Perth’s mayor, his worship John Fenik, announced recently that the Perth Town Crier, Brent McLaren, has been appointed to the Heritage Management Committee for the Town of Perth. Ongoing heritage management and preservation is of utmost importance to the Town of Perth. The brand “Heritage Perth” reflects the Town’s rich heritage as its signature statement to the world. The Town pulls resources and expertise from the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC), the Museum Board of Management, and the Inge-Va Committee to assist in this strategic initiative.
The Heritage Management Committee is an umbrella Committee made up of representatives from Council and LACAC, the Museum, and Inge-Va. The Committee is responsible for bringing heritage issues to the forefront of Council and to access resources currently not available to the three individual Committees. Perth can trace its lineage of Criers back to its founding in 1816. At one time there were no less then three official Criers working in the community.
As Town Crier, Mr. McLaren been a strong advocate of preserving the Town’s heritage, history and stories. His interests, like those of the Committee, lie not only in preserving heritage, but educating the public and promoting heritage-related activities. He has been visible and active in promoting the richness of Perth to visitors and residents alike. Brent has traveled extensively as an ambassador for Perth and through his research, music and appearances has enriched and enlivened many communities.
Set against a backdrop of historic stone buildings, a walk through downtown Perth is like stepping back in time; Heritage Perth, known as “The Prettiest Town in Ontario,” trumpets the allure of days gone by, combined with todayâ€™s amenities. As always, the Town Crier looks forward to being of service to his community. You can visit his website at http://perthtowncrier.com
The changes to the web site have brought about a wonderful opportunity for members to add to the collection of photographs for our events and activities. Before this it could take a considerable period of time to add a single photo to the web site, now the gallery can be updated in minutes.
If you visit the Photo Gallery you will see that a large number of photos have been added from the 2006 Provincial Championships, and from the 2006 Thorald competition. Hopefully this will be the start of a significant web collection which all members and the public can enjoy.
The gallery is powered by “Coppermine,” one of the many online gallery programs now available to the Guild. Members who would like to upload their pictures can email the webmaster who will give them a complete set of instructions, a username and password so that they can access the system, upload and caption the photos themselves. Alternatively members can “snail mail” photos to him on a data CD and he will do the work to bring them online. It is possible to send one or two photos by email, but three or more can produce files that take a long time to upload and download.
It is hoped that some of the Guild Members will have photos of some of the earliest Guild events that can be added to the Gallery in the future. It is hoped the Gallery will become a welcome link for members and for the public.
January 2007 sees a new President start a two year appointment as head of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers. Ken Templeman, Crier for the Town of Collingwood, takes over from Doug Turvey who had a busy two years at the helm of the organization.
Ken maintains a hectic schedule as the Collingwood Town Crier. His traditional scarlet red military uniforms, strong voice and inviting sense of humour have been a fixture in his home town area, and within the Guild for many years. In addition to being Town Crier, Ken also serves on several boards and committes, including the Great Northern Exhibition Agricultural Society Board and Canadian Association of Independent Living Association. He is regularly called upon not only to proclaim community activities, but to serve as a Master of Ceremonies for meetings and banquets. Ken chaired the 2006 Collingwood Winter Carnival Committee.
Ken has been on the Guild Executive for several terms and served on the Constitutions Committee. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and commitment to the position and looks forward to the challenges of the Guild as it continues to grow and develop.
The other members of the incoming Executive include Steve Travers, Les Whiting, Brenda Bozso, Jen Templeman, Scott Fraser, Mark Molnar and Ian Burkholder.
At its Executive meeting held in December, Brent McLaren, the Town Crier for Perth Ontario, was officially appointed as the webmaster for the Guild’s website, http://towncrier.on.ca. The Guild’s website had fallen behind in updating its current membership lists and had no easy way to provide the public with updates on Guild events and activities, or to post photographs.
With our current hosting contract expiring one of Crier McLaren’s first tasks was to move our website to a new web host. The new host provides us with services that were unavailable previously, including access to online databases, blogs and photo galleries as well other web services that the Guild can access in the future. His initial mandate was to correct the information on the Guild’s current web site, to provide a more secure script so that email addresses could not be easily spammed from the member’s list and to provide a vehicle for many of these new features while maintaining the look and feel of the current site.
The arrival of The Bedellus. which is linked to the “News & Events” link on the site is the first step. The Bedellus, which is ancient Latin for “to herald” fills this immediate need. The new Photo Gallery, which replaces the original “Photos” page, means that photos can be easily put online for members and visitors to enjoy. A simple step-by-step instruction manual is being prepared so that appointed members of the Guild can post and update these web features without special training and software.
Many Guild members do not realize that their names, address, phone numbers and email address can only appear on the Guild’s members page with their written permission. The annual membership renewal form contains spots for this approval and for a signature. The links on the sidebar of The Bedellus are taken from these lists and from those provided through search engines. A member can request that a link be added, corrected or removed from The Bedellus by contacting the Webmaster. Changes to the main membership list must be made in writing through the Guild Secretary.
Finally, the new site also contains a private, password protected area for members only. Here the Guild’s constitution, competition rules, ethics documents and other items of interest to Guild members are stored and can be quickly retrieved.
My Lords and Ladies, as I sit to write my final comments, I am having a hard time trying to figure out what to say. (I know, hard to believe isnâ€™t it?) These past 2 years have gone by so quickly. As I near the end of my appointment, I feel some relief that it is over, and some disappointment as well. These past 2 years have been a whirlwind for me, with going back to school full time, starting a new business, my fair board commitments, planning the 2006 North Americans and moving. I feel that at times Guild stuff got put on the back burner or neglected. For that, I apologize.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Guild for giving me the honour of being your President during these past two years. To the executive, I thank you for your support during that time. A special thanks to Brenda for all her help as secretary, keeping me informed about what to do. I know Brenda will be missed as the secretary, when she retires from that position in the new year. To the new President and executive coming in the new year, all the best.
I would like to extend a special thank you to all the Criers who had taken the time to host or had planned events throughout this year, congratulations on an excellent job done.
On behalf of Lois, Danielle, Sonya and myself, as we enter into this festive season, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.