoods disrupted as most businesses and services are forced to close. Many of our band members for example, have seen their civilian gigs shut down indefinitely. And many others have gone operational and are waiting to assignments to support the COVID-19 or other crises which may arise.

Our thoughts are certainly with them all.

QOR Recruit Tours

The Wednesday before Casa Loma was closed, we we’re very pleased to welcome 60 new recruits for a tour of our exhibits. The museum opened in 1957 in order to train new recruits to the QOR Depot in the history of their regiment, and while thousands of Casa Loma visitor get to learn about us each year, our primary purpose continues to be sharing our history with new members of the regimental family.

The recruits were divided into two groups, and were led through our third floor exhibits by the Curator, Major John Stephens (Ret’d) and Deputy Curator Chief Warrant Officer Shaun Kelly (Ret’d). The tour also included our exhibits in Sir Henry Pellatt’s dressing room which includes a photograph of a rather slim young Henry in athletic garb, taken after winning the North American Championship for the mile run.  Once again we were asked what his winning time was but once again we didn’t have an answer. Now however we do!  From Sir Henry Pellatt: The King of Casa Loma, a 1982 biography by Toronto writer Charlie Oreskovich:

“In 1879, at the age of 20, Pellatt ran the mile in New York, beating the U.S. champion and setting a world record at 4:42.4.”

This is just under a minute slower than the current world record. It should be noted however that at that time there was no actual international body to certify “world” records and while it may well have been a North American record, it appears according to Wikipedia, that there were certainly  runners in the United Kingdom beating that time in 1879…..for whatever that’s worth!

National Volunteer Week and the Work Goes On

Last week was National Volunteer week and so I would like to recognize our amazing team of volunteers.

On March 12th we held our last volunteer night at the castle, and in anticipation of Casa Loma’s closure, did our best to stabilize our exhibits and storage areas. Casa Loma closed a few days later until further notice.

Since that time we have continued to hold Thursday evening Zoom meetings with our volunteer team, many of whom have unfortunately, been laid off from their day jobs. Several continue to work on museum projects from home, including database updates (logging onto our computer remotely), clean up of our image collections, continuing updates to the historic timelines and other additions to the website, responding to research requests, creating resources to use at home, processing archive collections, designing promotional items, social media posting, etc.

We very much appreciate having such a dedicated team of volunteers who are willing to continue their support despite the challenges we’re all facing these days. At the same time its great to see their support and concern for their fellow team members!

And of course when the time comes, we are all looking forward to returning to the museum itself when it is safe to do so.

In Case You Missed It

Sunday 26 April 2020 was the 160th Anniversary of the formation of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Due to the COVID-19 situation, we were not of course able to hold our usual annual parade at Moss Park Armoury.  In lieu of that, we held a virtual parade through a YouTube event launch. Over 200 people were watching live and to date over 1,100 people have watch the video.  In case you’ve missed it, you can watch it below.

2020 Museum Volunteer Recognition Night

On Thursday 6 February 2020 we held our annual volunteer recognition night at The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Officers’ Mess in Moss Park Armory.

The Regimental Museum and Archive is a completely volunteer run operation and this year the museum saw 1,444 hours of service provided by 60 volunteers. This evening is an opportunity to recognize our most regular volunteers with certificates for the total number of hours they have provided to the museum (as of December 31, 2019 and rounded to the 25 hours completed.)

Certificates of Volunteer Appreciation were presented to following by our Museum Board Chair, Mr. James Lutz:

  • Private Steven Hu (25 hrs)
  • Master Corporal Chris Thiers-Gomez (25 hrs)
  • *Master Corporal Mark Kusi-Appiah (35 hrs)
  • Corporal Mario Carvalho (50 Hrs)
  • Officer Cadet Steven Ye (75 hrs)
  • Mr. Colin Sedgwick-Pinn (100 hrs)
  • Photographer Ms. Anne Frazer (150 hrs)
  • *Ms. Meryn Winters (150 hrs)
  • Weapons Officer Mr. Rob Grieve (175 hrs)
  • *Captain Ken Kominek (200 hrs)
  • Collections Officer Ms. Cheryl Copson (550 hrs)
  • *Collections Assistant Ms. Briahna Bernard (550 hrs)
  • Assistant Curator Sergeant Graham Humphrey (775 hrs)
  • Deputy Curator CWO Shaun Kelly (Ret’d)  (900 hrs)

*Unable to attend but presented later.

Those with the most “life-time” hours were also presented with $50 gift certificates for Cibo Wine Bar which were kindly donated by the Liberty Entertainment Group.

We were also pleased to present certificates of appreciation to recognize the support of the following:

  • Commanding Officer LCol Frank Lamie
  • Regimental Sergeant Major CWO Donovan O’Halloran
  • Casa Loma Curator Marcela Torres

Thank you to everyone who has helped support our museum in 2019 with their time and talents!

If you are interested in volunteering with us, you can find more information and an application form on our website.

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Thank you for all your support in 2019!

2019 has been another busy year at our museum and I’d like to share some highlights.

Governance
The Museum Board continues to meet periodically throughout the year under the Chair Jim Lutz, and recently welcomed Ms. Michele McCarthy as a new board member. The board recommends an annual budget to the QOR Trust, reviews the financial progress, and is also currently working on cooperation with Casa Loma operator Liberty Entertainment Group, reviewing options for collections insurance, and development of an emergency plan.

We continue implementing our 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, developed after extensive consultation with our volunteers, visitors, archive users, and key members of the regiment. The annual Implementation Plan is reviewed by the museum team at least quarterly and by the Museum Board at each meeting.

Volunteers
In February we once again held our Volunteer Recognition Night at the Royal Canadian Military Institute generously supported by one of our donors. We were joined by members of the Museum’s Board and by the Commanding Officer and MWO Johnston representing the Regimental Sergeant Major.

We said farewell to a couple of volunteers including one of our long time volunteers who moved to Ottawa. But we also welcomed three new volunteers in September including one with qualifications in photo and paper conservation, one serving member of the regiment, and one from another regiment (we must be doing something right!)

This year volunteers put in over 1,500 hours – although we know there have been lots of hours we haven’t managed to track for work done outside our usual Thursday evening work nights.

Exhibits
April saw us hold a special reception to officially unveil the new McEachren Tunic exhibit case which was installed in December 2018. The family of the late Regimental Sergeant Major Scott Patterson, whose estate funded the majority of this project, were present to assist with the ceremony. Also on display were a number of interesting items that are not usually on exhibit.  Photos from this event can be found here on our Flickr site.

We continue to work on upgrading our exhibits. This year all our timeline and interpretive panels were reprinted directly on a much more durable plastic product that will better withstand the Casa Loma environment.  It was also an opportunity to ensure consistency across all our exhibits. And with permission from the Fort Erie Museum we were able to use images of art works in their collection to re-design the interpretive panels for the Fenian Raids exhibit (image above.)


We completed two more pop-up banners on the regiment’s participation in the North-West Rebellion, and started pre-production work on banners on the QOR in The South African War.

Collections
In 2019 we processed 47 accessions – which ranged from a single item to several hundred. One significant item was the donation of a bugle believed to have been used at the Battle of Ridgeway by the bugler of Capt Sherwood’s Company – The Trinity College Rifles company. While we can’t verify that it was indeed used then, we did research the maker’s mark and confirmed that it was definitely from that period and over 150 years old.

We were also able to purchase a collection of over 500 documents believed to have been collected by Colonel George Taylor Denison II. These span 1802-1885 but the majority are general militia orders from 1855 to 1869 including the order for the Queen’s Own to mobilize for the Fenian Raids and can also be found on our Flick site.

Some other notable accessions included:

  • a WWI Victory Bond flag, a QOR pioneer sword and scabbard,
  • an early 20th century officer’s busby and box,
  • an 1890’s Sergeant’s mess jacket,
  • a North West Rebellion medal belonging to Thomas J. Cauldwell,
  • a 1917 German Mauser rifle,
  • and correspondence to and from the current Honorary Colonel and the Colonel in Chief, the Duchess of Cornwall.

We continue to update our online catalogue as we complete the cataloging process and update the database.

The collections side of operations also involves the appropriate storage of our objects and we continue to purchase appropriate archival quality storage boxes and other materials as well as additional shelving, as our budget allows.

Worth Noting
In September the Regiment held the Change of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Parade at Casa Loma and the museum was pleased to create an exhibit of regimental sports related material – some dating back to the 19th century, in honour of our incoming Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Vicky Sunohara. Vicky was a Canadian Olympic Hockey medalist and is currently the coach of the University of Toronto women’s Varsity Blues hockey teams. Photos of this awesome event can be found here.

In November we held our annual QOR Day at Casa Loma with over 55 volunteers and serving soldiers staffing our exhibits and programs and over 1,000 visitors attending. As always there are more photos available online!

And earlier this month we helped to facilitate another meeting of the Toronto Military Curators Network to share and discuss items of common interest – and there are lots!

We continue to share our collection and museum work on various social media platforms including our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flick – the latter has over 14,000 images!  Please use the links below to follow, like, subscribe, etc. if you don’t do so already.

Lastly our thanks!
Thank you to all who have made a financial contribution this year to support our work. If you haven’t, fear not as there is still time left to make a donation to the QOR Trust and receive a charitable tax receipt for 2019.  A donation of any size will help make a big difference.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!

On behalf of our whole museum team, thanks again for another great year and best wishes for the holiday season!

Sincerely,

John

Maj John M. Stephens, CD (Ret’d)
Curator, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada
Regimental Museum and Archives

Surprise projection on the side of Casa Loma by the Liberty Entertainment Group for the Change of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Parade on September 11, 2019.

QOR Day at Casa Loma 2019

I know that many of those who follow our website are not local to Toronto, but for those that are we hope you’ll join us for our annual Queen’s Own Rifles Day at Casa Loma on this coming Saturday November 9th. Our program is included in your Casa Loma admission fee.

This is a great family day event which showcases the long and dedicated military heritage of the QOR as well as the regiment of today!

Program includes:

  • Soldiers from the Regiment with various displays displays of modern day equipment such as tac-vests, rucksacks, winter kit, mountain ops kit, communications and parachuting equipment, reconnaissance skills, etc.
  • Members of the Regiment with service in  Bosnia
  • Re-enactors representing various periods including the First World War, the Second World War, Korea and Cyprus
  • Vintage Signallers Exhibits
  • Remembrance Day crafts for children
  • Temporary QOR Badge tattoos
    The Brass Quintet from the Regimental Band giving performances in the Great Hall

Solders with ID or in uniform, veterans in an association blazer or with Veteran’s ID, and Cadets in uniform get free admission to Casa Loma on both Saturday November 9th and Sunday November 10th!

We hope you’ll be able to join us!

 

 

Change of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Parade

Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Lionel J. Goffart, CD, OStJ

On 11 September 2019 the Regimental Museum was pleased to host the Change of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel parade in the gardens of Casa Loma. And at just before the start of the parade, Casa Loma surprised us with the giant project of the regimental badge and a Canadian flag across the whole south side of the castle!

Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Vicky Sunohara

In this unique setting the Regiment bid farewell to outgoing Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Lionel J. Goffart who has given so much support to the QOR in this role. As a token of our appreciation, Lionel was presented with a beautiful painted portrait for his family.

And we welcomed three time Olympic Hockey medalist and current coach of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s hockey team,  Vicky Sunohara as our incoming Honorary Lieutenant Colonel.

During the evening the Regiment also took possession of a beautiful portrait of Queen Mary, the first Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada which had been commissioned by former Honorary Colonel Paul Hughes and his wife Beverly.

(L-R) Honorary Colonel, Major General Walter Holmes, Beverly Hughes, former Honorary Colonel Paul Hughes, and Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Lamie

In honor of the Incoming’s sports background, the Regimental Museum set up an exhibit of various regimental sports objects including trophies, jerseys and photographs some of which are shown below.

Members of our Museum Team with incoming Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Vicky Sunohara

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QOR sports teams over the years.

You can see lots more amazing photographs of the parade, the presentations and the reception that followed on our Flickr site.

QOR Auction 2018 Catalogue

QOR Auction will be held on April 25th in the Officers’ Mess at Moss Park Armoury, in support of the Regimental Museum and the soldiers’ trip to D-Day+75 in June 2019.

Below is a link to the catalogue of items – some really interesting pieces!

QOR Soldiers Auction catalogue – as of 30 Mar 18

Hope to see you there – remember to register in advance!

Museum Survey – We need your input!

The Regimental Museum Board of Governors has undertaken a strategic planing process to guide the museum over the next five years. This survey is one of several steps being used to consult with our broader museum community and includes questions not only about the physical museum located at Casa Loma, but also about possible interactions you may have had with the museum through the website and other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr.

Even if you have not visited the museum in person or connected through the internet, we value your input. And your input is strictly anonymous.

This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete – maybe 12 if you have a lot you want to suggest to us! 🙂

Please remember to hit the SUBMIT button at the end to record your responses.

The survey will close at end of day November 30, 2016.

Thanks,
The Museum Board of Governors